News Archive
Support the Blue Stars in the DCI Giving Challenge Jul 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

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 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

© 1998 - 2018 Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps