Born in Staten Island, New York, Lou Madonia enlisted in the Marine Corp in October 1959. Colonel Walter Osinpoff was the commanding officer at the Marine Barracks Naval Weapons Station in Yorktown, VA and requested a bandsman or Field Music to organize a Drum & Bugle Corp at Yorktown. Lou took on this task and was transferred to Yorktown for this purpose. The newly formed Drum and Bugle Corps played at many parades and ceremonies in the Tidewater / Hampton area.
He sounded Taps at many veterans’ military funerals and memorial services in Virginia traveling as far south as Alabama. In 1962, Lou was recommended to play at the 100th Anniversary of the writing of Taps at Berkeley Plantation by retired Lt. General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, who lived in Saluda, Virginia. Puller had been the Guest of Honor at many Navy and Marine Corp ceremonies at which Lou played. For CPL Madonia, it was one of the most moving experiences of his life, sounding Taps that July afternoon at Berkeley, where 100 years earlier Oliver Norton first played that haunting melody. Lou was honorably discharged in 1963 and stayed in the Tidewater area where over the next 30 years where he played with many bands and orchestras. In 1993 he moved to Lynchburg, VA , where he and his wife, Faye, reside.