'54 Tom Costa & wife with their twin boys as a young Carman Cluna awaits show.

Carman Cluna 


written by Ted Schwartzberg


                   Carman and  Wife Brenda

The entire Corps, being as frightened of him as we were, absolutely froze and the silence was deafening. Carman got up and looked at each one of us from one side of the Corps to the other and said, " You can laugh". Everyone broke out into an enormous laugh. We then found out at that moment that Carman did have a sense of humor! The only side of him the Corps ever saw was that of a "Disciplinarian and Perfectionist". At that moment, most of the members of the Corps and I developed a sense of love and respect for the man they feared. Honestly, not everyone could tolerate the continuous striving for perfection. Carman's drive for perfection and excellence was not everyone's idea of Drum Corps. I believe in my heart, Carman's discipline, self esteem and sense of dedication were valuable qualities that were instilled in all of us, prepared us for life and would guide us in our decisions made throughout life. He taught us to have respect for ourselves and developed a sense of pride in each and every one in our Drum Corps. Carman had the most profound effect on me personally.

Carman & Hy (NYS American Legion Championship - Buffalo, NY 1967

St. Rita's church on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn was now our new home. Keeping a close eye on the financial matters of the Corps, Carman decided St. Rita's would run a weekly Bingo and organized a work schedule, which every member of the Corps worked. The Bingo games were a success and paid for the Brassmen's new uniforms, which Carman designed, and new drums. We were the Brassmen, Carman's dream Corps. However, Drum Corps was changing and DCI was upon Carman. He fought tooth and nail not to conform to DCI's ways, but unfortunately, in the end, lost the battle. He never compromised. Difficulty, quality and innovation always came first. Eventually, DCI weakened Carman and the Corps.

I learned so much from Carman in the early St. Joe's days that he became a father figure to me. As I grew older, he became my mentor as I was taken under his wing to be made "His" assistant drill instructor for the Brassmen, St. Ignatius and the Connecticut Hurricanes. Spending time with Carman, as his assistant drill instructor is when I became aware of the warm, kind and gentle person he really was. The time-shared driving to Drum Corps practices together and working together side by side was the most special times in my life. These memories are a part of my heart and soul forever. I can still see Carman standing with his hands on his hips, whistle hanging out of his mouth, his shining blue eyes, golden tan and that big smile when the drill was executed perfectly. Executed the Carman way!

As I write this, I have mixed feelings, some of sadness and also happiness. I realize now I was a very lucky person to have known and worked with this man. When Carman left us, it left an empty spot inside of me, which I know, will never be filled. I am sure right now he is in heaven with Hy Dreitzer (please see Hy Dreitzer's info) writing a show for the angels! Carman Cluna was inducted into the Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1984. Carman C. Cluna passed on, July 15, 2001. Husband of Brenda. Father of Jamie Barbara and Susan Nastro. Grandfather of Jackie, John, Matthew and Emily...

Carman you will forever live in our hearts!


The following are some of the Drum Corps Carman Cluna has instructed and designed visual programs for:
      St. Joseph Patron Cadets
      St. Rita's Brassmen
      St. Ignatius All Girls
      Our Lady Of Loretto
      Selden Golden Lancers
      Floyd Bennett Golden Eagles
      Carter Cadets
      Emerald Cadets
      Connecticut Firettes
      Islanders, Babylon NY
      Our Lady Of The Snows
      Connecticut Hurricanes
      New York Skyliners

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