Hugh Mahon was the second Director to come out of the ranks of the Cadets, but it was an unusually circuitous route he chose to find his Cadet home. Hugh began his drum corps career with the Paterson Cadets, 1955-58, the last two of those years as drum major. Upon turning 19 he accepted an offer from The Skyliners, a New York City senior corps, to become drum major. It wasn't until 1960, following the untimely death of a much-loved Cadet drum major, that Hugh agreed to accept the drum major position with the Cadets. He has stated many times that he viewed the Cadets as the ultimate drum corps, and that he viewed the opportunity he was offered as the fulfillment of a dream. He marched as Cadet DM 1960-61, winning two American Legion National Championships during that time, and building a reputation as a renowned on-field showman. After aging out in 1961 Hugh moved on to become DM of the fabled Hawthorne Caballeros.
Hugh was asked to become a drill instructor for the Cadets in 1968 by the Corps' Director, Jim D'Amico. He accepted that offer and taught 1968-69. As an instructor in partnership with Ray Cappicille, the two men are credited with writing the Cadets' famous peace-sign drill. In 1970 he accepted the Director's position vacated by Jim D'Amico, and led the Cadets 1970-72. During his tenure Hugh was the man responsible for the introduction of the first total theme shows in the activity in 1971-72 (1776-America The Brave, No More War). During that same period he moved the top eastern drum corps into a cooperative partnership (UOJC) that was an instrumental force in the organization of DCI. Hugh (eastern region) and Dave Kampschroer (western region) were elected as the first Directors of DCI.
Hugh has many accomplishments credited to him, and honors such as Charter member of both The Cadets Hall of Fame and The DCI Hall of Fame. He has been married for 46 years to his lovely wife Adria. Hugh and Adria have three daughters; Colleen the oldest, and twins Erin and Kathleen. They now have six grandchildren; three boys and three girls. Adria has long been Hugh's secret weapon. She has provided behind-the-scenes support and endless hours of labor for all of Hugh's many interests and ventures; contributing in huge measure to his success.
Hugh Mahon has been a renowned drum major, a hugely successful instructor, a respected judge, a forward-thinking corps director, and a successful activity visionary during his long and fruitful years of contribution to both the Cadets and the wider activity. He is a drum corps icon, with a special place in the hearts of the Cadets he led, and the corps he loves