Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps
|Location||North Canton, Ohio|
|Uniform||(2016) White pants & belt. White long sleeve shirt. White shoes. Blue accent stripe with sequin inlay running from right foot to left hand via chest.|
The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps is a World Class (formerly Division I) competitive junior drum and bugle corps. Based in Canton, Ohio, the Bluecoats are a member corps of Drum Corps International (DCI). Bluecoats are the current DCI World Class champions.
The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps was founded in 1972 by Canton businessman Art Drukenbrod and Canton Police officers "Babe" Stearn and Ralph McCauley, the director and assistant director of the Canton Police Boys' Club. The corps members chose the name both because of their sponsorship and to honor the city's police officers, particularly those who had retired from the ranks. The corps made its competition debut in 1974 and, in their first major show, finished thirty-second of thirty-seven corps in the U.S. Open Class A prelims in Marion, Ohio. The corps improved year by year, and began touring in both the U.S. and Canada and making U.S. Open finals in 1976, taking second place in 1977 and third in 1978. The Bluecoats made their first DCI appearance in Denver in 1977, scoring in thirty-fifth place among forty-five corps.
Although the Bluecoats corps was maturing musically, it was struggling to survive financially. 1979 saw the corps performing only in local parades, as it attempted to reorganize its financial situation. With the return to the field in 1980, the corps was competitive in Class A competitions but only managed a thirty-eighth-place finish of the forty-four corps performing in Open Class at the DCI World Championships in Birmingham, Alabama. In the next two seasons, the corps attempted to compete exclusively in Open Class, but they met with small success. In 1983, it was announced that the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps would cease operations.
At the time that the corps' folding was announced, present-day corps President Scott Swaldo was a marching member. When he told his father, Canton industrialist Ted Swaldo (now the corps' Director Emeritus), the elder Swaldo stated his determination to prevent it and stepped in to try to save the corps. One of Swaldo's first moves as corps director was to see that the organization was run like a business, a concept that has since been spread to numerous non-profit youth organizations around the country. With successful fund-raising projects and a solid business plan in place, the corps returned to the field after only a one-year hiatus. As a full-fledged Open Class corps the Bluecoats improved with each passing year until, in 1987, the corps became the first corps from Ohio to earn a place in the DCI World Championship finals, finishing in eleventh place. Since then, the corps has failed to make DCI Finals only once (1999), and the Bluecoats have become a consistent DCI contender. 
In the early days the corps traveled in blue-painted surplus Army buses, then in used school buses, later moving up to used, but air-conditioned, motor coaches. At first, meals were served from a U-Haul trailer towed by a parent's car, later from a van, then a travel trailer, before the eventual acquisition of an eighteen-wheeled semi-trailer kitchen. Today the corps travels around the country during its summer tour in a convoy with chartered buses, an equipment truck, cook truck, souvenir trailer, and staff vehicles.
At the 2016 DCI World Championships, the Bluecoats won 1st place in World Class Finals, becoming only the tenth corps to be DCI Champions since the competition began in 1972. The winning show, "Down Side Up," earned the corps' highest DCI score of 97.65 while winning the General Effect and Music captions. For 2016, the Bluecoats had abandoned their traditional uniforms in favor of a more informal costume designed with the show's near-constant motion in mind; the brass and percussion wore white and the color guard yellow, both with a swirling, sequined blue accent stripe running from the left hand to the shoulder, across the chest, and down the right leg; Bluecoats also became the first corps to win the DCI title while not wearing hats, helmets, shakos, or any other type of headgear.
The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps is a 501 (c) (3) musical organization that has a Board of Directors, corps director, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission. The Director Emeritus is Ted Swaldo, the President is Scott Swaldo, the Executive Director is David Glasgow, and the Corps Manager is Bill Hamilton. 
The Bluecoats organization also sponsors the Artistry IN BLUE Winter Guard and the Rhythm IN BLUE Alumni Ensemble. Additionally, the corps owns and operates the Champion Event Center, a community bingo, banquet and special events center in North Canton.
Show summary 1974–2016
Gold background indicates DCI Championship; pale blue background indicates DCI Class Finalist; pale green background indicates DCI semifinalist.
|1975||Fanfare and Coronation March by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky / Variations On America by Truman Crawford /
Gospel John by Jeffrey Steinberg / Livin' for the City by Stevland Hardaway Morris (Stevie Wonder)
|1976||Quejada by Kenneth Snoeck / Drum Fugue by Richard Janes / I Believe (from Ice Castles) by Marvin Hamlisch /
Turkey in the Straw (Traditional) / Theme from Gold by Elmer Bernstein / Theme from S.W.A.T. by Barry De Vorzon /
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Paul Simon
|1977||Le Coq D'Or by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov /
Porgy and Bess Medley by George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, and Ira Gershwin / Carmina Burana by Carl Orff /
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Paul Simon / Fanfare from Quejada by Kenneth Snoeck
|1978||Farandole by Georges Bizet / Corazón by Carole King / Sweet Inspiration by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham /
Oklahoma Crude by Henry Mancini / Where He Leads Me (Traditional) / Stony End by Laura Nyro /
Big Noise from Winnetka by Bob Haggart and Ray Bauduc /
New York, New York (from On the Town) by Leonard Bernstein
|1979||Parade corps only|
|1980||Farandole by Georges Bizet / Left Bank Express by Pete Jackson / Encore in Jazz by Vic Firth /
Friends by Al Jardine, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson / Exodus by Ernest Gold
|1981||Barnum by Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart /
Aquarius (from Hair) by Galt McDermot, James Rado, and Gerome Ragni /
Encore in Jazz by Vic Firth / Porgy and Bess Medley by George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward
|1982||Compendium by Ray Crawford / Carnival by Maynard Ferguson and Nick Lane /
Aquarius (from Hair) by Galt McDermot, James Rado, and Gerome Ragni / Root Beer Rag by Billy Joel /
Pavanne (from American Symphonette #2) by Morton Gould
|1983||Corps inactive while reorganizing|
|1984||Run Back to Mama by Bill Chase and Jim Peterik / Night in Rome by Doc Severinsen and Jeff Tyzik /
Bugle Call Rag by Billy Meyers, Jack Pettis, and Elmer Schoebel /
Magnum Opus by Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Phil Ehart, Rich Williams, Dave Hope, and Robbie Steinhardt (Kansas) /
For Your Eyes Only by Bill Conti and Mick Leeson
|1985||Run Back to Mama by Bill Chase and Jim Peterik /
Lover Man by Jimmy Davis, Roger "Ram" Ramirez, and James Sherman /
Walk Between the Raindrops by Donald Fagen / Sunrise Lady by Bruce Johnstone /
Race with the Devil on Spanish Highway by Al Di Meola / One Voice by Barry Manilow
|1986||Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms / Doodletown Fifers (Traditional) /
Salt Peanuts by John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie and Kenny Clarke /
Everything Happens to Me by Tom Adair and Matt Dennis
|1987||Bye Bye Blues by Fred Hamm, Dave Bennett, Bert Lown, and Chauncey Gray /
Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prévert, adapted by Johnny Mercer /
Body and Soul by Johnny Green, Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, and Frank Eyton
|1988||That Old Black Magic by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer / Take Five by Paul Desmond /
Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prévert, adapted by Johnny Mercer
|1989||Johnny One Note & My Funny Valentine (from Babes in Arms) by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart /
Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) by Louis Prima
|1990||Caravan by Juan Tizol /
I Got It Bad (and that Ain't Good) by Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington and Paul Francis Webster /
Don't Get Around Much Anymore by Duke Ellington and Bob Russell /
It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got That Swing) by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills
|1991||Nutville by Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva (Horace Silver) / Palookaville by Larry Kerchner /
A Whiter Shade of Pale by Gary Brooker, Keith Reid, and Matthew Fisher
|1992||A Day in the Life||Nowhere Man, Eleanor Rigby, The Long and Winding Road, Penny Lane, A Day in the Life & The End
All by Lennon–McCartney
|1993||Standards in Blue-
A Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie
|All The Things You Are (from Very Warm for May) by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II /
'Round Midnight by Thelonious Monk / A Night in Tunisia by Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Paparelli
|1994||Blues||Things Ain't What They Used to Be by Mercer Ellington and Ted Persons / Blues for Alice by Charlie Parker /
In a Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington / Sandu by Clifford Brown / C Jam Blues by Duke Ellington
|1995||Homefront: 1945||Come Rain or Come Shine by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer / Shippin' Out by Bruce McConnell /
I'll Be Seeing You by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal / Newsreel by Bruce McConnell /
Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) by Louis Prima
|1996||American Celebrations||My Funny Valentine (from Babes in Arms) by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart /
Big Day in Bristol by Bruce McConnell / Yankee Doodle Dandy by George M. Cohan /
Strike Up The Band (from Strike Up The Band) by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin /
Prophet's Margin by Bruce McConnell / Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane /
Auld Lang Syne (Traditional) and Robert Burns
Jazz After Dark,
The Bluecoats' Way
|Harlem Nocturne by Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers / Moon by Ennio Morricone /
You and the Night and the Music by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz
|1998||The Four Seasons of Jazz||Winter (Original?) / It Might as Well be Spring by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II /
Summertime (From Porgy and Bess) by George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, and Ira Gershwin /
Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prévert, adapted by Johnny Mercer
|1999||Music of Chick Corea||Armando's Rhumba / Duende / Leprechaun's Dream / Celebration Suite
All by Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea
|2000||Threshold||Intro by Doug Thrower / And on the Sixth Day & The Witch by Patrick Williams /
Air Antique by Claus Ogerman / Finale by Doug Thrower
|2001||Latin Sketches||Intro / Candelabra Rhumba / Red Cape Tango / Tango-Finale
All by Michael Daugherty
|2002||Urban Dances||Sunrise (Original) / Paradise Utopia (from Concerto for Bass Trombone) by Chris Brubeck /
Reflection (Overture from Dancer in the Dark) by Björk Gudmundsdottir (Björk) /
Pedal to the Metal (from Motor City Triptych) by Michael Daugherty
|2003||Capture and Escape||Time to Take Back the Knights by Stephen Melillo / Adagio for Theresa by Al Di Meola /
Mediterraneo by Giancarlo Bigazzi / Libertango by Astor Piazolla /
Code Name: Eternity by Trevor Morris / Original by Doug Thrower
|2004||Mood Swings||Ride by Samuel Hazo / One Day I'll Fly Away (from Moulin Rouge) by Will Jennings and Joe Sample /
Hunting Wabbits by Gordon Goodwin
|2005||Caravan||Caravan by Juan Tizol / Incantation (from Cirque du Soleil) by Benoît Jutras /
Ombra (from Cirque du Soleil) by Violaine Corradi / Hajj by Stephen Melillo
|2006||connexus||Roots of Coincidence by lyle Mays and Pat Metheney / Distorted (from La Nouba) by Benoît Jutras /
My Heart and I by Ennio Morricone / The Tihai by Don Ellis
|2007||Criminal||Criminal by Fiona Apple / Battle Music by David Holsinger /
Small World by Trilok Gurtu and Roberto Concina (Robert Miles) /
Room Service by Michel Legrand / Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson / Hummingbrrd by Steven Bryant /
Timbuktu by Aaron Davis and Marc Jordan / Every Breath You Take by Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner (Sting)
|2008||The Knockout||On the Waterfront by Leonard Bernstein / The Boxer by Paul Simon / Excerpts "Rocky" Soundtrack by Bill Conti /
Excerpts "Rocky IV" Soundtrack by Vince DiCola / Eye of the Tiger (from Rocky III) by Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik
|2009||Imagine||Imagine by John Lennon / Children's Hour of Dream by Charles Mingus / Hunting Wabbits 2 by Gordon Goodwin /
Sky Blue by Maria Schneider / Haitian Fight Song by Charles Mingus
The Future is Now
|160 BPM (from Angels and Demons) by Hans Zimmer / AHA! by Imogen Heap /
Metropolis by Doug Thrower and Tom Rarick / Asphalt Cocktail by John Mackey
|2011||Brave New World||Creep by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, and Phil Selway (Radiohead)
(and Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood) /
Deus ex Machina by Michael Daugherty / Harvest: Concerto for Trombone by John Mackey
|2012||Unmasqued||Masquerade (from The Phantom of the Opera) by Andrew Lloyd Webber / Filet (from La Reve) by Benoît Jutras /
Flume by Justin Vernon / Ritual by Doug Thrower and Tom Rarick /
Love Dance (from Ka) by René Dupéré / Blue Cathedral by Jennifer Higdon /
Epiphanies (Fanfares and Chorales) by Ron Nelson
|2013||...to Look for America||America by Paul Simon / Washington Post by John Philip Sousa / Agnus Dei by Rufus Wainwright /
Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen / City Life (Mvt. 1) by Steve Reich /
Spring (from The River) by Duke Ellington / Ebony Concerto by Igor Stravinsky /
Concerto for Wind Ensemble Mvt. 5 by Steven Bryant
|2014||TILT||Uffe's Woodshop by Tyondai Braxton / to wALk Or ruN in wEst harlem by Andy Akiho /
The Hymn of Acxiom by Vienna Teng / Platinum Rows by Tyondai Braxton
|2015||Kinetic Noise||Shaker Loops by John Adams, adapted by Jon Anderson / Electric Counterpoint (Mvt. 3) by Steve Reich /
Woods by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) / Gene Takes a Drink by Michael Gordon /
An Animated Description of Mr. Maps by Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong (The Books) /
Dense by Daniel Denis (Univers Zero)
|2016||Down Side Up||Jose/beFORe JOHN5 by Aurel Hollo / Heat of the Day by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays /
Raga Raja by Greg Pattillo, Eric Stephenson, and Peter Seymour (Project Trio) /
Udacrep Akubrad by Avner Dorman / The Great Gig in the Sky by Richard Wright and Clare Torry (Pink Floyd) /
Down Slide Up by Doug Thrower /
Todo Tiende by Marina Abad, Javier Martin, Sergio Ramos, Xavier Turull, and Maxwell Wright (Ojos de Brujo)
Traditions, trivia, et cetera
At the Bluecoats first appearance at DCI Finals in 1987, their over-the-top arrangement of the Joseph Kosma-Johnny Mercer song Autumn Leaves, with a fifteen-member snare drum line brought forth the spontaneous long shouts from the audience of, "BLOOOOOO... BLOOOOOO... BLOOOOOO..."– a crowd reaction that began with one fan at the Drum Corps Midwest prelims and was picked up by a large part of the crowd by the time DCM finals were over. This has since come to be the audience's traditional greeting as the corps enters the field and response as they finish their show, which has become perhaps the most recognizable act of audience participation in the drum corps activity. Newcomers to drum corps are often shocked by this unique reaction, until it is explained that, "They're not booing; they're blooing."
The Bluecoats' corps song is, as might be expected, "Autumn Leaves." The song has remained a part of the corps' repertoire since 1987, and has reappeared in their 1988 and 1998 shows. It can also frequently be heard being performed during impromptu parking lot concerts after competitions. The corps' first official song was "Bridge Over Troubled Water," by Simon and Garfunkel, which was a huge hit shortly before the corps was founded. It has been played at encores since the 2012 season, when it was brought back in honor of the corps' 40th anniversary. "Autumn Leaves" became the corps' song after the 1987 season, in honor of the corps making its first finals appearance.
Although there have been departures over the years, the Bluecoats were widely known for performing big band jazz arrangements of their musical programs. More recently the corps has created an identity based around innovation in electronic integration and creative design in DCI.
Hall of Fame home show
Like most drum corps, the Bluecoats hold an annual "home show" in Massillon, OH near their hometown. It has become a local tradition that the Bluecoats' home show is a part of the induction festivities for Pro Football Hall of Fame, which is located in Canton.
The Bluecoats have a tradition of giving each member a blue necklace made out of shoelace with silver-plated pennies attached with a link from the chin strap of a Bluecoats helmet. Each member gets one penny or equivalent currency from each nationality represented in the corps that season, each year that they march in the corps. Members also receive a nickel after marching their fifth year in the Bluecoats.
During the ballad in the 2016 DCI Championship show "Down Side Up," trumpet soloist Shayne O'Brien winked at the camera during the Preliminary round. After DCI shared the video on social media, soloists in other corps followed his lead, winking, waving, or smiling broadly for the camera. O'Brien was featured on the Lucas Oil Stadium's Jumbotron when he repeated his wink during Finals (after not having done it during Semifinals), and the crowd went wild.
- "World Class Corps". Drum Corps International. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vol. 2; Steve Vickers, ed.; Drum Corps World, pub.; 2003
- "History". Bluecoats. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
- "History of Bluecoats". Maher Associates, Inc./corpsreps.com. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "A new 'Bloo' champion is born". Drum Corps International. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Who are the Bluecoats?". Bluecoats. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
- "Board of Directors". Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "Administration". Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "Home". Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "Champion Event Center". Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
- "Song History for Bluecoats". Maher & Associates, Inc./corpsreps.com. Retrieved 9 December 2015.