Who was Maurice Banks? As written by Holly Marino

Maurice was involved in local New Jersey Drum Corps since he was a young man -- staring off his drum corps career in the Wayne Monarchs. Maurice's passion for Drum Corps was as big as his heart and anyone who knew Maurice knows just how big his heart was.


In 2006, Maurice encouraged Ralph and Holly Marino to start a drum corps with him; one of his dreams. The three of them, along with Willie Carmona, Gretchen Endres and Ed Bopp put the plan in motion and, with the help of a group of Fusion's original members, within four months of their first conversation, Fusion Core was up and running. Maurice was thrilled when a drum corps started practicing in his hometown of Dover, New Jersey.


No one realize that while Maurice was watching his dream become a reality, he was also fighting a losing battle with cancer. "It was truly his love and passion he had for the Core and it's members that helped him get through long hard days of chemo," Holly Marino commented.


Maurice was a one man support team. He would cook, clean the truck, bring the equipment on and off the field, and ask local business owners for donations. Maurice would walk into a business and say "There's a new drum corps starting up in town and you WANT TO HELP". He didn't give them a choice, he just told them, and they did. You could see the pride in Maurice's face when he spoke about Fusion. He loved when friends would come to visit so he could brag about the Core as if it were his own child.


In 2010, Fusion took home the Gold Medal in DCA World Championships A Class. His dreams became a big reality that night. He watched with tears as Fusion performed their victory concert. He knew that it would be the last time he would see the Core he loved so much perform. Shortly after the 2010 season, Maurice lost his battle with cancer.


Maurice was referred to as "Poppa" by many of the members and nicknamed Fusion's Godfather after his passing. He may be gone but will never be forgotten. All who knew him were definitely "changed for good".


About Fusion

Fusion Drum & Bugle Corps is a non-profit organization who provides its members with the opportunity to develop and continue their musical and visual arts education -- all contributing to the cultural enrichment of the community.

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Who's Maurice?