Bluecoats Launches Rhythm IN BLUE as SoundSport® Ensemble


soudsport stage

Today Bluecoats announced the re-launch of Rhythm IN BLUE as a DCI SoundSport ensemble. Formerly a Bluecoats alumni-focused ensemble, Rhythm IN BLUE is now open to any performer 18 or older. The launch was initially planned for the 2020 season, but canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, the new vision for Rhythm IN BLUE returns, providing a more accessible and affordable program offering the Bluecoats Experience.

“SoundSport fills a unique niche in the marching arts community,” said Rhythm IN BLUE Education Coordinator Rachel Spencer. “We can have a student-centered and performance-based approach, without the costs of a full touring drum corps model.” Program fees for the season will hover around $1,000 for commuters.

Conceptual rendering of 2023 Rhythm IN BLUE musician look.

Rhythm IN BLUE will audition virtually, starting January 18th, and those invited to continue the experience will learn the six-minute show remotely throughout the winter and spring. “We are only going to meet four weekends this summer,” stated Ensemble Director, Jay Wise. “Our approach will be very different to get the most out of the performers in a short period of time, leveraging Bluecoats technologies and practices developed during the pandemic, including Bluecoats School of the Arts.

The show design and creative approach of Rhythm IN BLUE will echo that of the Bluecoats, including custom costuming from Stanbury Uniforms, top-of-the-line instruments from Yamaha and TAMA | Bergerault, and cutting edge electronic sound design. “SoundSport offers such a unique platform to do all sorts of amazing things” said Wise. “Rather than try to follow any existing model, we are going to try to blaze our own path through this unique format within DCI, and open our program to so many more performers eager to get a taste of the Bluecoats Experience.”

“We have always seen Rhythm IN BLUE as a great potential platform for extending the Bluecoats Experience to a wider audience,” said Mike Scott, CEO. “We have assembled an incredible staff of Bluecoats alumni, recent Bluecoats Fellows, and other experts from around the activity. Making Rhythm IN BLUE 18 and older, leveraging Bluecoats School of the Arts, and bringing together these amazing people, is sure to bring the Bluecoats Experience alive for this new generation of participants in our programming.”

To learn more about joining Rhythm IN BLUE in 2023, visit

Drum Corps International CEO to retire in late 2023


Dan Acheson

INDIANAPOLIS – Drum Corps International (DCI), the leader in producing events for the world’s finest marching ensembles for student musicians and performers, announces today that Dan Acheson, executive director and CEO since 1995, will retire at the end of 2023.

Having led the organization for what will be 28 years, Acheson is a 2008 inductee to the DCI Hall of Fame, in recognition of a lengthy list of achievements throughout the marching arts and most specifically for his contributions to the drum corps activity; including his decade-long leadership of the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps of Toledo, Ohio, prior to being tapped for DCI’s top position.

In acknowledgement of his service to and advocacy for music education, Acheson was named a Lowell Mason Fellow by the National Association for Music Education in 2008. In 2016, he was honored by the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame as the recipient of its prestigious “President’s Award.”

With a steady hand and uncompromising devotion to the organization’s mission, Acheson has tirelessly led Drum Corps International through a period of unprecedented growth and emergence as a worldwide brand synonymous with the pursuit of excellence in the scholastic performing arts. Each year tens of thousands of students participate in DCI-sanctioned activities around the world, to the delight of millions of educators, spectators, friends and supporters who enjoy their performances.

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as CEO of Drum Corps International through an enormous series of changes over the decades, all the way to our organization’s 50th anniversary this past year,” Acheson said. “I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished, along with each of the participating corps who have contributed to this rich legacy, and for the opportunities we’ve had the good fortune to provide to hundreds of thousands of remarkable young people who have chosen to take part. I am pleased to retire with DCI as a strong, vibrant organization that is ready for a wonderful next chapter which is waiting to be written.”

“Dan is an outstanding, passionate leader, and his long and successful tenure will leave us with enormous shoes to fill,” said Chris Holland, outgoing chair of the DCI board of directors. “Our search process for his replacement is well underway, and our intention is to have our next CEO in place early this spring, so Dan can lead a smooth transition throughout the 2023 season.”

2023 rules proposal voting results


INDIANAPOLIS — Five of six proposed rules at the 2023 DCI Rules Congress — held as part of the annual DCI winter business meetings January 5-8 — were either withdrawn or voted down in instructors caucus sessions. The sixth rule, regarding competition times, was passed with modifications by the instructors caucus, before being passed with further modifications by the DCI voting membership.


2023 DCI Rules Congress proposals at-a-glance


Six proposed changes to Drum Corps International’s rulebook will be up for discussion the first week of January during the annual DCI winter business meetings.

The DCI Rules Congress is a process that is directed primarily by the participating drum corps. During scheduled sessions January 6-7 in Indianapolis, drum corps instructors and designers will meet by caption in individual caucus sessions to discuss the proposals that have been vetted by DCI’s Artistry and Competition Steering Committee (ACSC).

Instructors from World Class member corps and the previous season’s Open Class finalists will be polled to determine whether or not the proposal should be passed along to the full membership to debate, discuss and eventually vote on in the final round of the rules change process.

As part of the Rules Congress process, the ACSC, which is made up of corps-affiliated representatives from the instructional community and members of the judge leadership team, may also bring up any relevant procedural and administrative changes for 2023 which may also be discussed and considered in both individual instructor caucus sessions and by representatives of DCI’s member organizations.


Santa Clara Vanguard Announces Cessation Of Operations for the 2023 Season

VMAPA Announces Cessation Of Operations for the 2023 Season

It is with grief and sorrow that we must announce the cessation of operations for the Santa Clara Vanguard for the season of 2023. Throughout the past months, a multiplicity of financial stressors have culminated into an unavoidable financial shortfall. This shortfall has been made more insurmountable by lower than expected bingo earnings and the rising cost of summer travel and tour overhead.

Throughout the past months, the VMAPA board has worked very hard with executive leadership to explore creative financing options, drastic budget cuts, and creative fundraising options designed to bridge Vanguard into a more lucrative future. Each of these options had the result of lowering the quality of the member and employee experience, and leaving VMAPA in a far more vulnerable financial position after the tour of 2023. The summer of 2022 was extremely expensive throughout the entire drum corps activity. The cost of goods and services necessary for the 2023 tour have risen even higher than the costs of the 2022 tour. Without the ability to accurately forecast many of the variable costs (e.g. fuel, food, supplies) in the summer of 2023, the cost of 2023 promises to be more than we can accurately project. In addition, bingo is seeing substantial and sustained lower income as customers deal with the higher cost of goods and services in their own lives.

What We’re Doing About This

VMAPA is very close to opening a second bingo game that will provide much needed funding to right the current budget shortfall. This second bingo was scheduled to open in late 2021. Due to a complicated set of circumstances outside the control of VMAPA, this game remains dependent upon the Redwood City council adopting our proposal and passing a simple resolution. Twenty twenty three looks promising for this new location as we continue to lobby for this resolution. Additionally a special task force of volunteers continues to seek more gaming opportunities. The cessation of Santa Clara Vanguard this year creates solvency and time to restructure the VMAPA organization to meet the financial demands of the future. More efforts for financial development are also underway.

To The Members

The timing could not be worse for this final decision. Every single option available to avoid this resolution was explored. Each option available would have left the future of Santa Clara Vanguard in jeopardy. We realize this situation will have a major effect on your lives. For this, we grieve with you. This year will pave the way for the survival of SCV. Continuing with this year would endanger the ability for SCV to exist beyond 2023. Maintaining the foundation for SCV to exist beyond this year is the primary responsibility of the board and executive leadership. While this decision was difficult, there was no viable alternative. This decision ensures the financial health of SCV in time for auditions in the fall of 2023.

Vanguard will survive this setback and be the standard for excellence and performance once again soon. Unthinkable times demand unthinkable solutions. While this is a difficult time, VMAPA is not willing to leverage the future of the organization with hopeful financial projections that will not square with reality. While this decision may seem detrimental to the future of SCV, it serves to ensure the success of SCV in future years. With this in mind, we make the sacrifice of a single year to ensure a thriving future for Vanguard for many years to come.

Shadow Marching Arts to end all operations


December 11, 2022

​ Dear Shadow Friends and Family,

​ Shadow Drum and Bugle Corps was founded and built on a tradition of excellence and education that stretches back to 1972. For 50 years, the Oregon High School Summer Marching Band took the field each summer, competing in every season since MACBDA’s inception. In 2007, a winter guard and indoor percussion ensemble followed, with both winter ensembles distinguishing themselves with excellence in the sport. In 2008, the summer marching band became Shadow Armada. In 2016, our flagship program became Shadow Drum and Bugle Corps and was accepted into the vaunted ranks of Marching Music's Major League, Drum Corps International, having the unique distinction of being the only high school in the world with its own professional-level marching ensemble as the only high school in the United States to have a drum corps program. In 2019 Shadow Drum and Bugle Corps separated itself from the Oregon School District and became its own entity, continuing the successes of the history of the program. The corps was not active during 2020 due to the DCI season cancellation during the pandemic, hosted a virtual season in 2021, and took a pause in 2022 to reevaluate continuation. ​

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that the board of directors for Shadow Marching Arts has made the difficult decision to end all operations in perpetuity. Over the next few months, the board will work to end its nonprofit status, liquidate its assets, and close its books.

​ We take joy in knowing that the many videos and pictures from the past will keep the legacy of what Shadow was going, where the memories will keep Shadow alive to those that answered the question “Band who are you?”

​ We thank you all for your support and encouragement.

​ All the best,
Ken McGlauchlen
Board President
Shadow Marching Arts

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