World of Pageantry

Harvey Berish R.I.P.
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Author:  Bandmaster [ Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:04 am ]
Post subject:  Harvey Berish R.I.P.

I received the sad information last night that World of Pageantry founder, Harvey Berish, passed away. He had been living in a nursing home for the last two years with a few medical issues.


Story about Harvey by Stuart Rice written in 1999:

Harvey first participated as a young boy in the Bronx Jewish War Veterans Drum and Bugle Corps (1950's), moved on to the Gunhill Post VFW drum corps in the early 60's, and joined the Staff of the William E. Irwin Post American Legion "Bronx Kingsmen" Drum & Bugle Corps from the Kingsbridge section of the North Bronx. The Kingsmen were State American Legion Parade and Field Champions a number of times. Mr. William J. Hickey was Director of the young corps, and Harvey was host and announcer at the Kingsmen's annual drum and bugle corps competition, "Metropolitan March Time" at the Gaelic Park Irish Football Stadium for many years.

Later Harvey Berish became General Manager of the Nationally ranked New York Kingsmen Drum and Bugle Corps, the first corps in the nation to feature attire with Mexican themes, large sombreros, and sequined vests. Harvey moved to the East Bronx community and joined the staff of the Midshipmen Drum and Bugle Corps as a Manager, they started as a Sea Scout organization in the City Island and Westchester Square area of the Bronx and then became independent and marched in the Metropolitan All American Circuit for a number of years.

The Midshipmen evolved into a major corps when they affiliated with Building Service Employees Union (local 32E) and the Knickerbocker Federal Savings and Loan Association. The Corps became well known as The N.Y. Knickerbockers in the community and throughout the metropolitan area. They represented New York City, the Bronx, and the Sons of Italy on major tours. They appeared at the US Open and World Open numerous times. The corps was also selected by Richard Nixon to lead his 2nd Inaugural Parade.

The N.Y. Knickerbockers at one time had almost 400 kids involved. The organization was one of the most successful inner city drum and bugle corps of their time. Harvey moved west in the very early 70's and joined the staff of the Royal Cavaliers Youth Band VFW National Champion Band from Van Nuys, and then joined the staff of the famous Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps of Anaheim, CA. There he assisted in 11 cross country tours with the Velvet Knights. After earning a place among DCI World Championship Finalists with the Velvet Knights, Berish became Director of the Velvet Knight Cadets to assure the unit of their future.

During this time Harvey was Assistant to George Wong and the Los Angeles Chinese Imperial Dragons Drum and Bugle Corps. Harvey joined George Wong in producing the wildly successful "Oriental Odyssey" competition, the largest drum corps show in the West for a number of years. Harvey also served as Announcer and Coordinator of the Kingsmen Invitational, also a huge event annually sponsored and hosted by the Anaheim Kingsmen.

Harvey Berish has been Writer for Cadence Magazine, Eastern Review Magazine, Drum Corps News, Drum Corps World, and an Editor of the Encyclopedia of Drum and Bugle Corps (McGraw Hill). He also contributed material to the Congressional Record, served as Promotions and Public Information Officer for the New York and Bronx Council for the Arts. Berish is Founder, Editor, and publisher of The World of Pageantry band and drill team news magazine (Originally known as "Pageantry Press").

Currently Harvey is still publishing World of Pageantry, and sponsors the largest and most successful Marching Band and Pageantry competition in the State of Hawai'i (The Hawai'i Invitational International Music festival) which has brought more than 40,000 young musicians, color guard members, and dancers to Hawai'i in the past 19 years. Harvey is founder and sponsorof the annual "Pageantry and Performing Arts Booster Workshop" which teaches band, corps and pageantry support organizations to raise funds and organize effective booster clubs. He has been a consultant to the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics (Opening Ceremonies), numerous parades and festivals across the nation, and to Disney on a number of special projects.

Author:  MaestroOfBandX [ Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Harvey Berish R.I.P.

:( :cry: :(

Author:  Hostrauser [ Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Harvey Berish R.I.P.

Sorry to hear. RIP Harvey.

Author:  Ryan H. Turner [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Harvey Berish R.I.P.

It was very sad to hear of his passing. Harvey was EXTREMELY kind to me, and was, in my estimation, the ORIGINAL Voice of Southern California before even Rick Lockwood and I haggled over it. Harvey announced many drum corps shows out here in the region. He always looked forward to me stopping by the booth to say hi. What a great article too to see his history.

RIP Harvey.

Author:  vkgarry [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Harvey Berish R.I.P.

Hard to believe I knew Harvey for so long, and always made it a point to visit at band, corps and guard shows.

The funniest story I can think of regarding Harvey was when he decided to publish a story in Drum Corps News about a new corps in Central California called the Fresno Ferns. The story was a complete fabrication, including the "official" corps picture of a bunch of Anaheim Kingsmen and Velvet Knights posing as the corps. I don't know why Harvey didn't confirm the story, but I'm glad he didn't! He is an integral part of the greatest drum corps hoax ever!

RIP Harvey.


PS I need to correct one aspect of Stuart's story. He claims Harvey became the director of the Velvet Knights Cadets after VK made DCI finals. This is incorrect, as the VK Cadets/Squires ceased to exist after the 1984 season. Though plans were in place to field a corps in 1985, lack of support from the VK Board of Directors lead to the decision to fold the corps. I will verify this story as I was the last director of the VK Cadets, and I made the decision to fold the corps.

Author:  clarinetking [ Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Harvey Berish R.I.P.

I have known Harvey my entire career. There was nobody more caring and wonderful to work with and to know as a friend. He will be missed. RIP my friend.

Russ Campbell

Author:  airons0678 [ Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Harvey Berish R.I.P.

It saddened me to hear of the news of Harvey Berish's passing. Thanks to Harvey and World of Pageantry, marching band became "bigger" than just my band and the bands we competed against locally and the awesome ones in San Diego, but included "mythical" bands like Clovis West, Fred C. Beyer; and included neat news on parades, Hawaii (Invitational), and even BOA Grand Nationals. In the early to mid-90's you had to get a print publication of WoP for your news, and I remember stopping by Harvey's tent at a band show one day to get one and introduce myself (and basically be a big fan boy, ha ha!). He was such a nice man and had a huge passion for the arts.


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