The Bluecoats are proud to announce the formation of an alumni-based ensemble in their home city of Canton, Ohio. Billed as Rhythm IN BLUE, the group will begin rehearsing on Saturday, May 3rd in preparation for performing in the summer of 2014. Rhythm IN BLUE will perform selections from the Bluecoats’ 42-year legacy as one of the drum & bugle corps activity’s top performing units. Utilizing brass, percussion and color guard, the group will be showcased this summer at Bluecoats sponsored events in Akron, Ohio and Massillon, Ohio in concert-style performances.
The concept of Rhythm IN BLUE is to provide former members of the Bluecoats the chance to perform again IN BLUE. “Once you have ‘aged-out’ of the drum corps activity at 21 years old, many members who aren’t music majors or band directors don’t have a chance to perform very often,” stated Jay Wise, one of the alumni spear-heading the project. “This gives us a chance to get together again and experience a little of what we did in our youth.”
Bluecoats Executive Director, David Glasgow, also sees benefits: “We have well over 1,000 former members active on our alumni Facebook page and other social media platforms. This gives them a chance to catch up with those they performed with in the Bluecoats as young people, and also a way to personally reengage with the organization in a fun way.” Glasgow is lending the support of the Bluecoats organization to Rhythm IN BLUE by offering the use of the organization’s Champion Event Center in North Canton, Ohio, as a rehearsal facility for Rhythm IN BLUE. “We currently sponsor Artistry IN BLUE, an indoor color guard for young people in Northeast Ohio. With alumni involvement, Rhythm IN BLUE continues the idea of building local performing ensembles under the Bluecoats umbrella.”
Jay Wise hopes to see the alumni-backed group expand beyond an annual reunion group. “There is no reason why we couldn’t create multiple performance opportunities for alumni year round. High school and college marching bands in Northeast Ohio are popular and the Bluecoats symbolize the top of the charts in the marching musical arts in our area.”