Queen, Chreste, Lluvera, more join 2018 staff!

With audition season kicking off this weekend in Texas, we are excited to announce several key additions to the 2018 Bluecoats instructional staff.  See below for a list of new faces that will help contribute to our success this summer.





For more information on the entirety of the Bluecoats 2018 team, including our full admin, design and instructional team, click here.   Stay tuned for more exciting announcements regarding the Bluecoats 2018 season.





Help Wanted! We’re On The Hunt For A Winter/Spring Development Intern

We’re looking for a highly motivated, self-reliant, and generally amazing person to join our team from January to April/May as a Development Intern! This person must possess excellent attention to detail, be self-motivated, and comfortable with repetitive and challenging projects essential to the success of Bluecoats. We imagine this intern working from home so great internet access and a comfortable understanding of communication tools are a must.

You’ll work with our remote office team on data entry, thanking and acknowledging donors, preparing donor and engagement projects, and executing social media campaigns. The internship will follow an agreed upon syllabus and will include at least one video or phone check-in per week. It is preferred if the intern has a set weekly schedule to work Bluecoats-related projects in.

In addition to working from home, there’s the option to travel to Bluecoats Indoor and the drum corps’ events in Dayton and Canton, OH.

If you are interested in how a small, remote team runs a multi-million dollar non-profit organization, especially how we engage with constituents, cultivate relationships, and fundraise – this internship is for you!

What to expect:

  • You will complete challenging projects weekly with set deadlines. Expect 5-10 hours per week.
  • You will communicate with our team from home, using excellent written communication skills on a suitable internet connection.
  • Expect at least one scheduled phone or video meeting with the Business Development Manager weekly.
  • You will engage with donors, fans and other constituents via social media, email, and thank you letters.
  • You will learn the ins-and-outs of Salesforce, an enterprise-level CRM. Expect a steep learning curve and high-stakes work.
  • You can see the entire syllabus here.

The details:

  • Term – January to April
    • A few start-up tasks in December if available. Just getting to know the team and the tools we use.
    • If available and appropriate, you may be invited to work through May and our transition into Bloo18 Spring Training.
    • If available and appropriate, you may apply to continue the internship through the summer term (May through the DCI World Championships in August).
  • Compensation – none. Your supervisor will be happy to take any necessary steps to ensure that you receive college credit for this internship. Travel compensation may be provided if appropriate.
  • Location – remote (from home or school). Weekly phone or video meetings with supervisor. Daily conversation via Slack and email.
  • Scope – assist with development tasks including donor engagement, marketing (including email marketing), administration of a new monthly giving program, data entry and administration, Salesforce administration, and other projects related to donor cultivation and program marketing and PR.

To Apply:

Email Mike Scott at mscott@bluecoats.com with a PDF resume and cover letter that outlines why you are excited about the internship and why you think you will be a good fit. Word or Apple Pages files will not be accepted. Applications are due by December 4th at 10:00 PM ET.

Raiford and Kusmierczak join Bluecoats Staff

The Bluecoats are proud to the announce the addition of Michael Raiford and Lindsay Kusmierczak to the Bluecoats design and instructional teams.  Michael will serve on the design team in the role of Scenic Designer, and Lindsay joins the instructional staff as Guard Caption Head.

Scenic Designer Michael B. Raiford is a freelance artist based in Austin, Texas.  He has designed, staged, and choreographed for DCI, BOA and WGI ensembles for over 30 years.  In drum corps, he has been instrumental in the success of many DCI finalist corps including Suncoast Sound, Magic of Orlando, The Cavaliers, Academy, Glassmen and Troopers.  He currently designs for the excellent high school marching band programs at the The Woodlands High School in Texas, Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma and more .  Michael was also instrumental in the success of the 5-time WGI World Championship Fantasia Winter Guard.  Outside of the marching arts, Michael works as a professional scenic designer for theater, opera and dance.  Career highlights include work with Blast: The Music of Disney, The New Victory Theatre NYC, The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Ford’s Theatre Washington, DC, Cleveland Playhouse, Ballet Austin, Opera Boston, Central City Opera,and Austin Lyric Opera and more.  In his role with the Bluecoats, Michael’s primary focus will be on set design.

Guard Caption Head Lindsay Kusmierczak has been involved in the pageantry arts for over 20 years.  She has taught several top drum corps, including: Southwind, Glassmen, Blue Knights, Phantom Regiment, as well as Millennium, located in Northern Italy.  She served as the Color Guard Coordinator for Phantom Regiment in 2017.  In addition to teaching drum corps, Lindsay has also been a staff member with Paramount World Winter Guard, from Atlanta, Georgia, as well as BOA & WGI finalist, Harrison High School, from Kennesaw, Georgia.  Lindsay currently serves as the Guard Director at Prosper High School in Prosper, TX and is a member of the staffs at Broken Arrow HS, L.D. Bell HS, and Flower Mound HS.  Lindsay is excited to work with Guard Designer, Choreographer and Supervisor Jim Moore to lead a staff of new and returning instructors.

Michael and Lindsay join a consistent group of outstanding designers and instructors responsible for the Bluecoats unprecidented levels of artistic and competitive success in recent years.

Program Coordinator Dean Westman and Artistic Director/Visual Designer Jon Vanderkolff will continue to lead the Bluecoats Design Team in 2017.  Vince Oliver returns as Composer/Electronics Designer and will also serve as the corps’ Music Coordinator in 2017. Composers Doug Thrower and Tom Rarick will return as Composer/Brass Designer and Composer/Percussion Designer, respectively.  Aaron Beck returns as Audio Systems Designer.  Jim Moore continues as Guard Designer, Choreographer and Guard Caption Supervisor, and Greg Lagola returns as Costume Designer and Choreographer.

Caption Supervisor Dave Mackinnon and Caption Head Derek Gipson will again lead the Bluecoats Brass program.  Ryan Kilgore will continue as Music Ensemble & Staff Coordinator, again assisted by Matt Jordan.  Roger Carter returns as Percussion Caption Head, and in his sixteenth year with the Bluecoats, Brad Palmer returns as Front Ensemble Coordinator.  Mike Fanning returns for his fifth season as the corps’ Visual Caption Head.  Erik Kosman will again serve the Bluecoats as Lead Sound Engineer.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements regarding the Bluecoats 2018 season in the days and weeks to come.

Register to audition for the 2018 Bluecoats!

Audition for the 2018 Bluecoats by attending one of THE BLUE WAY Audition Experience Camps!

By attending a BLUE WAY Audition Experience camp, you will not only audition for the corps’ upcoming season, you will have the opportunity to experience and learn the skills necessary to perform at the highest levels of the drum corps activity.  Our 2018 audition dates are as follows:

November 18-19, 2017:  Ft. Worth, TX – All Sections
November 25-26, 2017:   Canton, OH – All Sections
December 3, 2017:  Mission Viejo, CA – All Sections
December 9-10, 2017:  Atlanta, GA – All Sections



Bluecoats Indoor WG Media Internship

The Bluecoats are seeking highly-motivated and detail-oriented individuals to fill internships during the 2017/2018 Bluecoats Indoor WG season.  Positions include:

  • Media Intern (1)

Interns will think on their feet, define ways to expand and improve their roles, and work collaboratively with others. All interns must exhibit outstanding critical thinking and time management skills and show an aptitude for thinking outside of the box and inventing solutions for projects with limited time and resources. Interns should be skilled in modern business applications such as the Microsoft Office Suite, GSuite, Evernote, and Google Maps. At Bluecoats we hope to create an intern team that will play an active and in-depth role in the execution of our winter seasons and the development of our organization.

The deadline to apply for a Bluecoats winter internship is 5:00 pm on Friday, September 15th.

The position will be defined as follows:

Media Intern (1)


  • Produce, shoot, and edit photo & video content
  • Maintain a production schedule with deadlines.
  • Maintain a high quality of work throughout the season.
  • Coordinate storylines with ensemble administration
  • Produce social video content for publishing to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram.


  • Strong video & photo shooting and editing ability.
  • Ability to tell a story both visually and through use of interviews.
  • Familiarity with a run-and-gun workflow.
  • Must own cameras capable of shooting photos and at least 720p HD video.
  • Knowledge of photo and video techniques and camera operation beyond auto.
  • Must own audio equipment/microphone for camera.
  • Must own a laptop with a non-linear editor such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut, or Avid.

All interns of The Bluecoats will be required:

  • to be 21 years of age or older.
  • to have valid drivers license.
  • to pass a rigorous driving record verification (admin only).
  • to submit to a FBI/BCI background check.
  • to work every (or most) weekends  from September 22, 2017 to April 14, 2018 (conflicts will be considered on case-by-case basis).

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, image of both sides of your drivers license, and any other materials requested to the following to cdrake@bluecoats.com.


2017 Canton Rep Coverage

The Bluecoats are incredibly fortunate to have great support from our local newspaper – The Canton Repository.  Please see below for links to every news story they posted on their website covering our 2017 summer season.  Special thanks to Publisher Jim Porter, and Executive Editor Rich Desrosiers for the Canton Rep’s outstanding coverage of our organizations activities!

2 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170625/bluecoats-post-second-first-place-finish-to-open-2017-season
3 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170627/bluecoats-make-it-3-in-row-to-open-2017-season
4 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170628/cantons-bluecoats-keep-rolling
5 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170701/bluecoats-rained-out-show-moves-indoors
6 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170702/bluecoats-make-it-5-for-5
7 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170704/canton-bluecoats-make-it-seven-wins-in-row-to-open-season
8 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170708/canton-bluecoats-miss-chance-to-perform-then-run-record-to-8-0
9 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170709/canton-bluecoats-streak-stopped-at-20
10 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170710/bluecoats-return-to-top-of-standings
11 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170712/bluecoats-place-first-again-continue-to-improve-score
12 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170716/blue-devils-edge-bluecoats-in-battle-of-dci-powers
13 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170718/bluecoats-narrow-gap-with-dcis-top-corps
14 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170719/bluecoats-finish-4th-in-show-featuring-several-top-10-corps
15 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170721/canton-bluecoats-taking-part-in-giving-challenge
16 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170727/bluecoats-break-90-point-mark-on-southwestern-trip
17 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170729/bluecoats-finish-fourth-in-nashville
18 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170801/bluecoats-win-show-in-return-to-ohio
19 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170805/bluecoats-second-at-eastern-classic
20 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170807/bluecoats-finish-third-in-drum-corps-competition
21 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170809/bluecoats-alumni-to-perform-free-lunchtime-concert-today
22 http://www.cantonrep.com/opinion/20170812/week-in-review-aug-12
23 http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20170812/bluecoats-fifth-in-dci-championships

Big weekend in Dayton!

A crowd of nearly 10,000 watched the pageantry of WGI Color Guard World Championships this weekend at The University of Dayton Arena. It was the perfect moment to celebrate the past, present, and the future endeavors of the Bluecoats and those who’ve helped us reach our goals.

On the eve of competition finals, representatives from the Bluecoats and members of the WGI community attended 2017 WGI Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The Bluecoats celebrated the induction of their Artistic Director, Jon Vanderkolff. Vanderkolff has been working with the corps since 2013. His innovation in design and dedication to the corps has helped to create unforgettable moments in Bluecoats history. With the help of Vanderkolff, the Bluecoats continue to explore new avenues and innovations for their programs and expand opportunities for young performers.

One of these new opportunities was unveiled as the weekend ramped up for competition.  Bluecoats Indoor will joining WGI in 2018 as an Independent World Class Color Guard under the direction of Bluecoats Executive Director David Glasgow. Bluecoats Artistic Director Jon Vanderkolff, Choreographer Jim Moore, Choreographer Greg Lagola, and Choreographer Carol Abohatab will serve as the creative team for the program.

This year the Bluecoats were also a proud to be the sponsor of Artistry IN BLUE. This was their 9th season of competition and they competed in the Independent Open Class. Their program “Sailing Away” earned a final score of 77.70 at the 2017 Independent Open Prelims.


Alumni in the News: Spring 2017

Marching with the Bluecoats gives members a diverse experience and after drum corps they move on to very varied lifestyles.  Here are three recent news articles featuring our very own!

Home is where the Kidney is (Dr. Lynsey Biondi: Baritone, 1994)

Dr. Biondi: 1994, current

After Lynsey’s marching days she turned to medicine and is now a sought-after specialist with Kidney transplants.  Recently featured in the Ft. Myers, Florida news, Dr. Biondi was recruited by the the Gulf Coast Medical Center to re-start their Kidney transplant program.  Lynsey married within the Bloo family to Craig Biondi (Soprano, 1994-1995). The two previously lived in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania before “transplanting” the family south.

Lisa Stan King, right, from 1980

Park and Play! (Lisa Stan King, Color Guard, 1977-1980)

Lisa is the Executive Director of the Summit County Metroparks, being named to the position in September 2, 2015.  The Metroparks entertains 5 million visitors each year with over 14,000 acres of land managed, including parts of the popular Ohio & Erie Canal towpath recreation trail.  Earlier in April she was featured in Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Chris Barbaro in 1986

Music Matters (Chris Barbaro, Contra, 1985-1989)

Chris Barbaro is the director of bands for Amherst Exempted Village Schools west of Cleveland, Ohio.  His all brass marching band program is one of the strongest in the region, having made the state marching band finals now 15 years in a row.  Recently he was highlighted with other music teachers in the Elyria Chronicle extolling the virtues of music in the schools.