Fred Oltarzewski

In the early years of the corps Fred Oltarzewski was the man behind the drumline. His experience instructing and arranging for Royal Brigade and Franklin HS Band was an asset when he was working with the Bushwackers.

Fred would be able to work with various drummers at various levels of skill and still come across with a good product. He cobbled enough drummers to learn a street beat for the corps in 1981 so we could earn some money doing parades.

He would pull apart drums, replace heads, install parts, all the glamorous things drum instructors do, especially in a new and young corps. All the while his good nature, keen wit and ability to get along with just about everyone made him a critical part of the staff and an ambassador of the Bushwackers.

Fred would write, arrange, play in and teach Bushwacker drum lines, especially for the pit, from 1981 to 1985. He helped build a program from scratch. And, over the years, whenever the corps needed help, including during the course of a season, Fred would always be there to help us. Fred never said no to the Bushwackers. For that we will always be grateful.

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