Barry L. Swain - New York City

Performer, Instructor, Judge & Judge Administrator

Drum Corps, Winter guard, Marching Bands


In 1966, Barry Swain was introduced to drum corps and got the “love bug” for the activity as a member of the Carter Cadets from Brooklyn, NY. He was a cymbal player, member of the boy’s color guard and then drum major. He continued his active involvement through the late 1990’s in a variety of ways.

 In 1970, he joined St. Rita’s Brassmen of Brooklyn, New York and marched with St. Rita’s in the cymbal line in 1970 & 71. In 1972, he ended his participation as a performer when he was appointed as the Drum Major for the CMCC Warriors of New York City.

 Barry began working as a marching assistant to Eugene Bennett (Sunrisers). He has taught: Falcon Cadets (NJ), NY Lancers (NYC), CMCC Warriors (NY), OLPH Ridgemen (NYC), Fire-ettes All-Girls (CT), Kingston Indians, Pacers and Vagabonds of upset NY.  He taught winter guard with the Hurricanes (NY), Travelers (NY) and Newtones (NY). In the mid 1070’s he taught the Alberta Girls of Edmonton, Canada the largest all girls show band in the world.

 In 1972, he began judging with the Metro All American Judges Association, becoming one of the youngest or the youngest judge ever in the Activity. Barry was later a member of the MASS. Judges Association, NY Federation of Judges, International Judges Association (Assistant Chief Judge) and the National Judges Association (NJA) as its caption head for all visual captions.

 In 1976, Barry became a DCI Judge. In 1984, he became the Visual Caption Head and member of the task force on drum corps for DCI; from 1988 -1995 he was Chief Judge for all captions for Drum Corps East. During that time, he was also appointed as Chief Judge for Drum Corps West Indies, Jamaica, W.I. Since he began judging, he has adjudicated nearly every major drum corps, band and winter guard contests in the USA, Canada and West Indies over the years; including the DCI World Championships.

 Barry recalls one of his achievements that he was one of the instrumental judges in the transition from the “ticks” system of judging performance to the criteria based system and the introduction of rewarding the “inherit demand” in the content of the presentation.

 Barry feels blessed and has often stated he will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this Activity which has had such a profound influence on his life and to those who have reached out along the journey to provide guidance, example and support: Carmen Cluna, Ralph Pace, Eugene Bennett, Donald Angelica, Anthony DiCarlo, Clarke Williams, Paul Litteau, Gene Montersatelli, George Zingali, Marc Sylvester, Ike Iannasa, Jay Murphy, Steve Brubaker, Pepe Nataro, Bobby Towler, Mickey Perry and the Activity’s many Judges, Directors & their staffs and of course, the Performers!