Craker, David | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Craker, David

Historical Note: David H. Craker, who earned his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987, served as a member and leader of the Marching Illini mellophone section between 1984 and 1987. In 1984, the band's mellophone section had the difficult task of marching between lines of trombones while performing the band's "Three-In-One" drill formation, which resulted in occasional collisions between student musicians. As a result, Craker rewrote the "Three-In-One" drill to remove the problematic formation and improved the visual impact of the band's spelling of "Illini" by repositioning the sousaphones in the middle of the letter "I" and the percussion in the left leg of the letter "N" formations. This revised field show was performed first in 1985 and continues to be used by the band today. Craker also revised the band's pregame field show in 1985 and 1986, and in 1987 added the band's iconic US Map formation to their field show. During his tenure with the band, Craker wrote several additional halftime shows that were designed by Gary E. Smith, the University's Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Marching Illini and Athletic Bands. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1987, Craker remained on campus to complete one year of graduate study in Mechanical Engineering and stayed in contact with the Marching Illini through 1989. Thanks to a recommendation by Smith, Craker was commissioned by the Rutgers University band to write two halftime shows for their Marching Scarlet Knights in 1989.

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