News Archive
Barclay Named Battery Arranger and Caption Head Sep 3, 2018
Thank You DCI Giving Challenge Donors Jul 26, 2018
Support the Blue Stars in the DCI Giving Challenge Jul 26, 2018
Blue Stars Announce Asteria Winds Jun 26, 2018
Blue Stars 2018 "On Corps!" Winner: Jacob Kessler May 29, 2018
2018 Blue Stars Present: The Once and Future Carpenter May 14, 2018
Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2018 May 7, 2018
Blue Stars Statement On Organizational Safety Apr 7, 2018

Barclay Named Battery Arranger and Caption Head
Sep 3, 2018 3:27 PM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is incredibly excited to introduce Rick Barclay as our new Battery Arranger and Caption Head.

Rick Barclay began his career in the marching arts as a member of the Rochester Patriots from 2001 to 2003. After moving to California in 2004 and marching with the Magic of Orlando in 2005, he began teaching percussion at Claremont High School. While at Claremont, Rick developed the percussion program from A class to their most successful seasons to date, winning Scholastic Concert World and placing third in marching Scholastic World at WGI World Championships in 2008.

In 2010, Rick transitioned to the role of Percussion Director at Fountain Valley High School, a position he held for five years. While there, the indoor percussion program earned a bronze medal in WGI Scholastic Open in 2011, was promoted to World Class in 2012, and was a WGI Scholastic World Finalist in 2013.

Rick was formerly on the percussion staff of The Arizona Academy Drum & Bugle Corps (2009 – 2011) and Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps (2012-2013). After some time off, Rick returned to the activity in 2016 and served as the Ensemble Coordinator for Pulse Percussion during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, earning the gold and bronze medals at WGI Championships. In the 2018 season, Rick transitioned to the role of Battery Caption Head with RCC Indoor Percussion, who earned the SCPA and WGI Percussion Independent World Championships.

Rick holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in History from CSU Fullerton and spends his days teaching 11th grade US History at Da Vinci Design Charter High School in El Segundo, California.

"Rick brings a wealth of experience and a history of success in his new role in the organization. We absolutely cannot wait for he and his team to get started this season," said Russ Gavin, Corps Director.

Information about auditioning for the 2019 Blue Stars will be released in the near future. To stay up to date on audition information, submit a Membership Interest Form.

Thank You DCI Giving Challenge Donors
Jul 26, 2018 8:40 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

A heartfelt Thank You to all of the generous people who donated in support of the Blue Stars during the DCI Giving Challenge. The friendly competition between drum corps is a lot of fun, but at the end of the day it's is the financial support for these great organizations that is most important. While the official challenge has concluded, you can still add your name to the list of donors by clicking the donate now button today.

2018 Donors

$1,000 and More
John & Fran Donahue
Jenny Wagner
Timothy & DeLisa Kviz
Tim & Rosa Lundin
Tom Volk
Kevin Hanson

$500 to $999
Brad & Niki Furlano
Bruce & Stacie Furlano
Michael Andrews
Fred Feeney

$100 to $499
Donna Smith
Blue Stars Guard 1972
Virginia Abbott
Charles Cullen
Christy Scott - In honor of Zach Scott
Jim Grabowska
Vicki Engevold
Shannon Pierce
Dan, Brigid and Dan (Baritone '09,'10 and '12) Heath
Mark Johnstone
Zach Scott
John Bolstad
Rick Butcher
Mike Hicks
The Gacioch Family
Richard and Jennifer Miller
Laurie Green
Amy and Brad Bowers
Robert Abbott
Christian Torres
Karmen's Nana
Robert and Jaclyn Kistler
2018 Blue Stars, FCO
Brent Appleyard
Ed & Gail Kviz
Brian Stahlkopf
Karl & Pam Vonderohe
Kevin Guth
In Recognition of the Linville Family
Sheila O'Sullivan
Steve Stueck
Alex (trumpet 09-13), Karyn & Kevin Breitzke
Nick & Anne Young
Gary & Sheila Muldoon
Brandon Jackett
Avis & Joe Furlano
Gail Sneed
Dillon Bille
Chap Obregon
Alan and Sue McDonald
Ken and Judy Teeters
Marcus Spiegel - In Honor Of Aaron Spiegel
Beth Funke - In honor of our Once and Future Carpenter
Rick Leggett
Cheryl Chiapetto
Brendan Korak
Sue Pochop

Up to $99
Skyler and Taylor Winkler
Brandon Wilson - Baritone
In Honor & Recognition of Jaden Miller
Zach Scott
Carin Perry - In Honor of Zach Scott
A Member's Mom
For the Mellophone Section
Debra Mirr
Judith Young
The Musketts
Michael Sinnott
Lisa Ekstrom - In Honor of Justin (2012-2014)
Sharon Lubin - In recognition of the awesome pit!
Terry & Carol Thirion
Jerry & Christine Johnson
Clem Sop 1977
Lauren Bond
Paul F Gentine
For Andrew and Natasha
Kristine Kelleher
In Honor of Jonathan Gacioch
Penny Dollens-Smith
Anne Wittenberg - In Recognition of Andrew Acs
Chris Goyan
Timothy Nicholas
Patti & Mark Wrobel - In Honor of Marcus Wrobel '15 Alumni
Mt Lebanon, PA Fan
In Honor of Gary Tollers
Aaron Spiegel
Richard Minnotte
Joelle Varner - In honor of past and present Blue Stars--FCO!
Jonathan Moore
In memory of Dawn's mom and dad
Lisa Ochs
Brad & Nancy Bartz
Gramma Vicky & Grampa Herb In Loving Recognition of Jaden Miller Snare 2018
Gehm family
Christy Scott - In honor of Zach Scott
Ida Novack - In honor of Zack Novack
Karen Fries - In honor of alumni Katie Fries and Pat Kuhl

Support the Blue Stars in the DCI Giving Challenge
Jul 26, 2018 7:42 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

The Blue Stars are pleased to announce our participation in the DCI Giving Challenge, a 7-day fundraising campaign against all DCI corps!

Starting at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, July 28, and continuing until Midnight on Friday, August 3, the Blue Stars will compete against all corps in raising funds as we trek up the East Coast from Atlanta to Allentown.

This year we also have a side bet with our friends at the Mandarins. Losing director will wear the other corps t-shirt after the contest. Let's get Jim Tabuchi sized up for a Blue Stars shirt!

Donate now to help us reign supreme in the drum corps activity!

Click Here to see DCI Giving Challenge Donor List

The Blue Stars are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Donations to the Blue Stars through DCI Giving Challenge are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Consult your tax advisor.

Blue Stars Announce Asteria Winds
Jun 26, 2018 4:49 PM (Submitted by: Layn Pieratt)

Blue Stars, Performing Arts for Youth, Inc. is excited to announce the formation of a new performance ensemble: Asteria Winds. Asteria Winds will be an All-Female Winter Winds ensemble that will perform on the WGI Winds circuit. This new organization will be lead by director Layn Pieratt and be based out of Indianapolis, Indiana.

"The idea of an all-female winds group was first discussed by our organization in the spring of 2017. What we lacked was the right leader for the project," said Blue Stars Executive Director Brad Furlano. "But, one conversation with Layn and I knew our search was over and she would be the right person to take this project from concept to reality. She has a vision and passion for this ensemble that will be apparent to the young women that participate, teach, and volunteer in Asteria."

"I couldn't be more excited to be joining the Blue Stars organization - a group that changed my own life," said Asteria Director Layn Pieratt. "I have firsthand felt how the marching arts can empower young women to have confidence, work hard, and go after their goals. We also need more female designers and directors in the marching world. We have qualified and creative females out there, they just need to be given a chance. I am grateful and excited to be given this chance by Brad and the Blue Stars Board of Directors."

Asteria Winds will be active for the upcoming 2018/2019 winter season. Additional information about rehearsals, staff and other items will be available in the coming weeks and months.

To get additional information about marching, teaching, designing, or volunteering for Asteria Winds:

Membership Interest Form
Staff Interest Form
Volunteer Interest Form

About Blue Stars, Performing Arts for Youth, Inc.
Blue Stars, Performing Arts for Youth, Inc. is a non-profit organization committed to developing life skills in young people through education and achievement in the performing arts. The organization serves hundreds of young adults each year through the world-renowned Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps, River City Rhapsody, educational camps and clinics, and our newest ensemble: Asteria Winds.

Blue Stars 2018 "On Corps!" Winner: Jacob Kessler
May 29, 2018 9:38 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

After an extensive review of dozens of entries, this year's "On Corps!" winner is Jacob Kessler.

A native of Rolling Prairie, Indiana, Jacob Kessler graduated from New Prairie High School. He is currently a sophomore Music Education major at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he has earned the position of assistant principal horn in the Indiana University Wind Ensemble. He studies horn at IU with professor Jeff Nelson.

Jacob states: "I am so thankful for the opportunity that this competition gives to aspiring arrangers like myself. I have learned so much from this process that I encourage everyone to participate. Hearing my arrangement played by a World Class drum corps is going to be simply amazing!"

His arrangement will be premiered by the Blue Stars during an encore performance this summer, and a recording will be provided to the arranger.

"It was very difficult to choose a winner from all of the excellent submissions we received," said Dr. Ward Miller, Brass Caption Head for the Blue Stars, and chair of the selection committee. "In the end, we selected Jacob's arrangement because of its inventive use of multiple textures, and its exciting and driving feel."

All of the submitted entries will receive personal feedback from the selection committee, a part of the Blue Stars' efforts in educational outreach.

"We're just so excited that this competition gives us the chance to reach out and positively affect aspiring composers and arrangers," said Dr. Miller. "We enjoyed the opportunity to help these writers see where they're being successful in their craft, and where they can improve the effectiveness of their music."

The Blue Stars are a drum and bugle corps competing in Drum Corps International's (DCI) World Class division. Their 2018 summer tour will see them perform in over 30 competitive venues around the Midwest, Central Plains, Southeast, and the Northeast. The corps is a regular feature in DCI Championship finals. For more information, visit

2018 Blue Stars Present: The Once and Future Carpenter
May 14, 2018 4:11 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

The Once and Future Carpenter
Featuring the following musical selections:

"We've Only Just Begun"
Paul H Williams, Roger S Nichols

John Alden Carpenter

"Precious Metals"
Thomas Newman

"(They Long To Be) Close to You"
Burt F Bacharach, Hal David

"Rainy Days And Mondays"
Paul H Williams, Roger S Nichols

"I Won't Last A Day Without You"
Paul H Williams, Roger S Nichols

Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2018
May 7, 2018 9:28 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

Each year, the Blue Stars take time to honor those people who contributed and sacrificed tirelessly to make the organization what it is today – and who shape what it can and will be in the future – with induction into the Blue Stars Hall of Fame. Those honorees include our founders, administrators, instructors, members, volunteers, and supporters all of whom believed in the power of the Blue Stars' mission.

Nominations for the Blue Stars Hall of Fame are solicited each winter, with the inductees chosen by the current Hall of Fame members and Blue Stars Board of Directors. Two individuals have been selected as the class of 2018 to join the current members of the Blue Stars Hall of Fame.


Tom King
Alumnus, Executive Director, Volunteer

Tom King started his involvement with the Blue Stars in 1964, joining the Blue Star Cadets as a drummer, moving to the Blue Stars in 1965 and marching with the corps through the 1970 season. Tom has worn a lot of hats with the organization since those first days in 1964. A few of his various titles include: Member, Instructor,, Bingo Manager, Food Coordinator, Cadet Corps Director, Executive Director, and Volunteer.

"Tom has been a very loyal volunteer for many years, often taking extended time on tour to work the souvie stand and or help wherever needed," said Billy Happel in his nomination support letter. "I have never been to the Oktoberfest brat stand without seeing Tom there. When thinking about the Blue Stars Hall of Fame, I always ask myself the question: Would the Blue Stars be where they are today without this person? And in the case of Tom King, I say there is no doubt of the positive impact he has made on the corps and it's history."

Tom's dedication to the young adults that pass through the Blue Stars is extraordinary, and continues to this day as he volunteers his time and energy to ensuring the Blue Stars are strong and healthy now and into the future.

Tom Volk
Volunteer, Angel Donor

Tom Volk never marched with the Blue Stars. In fact, he never marched in any drum corps. But, his impact on the Blue Stars and his legacy in the organization is enormous, now and for years into the future. For the past decade Tom has been a regular presence at camps and on tour as a volunteer. He can often be found on the food line scooping out whatever delicacy is on the menu during a meal, and prides himself on quickly learning the names of every member of the organization.

"The Blue Stars remind me a lot of my time in the band and the experiences I had as a member: a strong sense of family and working towards common goals with hard work and determination. I see so much support for each other among the members," said Tom. "It's astonishing to watch the development of individuals and the group over the course of a season."

Beyond Tom's volunteer work, his financial contributions to the organization have greatly assisted as we have tackled large capital projects, most prominently his support of our new equipment trailer project. The Volk's Wagon is here today because he saw the need and generously stepped up to help make it happen.


Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Michael Shapiro

Gary V. Tollers

Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Billy Happel

Bob & Deb Smith

Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Marge Kile

Timothy Kviz

Judy Young

Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Dawn Christianson

Charlie Cullen

Brad Furlano

Colin Klos

Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2013

Erwin Albrecht

Moe Latour

Richard "Doc" Nelson

Steve Stueck

Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Joe and Avis Furlano

Jay Severance

Terry Thirion

Rick Young

Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2011

David Dummer

Frank Van Voorhis

Dr. David Kampschroer

James Schultz

Denise Pagonis

Brian Whitty

The Blue Stars Class of 2018 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the Family Day event on Saturday, June 16 in Onalaska, WI. Please make plans to attend and help us honor these great individuals.

Blue Stars Statement On Organizational Safety
Apr 7, 2018 8:10 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

The recent events involving the former director of the Cadets have caused all of us in the drum corps activity to pause and reflect on our own organizations and the protections we have in place to safeguard our people. The well-being of the members, volunteers, and staff of the Blue Stars is our most important job – and it's one we take very seriously.

No person involved with the Blue Stars - or any organization - should be subjected to sexual, physical, or mental abuse or harassment. We have policies in place to define the conduct and expectations of everyone involved in the Blue Stars. All staff and volunteers are part of a mandatory background check program. Training and education sessions on prevention and recognition of abuse and harassment are scheduled for staff and members at upcoming rehearsals. And we have reporting procedures in place up to and including law enforcement resources if necessary. Any allegations of abuse, harassment, or criminal misconduct are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

Our hearts break for the victims of abuse and we stand alongside all who condemn this abhorrent behavior. We also have great sympathy for the people damaged collaterally by these actions. We stand ready to assist the current staff and members of the Cadets as they work to make the 2018 season an amazing experience for all involved.

Kevin Hanson - Chairperson
Bruce Furlano - Vice-Chairperson
Timothy Kviz - Treasurer
Jennifer Wagner - Secretary
Charles Cullen
John Donahue
Timothy Lundin
Jonathan Powell
Bradley Furlano - CEO
Russ Gavin - Corps Director

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