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Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps

"Bluecoats" redirects here. For other uses, see Bluecoat (disambiguation).
Drum and Bugle Corps
Location North Canton, Ohio
Division World Class
Founded 1972
Director David Glasgow
Uniform (2014) Dark Blue jacket
w/white trim
White sash, epaulettes, and tilted white cummerbund
Dark Blue pants
Black shoes & socks
Dark Blue helmet w/silver trim
& White plume

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).[1]


Bluecoats quads and guard perform at the 2014 DCI World Championship Finals in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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.[2][3][4]

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.[2][3][4]

File:Bluecoats' convoy.jpg
The 2014 Bluecoats' convoy is typical for a present–day DCI World Class corps.

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, finishing as high as second place in 2014.[2][3][4]

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.[3][4]


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.[5] 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.[6]

Show Summary (1975-2015)


Gold background indicates DCI Championship: Pale shaded background indicates DCI Top 12 Finalist.

Year Theme Repertoire Score Placement
1974 Repertoire unavailable
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
65.500 35th
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
68.50 28th
1979 Corps inactive
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
52.050 38th
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
59.600 31st
1982 Compendium (Unknown) / 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 (Unknown)
56.250 33rd
1983 Corps inactive
1984 Run Back to Mama by Bill Chase and Jim Peterik / Night in Rome (Unknown) /
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
66.600 29th
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
70.200 28th
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
80.300 15th
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
85.700 11th
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
86.700 11th
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
90.300 8th
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
89.200 8th
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
84.400 11th
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
84.600 11th
1993 Standards in Blue-
A Tribute to Dizzy Gillepsie
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
87.200 9th
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
84.300 9th
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
89.500 7th
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
86.300 7th
1997 Midnight Blue...
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
85.600 11th
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
87.100 10th
1999 Music of Chick Corea Armando's Rhumba / Duende / Leprechaun's Dream / Celebration Suite
All by Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea
83.000 13th
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
84.400 12th
2001 Latin Sketches Intro / Candelabra Rhumba / Red Cape Tango / Tango-Finale
All by Michael Daugherty
90.750 8th
2002 Urban Dances Sunrise (Original) / Paradise Utopia (from Concerto for Bass Trombone) by Chris Brubeck /
Reflection (Overture from Dancer in the Dark) by Björk Guðmundsdóttir (Björk) /
Pedal to the Medal (from Motor City Triptych) by Michael Daugherty
91.500 7th
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
90.750 7th
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
92.125 6th
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
94.450 5th
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
93.175 4th
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 / Hummingbird by Steven Bryant /
Timbuktu by Aaron Davis and Marc Jordan / Every Breath You Take by Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner (Sting)
94.050 7th
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
93.175 6th
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
93.150 6th
2010 Metropolis:
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
96.400 3rd
2011 Brave New World Creep by Radiohead (and Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood) / Deus ex Machina by Michael Daugherty /
Harvest: Concerto for Trombone by John Mackey
92.050 7th
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
92.550 6th
2013 look for America America by Paul Simon / Washington Post by John Philip Sousa / Agnus Dei by Rufus Wainwright /
Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen / City Life by Steve Reich /
Spring (from The River) by Duke Ellington / Ebony Concerto by Igor Stravinsky /
Concerto for Wind Ensemble Mvt. 5 by Steven Bryant
93.350 5th
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
97.175 2nd
2015 Kinetic Noise Shaker Loops by John Adams and Jon Anderson / Electric Counterpoint 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)


2014 Drum Major Willie Veenstra turns to the crowd after the corps' closer.
  • 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, "BLOO-OO-OO BLOO-OO-OO BLOO-OO-OO..." 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 reaction, until it is explained that, "They're not booing; they're blooing." [8][9] (See and hear that 1987 DCI performance at: )
  • 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, and has been played at encores since the 2012 season, in honor of their 40th anniversary. The song changed to "Autumn Leaves" after the 1987 season in honor of the corps making its first finals appearance. An unofficial second corps song is "The Boxer" from their 2008 production of "The Knockout". This is considered due to it being played at their encores since the 2012 season.[8][9]
  • Although there have been departures over the years, the Bluecoats are widely known for performing big band jazz arrangements of their musical programs.[9]
  • Like most drum corps, the Bluecoats hold an annual "home show" 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 also located in Canton.[9]
  • 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.[8][9]


  1. ^ "World Class Corps". Drum Corps International. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vol. 2; Steve Vickers, ed.; Drum Corps World, pub.; 2003
  3. ^ a b c d "History". Bluecoats. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "History of Bluecoats". Maher Associates, Inc. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Who are the Bluecoats?". Bluecoats. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Champion Event Center". Bluecoats. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Song History for Bluecoats". Maher Associates, Inc. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "Bluecoats". Drum Corps Wiki. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d e From oral transmission of Bluecoats corps' traditions

External links