Upstate Historic Drum Corps Site
Raye "Ernie" Chevalier was a snare drummer who
performed with the following Drum Corps' :
St. Kevin's Emerald Knights (Dorchester Mass.)
St. Joseph's Islanders (Green Island, N.Y.)
The Interstatesmen (Troy, N.Y.)
The Killmen (Wynantskill, N.Y.)
He was also one of the founding members
of The Excelsior Drum Corps (Albany, N.Y./Pittsfield, Mass.)
My first memory of Ernie goes back to 1967 or 1968 when he
showed up at a Killmen Rehearsal. He was older and a more experienced
performer than the other people in the corps at that time. He brought with
him a high level of performance and the latest technology in that he had the
first Premier Snare Drum that I ever had seen. People in the corps looked up
to Earnie because he exhibited all of the qualities that they aspired to acquire.
In 2004 I had the opportunity to re meet Earnie when "Excelsior" formed .
I enjoyed talking with him about the days of Ron Ghetti and Artie Nelson and also
sharing stories of that time. When "Excelsior" needed a place to practice, drum equipment,
and a percussion instructor it was Ernie who stepped up to the plate to provide all
of those things for the new corps to support the activity that he loved.
Earnie's last drum corps project - founding of Excelsior
Jay McBride (Friend)
From Jeff Perkins :
I feel very saddened losing Ernie. Although I only knew him briefly, I did know that he came through the drum corps school that we were all involved with in our younger life. Once bitten by that "bug", it stays with each of us for the rest of our lives. Maybe we all can meet again in the hereafter and play in that big corps in Heaven. Please pass on my condolences and prayers to his family.
To All Drum Corps People:
Ernie started his Drum Corps Career in the 1960's with St. Joseph's Islanders
from Green Island, N.Y. as a Snare Drummer. He remembers his first show in
Pittsfield Mass. The contest was sponsored by The Sky Hawks Drum Corps from
IT IS WITH A HEAVY HEART THAT WRITE THIS TO YOU. RAY PAST FROM THIS LIFE THIS AFTERNOON WITH FAMILY AT HIS SIDE. THIS IS THE WAY HE WISHED TO LEAVE US ALL. I ASK FOR PRAYERS FOR THE FAMILY AS THIS IS A VERY DIFFICULT TIME. HE WAS TAKEN ALL TO SOON FOR ALL OF US.
HE NOW JOINS THE OTHERS FROM DRUM AND BUGLE CORP THAT HAVE GONE BEFORE HIM, AND IF I KNOW RAY, HE IS PLAYING WITH BILL TRAVIS, ARTIE, AND SOME OF THE KIDS HE ONCE MARCHED WITH.
MAY HIS JOURNEY BE A GREAT ONE, AND WE HAVE THE PLEASURE TO HAVE KNOWN HIM.