Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps
|Location||North Canton, Ohio|
The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps is a World Class competitive junior drum and bugle corps. Based in Canton, Ohio, the Bluecoats are a member corps of Drum Corps International (DCI). The Bluecoats were the 2016 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 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.
In 2010, the corps medaled for the first time at the DCI World Championships, taking the bronze with their production "Metropolis: The Future Is Now." In 2014, they made corps history again by taking the silver medal for their show "TILT." In 2015, the corps performed their production entitled "Kinetic Noise," taking home the bronze.
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 (at the time) of 97.650 while winning the General Effect and Music captions on finals night. For 2016, the Bluecoats abandoned their traditional uniforms blue coats 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. This trend of non-traditional uniforms has continued since then, and has been emulated by numerous other corps since 2016.
At the 2019 DCI World Championships, the Bluecoats came second place while scoring the corps' highest ever score of 98.238, winning the General Effect Caption and tying for 1st in Music on finals night.
At the end of 2016 it was announced that the Bluecoats had been selected to send a team of 30 people to Hong Kong to perform with Pegasus Vanguard in Hong Kong's 2017 Chinese New Year Celebration. They were invited to perform in Hong Kong again for the 2019 Chinese New Year Celebration.
In 2017 shortly after WGI World Championships in Dayton Ohio, the Bluecoats announced a formation of their own WGI World Class Color Guard unit, named Bloo Indoor. In 2018, the guard finished in 12th place, making it into finals their very first year. In 2019 they broke into the top 10, finishing in 9th place.  It was announced that the group would not be competing for the 2020 WGI season.
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, Mike Scott is the Chief Executive Officer, Genevieve Geisler is Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operations Officer, former CEO David Glasgow is the Executive Advisor, 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. In April 2017, the corps announced the founding of a second Winter Guard that will begin competing in 2018; Bluecoats Indoor will be based in the Indianapolis area.
Show summary 1974–2020
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 MacDermot, 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 MacDermot, 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 Side Up by Doug Thrower /
Todo Tiende by Marina Abad, Javier Martin, Sergio Ramos, Xavier Turull, and Maxwell Wright (Ojos de Brujo)
|2017||Jagged Line||Prelude by Mark Radice and Thank You Scientist / Psychopomp by Thank You Scientist /
Grow Till Tall by Jónsi / One Study One Summary by John Psathas / Zomby Woof by Frank Zappa
|2018||Session 44||Bird & Bela in B Flat by Don Sebesky / American Concerto by Patrick Williams /
The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines by Charles Mingus & Joni Mitchell / Saro (Traditional/Sam Amidon/The Westerlies) /
Home (from Congo Square) by Wynton Marsalis / God Bless the Child by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr.
|2019||The Bluecoats||Revolution Number 9 by John Lennon. Yoko Ono, and George Harrison /
Strawberry Fields Forever by John Lennon (as Lennon-McCartney) /
Penny Lane & Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by Paul McCartney (as Lennon-McCartney) /
A Day in the Life by John Lennon and Paul McCartney / What Goes On by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Richard Starkey /
Love Me Do & I Want to Hold Your Hand by John Lennon and Paul McCartney /
Yesterday & Eleanor Rigby by Paul McCartney (as Lennon–McCartney) /
Within You Without You & Here Comes the Sun by George Harrison /
A Little Help From My Friends by John Lennon and Paul McCartney / Blackbird by Paul McCartney (as Lennon–McCartney) /
Dear Prudence, Come Together & I Want You (She's So Heavy) by John Lennon (as Lennon–McCartney) /
The End & Hey Jude by Paul McCartney (as Lennon-McCartney)
|2020||Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
At the annual World Championship Finals, Drum Corps International (DCI) presents awards to the corps with the high average scores from prelims, semifinals, and finals in five captions. The Bluecoats have won these captions:
Don Angelica Best General Effect Award
- 2016, 2019
Traditions and trivia
This Traditions and trivia contains a list of miscellaneous information. (January 2017)
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, "Bloooo... Blooooo... Blooooo..."– a crowd reaction that began with one former member during the 1985 and 1986 seasons and amplified by legendary Drum Corps Midwest announcer Joe Bruno and grew throughout the 1987 season. 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 one of the most recognizable acts 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, "Autumn Leaves", which became the corps' song after the 1987 season, in honor of the corps making its first DCI Finals appearance. The song has remained a part of the corps' repertoire since 1987, and it 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 Paul Simon, which was a huge hit for Simon and Garfunkel shortly before the corps was founded and was performed by the corps in 1976 & '77. It had been played at encores since the 2012 season, when it was brought back in honor of the corps' 40th anniversary, but it has since been replaced as an encore piece by an earlier Simon and Garfunkle hit, "The Boxer" (also written by Paul Simon) which was a wildly popular tune in the corps' 2008 program. Another song that is frequently performed in the lots and at encores is "Creep" by Radiohead from their 2011 show "A Brave New World". Also occasionally The Bluecoats perform their 2014 ballad "The Hymn of Acxiom" by Vienna Teng during camps and home show encores.
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, however, the corps has created an identity based around innovation in electronics 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. In the 2019 summer, the corps performed during halftime for the NFL Hall of Fame football game.
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 on the morning of finals day. Members also receive a nickel after marching their fifth year in the Bluecoats.
The Bluecoats started a tradition back in 2016 of becoming the last corps to release their show title for the competition season. Often preferring to wait until within 3 hours of their first performance to release show uniforms, and later on the title. However, they do release their show repertoire within 2-3 weeks of their premiere performance.
In the early 1990s, the Bluecoats created the secret phrase "Six Words" and is only told to new members after performing their first home show of the season. The phrase was started by Errick Prince, a member and long time veteran of the corps, along with others. The phrase is said to unite members of the corps from any timeframe, linking all Bluecoats past and present. In addition to the Bluecoats logo and the autumn leaf, many Bluecoats members even have the phrase "Six Words" tattooed.
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- A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vol. 2; Steve Vickers, ed.; Drum Corps World, pub.; 2003
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- "Board of Directors". Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "Administration". Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. 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.
- "Introducing Bluecoats Indoor". Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Archived from the original on April 12, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- "Bluecoats/Repertoire". DCX: The Drum Corps Xperience. Retrieved 1 March 2018.