News Archive
Year:
2014 La Crosse Area All-Star Band Jul 5, 2014
Blue Stars Mourn Passing of Marjory "Ma" Anderson Jul 1, 2014
Blue Stars 50th Anniversary Party Jun 25, 2014
Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2014 Apr 24, 2014
Purchase Tickets to DCI Championship and Premier Events Mar 14, 2014
Blue Stars Welcome Christina Knudsen as Director of Development Feb 26, 2014
Volunteer Drivers Needed for 2014 Tour Feb 23, 2014
Volunteers Needed for DCI La Crosse Event Feb 17, 2014
Blue Stars to Host Midwest Regional at UW-La Crosse Feb 12, 2014
Tickets Now On Sale for River City Rhapsody - Rochester Feb 5, 2014
2014 Blue Stars Present: Where the Heart Is Feb 5, 2014
Carpenter Named Drum Major for 2014 Season Nov 4, 2013
50th Anniversary Kick-Off Video Oct 1, 2013
Blue Stars 2014 Design Team Sep 13, 2013
Thank You for a Great Season Aug 13, 2013
Legends Showdown: The Results Jul 30, 2013
Thank You to Legends Showdown Donors! Jul 23, 2013
Voodoo Dolls Jul 12, 2013
Captivate the Audience Jul 10, 2013
One Hour in One Minute Jun 20, 2013
Voodoo Mellophones Jun 11, 2013
Voodoo Drumline Jun 6, 2013
Voodoo Video One May 30, 2013
2014 La Crosse Week Events May 28, 2013
Blue Stars Forum to be Shuttered May 20, 2013
Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2013 Apr 24, 2013
Blue Stars Spring Training 2014 Apr 22, 2013
Blue Stars 2013 Guard Staff Apr 5, 2013
Looking Back: Designing a Blue Stars Uniform Apr 1, 2013
April Fools: Blue Stars Debut New Uniforms Apr 1, 2013
Blue Stars Tour Driving Opportunities Mar 25, 2013
Fred Feeney Inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame Feb 22, 2013
Blue Stars Hall of Fame Nominations - Class of 2013 Feb 21, 2013
Remembering Pierre Beelendorf Feb 18, 2013
2013 January Camp Video Feb 6, 2013
2013 Blue Stars Graphics Files Jan 29, 2013
2013 Blue Stars Jan 29, 2013
2013 Blue Stars Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Ceremony Jan 16, 2013
Congratulations to Don and Roxanne Weber Jan 10, 2013
Karlin and Pote Join the 2013 Blue Stars Instructional Team Jan 9, 2013
Volunteer with the Blue Stars in 2013! Jan 9, 2013
Blue Stars Auditions Continue January 18-20 Jan 2, 2013
Blue Stars 2014 Visual Staff Dec 31, 2012
Blue Stars 2014 Brass Staff Sep 26, 2012
Blue Stars 2014 Percussion Staff Sep 26, 2012
Blue Stars 2013 Design Team Sep 9, 2012
A Note of Thanks from the Executive Director Aug 31, 2012
2013 Tour Schedule & Housing Information Aug 25, 2012
Winner of 2012 Raffle Aug 14, 2012
Legends Showdown: The Results Jul 30, 2012
2012 Blue Stars Merchandise Available Online Jul 25, 2012
2013 Blue Stars Banquet Information Jul 17, 2012
June 2012 La Crosse Appearance Schedule May 31, 2012
Blue Stars 2012 Video Player May 27, 2012
2012 Spring Training May 24, 2012
Blue Stars Present "The Blue World" in 2012 Apr 16, 2012
2012 Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Banquet Apr 12, 2012
Gavin Named Blue Stars Corps Director, Weinstein Continues as Consultant Apr 5, 2012
Welcome Back Color Guard for April 27 - 29 Camp Apr 2, 2012
2011 Tour DVD - On Sale Now! Mar 26, 2012
Blue Stars Partner With Mapex / Majestic Drums and Percussion Mar 21, 2012
Purchase River City Rhapsody Tickets Today! Feb 26, 2012
Nominations Being Accepted for Blue Stars Hall of Fame Jan 30, 2012
Passing of Linda McCann (Baierl) Jan 10, 2012
Harris Named Director of Operations Dec 2, 2011
Santino, Mohney to Lead Blue Stars 2012 Brass Program Oct 6, 2011
Join the 2012 Blue Stars Sep 22, 2011
Blue Stars Alumni and All-Star Corps to March Oktoberfest Parade Sep 6, 2011
Sullivan Returns as Blue Stars Brass Arranger and Composer Aug 29, 2011
Shapiro to Lead Blue Stars 2012 Guard Aug 29, 2011
Stewart and Rosander to Lead Blue Stars 2012 Visual Program Aug 29, 2011
Aungst, Larrivee to Lead Blue Stars 2012 Percussion Aug 29, 2011
Thank You Aug 18, 2011
Follow the Blue Stars at Lacrossetribune.com Jun 12, 2011
Blue Stars 2011 Video Player May 23, 2011
Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony May 18, 2011
2011 Show Trailer May 8, 2011
ReBourne Graphics Files May 4, 2011
Blue Stars 2011 May 4, 2011
2010 Houdini Tour DVD on Sale Now Apr 30, 2011
Blue Stars Mourn Passing of Bob Lendman Mar 19, 2011
Meet Tour Director Mike Halron Mar 8, 2011
Blue Stars Mourn Passing of Audrey "Ma" Whitty Mar 1, 2011
DCI Announces "Tour of Champions" Event Series Feb 16, 2011
Blue Stars Scholarship Fund Drive Nov 9, 2010
Blue Stars Choose Jupiter Marching Brass Nov 8, 2010
Blue Stars Design Team and Staff Leaders Return for 2011 Season Oct 8, 2010
Blue Stars Choose GoodSearch as New Search Partner Sep 16, 2010
Blue Stars Alumni and All-Star Corps to March Oktoberfest Parade Aug 27, 2010
Blue Stars Members Crowned I&E Champions Jul 27, 2010
Blue Stars Video Player Jun 23, 2010
Follow the Blue Stars at LaCrosseTribune.com Jun 7, 2010
April 2010 May 16, 2010
Blue Stars Alum Billy Silva Making a Difference in Haiti May 1, 2010
Blue Stars Alumnus Wounded in Iraq Jan 12, 2010
2010 Program: Houdini Nov 12, 2009
De Leon, Barfield, Ford to Lead Blue Stars 2010 Visual Program Oct 30, 2009
Shapiro Returns to Lead Blue Stars 2010 Color Guard Sep 23, 2009
Sullivan, Talbott to Lead Blue Stars 2010 Brass Program Sep 1, 2009
Aungst, Larrivee to Lead Blue Stars 2010 Percussion Aug 24, 2009
Blue Stars 2010 Drum Majors Aug 21, 2009
Montgomery Retires from Blue Stars Aug 20, 2009
Winner of 2009 Raffle Aug 11, 2009
Blue Stars Members Crowned I&E Champions Aug 6, 2009
Blue Stars in the News Jun 29, 2009
Blue Stars Choose Wynne Motorcoaches for 2009 Tour Jun 1, 2009
Blue Star Cadets a Good Neighbor May 11, 2009
Blue Stars Fan Network Improved for 2009 May 6, 2009
Dartmouth HS Percussion Takes Gold Apr 19, 2009
Corona Winter Guard Takes Silver Apr 5, 2009
2009 Program: The Factory Mar 20, 2009
L.B.S. Cadets, Inc. is now Blue Stars, Performing Arts for Youth, Inc. Mar 8, 2009
Blue Star Cadets Announce Staff for 2009 Feb 16, 2009
Blue Stars' Member Performs with All-American Marching Band Jan 22, 2009
Brass Odyssey Featured Four from Blue Stars' Family Jan 5, 2009
Blue Stars Announce 2009 Visual Staff Leaders Nov 3, 2008
Sullivan, Ford, and Larrivee Complete Blue Stars 2009 Design Team Oct 16, 2008
Green, VanDoren Return to Lead Blue Stars' 2009 Brass Program Oct 8, 2008
Shapiro Returns to Lead Blue Stars' 2009 Color Guard Sep 24, 2008
American Express GivingExpress Program Sep 11, 2008
Montgomery, Aungst, and Adams to Lead Blue Stars Percussion Sep 5, 2008
Blue Stars Visa Card Now Available Sep 4, 2008
Howard Weinstein Named Blue Stars Corps Director Aug 25, 2008
Blue Stars Take 8th Place At DCI Aug 13, 2008
Online Shopping To Benefit the Blue Stars Jul 15, 2008
Magazine Fundraiser May 5, 2008
Spring Training News! May 1, 2008
April Camp Report and Video Apr 13, 2008
Vic Firth and The Blue Stars Join Forces! Apr 12, 2008
2008 Season Horn Sergeant and Section Leaders! Mar 26, 2008
March Camp Report and Video Mar 15, 2008
2008 Program: Le Tour Mar 3, 2008
February Camp Report and Video Feb 26, 2008
Blue Stars 2008 Conductors Jan 18, 2008
2007 Season Wrap Up Aug 16, 2007
Blue Stars Members Featured on Video Blog Jul 27, 2007
In Search Of: The Blue Stars Jul 4, 2007
Follow the Blue Stars at LaCrosseTribune.com Jun 22, 2007
2007 Preview Concert Jun 11, 2007
Alumni-Booster Challenge 2007 Jun 11, 2007
Blue Stars Choose Pearl/Adams Apr 4, 2007
Passing of Tom Adams Apr 4, 2007
Passing of Ed Lau Mar 1, 2007
February Camp Log - Christina Jordan Feb 12, 2007
December Camp Video Posted Jan 2, 2007
February Camp Location Changed Dec 18, 2006
Audition Camp Report Dec 6, 2006
2006 Banquet Recap Dec 6, 2006
Blue Stars Take 14th Place Aug 12, 2006
Blue Stars Head Out on Tour Jun 16, 2006
The Gift Of Freedom--Day 1 May 25, 2006
New Video Released May 2, 2006
Blue Stars Featured in La Crosse Tribune Feb 16, 2006
Congratulations to Jennifer Livingston and WKBT! Feb 13, 2006
An Opportunity to help our Local Community Feb 9, 2006
Guard Member Emily Brown featured on Drum Corps International Homepage Jan 27, 2006
Waggoner and the DCI Honor Corps Dec 9, 2005
"Drum Corps Was With Me" Dec 2, 2005
“Be Instrumental” Capital Drive Off to a Great Start. Dec 2, 2005
Blue Stars November Audition / Clinic Attendance Exceeds 200 Nov 28, 2005
What to Expect from Audition Weekend Nov 13, 2005
Potts, Temby to head up Blue Stars Visual Program Oct 19, 2005
Chippewa Falls Tragedy Oct 16, 2005
DCI Interview with Greg Struve Oct 5, 2005
La Crosse Tribune: "Blue Stars Back in Division I" Sep 26, 2005
The Blue Stars Return to Division I Competition Sep 26, 2005
Blue Stars Place Third at DCI Aug 14, 2005
Blue Stars Place Third at Div II Finals Aug 12, 2005
Blue Stars Performance Time for Division II Finals Aug 10, 2005
Blue Stars Place Third at DCI Div II Prelims Aug 9, 2005
Blue Stars Housing for DCI Finals Week Aug 5, 2005
Corps Seeking New Home in La Crosse Aug 3, 2005
"Blue Stars Delight Home Town Crowd" Aug 2, 2005
"On the Road with the Blue Stars" Jul 29, 2005
You’re Never Too Young – Or Too Old Jul 28, 2005
Blue Stars Enjoy Great Showing at DeKalb Jul 10, 2005
Blue Stars Team Up with NAMM to Offer Educational Clinic at RCA Dome Jul 8, 2005
Online Update 6/12/05 Jun 12, 2005
Blue Stars Add Weekend of New DCI Shows in June, Week of New Shows in July Jun 12, 2005
Blue Stars Featured in La Crosse Tribune Jun 8, 2005
Blue Stars Featured in La Crosse Tribune Jun 8, 2005
A Night at the Races - Support the Blue Star Cadets May 23, 2005
Move-In Information May 17, 2005
May Camp Log - Allison Barthel May 16, 2005
May Camp Log - Emily Brown May 16, 2005
Volunteer for the Blue Stars! May 11, 2005
Membership Openings in the 2005 Blue Stars 6/11/05 May 8, 2005
Picture of the Week May 2, 2005
Blue Stars Announce 2005 Administrative / Management Internship Openings Apr 15, 2005
Blue Stars Alumni in Oktoberfest Parade Apr 8, 2005
Winter Camp Video Posted Apr 7, 2005
Blue Stars Announce 2005 Tour Schedule Mar 7, 2005
Blue Stars' Battery for Sale – Free Shipping Feb 28, 2005
Blue Stars announce their 2005 program – "Pixelation” Feb 18, 2005
Blue Stars Recieve Another "Most Improved" Award for 2004 Season Jan 27, 2005
New Store Item Jan 24, 2005
January Camp Log - Ryan Hardie Jan 19, 2005
January Camp Log - Rachel Traczyk Jan 17, 2005
Coulee Cadence First Rehearsal Jan 5, 2005
Acclaimed Composer John Wasson to return to Blue Stars Jan 4, 2005
Armbruster, Ritacco to Lead Blue Stars’ Brass in 2005 Jan 4, 2005
December Camp Log Dec 23, 2004
Blue Stars Begin Collaborative Relationship with University of Wisconsin – La Crosse Dec 3, 2004
Blue Stars Host Largest Audition Camp in Corps’ History Dec 1, 2004
Estes, Chamberlain to lead Blue Stars percussion for 2005 Nov 19, 2004
Interested in Driving A Passenger Coach For Blue Stars? Sep 15, 2004
Bill Sucha's Marching Knights program featured in Pioneer Press Aug 25, 2004
Blue Stars Complete Stellar 2004 Season Aug 18, 2004
Price reduced 25% on 2004 Tour Shirts Aug 11, 2004
Online Store Open for Business Aug 11, 2004
Blue Stars Seek Cook Staff to Round Out 2004 season Jul 4, 2004
La Crosse Community Foundation Helps Blue Stars Replace Front Line Equipment Jul 4, 2004
Mid-Season Executive Report – The State of the Blue Stars Jul 4, 2004
Last Chance to March in the 2004 Blue Stars Jun 1, 2004
Memorial Day Camp/Move-In Information May 27, 2004
Blue Stars Featured in La Crosse Tribune May 27, 2004
Fuel Price Increase - You Can Help! May 21, 2004
Blue Stars Announce Partnership with StylePlus May 19, 2004
May Camp Log - Betsy Mraz May 17, 2004
New Store Merchandise May 13, 2004
Blue Stars Announce Partnership with Stanbury Uniforms May 11, 2004
Blue Stars Announce Partnership with Pro-Mark May 6, 2004
Summer Volunteer Positions Available May 4, 2004
Drum Corps World Calls Blue Stars the "Fastest Growing Corps in America." Apr 29, 2004
Camp Log - Rachael Waggoner Apr 28, 2004
Greg's April Camp Synopsis Apr 25, 2004
Blue Stars Post March Camp Video Apr 6, 2004
Camp Log - Julianne "Gumby" Stennes Mar 31, 2004
Camp Log - Jake Coon Mar 30, 2004
DCI now offering II/III championship week tickets online Mar 3, 2004
Feb. Camp Log - Mike Thursby Feb 26, 2004
Blue Stars announce 2004 program: "Blue Stars: Reloaded" Feb 25, 2004
Feb. Camp Log - Robyn Brody Feb 25, 2004
Feb. Camp Log - Rachael Waggoner Feb 25, 2004
Whalen named Blue Stars Drum Major Feb 24, 2004
Camp Report - Robyn Brody Jan 21, 2004
Kirk to Lead Blue Stars Percussion Staff Jan 20, 2004
Blue Stars Announce February Camp Location Jan 19, 2004
Amundson Bakery to Donate Baked Goods to Blue Stars Dec 18, 2003
Blue Stars Offer Percussion Equipment On Ebay Dec 17, 2003
Blue Stars Announce December Camp Location and Details Dec 9, 2003
Blue Stars Host Largest Audition Camp in 23 Years Dec 2, 2003
Rossi to serve as Blue Stars' Visual Caption Head Nov 25, 2003
Harris and Armbruster Lead Blue Stars' Brass in 2004 Nov 13, 2003
Gary Swanson to Lead Blue Stars' 2004 Program Nov 6, 2003
Bill Sucha Joins Management Team as Corps Director Oct 24, 2003
Select Positions Still Available! Oct 13, 2003
Blue Stars and Blue Star Cadets Banquet 2003 Oct 9, 2003
Applications Now Being Accepted for 2004 Staff Positions Sep 10, 2003
Struve Named Executive Director of the Blue Stars Sep 5, 2003
Blue Stars Win 4th World Title Aug 11, 2003
Semifinals Rained Out, Blue Stars Top Seed in Finals Aug 8, 2003
2003 DCI I&E Results Aug 7, 2003
Blue Stars Members Featured on DCI.org Aug 6, 2003
Blue Stars Win Div 3 Prelims Aug 6, 2003
Blue Stars Continue To Win Jul 28, 2003
Blue Stars Going For World Title Jul 24, 2003
A Volunteer's View From The Road Jul 17, 2003
Blue Stars Take Div 3 At Midwest Championship Jul 14, 2003
Blue Stars Prepare For Drum Corps Midwest Championships Jul 8, 2003
Blue Stars Continue To Entertain Crowds Jul 6, 2003
New Feature on www.BlueStars.org Jul 4, 2003
Blue Stars Receive Donations Jul 1, 2003
Blue Stars Receive Fuel Donation Jun 18, 2003
Blue Stars Welcome New Sponsor May 15, 2003
The Blue Stars 100 Campaign Mar 30, 2003
Blue Stars Receive Grant to Purchase New Uniforms Dec 5, 2002
Design Team Announces 2003 Show Dec 5, 2002
Blue Star Cadets Launch Website Jun 9, 2002
Blue Stars Win World Title! Aug 9, 2001

2014 La Crosse Area All-Star Band
Jul 5, 2014 3:28 PM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

There is still time to sign up to participate in the 2014 La Crosse Area All-Star Band on Saturday, July 12th. Participating students will perform at the DCI La Crosse regional competition at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and will also have a clinic with Blue Stars members and staff. Sign up today!

 
Blue Stars Mourn Passing of Marjory "Ma" Anderson
Jul 1, 2014 11:22 AM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

It is with great sadness we pass along the news that Marjory 'Marge' E. Anderson has passed. As a chaperone and mother of 6 corps members, Marjory was best known as "Ma" Anderson to members and staff. Our condolences to the entire Anderson family.

Obituary

Marge's family has graciously offered for memorials in her honor be given to the Blue Stars:

Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps
PO Box 2523
La Crosse, WI 54602

 
Blue Stars 50th Anniversary Party
Jun 25, 2014 4:52 PM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

You are invited to attend the Blue Stars 50th Anniversary Party to join the entire organization in celebrating the first 50 years of the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps. Any and all alumni, volunteers, friends and supporters are invited to attend this once in a lifetime event in La Crosse, WI on Thursday, July 10 from 6:00 - 11:00 PM at the Days Inn La Crosse & Conference Center.


Buy Tickets

WHEN: Thursday, July 10 from 6:00 - 11:00 PM

WHERE: Days Inn La Crosse & Conference Center


Everyone is invited to attend this event, not just alumni. An extremely limited number of tickets will be available at the door, so be sure to purchase your event ticket by next Wednesday, July 2nd to attend.

Food including brats, burgers, wings, and many other food options including vegetarian options will be served. There will be large screen TV's displaying Blue Stars shows from years past. Your fellow Blue Stars fans and alumni will be there to share memories and stories, sing corps songs and celebrate the history of our beloved corps.

Please plan to arrive early and stay late to celebrate, share personal experiences, and reflect on the storied history of the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps' first 50 years.

 
Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2014
Apr 24, 2014 2:11 PM (Submitted by: Brian Whitty)

2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps, a history rich with success and celebrations, trials and tribulations, and the embodiment of Finis Coronat Opus. We honor those people that 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 success 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. Four individuals have been selected as the class of 2014 to join the 15 current members of the Blue Stars Hall of Fame.



PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE GRAND PREMIER





Dawn Christianson
Alumnus, Parent, Past Board Member, Volunteer



Dawn Christianson started her marching career in 1968 with the Blue Star Cadets, moving up to the "A Corps" for 5 years starting in 1972. After Dawn aged out, she began her long and storied career as one of the organization's top volunteers. There is simply no job too small or large for Dawn to tackle. Just a small sampling of her volunteer work would include: fundraising, event management, souvenir sales, bingo, member housing, Oktoberfest, food program, and on and on. Dawn always picks up the phone and is willing to roll up her sleeves to help.

Perhaps Dawn's greatest contribution to the Blue Stars was during her tenure on the organization's board of directors. Dawn was part of the team in the early 2000s that rebuilt the organization from the ground up and positioned it for the success enjoyed today.

As stated in her nomination: "Dawn is an endless well of enthusiasm and support, and a tireless worker for the Blue Stars. She is deserving of the honor of induction into the Blue Stars Hall of Fame."


Charlie Cullen
Alumnus, Board Member, Volunteer


Charlie Cullen started with the Blue Stars as a baritone player in the organization's first drum corps. He has been dedicated volunteer and supporter of the organization ever since. A humble man who doesn't seek the spotlight, Charlie quietly does what needs to be accomplished to make the organization a success - whether that is formulating business plans in his role as a board member, stirring up 100 gallons of drink mix on the road, or setting the bar for financial support of the corps.

In the 70s, Charlie found out the corps needed a new equipment truck. He told Dr. K to buy what was needed and send him the bill. In the years since then, Charlie has been first in line to donate to every fundraiser and campaign organized by the corps, often challenging others to match his contributions. Additionally, for many years he has quietly supported many members who came up a little short on tuition.

As stated in his nomination: "I believe any member of the Blue Stars Hall of Fame first needs to pass a simple test - Would the corps be where it is today without this person's involvement. There is nobody that passes that test better than Charlie."


Brad Furlano
Alumnus, Designer, Instructor, Board Member, Executive Director


Brad Furlano joined the Blue Star Cadets in the fall of 1981 as a snare drummer, a role he held for exactly one parade before it was decided the 10-year-old was too small to carry the drum. He was made drum major instead, a position he held until aging out of the Blue Stars in 1993.

Brad began phase two of his Blue Stars' career in 1994, first as a visual instructor, then as drill designer, and finally as program coordinator. During this period, the corps established itself as one of the top small corps in the country, with the visual caption playing a key role in the organization's success.

Phase three began with the corps' financial crisis in 2003. In a cost-cutting move, Furlano agreed to be the corps' interim director for the season (a season that culminated in the Blue Stars' 4th Division III World Championship). At the conclusion of 2003, Brad was a key part of the team that remade the organization from top to bottom, resulting in the corps' return to World Class competition in 2006. He became the organization's executive director before the 2006 season, a position he still holds.

As stated in his nomination: "Brad has devoted much of his youth and adult life to the goals and ideals of the Blue Stars. He has lived the Blue Stars' way and works every day to pass those ideals on to each succeeding year of Blue Stars."


Colin Klos
Alumnus, Designer, Instructor


Colin Klos started with the Blue Stars as a baritone player in the organization's first drum corps. After aging out of the brass line, he continued with Blue Stars as a member of the marching and maneuvering staff. In 1976 Colin became the visual designer and marching and maneuvering caption head, a position he held at the Blue Stars through the 1980 season. With his creativity and innovation, the Blue Stars continued their proud tradition of excellence during his design tenure.

As stated in his nomination: "Colin wrote some of the best visual programs of his era and always represented the Blue Stars with professionalism and grace. Colin was at the top of his game in the late 70s and could have designed for many other corps for more money, but remained true to the Blue Stars. A trait shared by Blue Star instructors then, and now."





PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE GRAND PREMIER


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 2014 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the Grand Premier event on Saturday, June 14 in La Crosse. Please make plans to attend and help us honor these great individuals.

 
Purchase Tickets to DCI Championship and Premier Events
Mar 14, 2014 4:02 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)





Tickets are now available to sit in the Blue Stars' block for the DCI World Championships, DCI Southwestern Championship, DCI Southeastern Championship, and DCI Eastern Classic. We are able to tell you which section your tickets will be located, so you can buy with confidence that you are getting great seats!

These tickets are available to everyone - alumni, family, friends, fans, and supporters of the Blue Stars and are the best way to enjoy these awesome drum corps events. In addition to sitting with other Blue Stars' fans, your purchase helps raise money for the corps! Don't miss the excitement!

Blue Stars Ticket Blocks
This year the Blue Stars are offering ticket blocks for sale to the following events:

DCI World Championships in Indianapolis, IN

  • Prelims - Super Premium: Thursday, August 7


  • Prelims - Premium: Thursday, August 7



  • Semifinals - Super Premium: Friday, August 8


  • Semifinals - Premium: Friday, August 8


  • Semifinals - Super: Friday, August 8



  • Finals - Super Premium: Saturday, August 9


  • Finals - Premium: Saturday, August 9


  • Finals - Super: Saturday, August 9


  • DCI Southwestern Championship in San Antonio, TX

  • Premium: Saturday, July 19


  • Super: Saturday, July 19


  • Standard: Saturday, July 19

  • DCI Southeastern Championship in Atlanta, GA

  • Super Premium: Saturday, July 26


  • Premium: Saturday, July 26



  • DCI Eastern Classic

  • Friday, August 1


  • Saturday, August 2

  • Please Note:The best way to ensure seating next to specific friends and family is to have one person place the order for the entire group. Payments will be processed immediately to reserve your seating in the Blue Stars' block. Our ticket prices are the same face value as those purchased directly through DCI.

    All sales are final. There are no refunds or exchanges. Children ages 3 and under are free, but do not get a ticket or seat. They must sit in the lap of a ticket holder. A small per ticket convenience fee is added to each order. This fee covers the administrative costs associated with processing and mailing tickets.

    Thank you for your support of the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps!

     
    Blue Stars Welcome Christina Knudsen as Director of Development
    Feb 26, 2014 3:39 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Blue Stars, Performing Arts for Youth, Inc. is pleased to announce the hiring of Christina Knudsen as the organization's new director of development. Christina brings a wealth of talent and experience to the position, in addition to a direct connection to the La Crosse area and its nonprofit community.


    Christina Knudsen

    A native Wisconsin resident, Christina has been living and working in the La Crosse community since 1993. She has over fifteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector, which she will leverage to bring effective solutions and partnerships to the Blue Stars.

    Christina began her career in nonprofit organizations as the Marketing Specialist for Workforce Connections, Inc. Her duties included marketing, event planning, grant writing, and program development. Feeding her passion for nonprofits, she later accepted a position at the Children's Museum of La Crosse during the beginning stages of the organization and thirteen years later her passion is still growing. Christina will continue working for the Children's Museum along with her new duties with the Blue Stars.

    Ms. Knudsen holds a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. She recently received a Masters of Education in Professional Development. She currently serves as the Communication Officer for the Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association and is an active community volunteer. Her spare time is spent with family and friends, and she enjoys running, reading, and raising her two daughters.

     
    Volunteer Drivers Needed for 2014 Tour
    Feb 23, 2014 8:13 AM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

    The Blue Stars are seeking to fill the volunteer driver spots for the upcoming 50th Anniversary 2014 tour. In addition to the four chartered tour buses from Gotta-Go Trailways, we operate two tractors pulling 48-foot trailers (Class A CDL required) and one 36-foot box truck (non-CDL). We also have two 15-passenger vans: one pulling the souvenir trailer and the other for additional transport needs.

    Class A Commercial Drivers Licenses Required:

  • 48 ' Equipment Truck
  • 48' Food Truck

    Standard Drivers License:

  • 26' Box Truck
  • 12 Passenger Van
  • 15 Passenger Souvenir Van and trailer

    Ideally, we are seeking mature drivers (over 25) with clean driving records and experience with the type of vehicles we use. Responsibilities include safe driving and general maintenance / safety checks on the vehicles. If you can spare a week, 2 weeks or more and would enjoy the tour experience, please send a short note to Brad Harris or sign up via the Volunteer Interest Form.

  •  
    Volunteers Needed for DCI La Crosse Event
    Feb 17, 2014 4:59 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars are thrilled to be hosting 16 drum corps in La Crosse on July 12 for the DCI La Crosse Regional. We'll need a lot of volunteers to help pull off the event in a world-class manner. Please sign-up to help us provide the corps and thousands of visiting patrons a positive impression of our home town!

    Follow the link to sign up and volunteer at the DCI La Crosse event. Exact time slots will be assigned closer to the show date. Thanks for your help!

     
    Blue Stars to Host Midwest Regional at UW-La Crosse
    Feb 12, 2014 1:31 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    As Major League Baseball's All-Star Game heads to Minneapolis this July, a scheduling conflict affecting the DCI Minnesota event at TCF Bank Stadium will give Drum Corps International the opportunity to bring the event's lineup to La Crosse, Wis. to celebrate the Blue Stars' 50th anniversary.

    In addition to the Blue Stars, performances by the Bluecoats, Boston Crusaders, Carolina Crown, Colts, Jersey Surf, Phantom Regiment, Spirit of Atlanta, Cadets, Cavaliers, Blue Saints, Music City, Legends, Racine Scouts and Govenaires will help to kick the hometown corps' anniversary celebration into high gear. The event will also feature a very special performance by the Blue Stars 50th Anniversary Alumni Corps which is being put together for the organization's milestone year.

    Tickets for DCI La Crosse are now on sale through the Drum Corps International Box Office. Click the "More" button to purchase tickets today. The best seats are going fast, so don't delay!

     
    Tickets Now On Sale for River City Rhapsody - Rochester
    Feb 5, 2014 10:17 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Tickets are now on sale for the River City Rhapsody drum & bugle corps show in Rochester, Minnesota. Don't miss the excitement on Sunday, June 29 when 8 of the country's top drum corps perform at Century High School Stadium.

    What's new in 2014?
    
We are continually striving to provide drum corps fans the best event possible, and we've made a few changes to make RCR-Rochester even stronger:

    1) Last year we had 7 drum corps performing; this year we have 8 in attendance, including 3 former DCI World Champions! In competition on June 29:,/p>

    • Blue Stars - La Crosse, WI
    • 2-Time World Champion Madison Scouts - Madison, WI
    • 2-Time World Champion Phantom Regiment - Rockford, IL
    • 7-Time World Champion The Cavaliers - Rosemont, IL
    • Colts - Dubuque, IA
    • Troopers - Casper, WY
    • Pioneer - Milwaukee, WI
    • Govenaires - St. Peter, MN

    2) All tickets are reserved seating this year! You can choose your seat today and know it will be waiting for you when you arrive on the evening of June 29.

    3) Because of construction at the Rochester Community College stadium, the 2014 event will be held at Century High School. Additionally, the standard tier of tickets are located in the main stands instead of portable bleachers – a much better viewing experience.

    Tickets for River City Rhapsody - Rochester are now on sale! Last year's event was a sellout, so we encourage you to order early to reserve your seats for the big show. Our online ticketing service is pleased to offer no convenience fee ordering. The only additional charge is a small fee if you choose the mailing option (no additional charge for will-call and print-at-home orders).

    More information can be found at River City Rhapsody - Rochester.

    Ticket prices increase $3 per ticket the day of the event, so order now to save money and avoid lines at the gate. Purchase tickets for this exciting event by using the "Buy Tickets Now" buttons.

    Buy Tickets
     
    2014 Blue Stars Present: Where the Heart Is
    Feb 5, 2014 9:54 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)



     

    Home. A place. A concept. A feeling.

    For 50 years people have been calling the Blue Stars home. Thousands of people have crossed our threshold and been welcomed into our family. Members, staff, volunteers, parents, and fans have all placed bricks on the foundation of hard work and excellence we strive for each year.

    We think of Home as an extraordinary place, a place filled with special people and memories. A place in which you can always turn. It is where our heart is. We all have our reasons for being part of the Blue Stars' family, and for returning to that family and special place we know as home year after year.

    In 2014 the Blue Stars will explore the idea of home with its production of "Where the Heart Is." The show will explore what it means to build a home, and how that environment shapes and forms the love of a family.

    "Where the Heart Is" will feature many of the elements that have become hallmarks of the Blue Stars: creative costuming, character development, and an innovative use of the field in making the production come to life.

    The production will draw from a wide variety of different musical selections, including:

    The Chairman Dances
    John Adams

    Homeward Bound
    Paul Simon

    Home
    Drew Pearson, Greg Holden

    To Build A Home
    The Cinematic Orchestra

    Original Music
    Richard Saucedo, Ian Grom, John Mapes

    Please join us on an exciting and emotional journey as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary in 2014.

     
    Carpenter Named Drum Major for 2014 Season
    Nov 4, 2013 8:46 PM (Submitted by: )

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is please to announce Jacob Carpenter has been selected as drum major for 2014. Jacob will join returning drum major Sean Villanueva in leading the group during the corps' 50th Anniversary season.



    Jacob Carpenter

    Jacob Carpenter is a native of Milford, OH (just outside of Cincinnati). He began his Drum Corps career with the Blue Stars in 2010 and marched in 2010, 2011, and 2012 as a member of the mellophone section (being the mellophone section leader in '13).

    Jacob is currently pursuing his Music Education degree at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY where he is an active member in the horn studio under the instruction of David Elliott. He participates in the UK Wind Symphony, UK Symphony Orchestra, and has been on Undergraduate Staff with the Wildcat Marching Band since 2011. In 2011 he also began teaching with the George Rogers Clark High School Marching Band in Winchester, KY and continued on staff in 2012. Jacob is now the private horn teacher at Scott County High School in Georgetown, KY. Jacob serves as the President of the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Men's Music Fraternity at UK. This summer will be Jacob's Age Out.




    Sean Villanueva

    Sean Villanueva is twenty years old from Zionsville, IN. He is a student at Ball State University studying nursing. During his off time he works for Pleasantview Elementary's Before and After Care program, as well as lifeguarding and coaching a youth swim team.

    Sean has been with the corps since 2010 as a member of the tuba section, and is entering his second year as drum major.



    2014 Auditions

    The Blue Stars are seeking a highly qualified student musician to serve as backfield conductor of the 2014 corps.

    If you are interested in leading a World-Class Drum Corps on the field in 2014, please audition at one of four different locations across the United States during November and December 2013.

    Visit the audition sign-up page to register to attend one of the audition camps.





    BLUE STARS DRUM MAJORS, 2013 Finals

     
    50th Anniversary Kick-Off Video
    Oct 1, 2013 10:33 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    Blue Stars 2014 Design Team
    Sep 13, 2013 11:17 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce the design team for the corps' 2014 season. All designers from 2013 are returning to produce and shape the Blue Stars' 50th anniversary production. The team includes: Richard Saucedo, brass composer/arranger and program coordinator; Michael Shapiro, color guard designer and choreographer; Ian Grom, percussion composer/arranger; John Mapes, percussion composer/arranger; and Tim Fairbanks, drill designer.

    "I am very pleased to have this exceptionally talented group of individuals return to the Blue Stars for the corps' 50th Anniversary season" said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "I believe the first kernels of greatness from this design team were on display last year, and I'm excited to see where they will take the organization in 2014. Our members, alumni and fans are in for a real treat next season."

    Richard L. Saucedo - Program Coordinator; Brass Composer and Arranger
    Richard Saucedo is a name well known in drum corps, and we are extremely excited to have him as brass composer and arranger for the Blue Stars. In this role, Mr. Saucedo will be instrumental in creating an exciting, challenging and audience appealing program for the corps and its members.

    Additionally, Mr. Saucedo has expanded his responsibility with the organization by taking on the role of Program Coordinator. Richard will be in charge of managing the creative process for the team and making sure a cohesive, effective, and enjoyable show is delivered to our members and fans.

    "I am thrilled to be part of such a talented design team and I truly believe the 2014 Blue Stars Production will be an entertaining and engaging experience for the performers as well as the DCI audience!" said Saucedo.

    Mr. Saucedo is the recently retired Director of Bands and Department Chairman at the William H. Duke Center for the Performing Arts at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana. Under his direction, Carmel bands received numerous state and national honors in the areas of concert band, jazz band and marching band. Richard is an in-demand freelance arranger and composer, having released numerous marching band arrangements, concert band works and choral compositions.

    Mr. Saucedo travels throughout the country as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor for concert band, jazz band, marching band, and orchestra. He has been a featured clinician for the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, the Texas Music Educators Association, the Arkansas Bandmasters Association, the Colorado Music Educators Association, the California Music Educators Association, the North Dakota Music Educators Association, The Virginia Music Educators Association and the Indiana Music Educators Association. He has served as Music Caption Head for the Drum Corps Midwest Judges Guild and was a music judge for Drum Corps International. Mr. Saucedo served as the brass composer/arranger for the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps in Rosemont, Illinois from 2000 through 2008. The Cavaliers won the DCI World Championship five times during Mr. Saucedo's tenure.

    Read Richard Saucedo's biography

    Michael Shapiro - Color Guard Designer and Choreographer
    Returning for his seventh year with the Blue Stars, Michael Shapiro will again surprise and delight with his unique and inspired color guard choreography and design. His incredible imagination has been the driving force behind some of the corps' greatest moments, and the entire design team is excited to work with him on creating a program like none other.

    Mr. Shapiro began his marching career with the Spirit of Atlanta and also performed with the Madison Scouts, and Alliance of Miami. He went on to teach and write for Alliance, as well as many other drum corps and winter guard ensembles. Shapiro's DCI and WGI teaching experience is extensive, and includes Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, The Crossmen, Carroll High School, The Company, Crown Guard, Mayflower (UK), and many other talented organizations.

    Michael received his undergraduate degree in education from the University of Miami, and currently resides in West Hollywood, CA and teaches many ensembles in the Southern California area. He is the founder and director of the Corona winter guards.

    Read Michael Shapiro's full biography

    John Mapes and Ian Grom - Percussion Composers and Arrangers
    John Mapes and Ian Grom are becoming a juggernaut in the marching band and indoor percussion worlds, with their groups claiming medalist status on a regular basis in WGI, DCI, and throughout marching band circuits across the country. The Blue Stars are thrilled to have this creative duo return to the team, and know our members and fans will be delighted by the engaging nature of their compositions.

    John Mapes is a full-time percussion educator, writer and visual designer involved in teaching more than 20 high school and independent percussion programs in Southern California since 1997. He received his Bachelor of Arts in percussion from California State University, Long Beach in the spring of 2000. His marching experience includes the Velvet Knights and Pacific Crest drum and bugle corps. He currently has more than ten years of drum corps teaching/design experience and an unprecedented 24 WGI medals since 2005.

    He started with the Pulse Percussion independent world ensemble behind the scenes in the winter of 2008 as an arranger, and within 3 short years helped take the ensemble to its first PIW Gold Medal in 2010 as the program coordinator, battery arranger and visual designer. The organization started a second ensemble in 2011 that medaled its first year in the Independent Open division, and was a world-class finalist it's second year.

    From 2007-2012 Mr. Mapes was the percussion arranger for the Blue Devil B Corps. After two years the corps became the DCI Open Class champions and are the DCI Open Class high percussion winners from 2009-2012. He was the Battery Arranger/ Percussion Caption Head for the Esperanza Drum and Bugle Corps from San Diego, CA from 2002-2006, winning the Division II title in 2003 and moving to World Class in 2004.

    Read John Mapes' full biography

    Ian Grom is a performer, composer and educator based out of Southern California. He received his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from California State University, Long Beach, where he specialized in drum set, marimba and composition.

    As an educator and composer in the marching percussion world, Mr. Grom's ensembles have won an unprecedented 24 WGI medals since 2005. He has been the front ensemble caption head/composer for Chino Hills High School from 2009-the present. Chino Hills is a three-time WGI World Class medalist, taking the PSW Bronze in 2009, the PSW Silver medal in 2010 and the PSW Gold medal in 2012. He taught at Pacifica HS from 2005-2011 starting their streak of seven consecutive PSO WGI medals.

    Mr. Grom also started with Pulse Percussion behind the scenes in the winter of 2008 as the front ensemble composer. Within 3 short years he helped take the ensemble to the 2010 PIW Gold Medal. Starting in the summer of 2009, he has worked as the electronics arranger/front ensemble consultant with the Cadets Drum and Bugle corps. Mr. Grom began writing for winds in 2006 and now composes the fall productions for multiple high schools across the country. His use of original music, cutting-edge technology, and innovative show concepts have made him one of the most sought-after composers on the national marching scene.

    Some of Mr. Grom's performance highlights include: numerous live, prime-time appearances on the hit CBS television show Survivor; opening for Aerosmith with Canadian artist Christa Borden; and playing on the soundtrack to the box office smash "The Grudge." He composed a 6-piece music library called "Fightin' U" for winds and percussion commissioned by Killer Tracks. The library is now licensed regularly to ESPN and Fox Sports. Mr. Grom also composed and worked directly with the choreographers for the season 5 finale of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew which also featured his ensemble, Pulse Percussion.

    Read Ian Grom's full biography

    Tim Fairbanks - Drill Designer
    Tim Fairbanks is well known within the DCI, WGI and BOA activities. His groups have set standards in performance and creativity, and he is sought out internationally as a visual and show designer throughout the drum corps, indoor percussion and marching band arenas.

    Mr. Fairbanks has taught at Centerville HS (OH) since 1997, serving as the Marching Percussion Director until 2011. He is currently the Drill Designer for the Centerville marching band and indoor drumline, where his groups are consistent National Finalists at BOA Grand National Championships and Scholastic World Finalists at the WGI World Championships. Centerville is the 1999 Scholastic Open Champion and 2004 WGI Scholastic World Champion.

    Mr. Fairbanks is the Program Coordinator and Visual Designer for Rhythm X, the 2008, 2009, and 2013 WGI Independent World Class Champions, and was the Drill Designer for the Bluecoats from Canton, OH from 2009-2011. He is a designer and clinician for The Senators Drum and Bugle Corps (Eastleigh, England), and Aimachi Indoor Percussion (Nagoya, Japan). Tim is the Vice President of Percussion for WGI Sport of the Arts, serving on the WGI Board of Director's Executive Committee, in addition to membership on the WGI Percussion Advisory Board and Steering Committee.

    Read Tim Fairbanks' full biography

    2014 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2014 season will be at four different locations across the United States during November and December 2013. Visit the audition sign-up page to register to attend one of the audition camps.

     
    Thank You for a Great Season
    Aug 13, 2013 2:47 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars organization would like to thank the membership, staff, volunteers, designers, alumni and fans for their tireless efforts and continual support during the 2013 season.

    We are incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of the 2013 corps. From auditions last November to Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium, the corps demonstrated a fierce tenacity and demonstrated FCO to the very end.

    We now look forward to 2014 as the organization celebrates 50 years and continues to strive for excellence. Details for the 2014 season will be available very soon!

     
    Legends Showdown: The Results
    Jul 30, 2013 7:59 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated in support of the Blue Stars and Troopers during the Legends Showdown. There was a victor in the Legends Showdown, but this is one of those rare instances when there are no losers. Both organizations received some much needed funds in support of the current and future seasons.

    The final results are:
    Blue Stars: $21,513.00
    Troopers: $16,873.50

    These are awesome totals for both corps, with donations well exceeding the 2012 Legends Showdown. Fred was spotted at the Blue Stars' souvie booth picking out his new shirt, and we'll be sure to get some pictures for our Facebook page.

    The Legends Showdown contest has concluded, but the need for funds has not. Use the links below to donate to the general funds of both the Blue Stars and the Troopers.

    Thanks again for your support, and we look forward to the Legends Showdown rematch in 2014!


    DONATE TO THE BLUE STARS



    DONATE TO THE TROOPERS


     
    Thank You to Legends Showdown Donors!
    Jul 23, 2013 3:50 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    A heartfelt Thank You to all of the generous people who donated in support of the Blue Stars during the 2013 Legends Showdown. The friendly competition with the Troopers is a lot of fun, but at the end of the day it's is the financial support for two great organizations that is most important. Click the "More" button to see a list of the donations received to the Blue Stars in the contest. Even though the Legends Showdown is over for this year, you can click the "Donate Now" button to make a contribution in support of the Blue Stars!


    DONATE TO THE BLUE STARS


    More than $1,000
    Dolores Bartley - In honor of Trae Bartley
    Timothy Kviz
    Bob Campau
    Gary Tollers - In honor of Tollers Family (Gary, Susan, and Heather)
    Charlie Cullen - In memory of Ed and Mary Cullen

    $500 to $999
    Russell Tanakaya - In memory of Lindsay "Squirt" Tanakaya
    Russell Tanakaya - In honor of Christopher Tanakaya
    Anonymous
    Fred Feeney
    Tim & Rosa Lundin
    Victor Fujikake - In honor of Kevin A. Fujikake
    Bruce & Stacie Furlano
    Joe & Avis Furlano - In honor of the Furlano brothers: Brian, Brent, Brad, Bruce, and Brandon
    Kevin & Debbi Hanson
    Fran & John Donahue
    Rita's of Hampton, VA - In honor of Zack Crissman and the corps he loves (as do we!)

    $100 to $499
    Brad & Niki Furlano
    Mike Halron
    Anonymous
    Steve Severance
    Erin Hubbard - In memory of Grandma Hubbard
    Anonymous
    Drs. Robert and Linda Colter
    Anonymous
    Karen Fries - In memory of Andy Fries
    Nick & Anne Young
    Steven Stueck - In memory of Pierre Beelendorf
    Patrick Kuhl
    John and Jackie Kuhl
    Patton Family
    Stephen Hoepfner - In honor of Owen Hoepfner
    Byers Services IN, LLC
    Robert Hochstetler - In honor of Perry Dornbusch
    Anonymous
    Thomas Terbrueggen - In honor of Jordan Terbrueggen
    Anne Sandon - In honor of Kelsey Crone
    Randy Happel - Alumni
    Kevin Guth
    Kevin Guth - In honor of Zack Crissman
    Kevin Guth - In honor of Mike Villano
    Tom Volk
    Erik and Molly Jansson
    Deb (Loughan) and Tom Crowley
    Terry Rindfleisch and Linda Hirsh
    Michael Villano
    John Bolstad
    Anonymous
    Todd Mahr - In honor of The Mahr Brothers
    Hank & Peggy Wamble
    Russ & Erin Gavin
    Paul Hanson - In honor of Emily and Jessica Hanson
    Cathy Deringer - In honor of Clint Deringer
    Tom & Becky Foth
    Michael Gilbert
    Robert Hardman - In honor of Austin Hardman
    Amy and Brad Bowers
    Elizabeth Demske - In honor of Zachary George Crissman
    Vicki Engevold - In honor of Billy Blue
    Dawn Christianson - In honor of Deandra & Danny Christianson
    Patrick Flynn - In honor of all music educators
    Rick Leggett
    Jeffrey Ackerson - In honor of Kaelen Ackerson - Mellophone
    Y. Joanne Si
    Y. Joanne Si - In honor of Kimberley Irby
    Pamela Moore - In honor of Eddie Moore, IV - Euphonium Player
    Thomas Bulak

    $10 to $99
    Lori Lindsey
    Andrew Tremblay, 2010 Mello
    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Debra Mirr
    Janis Jordan - In memory of Pierre Beelendorf
    Denise Pagonis
    BillyBlue
    Julia Fitzsimmons
    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Lisa Ekstrom - In honor of Justin Ekstrom
    Lisa Ekstrom - In honor of 2012 Blue Stars/The Blue World
    Nancy Davis
    Anonymous
    Tami M. Belden
    Ilene Arends - In honor of Wesley Arends
    Judith Hezik - In honor of Alex Hezik, Mellophone
    Douglas Hall - In honor of Zack Crissman
    Douglas Hall - In honor of Miles Kellet and Kekoa Mateo
    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Jon Bahr
    Clem Papineau 1977
    Marti Biegler
    John Gepford - In honor of Kasie Gepford
    Patricia Terbrueggen - In honor of Jordan Terbrueggen
    Karyn Breitzke
    Anonymous
    Rick & Judy Young
    Bradley Harris
    Lisa Moe
    Tracy Peterman - In honor of Travis Peterman
    Jay Dahlen
    Melissa Robison - In Honor of Kekoa Mateo and Miles Kellett
    Jordan Fandrey
    Anonymous
    Steve Turner - In honor of Destiny White
    Karyn Breitzke - In honor of The 2013 Age Out Vets
    Karyn Breitzke - In honor of Alex Breitzke
    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Barbara Metzger - In honor of Eric Schaeffer 2011
    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Ilene Arends - In honor of Staff who attended Carmel High School
    Ilene Arends - In honor of Wesley Arends
    Karla Durflinger - In honor of All the kids who march in drum corps
    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Patty and Kurt Stueve
    Marsha & Jerry Crissman - In honor of Zack Crissman
    Mark Donahue
    Joanna McAnulty - In honor of Brandon McAnulty
    Esther Kamp - In honor of The 2012 Colorguard age-outs and current members Kelsey, Kim, JT & Wilks <3
    Nancy Snow - In honor of Ben Owens
    Mark Johnstone - In honor of Sky Ryders Alumni
    Mark Jordan
    Caryn Pope
    Anonymous
    Amanda Gimbel
    Kevin Bongers
    Original Member - Color Guard
    Miles Strebeck
    Reanne Nakapaahu - In honor of Greg Power
    Anonymous
    Howard Weinstein - In honor of 2013 Blue Stars Age Outs
    Richard and Jennifer Miller
    Tom Power and Brenda Congdon
    Ken & Judy Teeters
    Kristine Kelleher - MOMM (Mother Of Mello Megan)
    Theresa Koss - In memory of Ashley R. Koss
    Kathryn Roeder - In memory of Jim Schultz
    Korey Nowels
    Maribel Guerra
    Cheryl Chiapetto - In honor of Mike Chiapetto
    Sandra Fruit - In honor of Zack Crissman
    Karen & Bill Muskett
    William Plotkin - In honor of Owen Hoepfner
    Marilyin Neumann - In honor of Patrick Neumann
    Tom Leith, Sr.
    Richard Arends - In honor of Baritone Section
    Joe and Deborah Mauer
    Brian & Sheryl Furlano
    Daun Hooley - In memory of W. Michael Hooley
    Francesco Mazzella
    Judith Varner - In honor of Joelle Varner
    David-Donna Kampa
    Bryan, Jade & Eden Butler
    Peter Stoltman
    William Happel - In memory of David Dummer
    Ted And Debbie Huff - In honor of Brandon Huff
    Bill Clark - A fan for decades
    Thommy Sandvick
    Sharon (Bornheimer) Bryant 1973-1975
    Krijn Verstraaten
    Rose Stone
    Abby Leis
    Terry & Carol Thirion
    John Hammond - In honor of Alumnus Billy Happel
    Gary Muldoon '79
    Judith Turner - In honor of Justin Turner
    Laura Bulak - In honor of Benjamin Bulak
    Glenn "Goose" Gossfeld
    Dan and Brigid Heath
    Anonymous
    Deborah Boyle - In honor of The Trumpet Section
    Anonymous

     
    Voodoo Dolls
    Jul 12, 2013 9:57 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Voodoo Dolls from Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps on Vimeo.

     
    Captivate the Audience
    Jul 10, 2013 1:34 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Captivate the Audience from Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps on Vimeo.

     
    One Hour in One Minute
    Jun 20, 2013 11:07 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    1 Hour in 1 Minute from Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps on Vimeo.

     
    Voodoo Mellophones
    Jun 11, 2013 11:22 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Mellophones from Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps on Vimeo.

     
    Voodoo Drumline
    Jun 6, 2013 8:40 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Voo Doo Drumline from Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps on Vimeo.

     
    Voodoo Video One
    May 30, 2013 1:21 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Spring Training Day 1 from Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps on Vimeo.

     
    2014 La Crosse Week Events
    May 28, 2013 4:30 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)


    The Blue Stars have a full week of events scheduled for our 2014 debut in La Crosse. Come out to see the corps at one of these exciting events:

    June 12 - Rehearsal at Onalaska School District fields near the Omni Center

    June 13 - Rehearsal at Onalaska School District fields near the Omni Center

    June 14 - Evening performance at Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Banquet

    June 15 - Running with the Stars 5k Run/Walk

    June 16 - Rehearsal at UW-L

    June 17 - Rehearsal at UW-L

    June 18 - Rehearsal at UW-L, PM performance at Loggers Game
    The Blue Stars will be performing as the pre-game entertainment at the La Crosse Loggers vs. Alexandria Blue Anchors game. For ticket information, please visit the La Crosse Loggers' website.

    June 19 - Rehearsal and PM Preview Concert, Veterans Memorial Stadium - UW-L
    The concert will begin at 7 pm and is free to the public. We do ask that you bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the La Crosse Hunger Task Force. The souvenir wagon will be open for business stocked with the new merchandise for 2014.

    Join the corps and alumni as the corps returns to the Blue Stars' home in La Crosse. Support the corps by signing up to volunteer, attending the 2014 Grand Premier, run or walk in the Running with the Stars 5k, and plan to attend daily rehearsals for an awesome week of drum corps.

     
    Blue Stars Forum to be Shuttered
    May 20, 2013 12:11 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Since its inception more than a decade ago, the Blue Stars forum has been an exciting place for the corps' fans to interact and share about the corps. Many alums and parents recall spending long summer nights hitting refresh while waiting for scores and updates, sharing jokes and interesting facts about cities and states, and simply forging a shared feeling of community with the organization.

    Alas, the time has come to close down this online communication hub. This was a difficult decision for the organization, but the reasons are primarily two-fold:

    First, the software version of our discussion board is many generations behind the most up-to-date release. The version we have in place has many known vulnerabilities to hackers, and indeed we have been in a constant battle against spam and nefarious individuals who have worked their way into the back end to destroy and delete.

    We have determined the money necessary to upgrade the system is simply too great to make the move to the latest and greatest software. As an organization with limited resources, we have to allocate funds to the areas that best help us fulfill our mission, and this project did not make the cut.

    Second, the forum has experienced significant declines in use over the past 18 months. Most of the decline can be attributed to the rise in popularity of other social media platforms. Our other online channels have experienced robust growth in recent years, and we feel are better alternatives for online interaction with our members, parents, alumni, and fans.

    We invite everyone to interact with the Blue Stars and our affiliated operations online by joining the following:

    Blue Stars on Facebook

    Blue Stars on Twitter

    Blue Stars Alumni on Facebook

    River City Rhapsody on Facebook

    We will be turning off all posting functions on the forum, but will keep it available as read-only for a period of time so people can revisit past seasons and download photos, stories, etc… At some point in the future, the forum will be removed from the site completely.

     
    Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2013
    Apr 24, 2013 12:18 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Beginning in 2011, the Blue Stars have honored individuals who have made an indelible mark on the organization during its 49-year history. The list includes our founders, administrators, instructors, members, volunteers, and supporters that have worked tirelessly to make the Blue Stars the outstanding organization it is today.

    Nominations are solicited each winter, with the inductees chosen by the current Hall of Fame members and Blue Stars Board of Directors. Four individuals have been selected as the class of 2013 to join the 11 current members of the Blue Stars Hall of Fame.




    Erwin Albrecht (1926-2012)
    Parent, Past Board Member, Volunteer



    Erwin Albrecht served as treasurer for the Blue Stars from the 60s to mid 70s in both the booster club and on the board of directors. He was also an important player in the relationship with First Federal Savings and Loan, an early financial backer of the corps.

    Erwin and Mary Albrecht first lived in La Crescent and moved La Crosse. They had four children, all marching in the brass section of the Blue Stars. The Albrechts represent one of the many hard working families from the 70s and Erwin is an excellent choice as a member of the Blue Stars Hall of Fame.






    Moe Latour
    Tour Director


    Moe Latour was an invaluable member of the Blue Stars family during the 70s and early 80s. He was the day-to-day administraive face of the Blue Stars. From coordinating the overall summer tour itinerary to the individual daily schedules, Moe saw to it that all aspects of the corps ran not only smoothly, but also in sync.

    Moe was well aware of the history and traditions of the Blue Stars. Moe was quick to see to it that all of the members lived up to their part in maintaining the integrity of the corps. Moe was the consummate southern gentleman when interacting with those within and outside the Blue Stars.

    Each day on tour Moe would wake the membership with that soothing southern drawl of "good mawning Blue Stars, it time for .....". He would assist with the meals, settle disputes, and listen to staff and members alike when they needed someone to talk to. On show days Moe would lead us into the stadium and was at the finish line to be the first to greet us after the show. Moe was the most public face of the corps during his time with the corps.


    Richard "Doc" Nelson
    Designer, Instructor


    Richard "Doc" Nelson was instrumental in the development of the Blue Stars in the early 70s. He joined the corps in 1970 after talking to Dave Kampschroer in 1969 and later to Frank Van Voorhis. He and Frank worked jointly on the drill design for the corps and Dick did the design and teaching for the color guard.

    He was innovative for his time, and the Blue Stars color guard had few rivals in those years. Each member was special to him. He worked well with Frank and formed a close friendship with fellow instructors Rick Young and Terry Thirion.

    Dick Nelson did Drum Corps for truly altruistic reasons – in fact "For The Kids!", without consideration for personal gain. There is no doubt he was a great role model for members of the Blue Stars, and those former marching members continue to benefit from his lessons and example.


    Steve Stueck
    Alumnus, Volunteer, Past Board Member, Instructor, Business Manager


    Steve Stueck has shown a selfless commitment to the Blue Stars, its members, and the drum and bugle corps activity. It is not an understatement to say that the reemergence of the Blue Stars as a World Class Corps would not have been possible without Steve's tireless volunteer efforts over the past 24 years.

    Time and time again, during good years and bad, Steve has stepped to the plate to complete needed tasks regardless of glamour or recognition. His love of the Blue Stars is unwavering, and he devotes a significant portion of his free time to the corps' business and success.

    Steve's dedication goes beyond the Blue Stars as an organization, however. He cares about each and every individual of the corps, from members to staff and other volunteers. In his role as a volunteer for DCI, he greets every corps with a smile and wave, and does everything in his power to ensure corps and members can concentrate on performing their very best.




    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 2013 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the Grand Premier event on Saturday, June 15 in La Crosse. Please make plans to attend and help us honor these great individuals.

     
    Blue Stars Spring Training 2014
    Apr 22, 2013 3:41 PM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

    The 2014 Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps Spring Training begins on May 21st at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. On June 11th, the corps relocates to the Onalaska Omni Center to continue daily rehearsals and perform at various events during our annual La Crosse Week.

    Below you will find important information regarding the 2014 Spring Training location, transportation options and fees, and downloadable documents to help you prepare for the 2014 Tour.


    GENERAL INFORMATION

  • When: May 21st, 2014

  • Where: Forest City, Iowa 50436

  • Spring Training Maps: A B


    IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

  • 2014 Member Tour Manual

  • Medical Forms

  • Tour Mail Drops

  • Corps Jacket Order


    TRAVELING TO MOVE-INS

  • Directions to Forest City, Iowa

  • Move-In Shuttle Information

  • Pay for your Shuttle (May 21st only):

         1. Indiana / Illinois to Forest City, Iowa

         2. Minneapolis-St. Paul to Forest City, Iowa

  • Pay for your Shuttle (May 21st to June 10):

         1. Shuttle to / from MSP and FC

      

    On Move-In Day, May 21st, you have the option of driving to Spring Training, flying in to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and the Blue Stars will once again offer bus shuttle service from Indiana and Illinois. If you are flying in to Minneapolis-St.Paul (MSP), schedule your flight arrival by 5:00 PM CST to ensure you will be able to connect with the bus to Forest City departing at 6:00 PM CST.

    Please note, the bus service will only take place on May 21st. All other shuttle arrangements during Spring Training - i.e. if you need to go home for finals, graduation, or otherwise - will need to be communicated to Corps Administration. Given the distance of travel and time consideration, a nominal fee will be assessed to reserve an additional shuttle.

    Payments for additional shuttles can be made at our Online Store.


    SCHEDULE

  • Setup: May 19-20

  • Move-In: May 21

  • Forest City Community Appreciation Performance: June 10-11 (exact date & time TBA)

  • Relocate to Onalaska Omni Center: June 11

  • La Crosse Week:

         Friday, June 13: La Crosse Loggers

         Saturday, June 14: Blue Stars Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (PURCHASE TICKETS)

         Thursday, June 19: Blue Stars Onalsaska Preview

  • Blue Stars 2014 Debut Performance: June 20 in Rockford, Illinois.

  • 2014 Corps Banquet: August 10, Indianapolis, IN. (PURCHASE TICKETS)


    CONTACT INFORMATION

  • Corps Office: (608) 782-3219

  • Russ Gavin, Corps Director

  • Paul Gentine, Tour Director

  • Brad Harris, Director of Operations







    As you know, the corps would not move a mile down the road without the dedicated support of our tireless family of volunteers. Please consider joining the Blue Stars at Spring Training in Iowa and Wisconsin.

    We need volunteers to help outfit the corps in our new uniforms, cook meals for members and staff, drive shuttles, and build the miscellaneous props and equipment we use each year.

    Please sign up to support the corps, and be one of the first to see our 2014 production, "Where the Heart Is" firsthand!

  •  
    Blue Stars 2013 Guard Staff
    Apr 5, 2013 5:35 PM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

    The Blue Stars are very excited to announce the Color Guard Staff for the 2013 season. Returning to the Color Guard Team are Caption Head, Michael Shapiro, and Cookie and Brittany Shepherd as Color Guard Technicians. Joining the team are Christopher Hand, Maurice Wright, and Brian Dutton as Color Guard Technicians.

    "I am very pleased to introduce the 2013 Blue Stars Color Guard team and look forward to their leadership and productivity this season." said Bradley Furlano. "We have a strong team of returning staff and welcome three new instructors. They are all dedicated and experienced instructors and I can't wait for our audiences to be amazed by the color guard in 2013," said Corps Director, Russ Gavin.


    Michael Shapiro - Color Guard Caption Head
    Michael began his marching career with the Spirit of Atlanta and also performed with the Madison Scouts, and Alliance of Miami. He went on to teach and write for Alliance, as well as many other drum corps and winter guard ensembles. Shapiro's DCI and WGI teaching experience is extensive, and includes Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Crossmen, Carroll High School, The Company, Crown Guard, Mayflower (UK), and many other talented organizations.

    Michael received his undergraduate education from the University of Miami, and currently resides in West Hollywood, CA and teaches many ensembles in the Southern California area. He also directs the Diamond Bar HS Colorguard and is the founder and director of the Corona winter guards. He is excited to be returning for his 6th year with the Blue Stars in 2013.

    Krystal Cookie Shepherd - Color Guard Technician
    Krystal Cookie Shepherd, known to most as Cookie, was raised in Moreno Valley California where she began her colorguard career at Valley View High School. Her marching career includes Corona Winterguard 2004-2007, Sacramento Mandarins 03, Pacific Crest 04, and Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. During the last couple of years Cookie has taught corona and Corona Light along side Michael Shapiro. This winter she will be flying across the Atlantic to tech Mayflower in England along with teaching Diamond Bar High School for her fourth year.

    This will be Cookie's fourth year with the Blue Stars. "I couldn't be more excited to resume yet another season with the Blue Stars! The Last two years have been so amazing and special. The members of the Blue Stars have been such great people, I'm sure that this year will be no different."

    Christopher Hand - Color Guard Technician
    Chris Hand started color guard in high school, his sophomore year. While in high school he marched Teal Sound in 2003, and The Magic of Orlando in 2004 and 2005. All three years as a member of the front ensemble. After graduation he marched Braddock Independent in 2006.

    After Braddock, Chris took the next few years to focus on school. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in music. At FAU he served as the principal percussionist for many semesters. Chris came back to the activity and marched Premonition in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, he went back to Braddock Independent.

    Chris is currently a weapon tech at Premonition this winter season, as well as a technician at Flanagan High School and other local high schools. He is extremely excited for his first year with Blue Stars!!

    Maurice Wright - Color Guard Technician
    Born in Houston, Texas, Maurice Wright has been competing in the color guard activity for 8 years. He has marched in The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps 2009, 2010 and 2011. As for winter, he has marched Code Black 2009, 2012 and 2013 as well as Cypress Independent 2010 and 2011. He attends school at Sam Houston State University where he studies Fashion Merchandising while also obtaining a minor in General Business.

    Brian Dutton - Color Guard Technician
    Originally from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Brian moved down to the greater Houston area after high school to attend Sam Houston State University where he received his Bachelors in Mathematics. He is a 10th grade Geometry teacher at Spring High School in Spring, Texas where he currently resides. He is also the director for MacArthur High School's guard program in Houston.

    Brian started his drum corps career at Bluecoats in 2004 where he played the trumpet for two seasons then transitioned to the color guard for the 2006 season and his age-out season in 2007. He has marched the winter season of guard every year since 2006 with programs such as Ars Nova Open, Code Black World, and for the last four years at Cypress Independent.

     
    Looking Back: Designing a Blue Stars Uniform
    Apr 1, 2013 1:37 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Thanks to everyone for the great response to our little April Fools Day story about the Corps' new uniforms. We enjoyed everyone's comments and had some fun not taking ourselves too seriously for the day.

    Many have asked about how this actual uniform design sketch came into being. The answer takes us back to the fall of 2006. We were struggling to come up with a design that departed from the traditional cross straps the corps had used since its founding in 1964. Our efforts were going nowhere, when we saw some designs a young artist had created and posted to DCP.

    That young designer was Brent Becker. We contacted Brent and asked him if he would like to help us design a new uniform for the Blue Stars. He agreed and created around 20 designs for us to look at initially. Some were conservative updates to the classic uniform. Some were design studies that stretched the classic uniform into some extreme variations. And some were complete clean sheet designs of what the uniform could be if we broke completely with the cross straps of the past.

    The drawing that accompanied yesterday's April Fools Day article was one Brent did to show what an extreme interpretation of the cross straps might look like. Below you will see a collection of sketches Brent created during this process, including the design that eventually became the Corps' new uniform in 2007.

    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce we will be debuting new uniforms for the 2013 season (no joke!). These new uniforms will be the third set designed for the corps by Brent Becker and manufactured by our long-time uniform partner Stanbury Uniforms. We think they're the best in the business and can't wait for you to see them in action this summer!

    To begin your journey with Brent Becker and Stanbury Uniforms, please visit www.STANBURY.com.




     
    April Fools: Blue Stars Debut New Uniforms
    Apr 1, 2013 10:59 AM (Submitted by: Bradley Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to unveil it's latest uniform design, set to debut on football fields across the United States. The design has been lauded as one that combines the rich history of the corps with an eye to the future of the activity.

    "We've been through a number of uniforms over the corps' nearly 50-year history, and this time around we wanted a look that would be both timeless and sophisticated," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "We think this design is one that truly stands the test of time and could be our look for the next 50 years."

    The new uniform has something for everyone. Traditionalists will enjoy the return of the classic Blue Stars' helmet and red plume. The white on the jacket and pants is a modern take on the white cross straps and cumberbund with an added metallic red reimagining of the buckle.

    "The broken nature of the cross straps represents the struggles and triumphs the corps has endured during our first 50 years," said Furlano. "Each individual white piece directly corresponds to a significant event in the corps' history. For example, the bottom white piece on the performers' left leg represents the corps' founding in 1964. The piece on the lower left arm represents the corps' first A-60 championship in 1989. And the piece to the right of the red on the right shoulder represents the corps return to World Class status in 2006."

    As part of the celebration surrounding the debut of the new uniform. The corps will be auctioning off the naming rights to each individual piece of the uniform. The highest bidders for each of the 34 pieces will get the exclusive naming rights for a "history piece" on the uniform.

    We are pleased to announce today the first company to complete a naming rights deal: La Crosse's own Kwik Trip. For the duration of this uniform, Piece 17 and the corresponding Blue Stars' history event shall henceforth be known as "Kwik Trip Cafe Karuba presents the Blue Stars' 2008 return to DCI World Class finals."

    "While we hoped to debut the uniforms during the 2013 season, there may be a slight delay," said Furlano. "Each individual white piece on the uniform jacket and pants must be hand sewn, which has added considerable time to the manufacturing process. It currently is taking 27 days to complete one uniform, so it is currently projected that the set of 110 uniforms will be completed for the 2022 season. We are hopeful a new manufacturing process can be discovered to push the timeline a bit more aggressively.

     
    Blue Stars Tour Driving Opportunities
    Mar 25, 2013 9:23 AM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is in need of several drivers to support the corps this season. Our tour begins June 21st and runs through DCI World Championships on Saturday, August 10th.

    We need to secure Class A-CDL drivers for the Equipment Truck and Food Truck tractors. In addition, we need dedicated volunteer drivers for the corps-owned RVs, and the Souvenir Van & trailer.

    All drivers must provide a copy of their state issued driver's license for our insurance records, be willing to drive overnight, and must be comfortable with maneuvering and operating vehicles in unfamiliar locations and situations. The following vehicles require a Class A - CDL and wages are negotiable:

  • Equipment Truck - CDL Required / wages negotiable
    Musical instrument, uniform, shako/plume, tool storage. 

  • Cook Truck - CDL Required / wages negotiable
    Food preparation and storage. 

    Drivers will play an integral role in the Blue Stars vehicle fleet, typically consisting of eleven vehicles. The motor coaches are hired out to professional drivers, whereas with most vehicles we rely upon the help of dedicated volunteers. The following vehicles utilize volunteer support:

    
  • Corps Van - Souvenir trailer
    The corps van will primarily be used as a vehicle for transporting the souvenir sales volunteers to and from show sites. It tows the souvenir trailer, containing corps merchandise which is sold at shows and events. 

  • Chase Vehicle/Van
    The chase vehicle will be used for medical runs, airport shuttles, and miscellaneous errands throughout the day. In addition, the chase car is the first vehicle to depart a show site for the next housing site. 

  • RV - Volunteer
    The volunteer RV is the primary residence for cook truck volunteers and for any other volunteers space permitting. 

  • RV - Staff
    The creative and executive staff will reside primarily on the Staff RV during the summer tour. 

  • Box Truck
    Props, color guard, food overflow storage.

    If interested, please email Brad Harris, submit a Volunteer Application, or call the La Crosse Office at (608) 783-3219.

  •  
    Fred Feeney Inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame
    Feb 22, 2013 11:12 AM (Submitted by: )

    Congratulations to Fred Feeney, Blue Stars Program & Staff Coordinator, for his induction into the WGI Hall of Fame.

    Amongst his numerous affiliations, Fred marched French horn in the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps in the 1978, 1979, and 1980 seasons, and was a Visual Staff member in 1981 and 1982. Fred has worked tirelessly on behalf of the marching arts activity and the honor is well deserved!

     
    Blue Stars Hall of Fame Nominations - Class of 2013
    Feb 21, 2013 11:13 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Hall of Fame committee is now accepting nominations for the Blue Stars Hall of Fame, Class of 2013. This year, up to three (3) new inductees will join the esteemed members of 2011 and 2012 classes. Nomination submissions are due by March 15, 2013.

    To nominate a candidate for the Blue Stars Hall of Fame, complete the online information collection survey or send a completed nomination packet to Brian Whitty, Blue Stars Hall of Fame Chairman. Each individual may submit and nominate only ONE candidate per year. The information you need to provide includes input from you and a minimum of two, maximum of four other individuals in support of your candidate.

    Following is the outline for the required information to be provided:

    NOMINATED CANDIDATE'S INFORMATION: complete name, address, personal/work telephone numbers, and email. If the candidate is deceased, include contact information for a close relative (if possible).

    YOUR INFORMATION: complete name, address, personal/work phone numbers, email, and documentation of why you believe this nominated candidate should be considered for membership in the Blue Stars Hall of Fame. This input needs to identify how the candidate nominee has made significant contributions to the success of the Blue Stars and its members.

    SUPPORTING INDIVIDUALS (minimum two, maximum four): name, telephone number, email address and documentation of why they believe this nominated candidate should be considered for membership in the Blue Stars Hall of Fame. Supporting documentation should identify how, from their personal view, the candidate nominee has made significant contributions to the success of the Blue Stars and its members.

    Submit a Hall of Fame application online

    Download and complete an application pdf

    Current Blue Stars Hall of Fame Members

    Class of 2011:

  • Frank Van Voorhis
  • David Dummer
  • Dr. David Kampshroer
  • James Schultz
  • Denise Pagonis
  • Brian Whitty
  • Class of 2012:

  • Joe and Avis Furlano
  • Jay Severance
  • Terry Thirion
  • Rick Young
  • Questions regarding the Blue Stars Hall of Fame or the nomination process should be addressed to Brian Whitty at the contact sources below.

    Brian Whitty
    4615 Camden Rd.
    Madison, WI 53716
    Phone: 608.225.4931
    brian.whitty@bluestars.org

     
    Remembering Pierre Beelendorf
    Feb 18, 2013 2:22 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    It is with much sadness that the Blue Stars report the passing of former member Pierre Beelendorf. Pierre was a soprano player from 1974-1977 and was on brass staff from 1978-1982. Pierre was also a member of Disney's Future Corps performance ensemble at Epcot. Pierre will be missed by all who knew him and his family members are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

    Pierre Beelendorf Obituary.

    Many Blue Stars have inquired about sending cards to Pierre's family to express their sympathy. Please send all correspondence to:

    Liz Beelendorf
    501 Veranda Way
    G 103
    Naples, FL. 34104-6073

     
    2013 January Camp Video
    Feb 6, 2013 3:40 PM (Submitted by: )

    January Camp 2013 from Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps on Vimeo.

     
    2013 Blue Stars Graphics Files
    Jan 29, 2013 11:59 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Download the graphics files below and show the world your excitement for the 2013 Blue Stars! Right click on a file to save to your computer.

    Voodoo: I Put a Spell On You - Smartphone Wallpaper

    Voodoo: I Put a Spell On You - Facebook Timeline Image

    Voodoo: I Put a Spell On You - Desktop Background (1920x1080)

    Voodoo: I Put a Spell On You - Small Graphic

     
    2013 Blue Stars
    Jan 29, 2013 11:52 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    2013 Blue Stars Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Ceremony
    Jan 16, 2013 1:28 PM (Submitted by: Bradley R. Harris)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the return of our Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday June 15, 2013 at 5:30 PM.

    The Grand Premier will feature the following exciting events:

  • A premier performance of the Blue Stars' 2013 production: "Voodoo: I Put a Spell on You"

  • A Live and Silent Auction Fundraiser featuring excellent items to bid on

  • The 2013 Blue Stars Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

    Click Here to Purchase Tickets and Register for the Auction

    We have reserved a block of 20 rooms at the Candlewood Suites in La Crosse - (608) 785-1110. You will definitely want to make your hotel reservations and join in the festivities on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 5:30 PM as we welcome the 2013 Class of the Blue Stars Hall of Fame.

    As a special discount for the Grand Premier, Candlewood is offering a reduced rate from $139 to only $89 a night! Just ask for the "Blue Stars Block."

    Please RSVP and PURCHASE TICKETS to this great event today!


    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps Hall of Fame Class of 2013


    Erwin Albrecht (1926-2012)
    Parent, Past Board Member, Volunteer



    Erwin Albrecht served as treasurer for the Blue Stars from the 60s to mid 70s in both the booster club and on the board of directors. He was also an important player in the relationship with First Federal Savings and Loan, an early financial backer of the corps.

    Erwin and Mary Albrecht first lived in La Crescent and moved La Crosse. They had four children, all marching in the brass section of the Blue Stars. The Albrechts represent one of the many hard working families from the 70s and Erwin is an excellent choice as a member of the Blue Stars Hall of Fame.






    Moe Latour
    Tour Director


    Moe Latour was an invaluable member of the Blue Stars family during the 70s and early 80s. He was the day-to-day administraive face of the Blue Stars. From coordinating the overall summer tour itinerary to the individual daily schedules, Moe saw to it that all aspects of the corps ran not only smoothly, but also in sync.

    Moe was well aware of the history and traditions of the Blue Stars. Moe was quick to see to it that all of the members lived up to their part in maintaining the integrity of the corps. Moe was the consummate southern gentleman when interacting with those within and outside the Blue Stars.

    Each day on tour Moe would wake the membership with that soothing southern drawl of "good mawning Blue Stars, it time for .....". He would assist with the meals, settle disputes, and listen to staff and members alike when they needed someone to talk to. On show days Moe would lead us into the stadium and was at the finish line to be the first to greet us after the show. Moe was the most public face of the corps during his time with the corps.


    Richard "Doc" Nelson
    Designer, Instructor


    Richard "Doc" Nelson was instrumental in the development of the Blue Stars in the early 70s. He joined the corps in 1970 after talking to Dave Kampschroer in 1969 and later to Frank Van Voorhis. He and Frank worked jointly on the drill design for the corps and Dick did the design and teaching for the color guard.

    He was innovative for his time, and the Blue Stars color guard had few rivals in those years. Each member was special to him. He worked well with Frank and formed a close friendship with fellow instructors Rick Young and Terry Thirion.

    Dick Nelson did Drum Corps for truly altruistic reasons – in fact "For The Kids!", without consideration for personal gain. There is no doubt he was a great role model for members of the Blue Stars, and those former marching members continue to benefit from his lessons and example.


    Steve Stueck
    Alumnus, Volunteer, Past Board Member, Instructor, Business Manager


    Steve Stueck has shown a selfless commitment to the Blue Stars, its members, and the drum and bugle corps activity. It is not an understatement to say that the reemergence of the Blue Stars as a World Class Corps would not have been possible without Steve's tireless volunteer efforts over the past 24 years.

    Time and time again, during good years and bad, Steve has stepped to the plate to complete needed tasks regardless of glamour or recognition. His love of the Blue Stars is unwavering, and he devotes a significant portion of his free time to the corps' business and success.

    Steve's dedication goes beyond the Blue Stars as an organization, however. He cares about each and every individual of the corps, from members to staff and other volunteers. In his role as a volunteer for DCI, he greets every corps with a smile and wave, and does everything in his power to ensure corps and members can concentrate on performing their very best.




    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 2013 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the Grand Premier event on Saturday, June 15 in La Crosse. Please make plans to attend and help us honor these great individuals.

  •  
    Congratulations to Don and Roxanne Weber
    Jan 10, 2013 10:12 AM (Submitted by: Bradley R. Harris)

    Supporters of the Blue Stars and La Crosse Community alike, Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps alumnus Roxie Weber (Tooke) and her husband Don Weber were honored in the naming ceremony of the new Weber Center for the Performing Arts in La Crosse, WI.

    The entire Blue Stars organization would like to congratulate Don and Roxanne on this distinct honor.

    Several local news outlets featured the Webers and the ceremony:

  • La Crosse Tribune

  • WKBT News

  • WXOW News

  •  
    Karlin and Pote Join the 2013 Blue Stars Instructional Team
    Jan 9, 2013 5:21 PM (Submitted by: Bradley R. Harris)

    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce the appointment of two new members to the 2013 team. "Bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience, I am very happy to welcome Michael Pote and Ken Karlin to the Blue Stars this season," said Bradley Furlano, Executive Director.

    "Ken and Michael represent two of the finest high school music programs in the country. As a fellow music educator, I am thrilled to work with these guys this season," said Blue Stars Corps Director, Russ Gavin.

    Ken Karlin - Visual Consultant

    Ken Karlin began his drum corps career in 1987 as a member of Star of Indiana. He served on the visual staff of the Bloomington-based corps from 1989-1992. He joined the Blue Devils visual staff in 1995. He has been the visual designer for the Blue Devils B corps since 1999, and served in that capacity for the 2008-2009 Madison Scouts.

    Ken holds a degree in music from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and was an associate director of bands at James Logan High School in Union City, California from 1999-2012.

    He is currently an associate director of bands at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis. He resides in Carmel, Indiana with his wife Beth and daughters Summer and Willow.



    Michael Pote - Music Consultant

    Michael Pote has been Associate Director of bands at Carmel High School in Carmel, IN since 1993. His teaching responsibilities include co-conducting all six concert bands as well as conducting Jazz Ensemble 1. He is also music caption head for the Carmel High School Marching Band.

    The Carmel High School Marching Band has received numerous honors including being the 2005 and 2012 Bands of America Grand National Champions and has been a top 12 finalist at the Bands of America Championships since 1996. They were the 2001, 2002 and 2012 Indiana State Champions. The marching band has marched in the Macy's Parade, The London New Year's Parade, and will march in the 2014 Rose Bowl Parade.

    Carmel High School's top concert band, Wind Symphony 1, performed at the 2005 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago as well as being a 3-time participant in the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival.

    Michael is active as a composer and arranger for groups throughout the country. Several of his original works for marching band are available through www.centerxproductions.com. He is active as a guest conductor and clinician as well as a program consultant.

     
    Volunteer with the Blue Stars in 2013!
    Jan 9, 2013 12:32 PM (Submitted by: Bradley R. Harris)

    As you know, we could not make it a mile down the road without our family of dedicated volunteers. In order to ensure we have adequate personnel for the necessary volunteer positions for our 2013 Season, please consider joining us at one of our remaining camps and on the road for as long as you are able. Some parents are able to help for many weeks during the summer. Some can only help for a day or two when the corps is close by. All are welcome and needed.


    Help make the 2013 season a success! We need your help as a volunteer.

    Visit the Blue Stars Online Calendar to see the dates and locations of upcoming events (click on a date to see the details). Also, you can check out our Tour Schedule and Locations to help select the dates we will be closest to you. Let us know the job you would like to perform by completing a Volunteer Application with your sign-up requests.


    What jobs are available?

    Drivers - The Blue Stars own and operate a fleet of more than 10 vehicles during our summer touring season. These vehicles transport members, staff, and volunteers. We need competent and safe drivers for our two RVs and box truck, no special licenses required. In addition, we require drivers with Class-A certification to safely transport our two semi-trailers. Driving occurs mostly at night.

    Cooking - A drum corps travels on its stomach, and we need your help to prepare nutritious and delicious food for the members, staff, and volunteers. You'll work under the direction of the head chef to deliver a great dining experience for all. This is the area of greatest need.

    Sewing crew - During spring training you'll work to properly fit the corps uniforms. During the tour, you'll refit uniforms as members lose weight and perform repairs and other alterations.

    The Local - This job has the potential to make life much easier for the corps on the road. These people volunteer to use their vehicle to perform the many odd trips in a city or town (grocery store, Wal-Mart, clinic, hardware store, instrument repair, etc.). This is the perfect job for when the Blue Stars visit your town and you can only spare a day or two.

    Uniform Laundry Days - We need a small army of people to take on the task of washing the corps uniforms on select dates on tour. Uniform Laundry days will be announced in the coming months.

    Building projects - These positions are building props, rebuilding vehicle storage, fixing broken equipment, painting, electrical (if you have that skill), plumbing (ditto), etc. If you're handy (or even semi-handy) we have a job for you.

    Souvenir sales - These are highly visible positions selling the corps' extensive selection of souvies at shows from our mobile souvenir trailer. You must be approved to hold this job. Please send me an email or pm if you're interested in one of the remaining slots.


    Once you have applied to volunteer we will send you our Volunteer Handbook that will outline what it's like on tour and what's expected on the road. Again, your help is needed! Please visit the calendar and send your requests to volunteer@bluestars.org.

     
    Blue Stars Auditions Continue January 18-20
    Jan 2, 2013 10:27 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars have successfully completed its first round of auditions in Indiana, Florida, California, and Texas. We are extremely pleased with the turnout and talent, and can't wait to get started working on the 2013 production. The audition process for the Blue Stars continues at our upcoming camp at the Indiana State Fairgrounds from January 18-20.

    Brass
    We have awarded membership contracts for about 65% of the available spots in the 2013 brass line. A large number of candidates for the remaining positions have been called back, and we are still accepting new auditionees for the brass program at the January camp.

    Battery Percussion
    We have called back approximately 40 people to complete for the 19 positions in the Blue Stars' battery section. We will still accept new battery auditionees, however the main goal of the January camp is to choose and set the summer ensemble. It is strongly encouraged that new auditionees submit a video audition before the January camp for a skills assessment and feedback.

    Front Ensemble
    We have awarded membership contracts for approximately 40% of the available spots in the Blue Stars' front ensemble. We are still looking for talented keyboard, synthesizer, drum kit, and timpani players to complete the 2013 membership.

    Color Guard
    We have awarded membership contracts for about 50% of the available positions in the 2013 guard. The audition process for callbacks and new auditionees will continue in April in Indianapolis. Please send an e-mail to director@bluestars.org if you would like information about no-risk, early-payment tuition discounts.

    Please visit the Blue Stars Audition Sign-Up page to sign up for the camp and receive the audition packet. E-mail director@bluestars.org if you have any questions about the Blue Stars or the audition process.

     
    Blue Stars 2014 Visual Staff
    Dec 31, 2012 1:44 PM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

    The Blue Stars are very excited to announce the Visual Staff for the 2014 season.

    "I am very pleased to introduce the 2014 Blue Stars visual team and look forward to their leadership and productivity this season," said Corps Director Russ Gavin. "We have a strong team of dedicated and experienced instructors joining us this season. I can't wait for the season to get underway."


    Chris Kaflik - Caption Head
    Chris Kaflik is returning for his fourth season with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. This will be his second season as visual caption head. After graduating from Carmel High School, Chris studied music education at Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. He studied euphonium with Dr. Mark Mordue and conducting with Dr. Thomas Caneva and Dr. Shawn Vondran. At Ball State, Chris participated in the Pride of Mid-America Marching Band, the Ball State Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band, Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, and several chamber ensembles.

    Chris performed with the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps (2008-2010) and received several awards as a performer along the way. During his time at Ball State, he worked with the Carmel High School Marching Greyhounds and their extremely talented staff (2007-2011). Chris has also worked with several other bands in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Missouri. Chris proudly works with Jeff Young as a music and visual consultant for Dynamic Marching LLC, and serves as the visual caption head of the Bands of America Summer Symposium Marching Band Track. He is also an active adjudicator.

    Chris served as the Director of Bands and Orchestra at Northrop High School in Fort Wayne Indiana. He is currently the Assistant Director of Bands at Broken Arrow High School in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. The Pride of Broken Arrow Marching Band has been consistent Bands of America Grand National Finalists and they are two time Grand National Champions (2006 & 2011). They have also won multiple Oklahoma State Championships. The Broken Arrow Wind Ensemble has performed at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, and will be performing at Carnegie Hall this spring.

    Chris is a native to Carmel Indiana, but currently resides in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. He is thrilled to continue his involvement with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps, and looks forward to another outstanding season.


    Chris Kaflik

    Tim Jackson - Visual Tech
    Tim began his musical career at an early age studying rudimental, drumset, and keyboard percussion. He marched with the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (2000), the Crossmen (2002), and The Concord Blue Devils (2003-2006). Jackson won honors as the PASIC Multi-Tenor champion in 2005, and the DCI Individual and Ensemble Multi-Tenor champion four consecutive years from 2003 to 2006. Tim performed in the indoor percussion activity with Rhythm X (Columbus, OH) from its inaugural season in 2002, to his age-out season in 2007.

    Tim spent two seasons on staff with The Concord Blue Devils percussion section, before becoming Battery Coordinator for the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps in 2009. His educational contributions to the Canton-based corps extended beyond just percussion to choreography, musical and visual design, and event coordination before officially being named the Visual Caption head in 2012. Jackson has also been a part of the Rhythm X design team since 2008, contributing through visual design and battery arrangement. His competitive and educational honors include two DCI World Championship Gold Medals (2003, 2007), the Fred Sanford High Percussion trophy (2007) and three WGI World Championship Gold Medals (2008, 2009, 2013).

    For the past ten years, Tim has provided private instruction to students in the central Ohio area, as well as numerous students and organizations across the globe. He has also instructed, consulted, and provided clinics and master classes across the nation, as well as Western Europe, Thailand, Korea and Japan. He has earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from The Ohio State University, and currently serves as the Percussion Director for Dublin Jerome High School (Dublin, OH). Tim and his wife Amy currently reside in Columbus, Ohio.


    Tim Jackson

    Joshua Benningfield - Visual Tech
    Joshua Benningfield currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. Starting his marching career with Carolina Crown in 2001 he also closed his age-out there as well in 2004. Jumping right into instructing with Spirit of Atlanta and back at Crown.

    Instructing movement and color guard has always been a huge part of Joshua's life starting with groups like P. L. Dunbar of Lexington in his home state of Kentucky. Joshua relocated to Indianapolis in 2007 to be a join the Carmel High School program. He successfully attained goals of winning Scholastic Open, making Scholastic World Finals, and eventually capturing Gold at Scholastic World.

    In his second year with the Blue Stars, he couldn't be more excited about the team being assembled this season - having met and worked with other staff members through the facilities of Carmel High School and Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps.

    In addition, he teaches several independent groups along the way of including State of Art (MI) and Lexis (KY), both medalists in their fields. Joshua is very excited to spend his first season with the Blue Stars!


    Joshua Benningfield

    Matthew Black - Visual Tech
    Matthew Black is happy to return to the Blue Stars visual staff for the 2014 season. Recently, he completed a Bachelor's degree in Music Education at Eastern Illinois University. Matthew's marching career started studying under Richard Saucedo and Mike McIntosh at Carmel High School. From there he went on to march in esteemed WGI lines Indianapolis Independent Percussion Ensemble in 2006-2007, Gateway Indoor in 2009, and Rhythm-X in 2010. Through these opportunities Matthew was able to study under Jim Bailey, Ian Shepherd, Gary Rudolph, Chad Schaedler, Tim Jackson, Tim Fairbanks, and many more. Matthew continued his marching career outdoors spending 2008-2010 with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps where he acted as battery section leader his last two years, studying under Max Mullinix, and Brett Kuhn.

    Matthew has had the opportunity to teach numerous schools around the Midwest such as Carmel, Ben Davis, and Marian Catholic High Schools. He is also a clinician for the Smith Walbridge Clinics acting as Assistant Marching Band Director for the Illinois clinics, and as Assistant Percussion Director for the Florida Gatorband clinics. He currently teaches percussion at Kennesaw Mountain High School and Carrollton High School. In his time away from school he enjoys audio engineering and mastering for artists, as well as sample creation, voice-overs, and audio slicing for marching bands and winter guards. His website can be found at http://www.matthewablack.org.


    Matthew Black

    Zack Crissman - Visual Tech
    Zack Crissman is currently a senior at East Carolina University where he is studying music education and trumpet performance. Zack's drum corps experience includes performing with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps during 2008-2013 seasons. During his time with the Blue Stars, Zack held the positions of trumpet section leader, mellophone section leader, drum major and was also awarded the most outstanding marcher award for the 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons. Zack also participated in the 2010 Blue Stars Brass ensemble, taking the gold medal at Drum Corps Internationals Individual and Ensemble competition.

    Zack Crissman is currently on visual staff with the West Johnston High School Marching band in Benson, NC and Forza East Independent Percussion in Greenville, NC.


    Zack Crissman

    Kelsey Ferguson - Visual Tech
    Kelsey is in her first year on Visual Staff with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps. In the past, she has been a member of the Glassmen and Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps. In addition to her DCI experience, she has also been a performing member of Matrix Percussion Indoor Drumline, a 9-time WGI World Class Finalist.

    Complimenting her performing career, she has taught at various different High Schools across Indiana and Ohio in their concert programs, marching bands and indoor drumlines. Currently she is pursuing a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Early Childhood Education with a minor in English as a Second Language.


    Kelsey Ferguson

    Ziggy Garcia - Visual Tech
    Ziggy Garcia is a freelance trumpet player from El Paso Texas. He is currently attending The University of Texas at El Paso pursuing his bachelor of music education. Currently he is the visual/music caption head for El Paso High School as well as visual a consultant and technician for Coronado High School.

    This is Mr. Garcia's second year on visual staff with the Blue Stars. He looks forward to another exciting and successful season with the corps. He wishes to thank the administration for this great opportunity.


    Ziggy Garcia

    Nathan Gropp - Visual Tech
    Nathan is very excited to be joining the Blue Stars Visual Staff and looks forward to a great summer of teaching students, learning from other teachers, and avoiding sunburns. He has had a scandalous love affair with music from an early age, taking piano and clarinet lessons in elementary school, but promptly switching to saxophone in sixth grade because it was "cooler." His true love of all things band began at Space Center Intermediate when he was in the Sudler Cup winning band program under the direction of Greg Dick, Donald McCandless, and Chris Patterson. After a move back to Indiana, he began playing the tuba with the Penn High School Marching Kingsmen under the direction of Keith Rudolph. He decided to march drum corps because spending every summer sleeping on a bus and running around a football field all day with a tuba on his shoulder sounded awesome. He spent a wonderful season with The Bluecoats in 2005 and three wonderful seasons with The Cavaliers in 2006, 2007, and 2008. He credits Jud Merritt, former Cavaliers visual caption head, as his primary role model in terms of all things "visual."

    Nathan has been privileged to teach marching and music at Lawrence North High School, Knox High School, and Western High School. He is currently devising his plan for world domination upon completion of his music education degree. He enjoys comedy, spirituality, music, and writing about himself in the third person.


    Nathan Gropp

    Jordan Lalama - Visual Tech
    Jordan Lalama is a national clinician for Dynamic Marching LLC. He is an alumni of Carmel High School in Carmel, IN. He has worked on staff of the two time Bands of America National Champion, Carmel High School and has extensive high school teaching experience in Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Missouri. In addition to his high school experience, he has worked as the Visual Caption Head of The Music City Drum and Bugle Corps (2011) and Visual Staff at The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps (2012). As of last year, Jordan has taken over as the Visual Caption Head of the Bands of America Summer Symposium, a national summer marching arts camp for high school students held at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He has worked on staff for the symposium for the last three years. He is excited about returning to the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps for his second season with the organization. Jordan currently resides in Nashville, TN and is sought out as a clinician throughout the United States.




    Julio Rivera - Visual Tech
    Julio Rivera began his drum corps career as a baritone player at Teal Sound Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007. He then went on to march two more years with the Carolina Crown (2010-2011) as a euphonium. During that time Julio has performed across Central Florida as a Trombonist. In his spare time, he often teaches low brass lessons around Orlando, Fl. Julio is currently studying music at Valencia College alongside Gail Robertson, and Will Nestler for low brass performance.

    Julio has taught at several High Schools around Orlando, Fl. He has instructed the Boone High School Braves as one of the head visual coordinators in 2010, and currently is completing his third year with the Timber Creek Regiment. Starting as an alumni and returning as a visual tech, he has progressed to his current position as the head of the visual program at Timber Creek High School in 2013.

    At the present, he lives in Orlando Florida and looks forward to his first year with the Blue Stars.


    Julio Rivera

    Taylor Smith - Visual Tech
    Taylor Smith is currently pursuing his Bachelors Degree in Music Education and Jazz Performance at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music California State University, Long Beach, after earning his Associates Degree from Riverside Community College. Taylor has performed in the CSULB Concert and Symphonic band on Trombone, and is a member of the Concert Jazz Orchestra directed by Jeff Jarvis. He currently performs in and around the Los Angeles area as a freelance musician. Taylor has studied under Steve Williams, Steve Trapani, Joey Sellers, and currently studies privately with commercial and recording trombonist Bob McChesney.

    After graduating from Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga California, Taylors Marching/DCI experience continued with marching trombone for the Riverside Community College Marching Tigers in 2009-2011 including being the soloist in the 2010 show "Dancin". While a part of RCC he traveled to Bands of America Championships two times, and the Pasadena Rose Parade three times. In 2010, Taylor decided to audition for the Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps earning a DCI World Championship. After "ageing-out" with the Blue Devils in 2011, Taylor continued with teaching at local high schools in Southern California. He has taught at several Southern California high schools as visual and music instructor including Colony High School (Ontario, CA), Upland High School (Upland, CA), Chino Hills High School (Chino Hills, CA), Edison High School (Huntington Beach, CA), Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA). In 2012, Taylor was a part of the visual team for the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2013, he then taught visual and brass for the Blue Devils "B" Drum and Bugle Corps. Taylor continues working towards his goal to become a band director.

    Taylor is excited to start his first year as a visual instructor with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps.


    Taylor Smith

    Andy Wade - Visual Tech
    This is Andy's second season on the Blue Stars visual staff. He is currently studying Music Education at Central Michigan University. His marching experiences include NorthCoast Academy percussion ensemble (2010-2013) where he was battery section leader in 2013. His corps experience includes 2011 Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps as well as 2012 Madison Scouts drum and Bugle corps.

    His teaching experience includes Walled Lake Central High School winter programs (2010-2011). He has been percussion caption head for the past 3 years at Mount Pleasant High School and and will be snare technician at NorthCoast Academy this upcoming year.

    Andy is very excited to be back with the Blue Stars for the 2014 season.


    Andy Wade

    Will Wells - Visual Tech
    Will Wells is a full-time marching designer, teacher and adjudicator originally from Kent, Ohio. Currently living in Nashville, Tennessee, he has worked with numerous high school bands across the country, including Hilliard-Davidson High School from Hilliard, Ohio, the Blue Springs Golden Regiment from Kansas City, Missouri, and the Centerville Jazz Band from Centerville, Ohio. This season will be his third with the Blue Stars.

    Will studied music performance at the University of Akron, later also earning his B.S. in Journalism from Kent State University, as well as an Master's in Education from The Ohio State University. In addition to teaching, he also does wind arranging, drill design and percussion arranging for band programs in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Virginia.

    Will's performance experience began in November of 1999 when he joined the 13th place Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps as a contra player. During his years in the corps, he was contra section leader, as well as a soloist on both contra and lead baritone. In 2005, he aged out as a contra player in DCI's top 5—still with the Bluecoats.

    Will has also performed with the Billboard-charting band Company of Thieves on trombone, and has been an active studio and live drummer in numerous hip-hop, jazz and soul outfits. He is currently leading a biomechanics research team under Dr. Joe Allison, dedicated to a more in-depth understanding of human health and physiology and its interplay with applied visual techniques. The team plans to publish its research in the spring of 2014.


    Will Wells

     
    Blue Stars 2014 Brass Staff
    Sep 26, 2012 9:16 PM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

    The Blue Stars are very excited to announce the Brass Staff for the 2014 season. Returning staff include: Emery D. Craig – Caption Head, Dr. Aaron Witek – Trumpet, Chris Rugila – Mellophone, Kris Hammond – Mellophone, Equipment Manager, Brent Schooley – Tuba, Alberto Ocasio – Tuba

    Joining the team this year are: John Blickwedehl – Trumpet, John Blickwedehl – Trumpet, Chris Allen – Mellophone, and Michael Villano – Baritone/Euphonium.

    "Emery and his team did an outstanding job developing our brass program in 2013 and we're extremely excited to see him build upon that foundation in 2014," said Corps Director Russ Gavin. ""I can't wait to work with these outstanding educators, performers, and musicians this season."

    2014 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2014 season will be at four different locations across the United States during November and December 2013. Visit the audition sign-up page to register to attend one of the audition camps.



    Emery D. Craig – Caption Head



    Emery Craig is returning for his second year serving as caption head leading the Blue Stars brass program. Emery studied music education at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI and focused on bass trombone under Dr. Donald Babcock. His drum corps performance career includes the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps from Canton, OH. Having marched baritone he was awarded Outstanding Rookie Brass aging out in 2003. Emery has been on the brass staff at Bluecoats for the 2008-2012 seasons. In 2012, Emery served as Brass Co-Caption Head.

    For over 14 years, Emery has taught several bands and marching ensembles including stints with Dutch Boy Drum & Bugle Corps. He has performed with several bands, orchestras and musicals, along with the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra of Plymouth, MI. Many students study privately under him focusing on low brass performance. Emery is an active music adjudicator, clinician and consultant.

    Emery has served as assistant marching band director at the nationally recognized Plymouth-Canton Educational Park in Canton, MI. Currently, he is the Music Coordinator and Brass Caption Head. The Plymouth-Canton high school marching band has been a consistent Bands of America Grand National finalist and is a 3 time Grand National champion. The marching band also holds over 20 state championship titles.

    Emery is a native of Canton Michigan now residing in Ypsilanti. He is honored to be a part of the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps and looks forward to many prosperous years with the corps!



    Dr. Aaron Witek – Trumpet



    Dr. Aaron Witek is the Instructor of Trumpet at the University of Louisiana at Monroe where his duties include teaching Applied Trumpet, Music Enjoyment for non-majors, and performing with the faculty ensemble in residence called Black Bayou Brass. He earned a Doctorate of Music in Trumpet Performance from Florida State University where he also completed his Master of Music in Performance. In addition, he received his Bachelor of Music in Education degree at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. His principal teachers have included Christopher Moore, Bryan Goff, John Ellis, and Alex Jokopi.

    Dr. Witek maintains an active performance and clinician schedule. He currently is the Principal Trumpet in the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, Second Chair of the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Orchestra, and has performed with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Albany Georgia Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of Northern New York. Also, in 2008 he founded tallaBRASSee, a professional brass quintet that plays regularly in northern Florida and has been featured at the Florida Music Educator's Association Convention in Tampa. He has been active in numerous competitions including winning an International Trumpet Guild Scholarship and first place in the Historic Division of the National Trumpet Competition.

    Before moving to Monroe, Witek served on the faculty for the Florida State University (FSU) Summer Camps and assisted in teaching the FSU trumpet studio. While at Florida State University he directed the FSU trumpet ensemble - a group that in 2011 won second place at the National Trumpet Competition and, in 2012, was a finalist. Students of his have won International Trumpet Guild Scholarships and placed as finalists in the FSU Trumpet Solo Competition. In 2011, Witek was recognized and awarded the Florida State University Teaching Achievement Award. He maintains an active clinician schedule and has adjudicated the International Trumpet Guild Youth Competition as well as the FSU Tri-State Band Festival. He has been involved with the marching arts activity since 2001 as an instructor and designer. Witek is excited to be working with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps for his second year.



    John Blickwedehl – Trumpet



    John Blickwedehl is joining the Blue Stars brass team for his first season. John is a native of Western New York and a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory in Oberlin, OH where he graduated Pi Kappa Lambda and was named a Presser Scholar in recognition of his excellence and merit in music education. Mr. Blickwedehl also holds a Masters degree in Music Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia.

    Mr. Blickwedehl has been director of bands at West Seneca West Senior High School since 2001.  During his tenure the concert band, wind ensemble and marching band have consistently received outstanding ratings at festivals and contests.  The West Seneca Marching Band is a three time New York State Large School 3 Class Champions 2009-2011, 2010 Liberty Bowl Field Show winners and the 2008 Lakeshore Marching Band Association Class AA Champions.

    Mr. Blickwedehl started his drum corps career with the Glassmen Drum and Bugle corps from Toledo, OH where he marched in 1996, 1997 and 1999.   After teaching on the Staff of the Syracuse Brigadiers in 2001 he then served as brass caption head of the DCA World Champion Empire Statesmen Drum and Bugle Corps from Rochester, NY in 2004 in 2005. John resides in West Seneca, NY with his wife Jennifer, daughter Anna and son Cameron.



    Chris Allen – Mellophone



    Chris Allen is joining the brass staff for his first season. Chris is the Director of Orchestras at Joe E. Newsome High School in Lithia, Florida. He has previously served as an adjunct faculty member at Blake Fine Arts High School and has spent six years as an elementary music teacher.

    Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Horn Performance from the University of South Florida and is a member of the French horn section of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. He is very active as a freelance horn player and has played with the Walt Disney World Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, and The Florida Orchestra.

    Chris has been active in the drum and bugle corps activity for over 15 years. He marched with the Cadets of Bergen County then served as a brass technician and as brass caption head for the Glassmen of Toledo, Ohio from 1997 to 2003. Chris also served as brass caption head for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2005 season. In 2012 and 2013 he was on the brass staff for the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps.

    Chris and his lovely wife Melissa currently reside in Valrico, Florida where they enjoy the company of their two children Briana and Joshua.



    Chris Rugila – Mellophone



    Chris Rugila is currently the Director of Bands at Blythewood High School in Blythewood, SC, a position he has held since 2013. Prior to his arrival at Blythewood Mr. Rugila was the Director of Bands at South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, NC and Decatur High School and Middle School in Decatur, MI.  Chris graduated Cum Laude from Eastern Michigan University earning a B.A. in Music Education.

    While at EMU he performed in the Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Marching Band, Symphony Orchestra, Collegium Musicum, and the Huron River Brass Quintet.  In addition to his public school experience, Chris spent two years as a performer with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps during the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

    He began his drum corps instructional career as a brass instructor with the Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps in 2005. He continued on the brass staff at Phantom Regiment during 2008 and 2009, and with the Atlanta CorpsVets in 2010. In 2011 he was a member of the administration team at Carolina Crown.  Chris joined the brass staff at Blue Stars in 2013 returning for his second season with the corps.  

    Chris is an active adjudicator in the marching arts activity. He holds professional affiliations with National Association for Music Education and the South Carolina Band Directors Association. Chris resides in Columbia, SC with his wife Anna and two daughters Norah and Chloe.



    Kris Hammond – Mellophone, Equipment Manager



    A freelance musician in Chicago, IL, Kris Hammond was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1996, he moved to Greenville, SC and attended the Fine Arts Center in 2000. He earned his BM in trumpet performance from Florida State University, his MM in trumpet performance and literature from Northwestern University, and his primary teachers have been Dr. Christopher Moore, Charles Geyer, Barbara Butler, and Christopher Martin.

    In 2001, Mr. Hammond served in the U.S. Navy as trumpet instrumentalist assigned to the "7th Fleet Band" in Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa, Japan. He rode upon the flag-ship USS Blue-Ridge and traveled to more than 14 countries in the South Pacific as lead trumpet in the big band and brass quintet. While in Japan, he also served as co-principal trumpet on joint concerts with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. When Honorably Discharged in 2005, he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

    While a student at FSU he was a finalist in the Graduate Division of the National Trumpet Competition [NTC] in Fairfax, VA in 2008. In the summer of 2009, he was on the faculty for the FSU Summer Music Camp wherein he taught private lessons, gave masterclasses, and played solo recitals.

    Hammond was a full-time member and principal trumpet of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) from 2010 to 2012. Led by the principal conductor, Cliff Colnot, the Civic Orchestra performed major works at the Symphony Center and throughout the Chicagoland area under distinctive guest conductors including Riccardo Muti, Sir Andrew Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Robertson, Xian Zhang, Jaap van Zweden, Edwin Outwater, Erik Nielsen, Alastair Willis, Susanna Mälkki, and Sir Mark Elder.

    Hammond will return and is excited for a second year as a brass staff member of the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps (La Crosse, WI). In 2012, the Blue Stars returned to the elite "Top 12" status. He was a member of the brass staff with the DCI Division II finalist, Teal Sound Drum and Bugle Corps (Jacksonville, FL) in 2006. In 2008, he was a member of the brass staff for Spokane Thunder Drum and Bugle Corps (Spokane, WA). During their summer tour portion, he assumed duties as brass caption head. The corps was awarded "Most Improved Corps," had their first finals appearance and highest score in the corps' history, and achieved a 4th place horn line with only 18 members. In 2011, he served as brass caption head with Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps (Milwaukee, WI) for a portion of their tour.

    He currently teaches lessons, arranges, and freelances in the Chicagoland area. He is a founding member and a director of the New Chicago Brass. www.newchicagobrass.com



    Visit his website at: www.kristoferhammond.com.



    Michael Villano – Baritone/Euphonium



    Michael Villano is excited to join the brass team for his first season. Michael studied music education at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he also studied trombone with Professor M. Dee Stewart.

    Michael's drum corps experience includes performing with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps for the 2010-2013 seasons. During his tenure he held the positions of section leader, horn sergeant and soloist. At Drum Corps International Individual and Ensemble Competition, Michael finished first place in the brass ensemble and trombone solo categories.

    Currently, Michael is on staff for the Sound of North Marching Band at Columbus North High School in Columbus, Indiana. An active member of the Alpha Zeta chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Michael has held the position of Vice President of Programs for two years.



    Brent Schooley – Tuba



    Returning for his second season, Brent Schooley is originally from Ypsilanti, MI. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a concentration of music education and tuba performance. Brent was a member of the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps from 1998-2001 and served in the United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps "Commandant's Own" from 2001-2005.

    Brent has been teaching marching band and the drum corps activity for over ten years. His experience includes: Syracuse Brigadiers 2002-2003, Marine Drum & Bugle Corps 2004-2005, Capital Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps 2009, Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps 2010 and Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps 2012.

    Currently, Brent works as a freelance performer, lesson teacher and marching band instructor for University of Texas at Arlington. Brent lives in Ft Worth, TX with his wife Cherie.



    Alberto Ocasio – Tuba



    Alberto Ocasio is from Bedford, Texas. He has completed coursework at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas finishing at North Texas with a degree in Music Education and a concentration in tuba performance. At North Texas, Alberto has studied tuba under the guidance of Professor Donald Little and Dr. Jesse Orth. He has performed in many of the university's ensembles. These include the Brass Band, Green Brigade, Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble, and concert bands.

     

    Alberto was a member of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps for 5 seasons, performing in the tuba section from 2006-2010 and serving as section leader in 2010. He has been a marching band instructor in the DFW and Denton area for the past 4 years, teaching at L.D. Bell High School from 2009-2012 and John H. Guyer High School from 2011-2012.

    Alberto is incredibly excited to be a part of the family in his second season with the Blue Stars.

     
    Blue Stars 2014 Percussion Staff
    Sep 26, 2012 9:11 PM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

    The Blue Stars are very excited to announce the Percussion Staff for the 2014 season. Returning staff include: Eric Shriver - Caption Head, Ted Leith - Snare Instructor, Brian Reilly – Tenor Instructor, David Miranda - Bass Instructor, Geoff Watkins – Bass Instructor, Matthew Hernandez
 - Front Ensemble Coordinator, and Jonathan Zuniga
 - Front Ensemble Instructor

    Joining the team are: Nathan Medina-Snare Instructor, Adam Norris-Tenor Instructor, and Hector Prado-Front Ensemble Instructor.

    "Eric Shriver and his team did an outstanding job last season of setting a tone of excellence and excitement for the Blue Stars' percussion program," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "I'm thrilled to have this team back along with John Mapes and Ian Grom and can't wait to see where they take the program in 2014."

    2014 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2014 season will be at four different locations across the United States during November and December 2013. Visit the audition sign-up page to register to attend one of the audition camps.



    Eric Shriver - Caption Head



    Eric Shriver is a full-time percussion educator based in the Southern California area, returning for his second season as Percussion Caption Head for the Blue Stars. He received his Bachelor's of Arts - Music degree from California Polytechnic University (Pomona, CA).

    Prior to Blue Stars, Eric served as Snare Tech/Battery Instructor for Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps from 2009-2012. Eric has been on staff with Pulse Percussion Ensemble assuming several different roles: originally he was the Snare Tech from 2008-2009, then took a much larger responsibility as Battery/Ensemble Coordinator from 2010-2012 (earning 1 WGI World Championship and two WGI Bronze medals), and more recently has been on staff as Ensemble Consultant from 2013-present. Currently, he is the Percussion Director at Rowland HS (Rowland Heights, CA), Monrovia HS (Monrovia, CA) and Alvarado IS (Rowland Heights, CA), and Battery Instructor at Chino HS (Chino, CA).

    Eric's performance experience consisted of such programs as: Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (section leader), Pulse Percussion (section leader), Black Knights Indoor Drumline, Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps, and RCC Marching Band.

    Eric is proud to be a Remo Educational Artist, and an active member of the WGI Advisory Board. He currently lives in Chino Hills, CA.


    Thomas Edward Leith, Jr. (Ted) - Snare Instructor



    Ted showed an aptitude and love of all things percussion at an early age. His dad was his first drum set and snare drum teacher starting at age four. Private lessons and high school and college band prepared him for the challenge and excitement of playing snare in DCI's Oregon Crusaders (2006), and the Cavaliers (2007, 2008). His love of competition, drumming and entertainment continued to grow and was enhanced as he performed in WGI's Rhythm X from 2007-2010.

    Ted coupled his love of traveling with drumming as he played and toured with Aimachi Marching Band (2008) based in Nagoya, Japan and Top Secret Drum Corps (2008-2010) based in Basel, Switzerland. During the 2009 summer season, Ted performed in the entertainment percussion group "Riptide" at SeaWorld San Diego.

    Ted moved to Ohio to assume the position of battery tech for the 2010 season of the Miami University-Ohio marching band and was the percussion instructor with Redline Independent World Class Percussion Ensemble based in Canton, MI during the 2010 WGI season. Also in 2010, Ted became the Percussion Caption Head and a private instructor for Citrus Family Project, sponsored by Dynasty, traveling and working in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Currently, Ted is the Director of Percussion at Centerville High School (Centerville, Ohio); Snare Technician for RhythmX Indoor Percussion Ensemble; and Battery Coordinator for the Miami University Band program (Oxford, Ohio).

    The 2014 season will be Ted's second season working with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps.


    Nathan Medina – Snare Instructor



    While starting his marching career at Rancho Cucamonga High School, Nathan turned his attention to the drum corps world at the age of 14, marching with Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps in 2005 and 2006, where the corps earned the 2006 Division III Championship and the High Percussion Caption Award.

    Nathan then joined the prestigious ranks of the Santa Clara Vanguard as a snare drummer in 2007 and 2008 under the instruction of Mike Jackson, Micah Hardwick, Murray Gusseck and Brian Mason – earning the 2008 Outstanding Visual Award. He further expanded his reach into the drum corps scene by performing with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps from 2009-2011, earning the 2010 DCI Bronze Medal and the 2010 Outstanding Visual Award under the instruction of Tom Rarick, Mike Jackson, Brad Palmer, Eric Shriver and Tim Jackson.

    Nathan's three-year participation as section leader with the WGI Independent World ensemble Pulse Percussion ended with the ensemble earning its first WGI World Championship in the Percussion Independent World category in 2010, and the WGI World Championship Bronze Medal in 2011. On the teaching side of things, Nathan has served as the Battery/Snare instructor for Ayala High School from 2008-2011, whom would also go on to earn their very first WGI World Championship in the Percussion Scholastic World category in 2010, and the WGI World Championship Bronze medal in 2012.

    Presently Nathan remains active as a designer, instructor and writer for the 2012 SCPA Percussion Scholastic A Gold Medalist and 2013 SCPA Percussion Scholastic A Silver Medalist, Etiwanda High School. The 2013 SCPA Percussion Scholastic Open Bronze Medalist Valencia High School and Colony High School. Aside from teaching high school, he was also the snare technician for the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2012-2013 seasons.

    He currently attends Cal Poly Pomona, studying for his major in Business Management. Nathan is a proud endorser of Remo Drum Heads and currently resides in Rancho Cucamonga, CA


    Adam Norris – Tenor Instructor



    Adam Norris is a new to the Blue Stars percussion staff for the 2014 season, and comes to us from Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Recently, he completed a Bachelor's degree in Music Education at Eastern Kentucky University. He studied intensely under Professor Jason Koontz during his time at EKU, where he was an active member of many performing ensembles such as: EKU Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, Symphonic and Concert Bands, Symphony Orchestra, and Jazz Band. Adam has received the opportunity to travel and perform with many ensembles around the country and abroad, including multiple performances India with Global Rhythms: Moxie. He has played alongside globally acclaimed artists such as David Longfellow, Lord Relator of Trinidad, and steel pan virtuoso Andy Narell.

    As well as this concert experience, Adam has an extensive marching background. Starting his career in 2008, he marched quads with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. For the next two seasons (2009-2010) Adam performed with the Bluecoats quadline, aging out in 2010. For WGI, Adam is an alumni of Rhythm X, marching quads in 2010 and aging out in 2011.

    Adam's marching percussion teaching experience includes 2011-2013 with the Phantom Regiment drum and bugle corps, 2013-present with Rhythm X, and various high schools in the Dayton, OH area.

    Currently, Adam studies with Dr. William Albin and Michael LaMattina at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio as a Graduate Assistant, pursuing a Master's degree in Percussion Performance.


    Brian Reilly - Tenor Instructor



    Brian Reilly is originally from Naperville, Illinois. He recently graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor's degree in Economics. Brian's drum corps career began in 2007 with the Madison Scouts tenor line, and ended in 2011 with the Santa Clara Vanguard. In 2009, he served as the tenor section leader for the Madison Scouts. During his years of drum corps, he was fortunate enough to be instructed by individuals such as Paul Rennick, Roger Carter, Casey Brohard, Ryan Anderson, Paul Weber, Scott Simon, Mike Hodges, and more.

    In the summer of 2012, Brian had the privilege of being a part of the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets percussion staff. He has also instructed for numerous schools in the Midwest, including Kennedy High School – Cedar Rapids, Naperville Central High School, Victor J Andrew High School, and Concord Community High School.

    Brian is very excited to be back again with the Blue Stars Percussion staff after an exciting 2013 season!


    David Miranda - Bass Instructor



    David showed a huge interest in music as a young child with the help of his father, who was a gigging guitarist, bassist, singer, and pianist. He immediately became fascinated by the art of percussion while at Warren High school in Downey, CA. There he performed as the timpanist in the wind ensemble, drum set in the jazz ensemble, and snare drum for the marching band.

    David's drum corps experience consists of SoCal Dream 2004, Pacific Crest 2005 and 2006, Santa Clara Vanguard 2008, and aged out at Phantom Regiment in 2009. His indoor percussion experience included playing bass drum for Pulse Percussion from 2007-2010 (section leader 2009-2010).

    His teaching experience includes over 15 high schools in southern California since 2006. His current schools include Rancho Cucamonga High School, Upland High School, and Alta Loma High School. He began writing drill for Rancho Cucamonga HS, where they made finals in WGI in Scholastic World Class, and silver medalists in SCPA in Scholastic Open Class in 2012. In the drum corps activity, he has served as a bass tech for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010, Santa Clara Vanguard in 2011, and Blue Stars in 2013. He was also the bass tech for Pulse Percussion from 2011-2013.

    David has also had the privilege to work on television, appearing on the Season 5 finale of America's Best Dance Crew, along with several other professional performance opportunities.


    Geoff Watkins – Bass Instructor



    Geoff Watkins is a college student living in Murfreesboro, TN as well as an alumni member of the Blue Stars. He was born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut where he began his marching career in 2004 as a bottom bass drummer in the Norwalk High School Marching Band. He played bass drum and snare drum in the high school's fall and winter drumlines and graduated in 2008. He first started marching in the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps from 2006-2009. Geoff then went on to play bass drum for the Blue Stars 2010-2011 as well as Bluecoats in 2012.

    In 2011, Geoff moved to Murfreesboro TN as a member of Music City Mystique where he now attends Middle Tennessee State University as a psychology major. He was a bass drummer for Mystique from 2011-2013, and now is a member of the staff at MCM. Geoff is very excited to return to the Blue Stars for a second season on the percussion staff!


    Matthew Hernandez – Front Ensemble Supervisor



    Matthew Hernandez began his marching career with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2005 and 2006 in the front ensemble. He was then a member of the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps from 2007-2009 performing both in the front ensemble (07) and battery (Quads 08 and section leader 09). He finished his DCI performance career with the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps in the front ensemble as the xylophonist in 2010 and 2011.

    Matthew was also a member of the WGI Independent World ensemble Riverside Community College in the front ensemble from 2011-2012 where he played xylophone as well. Matthew has had the privilege over his DCI and WGI career to learn from some of the greatest educators the activity has to offer, including: Jim Wunderlich, Brian Dinkel, Jack Mizutani, Scott Johnson, Sean Vega, Tyler Dempsey, Max Mullinix, Jeff Queen, Damon Grant, Nicole Monte-Moyer and Jack Mansager.

    Matthew is currently finishing his Music Education Degree with Teaching Certification from Texas A&M University - Kingsville studying under Randy Fluman. He has been a performer in all of the top ensembles including the Wind Symphony and Percussion ensemble, both ensembles being frequent performers at the Texas Music Educators Association convention. Matthew is a composer/arranger instructor and consultant for many high schools and universities across Southern California and South Texas, as well as Virginia and Utah. He is currently the battery coordinator for Texas A&M University - Kingsville and is a currently employee of Wunderpit Music (wunderpitmusic.com).

    This is Matthew's 2nd year as Front Ensemble Coordinator for the Blue Stars. He is beyond excited to continue to build off of last season's successes and help contribute to another memorable season in the corps history.


    Hector Prado – Front Ensemble Instructor



    Hector is a front ensemble instructor from the Southern California area. Following high school, he started performing with the RCC winter drumline in the front ensemble, as a member from 2008-2012. Continuing into DCI, Hector went on to perform with the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, where he was in the front ensemble for three years from 2009-2011.

    Following his ageout seasons, he dedicates most of his time teaching several schools in Southern California. Currently Hector is the Front Ensemble instructor at: Rowland HS (Rowland Heights,CA), Woodbridge HS (Irvine,CA), Alvarado Intermdiate School (Rowland Heights,CA), and Monrovia HS (Monrovia,CA).

    Hector currently lives in Riverside,CA.


    Jonathan Zuniga – Front Ensemble Instructor



    Jonathan Zuniga is an instructor and composer from Southern California and recently became the Marketing Director for Box Six. He has worked with several WGI indoor ensembles including Pulse Percussion since 2010, Los Alamitos High School since 2011, and Chino Hills Winter Drumline since 2012. He also teaches and arranges at Orange Lutheran High School, alongside with Glen Crosby, starting Orange County's only scholastic Afro-Cuban Music Ensemble that plays locally and with professional musicians from the area. His instructional experience in DCI includes Academy 2011, Cadets 2012, and the Blue Stars in 2013.

    Jonathan's performance experience includes the Arizona Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, RCC Winter Drumline and the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps. He is a member of the Vic Firth Educational team.

    Jonathan lives in Fullerton, CA.


     
    Blue Stars 2013 Design Team
    Sep 9, 2012 11:38 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce the design team for the corps' 2013 season. Joining the team will be: Richard Saucedo, brass composer/arranger; John Mapes, percussion composer/arranger; Ian Grom, percussion composer/arranger; and Tim Fairbanks, drill designer. Returning to the Blue Stars for his sixth season will be Michael Shapiro as color guard designer and choreographer. Fred Feeney will move from a consultant into the role of program coordinator.

    "There are simply not enough superlatives to describe the talents and experience of this amazing group of designers," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "I speak for the entire organization when I say we are incredibly excited to see what this team can create for the members and fans of the 2013 Blue Stars."

    Richard L. Saucedo - Brass Composer and Arranger
    Richard Saucedo is a name well known in drum corps, and we are extremely excited to announce him as brass composer and arranger for the Blue Stars. In this role, Mr. Saucedo will be instrumental in creating an exciting, challenging and audience appealing program for the corps and its members.

    Mr. Saucedo is currently the Director of Bands and Department Chairman at the William H. Duke Center for the Performing Arts at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana. Under his direction, Carmel bands have received numerous state and national honors in the areas of concert band, jazz band and marching band. Richard is an in-demand freelance arranger and composer, having released numerous marching band arrangements, concert band works and choral compositions.

    Mr. Saucedo travels throughout the country as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor for concert band, jazz band, marching band, and orchestra. He has been a featured clinician for the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, the Texas Music Educators Association, the Arkansas Bandmasters Association, the Colorado Music Educators Association, the California Music Educators Association, the North Dakota Music Educators Association, The Virginia Music Educators Association and the Indiana Music Educators Association. He has served as Music Caption Head for the Drum Corps Midwest Judges Guild and was a music judge for Drum Corps International. Mr. Saucedo served as the brass composer/arranger for the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps in Rosemont, Illinois from 2000 through 2008. The Cavaliers won the DCI World Championship five times during Mr. Saucedo's tenure.

    Read Richard Saucedo's biography

    Michael Shapiro - Color Guard Designer and Choreographer
    Returning for his sixth year with the Blue Stars, Michael Shapiro will again surprise and delight with his unique and inspired color guard choreography and design. His incredible imagination has been the driving force behind some of the corps' greatest moments, and the entire design team is excited to work with him on creating a program like none other.

    Mr. Shapiro began his marching career with the Spirit of Atlanta and also performed with the Madison Scouts, and Alliance of Miami. He went on to teach and write for Alliance, as well as many other drum corps and winter guard ensembles. Shapiro's DCI and WGI teaching experience is extensive, and includes Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, The Crossmen, Carroll High School, The Company, Crown Guard, Mayflower (UK), and many other talented organizations.

    Michael received his undergraduate degree in education from the University of Miami, and currently resides in West Hollywood, CA and teaches many ensembles in the Southern California area. He is the founder and director of the Corona winter guards.

    Read Michael Shapiro's full biography

    John Mapes and Ian Grom - Percussion Composers and Arrangers
    John Mapes and Ian Grom are becoming a juggernaut in the marching percussion world, with their group claiming medalist status on a regular basis in WGI, DCI, and throughout marching band circuits across the country. The Blue Stars are thrilled to have this creative duo as part of our team, and know our members and fans will be delighted by the engaging nature of their compositions.

    John Mapes is a full-time percussion educator, writer and visual designer involved in teaching more than 20 high school and independent percussion programs in Southern California since 1997. He received his Bachelor of Arts in percussion from California State University, Long Beach in the spring of 2000. His marching experience includes the Velvet Knights and Pacific Crest drum and bugle corps. He currently has more than ten years of drum corps teaching/design experience and an unprecedented 22 WGI medals since 2005.

    He started with the Pulse Percussion independent world ensemble behind the scenes in the winter of 2008 as an arranger, and within 3 short years helped take the ensemble to its first PIW Gold Medal in 2010 as the program coordinator, battery arranger and visual designer. The organization started a second ensemble in 2011 that medaled its first year in the Independent Open division, and was a world-class finalist it's second year.

    From 2007-2012 Mr. Mapes was the percussion arranger for the Blue Devil B Corps. After two years the corps became the DCI Open Class champions and are the DCI Open Class high percussion winners from 2009-2012. He was the Battery Arranger/ Percussion Caption Head for the Esperanza Drum and Bugle Corps from San Diego, CA from 2002-2006, winning the Division II title in 2003 and moving to World Class in 2004.

    Read John Mapes' full biography

    Ian Grom is a performer, composer and educator based out of Southern California. He received his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from California State University, Long Beach, where he specialized in drum set, marimba and composition.

    As an educator and composer in the marching percussion world, Mr. Grom's ensembles have won an unprecedented 22 WGI medals since 2005. He has been the front ensemble caption head/composer for Chino Hills High School from 2009-the present. Chino Hills is a three-time WGI World Class medalist, taking the PSW Bronze in 2009, the PSW Silver medal in 2010 and the PSW Gold medal in 2012. He taught at Pacifica HS from 2005-2011 starting their streak of seven consecutive PSO WGI medals.

    Mr. Grom also started with Pulse Percussion behind the scenes in the winter of 2008 as the front ensemble composer. Within 3 short years he helped take the ensemble to the 2010 PIW Gold Medal. Starting in the summer of 2009, he has worked as the electronics arranger/front ensemble consultant with the Cadets Drum and Bugle corps. Mr. Grom began writing for winds in 2006 and now composes the fall productions for multiple high schools across the country. His use of original music, cutting-edge technology, and innovative show concepts have made him one of the most sought-after composers on the national marching scene.

    Some of Mr. Grom's performance highlights include: numerous live, prime-time appearances on the hit CBS television show Survivor; opening for Aerosmith with Canadian artist Christa Borden; and playing on the soundtrack to the box office smash "The Grudge." He composed a 6-piece music library called "Fightin' U" for winds and percussion commissioned by Killer Tracks. The library is now licensed regularly to ESPN and Fox Sports. Mr. Grom also composed and worked directly with the choreographers for the season 5 finale of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew which also featured his ensemble, Pulse Percussion.

    Read Ian Grom's full biography

    Tim Fairbanks - Drill Designer
    Tim Fairbanks is well known within the DCI, WGI and BOA activities. His groups have set standards in performance and creativity, and he is sought out internationally as a visual and show designer throughout the drum corps, indoor percussion and marching band arenas. The Blue Stars are delighted to have a designer of Mr. Fairbanks calibre on the team, and his talents will help to make every section of the ensemble shine.

    Mr. Fairbanks has taught at Centerville HS (OH) since 1997, serving as the Marching Percussion Director until 2011. He is currently the Drill Designer for the Centerville marching band and indoor drumline, where his groups are consistent National Finalists at BOA Grand National Championships and Scholastic World Finalists at the WGI World Championships. Centerville is the 1999 Scholastic Open Champion and 2004 WGI Scholastic World Champion.

    Mr. Fairbanks is the Program Coordinator and Visual Designer for Rhythm X, the 2008 and 2009 WGI Independent World Class Champions, and was the Drill Designer for the Bluecoats from Canton, OH from 2009-2011. He is a designer and clinician for The Senators Drum and Bugle Corps (Eastleigh, England), and Aimachi Indoor Percussion (Nagoya, Japan). Tim is the Vice President of Percussion for WGI Sport of the Arts, serving on the WGI Board of Director's Executive Committee, in addition to membership on the WGI Percussion Advisory Board and Steering Committee.

    Read Tim Fairbanks' full biography

    Fred Feeney - Program Coordinator
    Fred Feeney has been involved with the Blue Stars as an administrative, staff, and design consultant since the Blue Stars' return to World Class competition in 2006. We are delighted Mr. Feeney has agreed to oversee the design process of the corps' 2013 program and help our incredible design team see their visions come to life on the field.

    A former member of the Blue Stars in the late 70's and staff member in the early 80's, Fred served on the WGI Task Force for several years before spending 12 years as Chief Judge for Winter Guard International. He is currently a member of the WGI Board of Directors. He has also been the Chief Judge of the Gulfcoast Judges Association, an organization that services four different color guard and indoor percussion circuits throughout the Southeast, for over 20 years. In addition to his work judging for WGI, he has also judged for DCI and various band circuits across the country.

    Read Fred Feeney's full biography

    2013 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2013 season will be at four different locations across the United States during November and December 2012. For detailed information, visit the audition sign-up page at bluestars.org.

     
    A Note of Thanks from the Executive Director
    Aug 31, 2012 2:21 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Change is a constant in the drum and bugle corps activity, as groups seek to find the perfect, magical combination of talent, inspiration, and chemistry in instructional and design teams. Sometimes these changes are corps initiated, sometimes staff member initiated. Often when these changes occur the focus is on what's going to happen in the future, and we don't take the time to acknowledge those who have contributed to our past success. I would like to recognize the incredible work of a few individuals who have been integral to the Blue Stars' accomplishments over the past few years.

    Frank Sullivan
    When the Blue Stars reentered World Class competition in 2006, we did so with Frank Sullivan as our arranger. I still remember sitting in my kitchen in the fall of 2005 listening to the midi file of "The Gift of Freedom" and smiling from ear-to-ear as I realized we were in great hands. Frank's score for that first show was everything we needed it to be: powerful, melodic, listenable, and most importantly, memorable. These musical traits would be infused in all of his compositions for the Blue Stars, and helped to define our image as musical storytellers.

    Frank always delivered the perfect music to complement the story we were telling on the field: the sweeping French countryside, the solemn heartbreak of a lost soldier, the mystery surrounding the world's foremost illusionist, the driving, aggressive soundtrack for an international secret agent, and the sounds of the deep, blue oceans - all brought to life on a football field. To hear his musical scores was to hear a show concept brilliantly envisioned in creative, unexpected and beautiful ways.

    If Frank's writing was his only contribution to the Blue Stars, it would be enough to cement him as a first ballot Blue Stars Hall of Fame member. It is, however, only half the story. Frank is also an incredible teacher who devoted himself to the improvement of the corps' brass section and entire drum corps. To have Frank Sullivan in front of the corps was to know you were going to get better. His positive energy and endless knowledge made rehearsals productive and fun for everyone on the field, in the box and even in the stands.

    While Frank will no longer be active in the day-to-day workings of the Blue Stars, he will continue as a trusted advisor to the organization. Most importantly, he will be always be considered a friend of mine and the Blue Stars. Words cannot express the gratitude that I personally have for Frank's contributions to the corps, so I simply and humbly say "Thank You."

    Tom Aungst and Neil Larrivee
    Tom and Neil joined the Blue Stars as advisors in 2009 and took over the percussion caption in the 2010 season. Having these two percussion legends in our organization has been not only a boon to our percussion program, but also to our entire drum corps. Often in this activity you don't know what you don't know, and Tom and Neil have been integral in refining and streamlining our operations and providing our membership with a world class experience that will live well into the future.

    On the field, we received everything we hoped for and more from their expertise. The percussion sections were aggressive and technically proficient, with that signature Aungst sound and style. The running joke each year as the percussion score was released to the membership was that he had finally done it. He finally managed to get all the notes into the show! Thank you to both Tom and Neil for your hard work and dedication to making the Blue Stars' percussion program a success.

    Finally, I would like extend my gratitude for the tremendous work and commitment of Myron Rosander, Ralph Stewart, Ryan Mohney, and all of the 2012 staff members for their dedication to the Blue Stars. Your talents and skills were on display every day, and our organization is stronger for having worked with you.

    As we head into the 2013 season we will see different leadership and talents heading several of our captions from both writing and instructional positions. In the coming days we will begin making announcements about the exciting new staff, but please join me in thanking Frank, Tom, Neil and the other dedicated staff members who have helped to create memorable experiences for the Blue Stars, our members and our fans.

    Sincerely,
    Brad Furlano
    Executive Director

     
    2013 Tour Schedule & Housing Information
    Aug 25, 2012 5:24 PM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

    IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

    2013 Member Tour Manual

    Tour Mail Drops



    May 24 - July 13 : Spring Training to DCI Minnesota


    View Blue Stars Tour 2013 in a larger map

      DATE LOCATION EVENT DISTANCE* HOUSING
    May 24 - June 12 Forest City, Iowa Spring Training - Waldorf College - Waldorf College
    106 S. 6th Street
    Forest City, IA
    June 13 - June 20 La Crosse, WI Spring Training 186 Sparta High School
    506 N Black River St
    Sparta, WI 54656
    June 21 Rockford, IL Show of Shows 177 Durand High School
    200 W South St.
    Durand, IL 61024
    June 22 Merrillville, IN Merrillville Music Festival 127 Providence Catholic High School
    1800 W Lincoln HWY
    New Lenox, IL 60451
    June 23 Bowling Green, OH Glassmen All Star Review 228 Eastwood Middle School
    4800 Sugar Ridge Rd
    Pemberville, OH 43450
    June 24 Canton, MI Rehearsal/Travel Day 168 Canton High School
    8415 Canton Center Road
    Canton, Michigan 48187
    June 25 Paw Paw, MI Legends Drum Corps Preview 114 Gull Lake Middle School
    9550 East M-89
    Richland, MI 49083
    June 26 Evansville, IN Drums on the Ohio 368 FJ Reitz High School
    350 Dreier Blvd
    Evansville, IN 47712
    June 27 Evansville, IN Rehearsal/Travel Day 201 FJ Reitz High School
    350 Dreier Blvd
    Evansville, IN 47712
    June 28 Muncie, IN DCI Central Indiana 362 Pendleton Heights High School
    1 Arabian Way
    Pendleton, IN 46064
    June 29 Madison, WI Drums on Parade 204 Deerfield High School
    300 Simonson Blvd
    Deerfield, WI 53531-0288
    June 30 Rochester, MN River City Rhapsody-Rochester 199 Rochester Central Lutheran School
    2619 9th Ave NW
    Rochester, MN 55901
    July 1 Mankato, MN The Thunder of Drums 89 Mankato West Senior High School
    1351 S Riverfront Dr.
    Mankato, MN 56001
    July 2 Jackson, WI Rehearsal/Laundry Day 344 Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School
    3399 Division Rd
    Jackson, WI 53037-9707
    July 3 Cedarburg, WI Rotary Music Festival - Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School
    3399 Division Rd
    Jackson, WI 53037-9707
    July 4 Chicago, IL Fourth of July Parades:
    Niles, Skokie, Morton Grove, Illinois
    101 Oakton Community Center
    4701 Oakton St
    Skokie, IL 60076
    July 5 Whitewater, WI The Whitewater Classic 129 Deerfield High School
    300 Simonson Blvd
    Deerfield, WI 53531-0288
    July 6 Michigan City, IN Pageant of Drums 162 Chesterton High School
    2125 S 11th St.
    Chesterton, IN 46304
    July 7 Lisle, IL Cavalcade of Brass 82 Providence Catholic High School
    1800 W Lincoln HWY
    New Lenox, IL 60451
    July 8 Metamora, IL Rehearsal Days 121 Metamora Township High School
    101 West Madison Street
    Metamora, IL 61548
    July 9 Metamora, IL River City Rhapsody-Metamora 121 Metamora Township High School
    101 West Madison Street
    Metamora, IL 61548
    July 10 Metamora, IL Rehearsal Days 121 Metamora Township High School
    101 West Madison Street
    Metamora, IL 61548
    July 11 La Crosse, WI Rehearsal Day 318 Longfellow Middle School
    1900 Denton Street
    La Crosse, WI 54601
    July 12 La Crosse, WI River City Rhapsody-La Crosse - Longfellow Middle School
    1900 Denton Street
    La Crosse, WI 54601
    July 13 Minneapolis, MN DCI Minnesota 160 Irondale High School
    2425 Long Lake Rd
    New Brighton, Minnesota 55112


    July 14 - August 11: DCI Minnesota to Finals


    View Blue Stars Tour 2013 in a larger map

      DATE LOCATION EVENT DISTANCE* HOUSING
    July 14 Pella, IA Rehearsal/Travel Day 282 Pella Community High School
    212 E. University St.
    Pella, IA 50219
    July 15 Lebannon, IL DCI St. Louis 277 Francis Howell High School
    7001 Highway 94 South
    St. Charles, MO 63304
    July 16 Bentonville, AR Music on the Move 347 Grove High School
    Ford Rd
    Grove, OK 74344
    July 17 - 18 Denton, TX DCI North Dallas 336 Aubrey High School
    510 Spring Hill Rd
    Aubrey, TX 76227
    July 19 - 21 San Antonio, TX DCI Southwestern Championship 303 Metzger Middle School
    7475 Binz-Engleman Rd
    San Antonio, TX 78244
    July 22 Lafayette, LA Drums Across Cajun Field 396 Rayne High School
    1200 N Polk St
    Rayne, LA 70578
    July 23 Ocean Springs, MS Mississippi Sound Spectacular 206 West Harrison High School
    10399 County Farm Road
    Gulfport, MS 39564
    July 24 Hattiesburg, MS DCI Southern Mississippi 43 Hancock High School
    7084 Stennis Airport Road
    Kiln, MS 39556
    July 25 Opelika, AL DCI Deep South 333 Smiths Station High School
    4228 County Road 430
    Smiths Station, AL 36877
    July 26 Smiths Station, AL Rehearsal/Travel Day - Smiths Station High School
    4228 County Road 430
    Smiths Station, AL 36877
    July 27 Huntsville, AL DCI North Alabama 199 New Hope High School
    5216 Main Dr
    New Hope, AL 35760
    July 28 Atlanta, GA DCI Atlanta Southeastern Championship 160 Carrollton High School
    202 Trojan Dr.
    Carrollton, GA 30117
    July 29 Lexington, KY Rehearsal/Travel Day 382 Lexington Christian Academy
    450 W Reynolds Rd
    Lexington, KY 40503
    July 30 Dublin, OH Emerald City Music Games 212 Dublin Scioto High School
    4000 Hard Rd.
    Dublin, OH 43016
    July 31 Erie, PA Lake Erie Fanfare 230 Maplewood Jr./Sr. High School
    30383 Guys Mills Road
    Guys Mills, PA 16327
    August 1 Rome, NY Drums Along the Mohawk 287 Strough Middle School
    801 Laurel Street
    Rome, NY 13440
    August 2 - 3 Allentown, PA DCI Eastern Classic 247 Trexler Middle School
    851 N 15th St
    Allentown, Pennsylvania 18102
    August 4 Pittsburgh, PA Three Rivers SUMMER MUSIC GAMES 282 Harrison Middle School
    129 Windvale Dr
    Pittsburgh, PA 15236
    August 8-10 Indianapolis, IN DCI World Championships 385 Sheridan High School
    24185 Hinesley Rd
    Sheridan, IN 46069
    August 11 Indianapolis, IN Blue Stars Finals Banquet 35 Indy West Conference Center
    North High School Road
    Indianapolis, IN
    PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE 2013 BANQUET
    11:00 AM to 2:00PM


    Shows and Schedule as of June 27, 2013.



      Interested in joining the corps on the road this summer? Do you live in or near one of the cities we will be traveling to?

      Please consider volunteering your time and talents to the Blue Stars this summer.
      We need volunteers to drive, cook, manage uniforms, and assist the corps down the road.

      Fill out a Volunteer Application today!



    *Please note that actual routes will vary, distances are approximate, and all dates and events are subject to change.
     
    Winner of 2012 Raffle
    Aug 14, 2012 10:08 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    The winner of $10,000 in the Blue Stars' 2012 raffle is Betty Seithel from Cincinnati, OH. Congrats, Betty!
     
    Legends Showdown: The Results
    Jul 30, 2012 10:21 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    A big thank you to everyone who donated in support of the Blue Stars and Troopers during the Legends Showdown. While this was a competition between two great organizations, there were no real losers in the end. Both drum corps received some much needed funds in support of the current and future seasons.

    The final results are:
    Blue Stars: $15,325
    Troopers: $7,926

    Fred is getting sized up for his Blue Stars' gear, and we'll be sure to get some pictures for our Facebook page.

    The Legends Showdown contest has concluded, but the need for funds has not. Use the links below to donate to the general funds of both the Blue Stars and the Troopers.

    Thanks again for your support, and we look forward to the Legends Showdown rematch in 2013!

    To donate to the Blue Stars:


    To donate to the Troopers:
     
    2012 Blue Stars Merchandise Available Online
    Jul 25, 2012 9:09 AM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)




    2012 Blue Stars merchandise is now available at our online store.

    Order now for the best selection and to get the sizes and quantities you need. Many new designs of T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and other Blue Stars gear, such as drink bottles, lanyards, bandanas, and baby bibs, to name a few.

    Show your support of your favorite corps...the Blue Stars!
     
    2013 Blue Stars Banquet Information
    Jul 17, 2012 3:16 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Celebrate the members, staff, volunteers and administration of the 2013 Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps at our annual end-of-season banquet. This final meal of the season is a wonderful opportunity for members and their families to celebrate the accomplishments of the season with staff, volunteers, and alumni.

    You won't want to miss this memorable event as we recognize all members and sections of the corps and welcome the 2013 Age-Outs into the Blue Stars Alumni Family.

    Purchase your tickets to the Blue Stars Banquet and bid a fond farewell to the 2013 Season.


    WHERE: Indy West Conference Center

    WHEN:11 am - 2 pm on Sunday, August 11


    TICKETS:

    $35 in advance

    $40 at the door






    (Note: Tickets are not mailed for this event. Patrons will be checked in at the door)





    The Banquet will be catered by Piper's Premier Catering and will include:

  • Herb Roasted Chicken

  • Braised Beef Brisket

  • Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

  • Candied Baby Carrots

  • Garlic Roasted Red Skin Potatoes

  • Tossed Salad with Honey Lemon Garlic Ranch and/or Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing

  • LOCATION INFORMATION:

    Indy West Conference Center
    400 North High School Road, Indianapolis, IN 46214


    View Larger Map



    Please contact the Blue Stars Office at 608.782.3219 if you have any additional questions.
     
    June 2012 La Crosse Appearance Schedule
    May 31, 2012 3:12 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars will take La Crosse by storm with a full 10 days of performances for our hometown fans! Make plans to see and hear the corps at these events:

    June 7: La Crosse Loggers Pre-Game
    The Blue Stars will be performing as the pre-game entertainment at the La Crosse Loggers vs. Eau Claire Express game on Thursday, June 7. For ticket information, please visit the La Crosse Loggers' website.

    June 8: Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Banquet
    Please join us at the second annual Grand Premier as we celebrate 49 years of excellence with the Blue Stars and honor the Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Last year's inaugural event was a blast for all who attended, and we hope to pack even more people into the Cargill Room next week. We have a tremendous new batch of silent auction items, and the concert by the Blue Stars is not to be missed.

    June 9: Open Rehearsal for Alumni and Fans
    Join the Blue Stars on Saturday evening to watch the corps rehearse The Blue World in Veterans Memorial Stadium at UW-L. Afterwords, many alumni will head to the Bluffside to reminisce about the "good old days."

    June 14: Onalaska Preview Show
    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to publicly debut its 2012 show, "The Blue World" at Onalaska High School in Onalaska, WI on June 14, 2012. The concert will begin at 7 pm and is free to the public. We do ask that you bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the La Crosse Hunger Task Force. The souvenir wagon will be open for business stocked with the new merchandise for 2012.

    This year's event will continue the popular design commentary segments and the Q&A session with the Executive Director, capping off the evening with the full "The Blue World" production.

     
    Blue Stars 2012 Video Player
    May 27, 2012 2:25 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    2012 Spring Training
    May 24, 2012 1:10 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    Blue Stars Present "The Blue World" in 2012
    Apr 16, 2012 1:29 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The 2012 Blue Stars are delighted to announce its 2012 production: "The Blue World." "The Blue World" is the corps' exploration of the people, creatures, myths, and legends associated with the vast oceans of the world.

    Music for "The Blue World" is comprised of works from the following composers:

    Antonin Dvorak

    Marc Streitenfeld

    Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Frank Sullivan

    Tom Aungst

    Neil Larrivee

    Download the graphics files below and show the world your love for the Blue Stars! Right click on a file to save to your computer.

    The Blue World Smartphone Wallpaper

    The Blue World Facebook Timeline Image

    The Blue World Desktop Background (1920x1080)

    The Blue World Small Graphic

     
    2012 Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Banquet
    Apr 12, 2012 3:26 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Please join us and the second annual Grand Premier as we celebrate 49 years of excellence with the Blue Stars and honor the Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Last year's inaugural event was a blast for all that attended, and we hope to pack even more people into the Cargill Room this summer. We have a tremendous new batch of silent auction items, and the concert by the Blue Stars is not to be missed.

    What: Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
    Where: Cargill Room @ The Waterfront
    When: Friday, June 8, 2012
    Cost: $50 per person
    Dinner catered by The Waterfront

    Doors Open - 5:30 pm
    Live and Silent Auctions
    Premier performance of the Blue Stars' 2012 production "The Blue World" at 7:00 pm
    Dinner will be served at 7:30 pm
    Hall of Fame Induction Presentation

    Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2012
    Joe and Avis Furlano
    Jay Severance
    Terry Thirion
    Rick Young

    For tickets, please download, print, complete the Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Invitation/RSVP.

    Completed RSVP cards and payment can be mailed to:
    Blue Stars
    PO Box 2523
    La Crosse, WI 54602

    Questions can be sent to, dawn@bluestars.org, or call the Blue Stars office at 608-782-3219.

     
    Gavin Named Blue Stars Corps Director, Weinstein Continues as Consultant
    Apr 5, 2012 1:52 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Dr. Russell Gavin has been named corps director for the Blue Stars, effective immediately. Dr. Gavin takes over the position from Howard Weinstein, who has made the decision to return to the real estate profession and his home in Florida. Weinstein and Gavin are working together with Executive Director Brad Furlano to ensure a smooth transition for the entire organization, and Weinstein will continue his association with the Blue Stars as a consultant and advisor.

    "The entire Blue Stars organization is grateful to Howard for the time and effort he has put into the corps over the past four years," said Furlano. "His dedication to the members' success has been remarkable, and there is not a doubt in my mind he has made the Blue Stars a stronger, more stable, and more enjoyable organization for our members and supporters."

    "The Blue Stars will always be a special organization to me," said Weinstein. "I look forward to helping Brad and Russ in the future and continuing my association with this great corps. The members, staff, and volunteers are second to none and 2012 promises to be a great experience for everyone associated with the Blue Stars."

    Taking over the corps director duties will be Dr. Russell Gavin, Assistant Professor of Music Education/Band at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Dr. Gavin has a long association with the Blue Stars having marched in the corps from 1994 to 1999. He was the Blue Stars' assistant corps director in 2007.

    "I'm excited to be back with the Blue Stars in an official capacity as corps director," said Gavin. "The Blue Stars were a big part of my life during high school and college, and I hope to help provide those same positive life-experiences to the current membership as I received. The entire organization has been incredibly warm in welcoming me into this new role, and I'm ready to hit the ground running on a great 2012 season.

    "I have known Russ since he was a teenager auditioning on baritone for the corps in the mid-nineties," said Furlano. "He is absolutely one of the finest individuals I have met in my life, and I'm thrilled to have him in a formal role with the Blue Stars again. Russ will be able to pick right up from Howard and provide the members, staff, and volunteers with a tremendous drum corps experience this summer and beyond."

    The Blue Stars final winter camp in preparation for the 2012 season will be held April 27 - 29 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN. The camp will be the conclusion of auditions for the corps' 2012 color guard, so all interested guard members should attend. Further information is available at bluestars.org.

     
    Welcome Back Color Guard for April 27 - 29 Camp
    Apr 2, 2012 2:45 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The RSVP form for the final winter camp of the 2012 season is now live. This camp is for all sections of the corps: brass, percussion, and color guard performers, and will be held on April 27, 28, and 29 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN.

    If you have attended one of the previous camps you can RSVP here: Blue Stars April RSVP.

    If you have not attended a previous camp, please start the audition process here: Blue Stars 2012 Audition Sign Up.

     
    2011 Tour DVD - On Sale Now!
    Mar 26, 2012 2:17 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    Blue Stars Partner With Mapex / Majestic Drums and Percussion
    Mar 21, 2012 11:16 AM (Submitted by: Bradley Harris)

    Strengthening a partnership that began last year with Jupiter Marching Brass, the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce a new partnership with KHS America. Beginning with the 2012 DCI performance season, the Blue Stars will perform exclusively on Mapex Marching Drums and Majestic Percussion.


    "KHS America and Jupiter have enjoyed being associated with Blue Stars over the past year and look forward to expanding our partnership to include Mapex and Majestic percussion instruments," says Tabor Stamper, President of KHS America, home of Jupiter, Mapex and Majestic. "The high performance standards exhibited by Blue Stars fit nicely with the goals of KHS America in providing the very best in brass and percussion instruments for today's top marching ensembles."

    Brad Furlano, the Executive Director of the Blue Stars, has been instrumental in firming up this new partnership.

    "The Blue Stars joined the KHS America team a year ago with the company's Jupiter Quantum brass instruments, and based on that experience are excited to move our percussion program to Mapex and Majestic," says Furlano. "The company's dedication to quality instrument manufacturing and absolutely top-notch service has been refreshing. We look forward to a successful and mutually beneficial partnership for many years into the future."

    One element of the partnership will feature the Blue Stars appearing in future educational and marketing efforts for both Mapex and Majestic, including educational and performance clinics, social network marketing, print advertising and tradeshow marketing.

    See the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps performing exclusively on Jupiter Marching Brass, Mapex Marching Drums and Majestic Percussion on the 2012 Drum Corps International World Class tour.

    For information on Nashville based KHS America and to learn more about their Mapex Marching Drums, Majestic Percussion, and Jupiter Marching Brass visit QuantumMarching.com.

     
    Purchase River City Rhapsody Tickets Today!
    Feb 26, 2012 12:21 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Tickets are on sale now for the River City Rhapsody drum & bugle corps competitions in La Crosse, WI; Metamora, IL; and Woodbury, MN. Don't miss your opportunity to see these three spectacular events featuring Drum Corps International's finest groups in fantastic venues.

    For tickets to River City Rhapsody - Woodbury, MN (June 23, 2012)

    For tickets to River City Rhapsody - Metamora, IL (July 11, 2012)

    For tickets to River City Rhapsody - La Crosse, WI (July 13, 2012)

     
    Nominations Being Accepted for Blue Stars Hall of Fame
    Jan 30, 2012 10:57 AM (Submitted by: Brian Whitty)

    The Blue Stars Hall of Fame committee is now accepting nominations for the Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Three new inductees will join the inaugural 2011 class:

    Frank Van Voorhis
    David Dummer
    Dr. David Kampshroer
    James Schultz
    Denise Pagonis
    Brian Whitty

    To nominate a candidate for the Blue Stars Hall of Fame, submit a letter of nomination to Brian Whitty, Blue Stars Hall of Fame Chairman, following the outline below:

    1. Include the complete name, address, home and work telephone numbers (including area code) for the candidate you are nominating (if candidate is deceased, include contact information for a close relative if possible).

    2. Explain why you feel this candidate should be considered for membership in the Blue Stars Hall of Fame. (Please limit your response to two pages or less.)

    3. Please document this person's contributions to the success of the Blue Stars and its members.

    4. In your nomination letter, include YOUR name, address, home and work phone numbers (including area code) along with your signature and the date you completed and submitted this letter. You may submit and nominate only ONE candidate per year.

    5. Contact up to four additional people and ask that they submit a letter supporting your candidate. The original letter(s) must be received on or before the Thursday, March 1, 2012 deadline.

    6. Letters may also be e-mailed as an attachment on or before Thursday, March 1, 2012.

    7. Any additional questions regarding the Blue Stars Hall of Fame or the nomination process should be addressed to Brian Whitty at the contact sources below.

    Brian Whitty
    4615 Camden Rd.
    Madison, WI 53716
    Phone: 608.225.4931
    brian.whitty@bluestars.org

     
    Passing of Linda McCann (Baierl)
    Jan 10, 2012 4:47 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    It is with much sadness that the Blue Stars report the passing of former member Linda McCann (Baierl). Linda was in the Blue Stars' color guard in the late 60s and early 70s. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Linda's family and friends. She will be missed.

    Visitation Information and an obituary can be found on the Gunderson Funeral Home web site.

     
    Harris Named Director of Operations
    Dec 2, 2011 10:53 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the appointment of Bradley Harris as Director of Operations. Bradley joined the Blue Stars in November 2010 as Equipment Manager and is eager to continue an active role in the organization. The Director of Operations position was created to assist the Executive Director in day to day operations, planning and coordination, and further development of organizational structure and implementation.

    "Brad quickly established himself as an ‘A' player during the 2011 season and I'm absolutely thrilled to have him on board in a full-time capacity," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "Brad is already moved to La Crosse and making great contributions to the organization and the 2012 season. I'm certain his performing arts experience, interpersonal skills and work dedication will allow the Blue Stars to continue its growth trajectory over the next year and beyond."

    Bradley's previous experience with music education, performance, logistics, and both equipment and personnel management provides him with a unique perspective on the operations of a performing arts organization.

    "I am thrilled to be back on board with the Blue Stars in this new capacity. Our main goal is to increase efficiency throughout the entire organization to allow for an even greater creative environment. The Blue Stars family is one I am very pleased to be a part of and we will continually strive to provide a fulfilling and memorable drum corps experience for all members, parents, volunteers, and alumni."

    About Bradley Harris
    Bradley R. Harris graduated from Illinois State University with Masters degrees in Trombone Performance and Instrumental Conducting. A native of Forest City, IA, Bradley completed his undergraduate studies at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

    From 2008 to 2011 Bradley was Stage Manager & Technical Director for the School of Music at Illinois State University and regularly performed with the Peoria Symphony and Illinois Symphony Orchestras. In addition, Bradley conducted the Central Illinois Youth Symphony brass ensemble and brass quintet, and maintained a private trombone studio.

    2012 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2012 season will continue at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from December 16-18, 2011. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Santino, Mohney to Lead Blue Stars 2012 Brass Program
    Oct 6, 2011 2:51 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce Tom Santino as Brass Supervisor and Ryan Mohney as Brass Caption Head for the 2012 season. Tom Santino is no stranger to the drum corps activity, instructing some of the top brass lines in the activity over the past 20 plus seasons, and he will take an active role in managing the Blue Stars brass program in 2012. Ryan Mohney is being promoted to brass caption head after his knowledge, enthusiasm and exceptional instructional abilities were clearly demonstrated as the corps' 2011 trumpet instructor.

    "The team of Tom Santino and Ryan Mohney bring a powerful combination of experience and enthusiasm to the Blue Stars 2012 brass program," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "We have a history of outstanding brass programs at the Blue Stars, and I have no doubt Tom and Ryan will continue that momentum for the upcoming season and beyond."

    Tom Santino

    Tom Santino also has an extensive background in the drum and bugle corps activity. He performed in The Florida Wave, The Suncoast Sound, and The Blue Devils. Santino's instructional experience in drum corps began in 1990 as a brass instructor with The Magic of Orlando, and includes additional stops on the brass staffs of The Blue Devils, Syracuse Brigadiers, and Boston Crusaders. Tom was the brass caption head for the Boston Crusaders from 1998 to 2001, and 2005 to 2006. Tom currently serves as a clinician and adjudicator with many educational organizations throughout the United States.

    Santino received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of South Florida and his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Tom's teaching career began as the founding Director of Bands at G. Holmes Braddock Sr. High School in Miami Florida and includes teaching stops at Indian Ridge Middle School in Davie, Florida and Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Tom is currently an Assistant Principal at McArthur High School in Hollywood, Florida.

    "I am thrilled to have Tom Santino on our Brass Instructional Team," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "He brings a wealth of experience and musicianship to our program, and he is certainly no stranger to the fields of Drum Corps International.  I am confident his expertise and instructional background will help take our brass program to the next level."

    "Over the past few years I have greatly admired the role the Blue Stars has played in moving the activity forward," said Santino. "I am truly fortunate to join the Blue Stars team and I am really looking forward to the upcoming 2012 season! "

    Ryan Mohney

    Ryan Mohney was the Blue Stars' trumpet technician during the 2011 season before being promoted to brass caption head for 2012. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Miami University in Ohio and is currently pursuing his Masters of Music in Wind Conducting at the University of Houston. Mohney is a member of the 36th Infantry Division National Guard Band stationed in Austin, Texas. Ryan is a former member of the Bluecoats and has instructed at Centerville High School, Vandalia High School and Lincolnview High School, among other marching band programs.

    "I am extremely excited to lead the Blue Stars' brass program in 2012," said Mohney. "Working with Frank and the entire team last season was a tremendous learning experience, and I'm anxious to build on that success in the future. We are assembling a team of exceptional educators and are looking forward to taking the brass program to new heights this season."

    "Ryan Mohney's dynamic personality and relentless pursuit of excellence will be a great addition to our caption head team at the Blue Stars," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "His energetic and positive approach to instruction was introduced to our students last season and we're extremely excited to see how our brass program can grow under his guidance."

    "Ryan is a talented musician and educator," said Blue Stars Brass Arranger and Composer Frank Sullivan. "His drive to teach and motivate young performers is outstanding, and he will be a great leader for the brass program at the Blue Stars."

    2012 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2012 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 18-20, 2011. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Join the 2012 Blue Stars
    Sep 22, 2011 1:23 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    Blue Stars Alumni and All-Star Corps to March Oktoberfest Parade
    Sep 6, 2011 8:50 AM (Submitted by: Alumni Association)

    It's that time again and the Blue Stars Alumni & All-Star Corps will be a featured marching unit in the Maple Leaf Parade, on September 24, 2011 in La Crosse, WI. We want YOU to be part of the fun. Last year we had almost 100 people march with the group with the majority of them being current and past Blue Stars members. Ask off from work now for Friday Sept 23 and Saturday Sept 24 so you too can be part of this fun and unique group.

    Logistics for the 2011 corps are as follows:
    There is an online registration page here: http://www.bluestars.org/ofest. You will get detailed information and music after you register. The music this year will be Julida Polka, Freebird and Forget You. At this time, all parts are available except for the percussion parts for Forget You. They will be provided asap. Registration this year is $25 ($15 for 2011 Blue Stars or Blue Star Cadets members). Payment can be made online when you register through PayPal or by cash or check at rehearsal registration Friday night.

    With your registration you will receive a uniform shirt, hat, and Brat Stand Coupon at rehearsal registration Friday night. Friday night rehearsal will start at 6pm (registration starts at 5pm) at the Comfort Inn in Onalaska. There is also a discounted room rate when you mention you are with the Blue Stars. 608-781-7500.

    The uniform is the parade shirt that will be provided, khaki shorts or slacks and tennis shoes. No jeans or anything other than khaki shorts or slacks are allowed. Gloves will be available for purchase for Brass players if needed.

    For more information, visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/258239074199114/ Or email alumni@bluestars.org

     
    Sullivan Returns as Blue Stars Brass Arranger and Composer
    Aug 29, 2011 10:11 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce Frank Sullivan as Brass Arranger for the upcoming season. The 2012 season will be Sullivan's seventh as the brass arranger and composer for the Blue Stars.

    "Frank Sullivan has been the architect of the Blue Stars brass sound since our return to World Class competition in 2006," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "Frank's wonderful arrangements have been the foundation for our success over the past six seasons, and I can't wait to hear what he brings to the field in 2012."

    Frank Sullivan

    Sullivan was a member of the Star of Indiana organization from 1991 to 1993 and both a member and instructor with Star of Indiana's Brass Theater from 1994 to 1997. In 1998 he joined The Cadets' brass staff, eventually assuming the brass caption head role there in 1999.

    Away from the drum corps activity, Frank graduated from Indiana State University in 1996 with a degree in Music Education and was a band director in Indiana from 1997 to 2001. From 2001 to 2004 Sullivan toured with BLAST!, serving as a performing soloist, the music manager, and the artistic supervisor. Frank Sullivan is a much sought after composer and arranger in drum corps, marching band, winter guard and winter percussion. He is a founder of Inspire Music and Entertainment Productions, an arranging company based in Tampa Bay, Florida.

    "I am honored to continue working with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps," said Frank Sullivan. "Through the years, the bond that has developed amongst the designers, staff, and members has been truly special, and I look forward to helping to create another entertaining and sophisticated Blue Stars' production in 2012."

    2012 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2012 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 18-20, 2011. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Shapiro to Lead Blue Stars 2012 Guard
    Aug 29, 2011 10:10 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the return of Michael Shapiro to lead its very successful color guard program for the upcoming season. Shapiro is back for his fifth season as Caption Head, Choreographer and Designer for the Blue Stars color guard, building upon the incredible success of his previous seasons with the corps.

    "Michael Shapiro has created some of the most thrilling moments every performed by the Blue Stars and I'm absolutely thrilled to see where he will take the guard and corps in 2012," said Executive Director Brad Furlano.

    "Michael's talent to be innovative, entertaining and intriguing is an integral part of our design team at the Blue Stars," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "Year after year, he brings out the very best from our color guard members, and we are honored to work with such a professional educator."

    About Michael Shapiro

    Michael Shapiro has been the Blue Stars color guard caption head since the 2008 season. During that time, he has quickly established the Blue Stars' guard as one of the very best in the drum corps activity.

    Michael began his marching career with the Spirit of Atlanta and also performed with the Madison Scouts, and Alliance of Miami. He went on to teach and write for Alliance, as well as many other drum corps and winter guard ensembles. Shapiro's DCI and WGI teaching experience is extensive, and includes Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Crossmen, Carroll High School, The Company, Crown Guard, Mayflower (UK), and many other talented organizations.

    Michael received his undergraduate education from the University of Miami, and currently resides in West Hollywood, CA and teaches many ensembles in the Southern California area. He also directs the Diamond Bar HS Colorguard and is the founder and director of the Corona winter guards.

    "I am beyond thrilled to be back with my Blue Stars family in 2012, and am looking forward to our next ,exciting production!" said Shapiro.

    2012 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2012 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 18-20, 2011. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Stewart and Rosander to Lead Blue Stars 2012 Visual Program
    Aug 29, 2011 10:09 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce Ralph Stewart as Visual Caption Head and Myron Rosander as Drill Designer for the 2012 season. Stewart has been assisting the Blue Stars' visual caption as a consultant over the past few seasons, and was an easy selection to take over the caption based on his work during that time. Rosander, while new to the Blue Stars, is a well known designer in the drum corps and marching band activities, having designed for and instructed for some of the best ensembles in the world over the past three decades.

    "It is an absolute honor to bring people like Ralph and Myron into our organization and give them the opportunity to do their best work," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "Ralph has shown himself to be an excellent instructor and leader on the staff and of the members, and will be outstanding in the role of Visual Caption Head. Myron is a legend in our activity, responsible for some of the greatest drills in the history of our activity."

    About Ralph Stewart

    Ralph currently lives in Orlando, FL and is a 1998 graduate of East Carolina University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Music Education. Before moving to Florida, he taught middle and high school band in Carteret County, NC. Since 1993, he has been a visual clinician, designer, adjudicator, and consultant for many championship organizations within Drum Corps International, Winter Guard International, and Bands Of America.

    Ralph marched in the brass section of the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps from 1991-1993, and served as Drum Major from 1994-1996. In 1997, Ralph became the visual designer for Carolina Thunder, an independent world class WGI percussion finalist. Ralph was the tour manager for Carolina Crown, and in 1998 he held the same role with the Magic of Orlando

    Ralph joined the visual staff of the Boston Crusaders in 2000 as a marching technician, and was their visual designer in 2005. In 2006, he returned to Carolina Crown, serving as the visual caption supervisor.

    "Having the opportunity to teach for a couple of weeks with the Blue Stars in the past few years, I am excited for the chance to spend more time with such an amazing organization. The students have always been very easy to work with and have a great work ethic."

    "I have worked with Ralph Stewart since 2000 as an instructor, caption head and designer," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "His expertise, attention to detail and motivational skills will be a true asset to the Blue Stars."

    About Myron Rosander

    Myron Rosander has been involved with Drum Corps International for the past 35 years. His lengthy career includes being a performer, instructor, Visual Designer and Assistant Director for the Santa Clara Vanguard, spanning 30 years of involvement with the SCV organization.

    In 2000, Rosander was the recipient of the prestigious "Gail Royer Memorial Vanguard of the Year" award, the highest honor one can receive within the SCV organization. The outstanding visual performer awarded each year at the Vanguard's banquet is also named in his honor, known as the Myron Rosander Outstanding Visual Award.

    Myron's other DCI credits include Visual Designer for the Phantom Regiment, the Sacramento Mandarins, the Madison Scouts, and the Seattle Cascades. Myron has also designed for the highly respected DCA "all age" corps, the Bushwackers from Harrison, New Jersey.

    Rosander has designed for literally hundreds of high school bands located throughout the United States, including the Bands of America multi-medalist, L.D. Bell High School from Hurst, Texas.

    Myron has a long history as a clinician and consultant for several bands, winter guards and drum and bugle corps. He is also a respected judge for Bands of America, adjudicating contests annually throughout the United States, as well as judging independently in the winter guard and winter percussion arena.

    Currently, Myron resides in South Lake Tahoe, California where he is an artist featuring oil paints with focus on impressionistic landscapes, as well as modern abstract concepts.

    "I'm extremely grateful for this new opportunity to be a part of the Blue Stars family," said Rosander. "And to be teamed with such an array of creative and technical talent is truly inspiring!"

    "Myron Rosander is a leader in the drum corps activity," said Weinstein. "I have admired his work in the marching arts throughout my career, and I feel we are extremely fortunate to have him as a part of our design team."

    Thank You

    The Blue Stars would like to thank Kevin Ford for the outstanding work he did for the organization as drill designer over the past four years. Kevin is taking time away from drum corps to spend time with his family, and his contribution to the corps will be missed. His legacy at the Blue Stars will always live on through the creative and emotional shows he helped produce.

    2012 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2012 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 18-20, 2011. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Aungst, Larrivee to Lead Blue Stars 2012 Percussion
    Aug 29, 2011 10:03 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the return of Tom Aungst as percussion caption head and arranger and Neil Larrivee as front ensemble coordinator and arranger for the upcoming season. The 2012 season will be their the third year as designers and fourth year as percussion caption leaders with the Blue Stars.

    "Tom and Neil have done amazing things with our percussion program the past two seasons," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "They have developed a style of drumming at the Blue Stars that is exciting for both the performers and audience alike, and I can't wait to see the continuation of their program in 2012."

    "The Blue Stars' percussion program is in excellent hands under the leadership of Tom Aungst and Neil Larrivee," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "Their experience and knowledge of the drum corps activity combined with their quality as music educators provides our percussionists with a world-class performance, instructional and life-skills experience."

    About Tom Aungst

    2012 will be Tom Aungst's third year as Percussion Arranger and Caption Head for the Blue Stars, but he has been involved in the drum and bugle corps activity for more than thirty years. Tom started marching in 1979 with the Reading Buccaneers Senior Drum Bugle Corps. In 1981, he became a member of the Garfield Cadets and continued to march with the corps until his age-out year in 1984. Aungst became the lead percussion technician for the Cadets from 1985 until 1989. From 1989 through 2008 Tom was the Director of Percussion and Arranger for the Cadets. In his 27 years with the Cadets, Aungst has been involved with winning nine DCI World Championships, six Fred Sanford High Percussion Awards, and nine runner-up titles. Tom was inducted into the Cadets' Hall of Fame in 2004 and the DCI Hall of Fame in 2006.

    Aungst is currently the Percussion Director for the Dartmouth Public School System in Dartmouth, MA. His position includes teaching percussion students from fourth grade through high school. He also carries with him great success on the Winter Guard International Percussion circuit with Dartmouth High School capturing 3 World Championships in 1998, 1999, and 2008, and placing in the top three every year since. Aungst has a Bachelors in Music Education from West Chester University in PA, and a masters in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University.

    "2012 is sure to be a great year for the Blue Stars percussion section," said Aungst. "We have developed a unique style with our talented and experienced staff, and I know the best is yet to come. If you are looking for an aggressive and musical playing style coupled with high physical demand; the Blue Stars is the right place for you!"

    About Neil Larrivee

    Neil Larrivee is the former pit director and arranger for the nine time DCI World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Having joined the Cadets staff in 1993, he was part of 4 DCI championships and 4 High Percussion Awards. Other drum corps that Neil has arranged for include; Bluecoats in 1998 & 1999, Northern Star of England in 2006 & 2007 and Jubal of the Netherlands in 2007 & 2008.

    Neil served as Co-Marching Band Director, Percussion Director & Arranger at King Philip Regional High School of Wrentham, MA from 1985 - 2002. He was the Director and designer for the 2000 WGI Scholastic World Champion King Philip Indoor Marching Percussion Ensemble. King Philip placed second as well in '97, '98 & 2001. The King Philip Concert Percussion Ensemble also placed second during 2001 in the Scholastic Concert World Class.

    Since 2004, Neil has been the pit arranger for the Dartmouth High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble. Dartmouth is the 2008 and 2009 WGI Scholastic World Champions. Neil served on the WGI Percussion Advisory Board & Steering Committee from 1997 - 2002. He has been a judge for WGI, NESBA, MICCA & USSBA and endorses, Remo, Zildjian and Sibelius Software. Currently, Neil is the Director of Education and New Product Development for Vic Firth Inc.

    ""I am very proud of the big steps the entire percussion program took in 2011," said Larrivee. "I look forward to the next steps our program will be making in 2012 and am very excited about the continued return and influx of superior membership talent we will have to work with in the upcoming season!"

    2012 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2012 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 18-20, 2011. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Thank You
    Aug 18, 2011 3:26 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Administration and Board of Directors would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the volunteers, staff, designers, and fans who helped to make the 2011 season a successful and memorable one for our membership.

    To the tremendous group of young adults who made up the 2011 Blue Stars: thanks for a job well done. Your accomplishments on the field are second only to the manner in which you represented yourselves and thousands of other Blue Stars off the field. We'll see everyone again in November!

     
    Follow the Blue Stars at Lacrossetribune.com
    Jun 12, 2011 9:51 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Want to keep up with the Blue Stars this summer? La Crosse Tribune reporter Terry Rindfleisch follows the Blue Stars all the way to Indianapolis with updates in the newspaper and online at LaCrosseTribune.com.

     
    Blue Stars 2011 Video Player
    May 23, 2011 10:50 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
    May 18, 2011 2:28 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    After almost 50 years of drum corps excellence, it's time to begin honoring the men and women whose vision, dedication and hard work created and sustained the Blue Stars drum and bugle corps. Please join us on June 9 as we celebrate the Grand Premier of the 2011 Blue Stars and honor six individuals with induction into the Blue Stars Hall of Fame.

    What: Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
    Where: Cargill Room @ The Waterfront
    When: Thursday, June 9, 2011
    Cost: $50 per person
    Dinner catered by The Waterfront

    Doors Open - 5:30 pm
    Live and Silent Auctions
    Premier performance of the Blue Stars' 2011 production "ReBourne" at 7:00 pm
    Dinner will be served at 7:30 pm
    Hall of Fame Induction Presentation

    Blue Stars Hall of Fame Class of 2011
    David Dummer
    Frank Van Voorhis
    Dr. David Kampschroer
    James Schultz
    Denise Pagonis
    Brian Whitty

    For tickets, please download, print, complete the Grand Premier and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Invitation/RSVP.

    Completed RSVP cards and payment can be mailed to:
    Blue Stars
    PO Box 2523
    La Crosse, WI 54602

    Questions can be sent to, dawn@bluestars.org, or call the Blue Stars office at 608-782-3219.

     
    2011 Show Trailer
    May 8, 2011 7:24 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    ReBourne Graphics Files
    May 4, 2011 6:08 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Can't wait to see the Blue Stars perform ReBourne this summer? Download the graphics files below and show the world your love for the Blue Stars! Right click on the files to save to your computer.

    ReBourne iPhone Wallpaper

    ReBourne Facebook Profile Image

    ReBourne Desktop Background (1920x1080)

    ReBourne Small Graphic

     
    Blue Stars 2011
    May 4, 2011 5:31 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    2010 Houdini Tour DVD on Sale Now
    Apr 30, 2011 2:20 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    Blue Stars Mourn Passing of Bob Lendman
    Mar 19, 2011 6:18 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    It is with great sadness we pass along the news that former Blue Stars director Bob Lendman has passed. Our condolences to Allison and the entire Lendman family. We will pass along more info once it is known.
     
    Meet Tour Director Mike Halron
    Mar 8, 2011 8:33 AM (Submitted by: John Donahue)

    The Blue Stars are pleased to introduce Mike Halron as our 2011 Summer Tour Director. Mike hails from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he recently retired after a 34-year career as an elementary school teacher in the Oshkosh Area Public Schools. Since retiring, Mike still finds time to substitute teach and consult with the Oshkosh Charter School, but has now added the Blue Stars to his list of worthy causes. We caught up with Mike at the February Camp, held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, and were able to get him to share a little about himself.

    Mike was grew up in Ontonogon, Michigan and attended Northern Michigan University, where he earned a BS in Elementary Education. In his early days, Mike marched with the Ontonogon Mountaineers drum and bugle corps on the VFW Circuit. His last year of marching was the first year of DCI. He played tenor and bass drum in the corps.

    Mike brings a great deal of experience to his latest endeavor as a World Class Tour Director. For 30 years, Mike was the director of the Gardner Dam Scout Camp (Bay-Lakes Council – Boy Scouts of America). Each year, Mike hosted up to 1,500 scouts in groups of about 250. Sound familiar? In short, Mike is no stranger to "herding cats."

    Most importantly, as a career educator and scout leader, Mike knows young adults. He has a relaxed and patient demeanor and an absolute interest in insuring that the corps members have an excellent experience. Hitting the ground running, he has already made changes that have brought the Blue Stars to an even higher level of efficiency. The corps now has a new process for collecting members medical information, the tour manual is is in great shape for the time of year, and for every camp Mike provides an easy to follow, color coordinated airport pick up and drop off sheet that our volunteers really appreciate.

    Why the Blue Stars? Mike sought out a corps to get involved with following 2010 finals and filled out a volunteer interest sheet on the Blue Stars web site. We asked Mike to elaborate:

    "I wanted an opportunity to use my skills as an educator, leader and organizer," said Halron. "I was seeking a position with both responsibility and a sense of enjoyment. The Blue Stars offered me that chance and are a group with tremendous potential, a real family atmosphere and genuine concern for the well being of the membership. Everyone here has high integrity and has been very welcoming. My expectations for this year's tour are that we will have an excellent experience and the outcome will reflect the hard work and dedication of the members, staff, administration and volunteers. The members are awesome in this corps. They are motivated, talented, polite and a real pleasure to be around. We hope to provide them with a positive experience that they will draw from for the rest of their lives"

    Welcome to the Blue Stars, Mike! We're glad to have you along on the journey!

    • Factoids: Mike Halron
    • Birthday: February 13
    • PC/MAC: Mac
    • Blackberry/Android/iPhone: iPhone
    • Favorite color: Green (except during tour – then blue)
    • Favorite Food: Italian
    • Least Favorite Food: Mexican
    • Music: Almost anything – Classical, Pop, Jazz
    • Favorite Artist: Michael Bolton
    • Favorite Actor/Actress: Merrill Streep / Russell Crow
    • Favorite Movie: A Beautiful Mind
    • Favorite Book: Legacy of Honor by Alvin Townley
    • Historical Figure I most want to meet: Abraham Lincoln
    • If I'm not with the Blue stars I want to be: Diving in the Florida Keys
     
    Blue Stars Mourn Passing of Audrey "Ma" Whitty
    Mar 1, 2011 9:59 PM (Submitted by: Brian King)

    It is with much sadness that the Blue Stars report the passing of former volunteer Audrey Whitty. Audrey was a long-time supporter and volunteer of the Blue Stars through the 80s and 90s. Her son, Brian, marched with the Blue Stars in 1981 and served as the Corps Director from the time the corps reorganized in the early 80s through 1995. Audrey is remembered for her tireless work ethic and support of the corps, whether it be at camps, working the souvenir booth, cooking on tour, or helping with the bingo program. Our prayers go out to Brian and the entire Whitty family. She will be missed.

    Visitation Information and an Obituary can be found on the Uecker-Witt Funeral Home website: http://www.ueckerwitt.com/obits/obituaries.php/obitID/886980

     
    DCI Announces "Tour of Champions" Event Series
    Feb 16, 2011 8:14 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Drum Corps International Announces "Tour of Champions" Event Series
    Five competitive events will feature eight of the top DCI groups in a unique format

    Fans of drum corps throughout North America will be treated to five unique events this summer when the new Tour of Champions event series is launched as part of the 115-event 2011 Drum Corps International Tour.

    The event series will provide fans with up-close, exclusive access to the corps performers and to exciting live entertainment like never before. Audience members get to see for themselves the backstage and warm-up secrets of some of DCI's top corps just minutes before they take the field in competition.

    Featuring the eight top corps from the 2010 DCI World Championships, additional Tour of Champions features will include:

    • Exciting pre-show entertainment showcasing outstanding performers from each of the participating corps.
    • "Instant Encores" by each group that will bring the action as up-close and in-your-face as it gets.
    • Special post-show activities to delight fans old and new, including a spectacular finale at each event.

    Plus!
    Audience members will play a role in the adjudication process with an all-new, experimental text messaging-based judging system designed with the fan in mind.

    This series kicks off on July 17 in Rockford, Ill., continuing on to Houston, Texas, July 22; Murfreesboro, Tenn., July 29; Charlotte, N.C., July 31, and culminating at a soon to be announced location in New Jersey on August 7.

    Participating corps include:

    • Blue Devils, Concord, CA
    • Blue Stars, La Crosse, WI
    • Bluecoats, Canton, OH
    • The Cadets, Allentown, PA
    • Carolina Crown, Charlotte, NC
    • The Cavaliers, Rosemont, IL
    • Phantom Regiment, Rockford, IL
    • Santa Clara Vanguard, Santa Clara, CA

    For additional information, visit DCI.org/tour-of-champions.

    Drum Corps International is the world leader in producing and promoting competitive stadium events for the world's most elite and exclusive ensembles for student musicians and performers.

     
    Blue Stars Scholarship Fund Drive
    Nov 9, 2010 11:41 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    Marching in the Blue Stars is an opportunity of a lifetime, but that opportunity is out of reach for some of the best and brightest students due to a tough economy and their families' financial situation. Your generous donation will directly help members in need obtain their goal of marching with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps during the 2011 season. Thank you for helping a member's dream come true! Donate Now!
     
    Blue Stars Choose Jupiter Marching Brass
    Nov 8, 2010 12:16 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    MT JULIET, TN – November, 2010 – Jupiter Band Instruments is proud to announce its partnership with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps of La Crosse, Wisconsin. A Drum Corps International World Class corps with a championship pedigree dating back to the 1970s, the Blue Stars will begin playing Jupiter Marching Brass instruments exclusively for the 2011 DCI season.

    "We here at Jupiter are very excited to have a group such as the Blue Stars playing Jupiter Marching Brass," said Tabor Stamper, President of KHS America and Jupiter Band Instruments. "A top eight corps at this year's Finals in Indianapolis, they are poised to make another deep run into the 2011 DCI competition."

    Blue Stars Executive Director Brad Furlano has headed up the partnership between the corps and Jupiter, and believes both groups will see immediate returns.

    "The entire Blue Stars organization is thrilled to begin its next chapter playing Jupiter Quantum Marching Brass," said Furlano. "We had many instrument options for our brass needs, but the quality of the horns and dedication of the Jupiter service team convinced us there was no better choice than Jupiter Instruments. The Blue Stars and Jupiter have one very important thing in common: a commitment to being the best."

    As part of this new alliance, the Blue Stars will appear in future educational and marketing efforts for Jupiter Marching Brass. This includes educational and performance clinics, social network marketing, print advertising and tradeshow marketing.

    See the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps performing exclusively on Jupiter Marching Brass on the 2011 Drum Corps International World Class tour.

    For more information on the Blue Stars, visit BlueStars.org.

    For more information on Jupiter Marching Brass, visit QuantumMarching.com.

     
    Blue Stars Design Team and Staff Leaders Return for 2011 Season
    Oct 8, 2010 8:19 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce the return of its design team and staff leadership from the corps' successful 2010 season. The team has been in the planning stages for the 2011 production and is excited to begin working with the students at the November audition camp.

    "Having a design and leadership team of this distinction at the Blue Stars is a dream come true," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "Their creativity, talent and experience can only mean continued great things for our students, fans and the entire organization."

    Frank Sullivan

    Leading the team for his sixth season, Frank Sullivan returns as the Blue Stars' brass composer/arranger and brass caption head. Mr. Sullivan joined the Blue Stars in 2006 with the corps' return to DCI World Class competition and has been crucial to the Blue Stars' presentation of complex, emotional and fan-friendly productions.

    Frank Sullivan was a member of the Star of Indiana organization from 1991 to 1993 and both a member and instructor with Star of Indiana's Brass Theater from 1994 to 1997. From 2001 to 2004 Sullivan toured with BLAST, serving as a performing soloist, the music manager, and the artistic supervisor. Frank is the co-founder of Inspire Music and Entertainment Productions, an arranging company based in Tampa Bay, Florida.

    Michael Shapiro

    Michael Shapiro returns as the Blue Stars color guard designer, choreographer, and caption head for his fourth season in 2011. Shapiro was the mastermind behind the Blue Stars' very successful and innovative "Le Tour," "The Factory," and "Houdini" productions.

    Shapiro's DCI and WGI teaching experience is extensive, and includes Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Crossmen, Carroll High School, The Company, Crown Guard, Mayflower (UK), and many other talented organizations. Michael received his undergraduate education from the University of Miami, and currently resides in Woodland Hills, CA and teaches many ensembles throughout the country. He is the founder and director of the Corona winter guards.

    Tom Aungst and Neil Larrivee

    Tom Aungst and Neil Larrivee return to the Blue Stars as percussion caption heads and designers for their second seasons in 2011. Aungst and Larrivee pushed the Blue Stars' percussion program to new heights in 2010 with an exciting, high energy program. They have big plans for the Blue Stars' 2011 percussion program, as they build the section for success.

    Tom Aungst has been involved in the drum and bugle corps activity for more than thirty years, most notably as the Director of Percussion and Arranger for the Cadets. In his 27 years with the Cadets, Aungst has been involved with winning nine DCI World Championships, six Fred Sanford High Percussion Awards, and nine runner-up titles. Aungst is currently the Percussion Director for the Dartmouth Public School System in Dartmouth, MA, and he carries with him great success on the Winter Guard International Percussion circuit. Dartmouth High School captured 4 World Championships in 1998, 1999, 2008, and 2009.

    Neil Larrivee is the former Pit Director and Arranger for the nine time DCI World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Having joined the Cadets staff in 1993, he was part of 4 DCI championships and 4 High Percussion Awards. Neil served as Co-Marching Band Director, Percussion Director & Arranger at King Philip Regional High School of Wrentham, MA from 1985 - 2002, achieving great success in marching band, indoor percussion, and concert percussion competitions. Since 2004, Neil has been the pit arranger for the Dartmouth High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble.

    Kevin Ford

    Kevin Ford returns to the Blue Stars for his fourth year as drill designer. Kevin is a master of motion and staging, and the Blue Stars are thrilled to have his considerable talent and skills in drill and overall show design.

    Kevin Ford is the Director of The Leadership and Music Conservatory at Tarpon Springs High School and brings to the Blue Stars Drum Bugle Corps his 20 years of experience as a nationally accomplished show designer and music educator. Consistently recognized for his creativity, work ethic, and his continued commitment to excellence in music education, He is presently in his fifteenth year of teaching in the public school system, all of which have been spent as the Director of Bands at Tarpon Springs High School.

    He is currently the show designer for numerous high schools, the 5- time Bands of America AA National Champion Tarpon Springs High School Marching Band, and has been the visual designer for 4 different top 12 drum and bugle corps throughout his 20 year career. He is also the Co- founder of Inspire Music and Entertainment Productions.

    2011 Auditions
    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2011 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 19-21, 2010. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Blue Stars Choose GoodSearch as New Search Partner
    Sep 16, 2010 11:51 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    We need your support! The continued rise in the cost of operating a World Class drum and bugle corps has made your ongoing support more important than ever. The Blue Stars' Board of Directors and Administration has been hard at work developing a number of ways that you can support the corps - many of which involve you doing many of the things that you already do today.

    The first, and perhaps one of the easiest, way you can support the corps is by simply searching the Internet. Each and every time you conduct a search on the Internet, you can earn money for the corps. The Blue Stars are once again partnering with GoodSearch for our internet search engine. GoodSearch is powered by Yahoo! and you use it like any other search engine. Each time you conduct a search and click through on the search results, money is generated for the corps.

    Here's how it works:

    1. Go to GoodSearch, powered by Yahoo!
    2. Type "Blue Stars" below the question, "Who do you GoodSearch for?" and click verify.
    3. Search the Internet just like you would with any search engine. GoodSearch shares its advertising revenue with charities and schools, and every time you search the web, you'll be earning money for the Blue Stars.

    So, please use GoodSearch for all your internet inquiries. You can even add the GoodSearch toolbar to your web browser to make searching more convenient, and once you download the toolbar, you can tell your friends to do the same thing by posting a message to your Facebook page with the click of a button. The more people that use the site, the more money we'll earn, so please spread the word!

    Also available is GoodShop. By purchasing your favorite items online, up to 30% of what you spend will go towards supporting Blue Stars! There are hundreds of stores on GoodShop that you shop at anyways, why not support Blue Stars in the process?

    We have more than 5,000 people signed up on our mailing list. If all 5,000 did just 2 searches a day 5 times per week all year long, the corps would raise more than $25,000! Just imagine how much money we could raise if everyone did 5 searches a day, and they told a couple of friends, family members, and co-workers to do their Internet searching on our site as well?

    This is a very easy fundraiser, but it requires your active participation and a simple change in behavior. You have to go to GoodSearch, rather than Google or Yahoo! to conduct your internet searches. You also have to make a concerted effort to do your searching daily, and tell your friends and family. Once you get in the habit of using GoodSearch as your search engine, you will see just how easy it is.

    Will you help the Blue Stars by simply using GoodSearch as your search engine? Remember, it's powered by Yahoo!, so you know you have a good engine backing it up.

     
    Blue Stars Alumni and All-Star Corps to March Oktoberfest Parade
    Aug 27, 2010 9:35 PM (Submitted by: Alumni Association)

    It's that time again and the Blue Stars Alumni & All-Star Corps will be a featured marching unit in the Maple Leaf Parade, on September 25, 2010 in La Crosse, WI. We want YOU to be part of the fun. Last year we had almost 100 people march with the group with the majority of them being current and past Blue Stars members.

    Logistics for the 2010 corps are as follows:
    There is an online registration page here: http://www.bluestars.org/ofest. You will get detailed information and music after you register.

    Ask off from work now for Friday Sept 24 and Saturday Sept 25 so you too can be part of this fun and unique group.

    Friday night rehearsal will start at 6pm (registration starts at 5pm) at the Comfort Inn in Onalaska. There is also a discounted room rate when you mention you are with the Blue Stars. 608-781-7500.

    Saturday the Parade officially starts at 10am. We will step off as a unit around 11 am if our position is similar to last year.

    For more information, email alumni@bluestars.org

     
    Blue Stars Members Crowned I&E Champions
    Jul 27, 2010 10:18 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars would like to congratulate the following members for their achievements at the 2010 Drum Corps International Individual and Ensemble competition.

    Gold Medal
    Auxiliary Ensemble: Tracey Nettler and Kekoa Mateo
    Brass Ensemble: Zack Crissman, Michael Chiapetto, Zach Ashcraft, Chris Rockwell, Chris Rush, Anthony Leonhardt, Kevin Guth, Paul Gentine, Briana Engelbert, Mike Villano

    Silver Medal
    Zach Ashcraft - Trumpet

    Congratulations to these and all the Blue Stars who competed in the I&E competition!

     
    Blue Stars Video Player
    Jun 23, 2010 9:38 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    Follow the Blue Stars at LaCrosseTribune.com
    Jun 7, 2010 7:44 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Want to keep up with the Blue Stars this summer? La Crosse Tribune reporter Terry Rindfleisch follows the Blue Stars all the way to Indianapolis with updates in the newspaper and online at LaCrosseTribune.com.

     
    April 2010
    May 16, 2010 6:02 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
     
    Blue Stars Alum Billy Silva Making a Difference in Haiti
    May 1, 2010 6:25 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Blue Stars Alumnus Billy Silva (tenors: 04, 05, 06, 09) hasn't been sitting around since marching off the field finals night last August. Billy has been traveling the world helping others in some of the most disadvantaged areas on earth. Recently, he spent time rebuilding Haiti after the devastating earthquake destroyed the country's capital Port-au-Prince.

    Billy's incredible work helping the Haitian people is being featured on the program Oklahoma Horizon. The two segments featuring Billy can be seen below or by visiting the OK Horizon website. Keep up the great work, Billy, and Finis Coronat Opus!

    Hearts for Haiti

    Interview with Billy Silva

     
    Blue Stars Alumnus Wounded in Iraq
    Jan 12, 2010 7:17 PM (Submitted by: )

    Andy Toppin, 21, was critically wounded while serving his country in Iraq. He received life-threatening injuries when an EFP (Explosively Formed Penetrator) struck his vehicle during a Military Police mission. Andy was quickly transported to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and is being treated for severe burns to his arms and face. His legs suffered significant damage that required partial amputation to the right one.

    The Blue Stars and Blue Stars Alumni Association has established the Andy and Ashley Toppin Recovery Fund to help Andy, Ashley and their unborn baby in this time of need. If you would like to make a donation to help this young family, please send a check as follows:

    Make check out to:
    Andrew and Ashley Toppin Fund
    please write "Attn: Walt" in the memo line

    Send to:
    U.S. Bank
    ATTN: Walt
    201 Main St. Suite 100
    La Crosse, WI 54601

    Andy's prognosis is encouraging and despite his injuries, his future is bright. As a trumpet and mellophone player, Andy marched with the Blue Stars from 2005 through 2007. His parents, Suzi and Bill Toppin, were active supporters of the Blue Stars, and in 2007, sold souvenirs throughout the "Power & Grace" tour. Andy's sweetheart and wife, Ashley, is also a Blue Stars Alumnus, marching in the color guard in 2006 & 2007. Andy and Ashley are expecting their first baby in April 2010. Ashley recently communicated to concerned alums that, "He is very, very weak still but in a way ... very strong. We still need many prayers for my husband."

    The Toppins are grateful for all of the well wishes, and most important, the prayers for Andy. Andy's mom, Suzi, said, "He's always been a hero to us, but he did an amazing job over there and they all are so proud of him! Keep him in your prayers, light a candle ... it's ALL helping!!!"

    Update, as they are available, will be posted on blustars.org and in the Blue Stars' Forum

     
    2010 Program: Houdini
    Nov 12, 2009 3:09 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to present its 2010 production, "Houdini."

    Harry Houdini was a masterful performer on a most unconventional world stage. Omnipresent, he transcended the individual venues of his time. Houdini compelled audiences to enter his performances, and as he broke through one barrier after another he liberated their imaginations with his own. He knew he could make an audience think and feel as he chose. Houdini knew the power of his art and he knew its danger.

    Join the 2010 Blue Stars on a journey through the sights and sounds, the mystery and danger, the life of "Houdini."

    2010 Auditions

    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2010 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 20-22, 2009. Audition registration is now open. For more information, visit http://www.bluestars.org/audition/signup.php.

     
    De Leon, Barfield, Ford to Lead Blue Stars 2010 Visual Program
    Oct 30, 2009 7:20 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the return of Chris De Leon, Robert Barfield, and Kevin Ford to lead its visual program for the 2010 season. De Leon and Barfield are returning for their second seasons, and Ford will be back for his third season with the corps.

    "I am very pleased to announce the return of these three excellent teachers and designers," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "Chris De Leon and Bob Barfield made great strides in establishing a visual identity for the corps last season, and Kevin Ford continues to do amazing work for the corps from design conception to delivery of the final visual product."

    "The drum corps activity is very special," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "I have had the honor of working with both Kevin Ford and Bob Barfield as colleagues for the past twenty-four years. What is even more special is we met and performed within the activity. Taking that to the next level, Chris De Leon is a past student of mine, and I am so proud to watch him continue his marching arts career within the Blue Stars' organization. We are very fortunate to have Chris, Kevin and Bob's expertise and dedication to our drum corps."

    About Chris De Leon

    Chris De Leon is returning to the role of Visual Caption Head for the 2010 season. He brings with him more than 8 years of experience as a visual clinician/consultant and instrumental specialist for several nationally acclaimed band programs across the country. he groups under Chris' instruction have received top visual honors at regional and national BOA and WGI events. Some of the more recent groups include Lawrence Central High School, Tarpon Springs High School and Northmont High School.

    De Leon's drum corps teaching career began immediately follow his 4 years as a member of the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps where he aged out as Drum Major in 2003. He spent the 2004-2007 season as a member of the Visual staff with Boston, serving as Assistant Visual Caption Head during the 2007 season. Chris accepted the position as Visual Caption Head for the Blue Stars in the fall of 2008.

    Chris received his Bachelors of Music Education, with a minor in Jazz Studies, from The Ohio State University. He is currently the Associate Director of Bands at Hagerty High School in Oviedo, FL.

    "The 2009 season was the most fulfilling of my entire teaching career," said De Leon. "The amount of improvement that I witnessed from the members was both inspiring and humbling. I look forward to working along side my mentors and friends, Kevin and Bob, as well as the great members that make up this incredible organization."

    About Robert Barfield

    Robert Barfield is currently in his 17th year of teaching in the state of Florida public school system, and is in his 11th year at Tarpon Springs High School. He is currently the Associate Director of Bands for the Tarpon Springs High School Leadership Conservatory for the Arts. The Marching Band is a 5-time Class AA National Champion at the Bands of America Grand National Championships. The Wind Ensemble has performed at Carnegie Hall twice, Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center, the National Wind Festival in San Francisco, the Washington DC Band Festival at the Kennedy Center, and the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis. Under Mr. Barfield's direction, the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Bones Combo have performed at the University of North Texas Jazz Festival twice, and most recently at the Savannah Music Festival "Swing Central" Jazz Competition. Mr. Barfield will be conducting the Maine All-State Jazz Ensemble in January of 2010. His responsibilities at Tarpon Springs High School include teaching the Marching Band, directing the Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Combos, Assistant Conductor of Wind Ensemble I, Wind Ensemble II, Brass Pedagogy, Music Theory and Technology, and overseeing the Solo and Ensemble process. In addition, Mr. Barfield teaches the Music Leadership course, which is required of all freshman enrolled in the Leadership and Music Conservatory at Tarpon Springs High School.

    Mr. Barfield is also a director of the community youth Jazz Ensemble at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Performing Arts Center in Clearwater, Florida. He is a teacher in their jazz preparatory course, which meets weekly and includes students from all over the Tampa Bay area.

    Mr. Barfield graduated Summa cum Laude form the University of North Florida with a Bachelors of Arts in Music Education. He is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the International Association of Jazz Educators, the Florida Music Educators Association, the Florida Bandmasters Association, and the Pinellas County Music Educators Association. In addition to his duties at Tarpon Springs High School, he enjoys an active schedule as an adjudicator, drill designer and guest clinician throughout the country. Mr. Barfield has been recognized several times in the "Who's Who Among America's High School Teachers".

    Mr. Barfield has been involved with the drum and bugle corps activity for twenty-seven years, currently a Visual Consultant for the Blue Stars Crum and Bugle Corps, and recently as the Visual Caption Head for the DCI World Championship Finalist Boston Crusaders, a position he held from 2000 - 2007.

    "I am looking forward to continuing my role as a visual consultant with the Blue Stars," said Barfield. "It is exciting to watch the growth of the corps and to see the members evolve into world class performers."

    About Kevin Ford

    Kevin Ford is the Director of The Leadership and Music Conservatory at Tarpon Springs High School and brings to the Blue Stars Drum Bugle Corps his 20 years of experience as a nationally accomplished show designer and music educator. Consistently recognized for his creativity, work ethic, and his continued commitment to excellence in music education, He is presently in his fourteenth year of teaching in the public school system, all of which have been spent as the Director of Bands at Tarpon Springs High School. His responsibilities there include directing the Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Marching Band, Winter Guard, serving as Solo and Ensemble Coach, and developing the curriculum for the Conservatory Student Leadership Courses.

    Mr. Ford received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Florida, and is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the Florida Bandmasters Association, the Pinellas County Music Educators Association, and the Phi Kappa Psi Honor Society. In 2004 Mr. Ford was selected as Who's Who Among Teachers and in 2005 was selected for the prestigious Who's Who Among Americans award. In addition to his duties at Tarpon Springs High School, Mr. Ford enjoys an active schedule as a leadership speaker, guest clinician, and adjudicator throughout the country and is nationally renowned for his creative abilities as a show designer, drill writer, and consultant for the musical and visual arts.

    He is currently the show designer for numerous high schools, the 5- time Bands of America AA National Champion Tarpon Springs High School Marching Band, and has been the visual designer for 4 different top 12 drum and bugle corps throughout his 20 year career. He is also the Co- founder of Inspire .Music and Entertainment Production Company. He currently serves as a member of the prestigious Bands of America Educational Advisory Board. Most notably, Mr. Ford was hired as the Artistic Designer for The Opening Ceremonies to The 2002 FIFA World Cup Soccer Games in Daejeon Metropolitan City, South Korea.

    I am looking forward to watching the Blue Stars continue their growth as an organization and the privilege to again design with Michael and Frank," said Ford. "The addition of Tom Aungst and Neil Larivee will allow us to explore even more unique opportunities in regards to total show design."

    2010 Auditions

    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2010 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 20-22, 2009. Audition registration is now open. For more information, visit http://www.bluestars.org/audition/signup.php.

     
    Shapiro Returns to Lead Blue Stars 2010 Color Guard
    Sep 23, 2009 8:09 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the return of Michael Shapiro to lead its very successful color guard program for the 2010 season. Shapiro will return as caption head and designer for the Blue Stars color guard, building upon the incredible success of the past two seasons.

    "I am absolutely thrilled to have Michael back for the 2010 season," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "His creative genius has taken the corps to places I couldn't have conceived, and I can't wait to see what he has in store for the guard next season."

    "Michael Shapiro's creativity and innovation are inspirational to our entire design team and staff," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "As a color guard caption head and designer, his work ethic, dedication and intensity make our organization grow substantially every season. As a colleague and peer, he pushes us all to be the best we can be." 

    About Michael Shapiro

    Michael Shapiro has been the Blue Stars color guard caption head since the 2008 season. During that time, he has quickly established the Blue Stars' guard as one of the very best in the drum corps activity. Most recently, the Blue Stars color guard placed 6th at the 2009 DCI World Championships.

    Michael began his marching career with the Spirit of Atlanta and also performed with the Madison Scouts, and Alliance of Miami. He went on to teach and write for Alliance, as well as many other drum corps and winter guard ensembles. Shapiro's DCI and WGI teaching experience is extensive, and includes Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Crossmen, Carroll High School, The Company, Crown Guard, Mayflower (UK), and many other talented organizations.

    Michael received his undergraduate education from the University of Miami, and currently resides in West Hollywood, CA and teaches many ensembles in the Southern California area. He also directs the Diamond Bar HS Colorguard and is the founder and director of the Corona winter guards.

    "I couldn't be happier to be back with the Blue Stars," said Shapiro. "Designing with such an incredible team, teaching such hard working members, and being part of such a progressive organization has provided me with two amazing summers, and I am looking forward to an even better one in 2010!"

    2010 Auditions

    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2010 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 20-22, 2009. Audition registration is now open. For more information, visit http://www.bluestars.org/audition/signup.php.

     
    Sullivan, Talbott to Lead Blue Stars 2010 Brass Program
    Sep 1, 2009 6:23 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce Frank Sullivan as Brass Arranger and Brass Caption Head and Josh Talbott as Assistant Brass Caption Head for the 2010 season. Sullivan has been the heart and soul of the Blue Stars' brass program since the corps' return to World Class competition in 2006. Talbott has been with the Blue Stars since the 2008 season as an ensemble consultant and mellophone technician. Together, along with the returning technical staff, they will continue the development and refinement of the Blue Stars' signature brass sound.

    "Drum corps fans are familiar with Frank Sullivan's fantastic musical arrangements for the Blue Stars over the past four years," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "What they may not know is his impact on developing the technique and sound of the individual brass players and the entire brass ensemble over that time. Frank's fingerprints are all over the brass program, and I couldn't be more thrilled to have him officially take over the brass caption. Add to that the expanded role of Josh Talbott in the brass program. and I have great optimism for the continued growth of the brass line and the corps."

    Frank Sullivan

    Frank Sullivan has been the brass arranger and brass caption advisor for the Blue Stars since the 2006 season. During that time, the Blue Stars brass ensemble has established itself as one of the top programs in the country. Frank was named Blue Star of the Year in 2009 for his dedication and commitment to the success of the Blue Stars organization.

    Sullivan was a member of the Star of Indiana organization from 1991 to 1993 and both a member and instructor with Star of Indiana's Brass Theater from 1994 to 1997. In 1998 he joined The Cadets' brass staff, eventually assuming the brass caption head role there in 1999.

    Away from the drum corps activity, Frank graduated from Indiana State University in 1996 with a degree in Music Education and was a band director in Indiana from 1997 to 2001. From 2001 to 2004 Sullivan toured with BLAST!, serving as a performing soloist, the music manager, and the artistic supervisor. Frank Sullivan is a much sought after composer and arranger in drum corps, marching band, winter guard and winter percussion. He is the founder with Kevin Ford of Inspire Music and Entertainment Productions, an arranging company based in Tampa Bay, Florida.

    "It is a very exciting time to be with the Blue Stars, and I am just thankful and fortunate to be a small part of such a great team'" said Frank Sullivan. "The talent and commitment that exists among the members, administration, staff, and design team continues to demonstrate how much passion we have for the Blue Stars, and for the activity itself."

    "I have been working on projects with Frank Sullivan for the past nine years," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "He is the epitome of a professional as a music educator, brass specialist and designer and is largely responsible for the positive chemistry in both our membership and faculty at the Blue Stars. To have our brass arranger and brass caption supervisor be one in the same will be a great advantage for our brass line. The 2010 season promises to be another year of growth and excellence for the Blue Stars, and with Frank's talents at the helm of our brass program I expect nothing but the very best."

    Josh Talbott

    Joshua Talbott is a Project Engineer at Raytheon Technical Services Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to being a skilled engineer, Josh is also an educator, performer, composer and arranger.

    Josh performed in the Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps from 1987 to 1993 as a mellophone player, soloist and horn sergeant. Talbott composed the piece "Split Complimentaries" in 1993 for the DCI Individual and Ensemble competition. Star's performance of the piece received a perfect score of 100. Today "Split," as it is better known, has been performed thousands of times by the touring show BLAST!. After Star of Indiana, Josh was a featured performer, writer, teacher and conductor for Brass Theater and a musical consultant and writer for BLAST!. During Brass Theater, Josh had the opportunity to learn and work in tandem with the Canadian Brass as a teacher/performer, and with Ray Cramer as a conductor and educator.

    Josh did his undergraduate studies at Northern Kentucky University and Masters studies at Indiana University in Horn. Josh's current musical projects include writing for marching bands, drum corps and winter guards across the U.S. The bands for which he has written and/or taught have won both state and Bands of America titles. Josh was the chief organizer of the 2004 Star of Indiana Reunion Corps and served as president of the Star Alumni Association from 2004-2006. He now serves as musical director for Star United based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The mini corps won the 2006, 2007, and 2008 DCA Mini Corps National Championships in Rochester, NY.

    "The Blue Stars hornline has established itself as one of the top brass ensembles in DCI," said Josh Talbott. "I look forward to joining forces with a talented staff in our continued mission to build a premier brass program."

    "I am extremely pleased to have Josh Talbott expand his role in our brass program," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "Josh's attention to detail and knowledge of brass pedagogy has been a integral part of our brassline's success, and having him more actively involved in the program will produce tremendous results on the field in 2010."

    In addition to Sullivan and Talbott, the following technicians and advisors will be returning to the Blue Stars in 2010 (additional names to be announced at a later date).

    Seth Murphy

    Seth Murphy hails from Rock Hill, South Carolina and has a music performance degree in bass trombone and euphonium from Winthrop University. Seth marched four years with the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps as a contra, baritone and euphonium player, and taught the corps in 2006-07 as a brass instructor. Seth was a cast member with the Tony and Emmy award-winning production BLAST!, performing as a euphonium soloist, trombonist, and marching snare drummer.

    Murphy is the assistant band director for the marching season at Nation Ford High School in Fort Mill, SC. He is also working in the Carolinas as a teacher and consultant with various marching bands and giving lessons in his low brass studio. Seth is very excited about his second season with the Blue Stars brass program.

    Matt Taylor

    Matthew Taylor returns to the Blue Stars' brass staff for his second season in 2010. He began his drum corps career as a member of the Blue Knights in 1989 and marched there until 1993. From 1998-2007 he was the soprano/trumpet technician for the Blue Knights and also served as staff coordinator.

    Matt attended the University of Northern Colorado where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education in 2000. While at UNC he studied under William Pfund and Danny Keuhn. From 1997-2002 he served as the Drill Designer for the "Pride of the Rockies" Marching Band under the direction of Dr. Richard Mayne. Matt is currently the Director of Bands & Orchestras at D'Evelyn Jr./ Sr. High School in Denver, CO. The school boasts several ensembles including 3 concert bands, 2 orchestras, jazz band, marching band, and several small groups.

    Melissa Primavera

    Melissa Primavera received her Music Education degree from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She achieved the prestigious role of Principal Euphonium in the NMSU Symphonic Winds for 3 years. She has taught many high school band programs in the New Mexico area, along with the Pride of NMSU marching band. She is currently a former cast member for Odyssey - an all female cast of brass, percussion, and dancers that toured Japan in the fall of 2008.

    Melissa's drum corps career began with the Blue Knights drum and bugle corps from Denver, Colorado, where she marched 4 years. In the summer of 2007, she competed in DCI's Individual and Ensemble and received the gold medal in the baritone caption. This will be her third year teaching with the Blue Stars.

    Donnie VanDoren

    Donnie VanDoren is continuing with the Blue Stars in his role as Brass Advisor. VanDoren is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Casting Director for Mason Entertainment Group, creators of the theatrical show BLAST! and the new touring show MIX (Music in Extreme). VanDoren has been instrumental in the development of the Blue Stars as a top-level World Class drum corps, and look forward to his continued guidance and advice with regards to the corps' brass program.

    2010 Auditions

    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2010 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 20-22, 2009. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Aungst, Larrivee to Lead Blue Stars 2010 Percussion
    Aug 24, 2009 9:25 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is excited to announce Tom Aungst as percussion caption head and arranger and Neil Larrivee as front ensemble coordinator and arranger for the 2010 season. Both Tom and Neil were percussion consultants to the Blue Stars in 2009, and will fully run the percussion program for the upcoming season.

    "I have had the pleasure of getting to know Tom and Neil over the past year, and I can't think of anyone better to take the reins of the Blue Stars percussion program," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "Not only do they have an unmatched record of success in the activity, but they are true professionals who will have a positive impact on our members and the entire organization."

    "Tom Aungst's and Neil Larrivee's stellar talent will mix beautifully with the chemistry of the Blue Stars and provide an incredible boost to the growth of the organization," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "I am confident that our membership and staff will benefit by the addition of these icons and I'm elated they are taking on these roles with our corps."

    About Tom Aungst

    Tom Aungst has been involved in the drum and bugle corps activity for thirty years. Tom started marching in 1979 with the Reading Buccaneers Senior Drum Bugle Corps. In 1981, he became a member of the Garfield Cadets and continued to march with the corps until his age-out year in 1984. Aungst became the lead percussion technician for the Cadets from 1985 until 1989. From 1989 through 2008 Tom was the Director of Percussion and Arranger for the Cadets. In his 27 years with the Cadets, Aungst has been involved with winning nine DCI World Championships, six Fred Sanford High Percussion Awards, and nine runner-up titles. Tom was inducted into the Cadets' Hall of Fame in 2004 and the DCI Hall of Fame in 2006.

    Aungst is currently the Percussion Director for the Dartmouth Public School System in Dartmouth, MA. His position includes teaching percussion students from fourth grade through high school. He also carries with him great success on the Winter Guard International Percussion circuit with Dartmouth High School capturing 4 World Championships in 1998, 1999, 2008, and 2009, and placing in the top three every year since 1998.

    Aungst has a Bachelors in Music Education from West Chester University in PA, and a masters in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University. Tom lives in New Bedford, Mass., with his wife Darcie and his two Sons, Alan and Noah.

    "The opportunity to work with the creative, positive, and open-minded design team at the Blue Stars pulled me back into drum corps from retirement," said Aungst. "As a consultant for the 2009 season, I was impressed with the Blue Stars organization at every level; from the administration to the instructional staff, and most importantly, the members themselves. Plus, I am extremely excited to work and create with Neil Larrivee again."

    About Neil Larrivee

    Neil Larrivee is the former pit director and arranger for the nine time DCI World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Having joined the Cadets staff in 1993, he was part of 4 DCI championships and 4 High Percussion Awards. Other drum corps that Neil has arranged for include; Bluecoats in 1998 & 1999, Northern Star of England in 2006 & 2007 and Jubal of the Netherlands in 2007 & 2008.

    Neil served as Co-Marching Band Director, Percussion Director & Arranger at King Philip Regional High School of Wrentham, MA from 1985 - 2002. He was the Director and designer for the 2000 WGI Scholastic World Champion King Philip Indoor Marching Percussion Ensemble. King Philip placed second as well in '97, '98 & 2001. The King Philip Concert Percussion Ensemble also placed second during 2001 in the Scholastic Concert World Class.

    Since 2004, Neil has been the pit arranger for the Dartmouth High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble. Dartmouth is the 2008 and 2009 WGI Scholastic World Champions. Neil served on the WGI Percussion Advisory Board & Steering Committee from 1997 - 2002. He has been a judge for WGI, NESBA, MICCA & USSBA and endorses, Remo, Zildjian and Sibelius Software. Additionally, Neil is the Director of Education and New Product Development for Vic Firth Inc.

    "It is highly flattering to be asked to join the Blue Stars in this capacity," said Larrivee. "Having participated as a consultant for the past season, I have grown to appreciate the quality of the people within the organization from top to bottom. This is a design team with an approach that excites me and I can't wait to be a part of that process and see the results it produces. And, to partner up again with Tom is something that always feels right. I am very much looking forward to this new and exciting opportunity!"

    2010 Auditions

    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2010 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 20-22, 2009. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Blue Stars 2010 Drum Majors
    Aug 21, 2009 9:29 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the 2010 Drum Major selections. Zach Ashcraft and Mark Donahue will lead the corps on and off the field and function as the cornerstone of the organization's student leadership team.


    Zach Ashcraft is originally from Hurst, Texas, and is currently attending the University of Denver in Colorado where he will be entering his Junior year as a trumpet performance major. Zach plans to receive his Masters degree in music education and return to Texas to teach high school band. He has been performing with the Blue Stars since 2007 as a member of the trumpet line, and will be aging out this season as drum major.

    "I am amazed at how much this corps has grown on and off the field over the past 3 years, and I can't wait to continue the upward climb this during the 2010 season," said Ashcraft.

    Mark Donahue is originally from Morton, Illinois, and is currently attending Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. Mark will be entering his Sophomore year at ISU where he is pursuing degrees in music education and clarinet performance. Donahue recently completed his second season as a lead baritone player in the Blue Stars brass section.

    "I look forward to continuing my career with the Blue Stars in this new role," said Donahue. "I hope to foster and be a part of the continued growth and success of the corps over the next several years."

    "Mark and Zach embody both the work ethic of the Blue Stars and relentless pursuit of perfection - on and off the field - necessary for success, said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "With their inherent strengths as true leaders they are going to make outstanding Drum Majors for our organization."

    Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2010 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 20-22, 2009. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Montgomery Retires from Blue Stars
    Aug 20, 2009 7:41 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Long-time instructor Brent Montgomery has decided to retire from his role as Percussion Caption Head for the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps. Montgomery has been the leader of the Blue Stars' percussion since the 2006 season when the corps returned to World Class competition.

    "Brent's contributions to our percussion program and our entire organization have been enormous during the past four years," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "He took a Division II program and developed it into a World Class finalist ensemble. Brent's dedication and commitment to the Blue Stars has been overwhelming. I and other alums owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his work with the corps."

    "I was the beneficiary of great design and wonderful members," said Montgomery. "I came out of semi-retirement to take on this challenge, and now it's time to focus on my career in music education. I will truly miss the staff and members, but I leave knowing the Blue Stars future will be in good hands. Thank you for so many great memories."

    The Blue Stars have a plan in place for the future and will be announcing it next week. Auditions for the 2010 season will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN from November 20-22, 2009. For more information, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Winner of 2009 Raffle
    Aug 11, 2009 9:32 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    The winner of $10,000 in the Blue Stars 2009 raffle is Sarah Clayton from Effingham, IL. Congrats, Sarah!
     
    Blue Stars Members Crowned I&E Champions
    Aug 6, 2009 10:44 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars would like to congratulate the following members for their achievements at the 2009 Drum Corps International Individual and Ensemble competition.

    Gold Medal
    Haakon Burntvedt - Flag
    Tracey Nettler and Kekoa Mateo - Auxiliary Ensemble
    David Oriente - Snare

    Silver Medal
    Chris Hammer - Saxophone
    Mark Donahue - Clarinet
    Jared Littleton - Tuba

    Bronze Medal
    Jared Hallstrom - Trumpet

    Congratulations to these and all the Blue Stars who competed in the I&E competition!

     
    Blue Stars in the News
    Jun 29, 2009 4:13 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars were recently featured on TV broadcasts in La Crosse and Eau Claire, WI. Follow the links to check out the coverage.

    Jennifer Livingston's coverage for WKBT Channel 8 in La Crosse

    WQOW Channel 18 in Eau Claire

     
    Blue Stars Choose Wynne Motorcoaches for 2009 Tour
    Jun 1, 2009 3:08 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is partnering with Wynne Motorcoaches, LLC, a division of Wynne Sedan & Limousine Group, for it's motorcoach transportation needs in 2009. The Blue Stars join a growing number of drum corps choosing Wynne for the upcoming season.

    "When we set out to find a transportation partner for the 2009 season,  at the top of our criteria was finding a company that viewed the tour  as a partnership, not simply a business transaction," said Blue Stars  Executive Director Brad Furlano. "Wynne Motorcoaches immediately  jumped out for their commitment to our needs and have quickly  established their customer service as second to none. Wynne's top- notch motorcoach equipment is the icing on the cake, as our members  and staff will be traveling in style this summer."

    Wynne is not only committed to customer service and the safety of its passengers, it is fully committed to our environment.

    Joan Wynne, President/CEO said, "It is my responsibility to provide our clients, and our community with safe clean transportation. By September 2011, all of our vehicles will be more fuel-efficient, producing fewer emissions, less particulates and be far more eco-friendly than they are today." Bedford Wynne, Director of Special Event Services said, "Going Green like vehicle safety is not just talk, it's commitment and hard dollar investments. They both must become a transportation company's way of life!"

    Wynne is a Certified Women Owned business and has been recognized by  Limousine Chauffeur Transportation Magazine as the 29th largest  Chauffeured transportation service provider based in the United  States. Wynne and its owner, Joan Wynne have been featured in Business Travel Executive, the Dallas Business Journal magazines and will be featured in an up-coming article in Forbes magazine.


    About the Blue Stars
    Founded in 1964, the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is celebrating its 45th season in 2009. The corps is a founding member of Drum Corps International and a 28-time finalist in Division I, II and III competition. For more information about the Blue Stars, please visit www.bluestars.org.


    About Wynne Motorcoaches
    Wynne, headquartered in Dallas, Texas is a worldwide provider of  chauffeured vehicle and charter motor coach transportation services.  Wynne also has a dedicated convention and special event group that has  provided transportation services throughout the globe. For more  information about Wynne, please visit www.wynnemotorcoaches.com.
     
    Blue Star Cadets a Good Neighbor
    May 11, 2009 4:35 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Blue Stars Helped on Neighbors Day

    By Lorraine Walker, La Crosse

    I'm so thankful and appreciative for Neighbors Day. I'm not only elderly, but I have a bad shoulder, preventing me from raking my double lot. Fourteen youngsters, part of the Blue Stars group, came with lawn equipment, bags and enthusiasm and got the job done quickly and efficiently. They can be so proud of themselves. They did such a thorough job. I was so impressed. Besides that, they were so friendly and polite.

    I salute our youth who are making a difference in our community.

     
    Blue Stars Fan Network Improved for 2009
    May 6, 2009 8:31 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Drum Corps International and the Blue Stars are incredibly pleased to announce the return and expansion of one of the most ambitious Web-based undertakings since DCI's founding some 37 years ago. The Blue Stars, along with the other DCI World Class corps have come together in a collaborative effort to take the wraps off of the totally redesigned and wildly expanded "Fan Network," which now gives fans of drum corps across the world the chance to enjoy a spectacular, dizzying array of media options unlike anything ever offered before. Featuring unlimited and exclusive access to ALL of the action from the Blue Stars and ALL of the World Class corps on the 2009 Drum Corps International Tour, great new features will help you catch every note of the excitement. But that's just the beginning!

     
    Dartmouth HS Percussion Takes Gold
    Apr 19, 2009 9:24 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    Congratulations to Tom Aungst and Dartmouth HS for their exciting Gold Medal finish in Scholastic World competition at WGI!
     
    Corona Winter Guard Takes Silver
    Apr 5, 2009 2:21 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    Congratulations to Michael Shapiro and the Corona Winter Guard for their exciting Silver Medal finish in Independent World competition at WGI!

    From Dan Federspill: "here is a picture of Sara Neal and Myself (from Zydeco color guard 7th place at WGI) w/ some blue stars corona kids!"
     
    2009 Program: The Factory
    Mar 20, 2009 7:54 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The 2009 Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to present its 2009 production, "The Factory." The corps will explore the life, sounds, imagery, and experiences of 1940s era factory workers and the people often described as our Greatest Generation.

    The people of this time in American life are defined by an indomitable spirit of duty, honor, and country. World War II was raging on two fronts, displacing artists and intellectuals from throughout the world, bringing new ideas forged in disillusionment. Rosie the Riveter became a symbol of female patriotism as men went off to war and women streamed into factories to work on assembly lines.

    Ultimately these events changed and defined life in America completely. Women had experienced life away from the traditional role of homemaker; African-Americans would no longer accept second status and began the march to equality; the GI Bill allowed more men than ever before to achieve a college education. As a result, this time period challenged the traditional roles of individuals and inspired a new age of personal expression.

    The Blue Stars are looking forward to bringing the sights, sounds, and imagery of "The Factory" to the field in 2009.

    Become a fan of The Blue Stars on Facebook

    Watch The Factory Trailer on The Blue Stars Fan Network

     
    L.B.S. Cadets, Inc. is now Blue Stars, Performing Arts for Youth, Inc.
    Mar 8, 2009 9:45 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The parent organization of the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps, Blue Star Cadets Youth Band, and Blue Stars Alumni Corps has changed its name from L.B.S. Cadets, Inc. to Blue Stars, Performing Arts for Youth, Inc.

    "This organizational name change is something we have been discussing for a few years now to better reflect the nature of our company," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "The name L.B.S. Cadets, Inc. came about during our reorganization in the early 80s and was confusing to people as to how it relates to our organization and our current programs."

    "The new name of the corporation provides a better description of who we are and what we do," said Furlano. "Additionally, the new name provides a better platform in which to expand our program offerings in the future."

     
    Blue Star Cadets Announce Staff for 2009
    Feb 16, 2009 8:00 PM (Submitted by: Denise Felton-Pagonis)

    The Blue Star Cadets are proud to announce the staff for the 2009 season.

    Howard Hill will be returning to head up the percussion program. He has a Masters Degree in Percussion Performance and has been with the Blue Stars Organization for many years. 1st as a marching member then on to staff, holding various positions.

    Marcus Christianson will assume the position of Percussion Tech. Marcus was a member of the Blue Star Cadets from 2002 through 2008. He has received the Cadet Member of the Year, Cadet Leadership, and the Finis Coronat Opus Awards for his commitment to the Blue Star Cadet Organization.

    Jason Harden will be joining the Cadet staff to head up the Brass and Winds program. He has a Bachelors Degree in Music Education. Jason was a marching member of the Magic of Orlando and on staff with the Kiwanis Kavaliers. He will be a great addition to the staff.

    MacKenize Callan will assume the position of Brass Tech. MacKenzie was a member of the Blue Star Cadets from 2004 through 2008. She has received the Cadet Member of the Year award for her dedication to the Blue Star Cadets.

     
    Blue Stars' Member Performs with All-American Marching Band
    Jan 22, 2009 10:28 PM (Submitted by: Tim Lundin)

    Paul Gentine, a veteran of the 2008 Blue Stars' trumpet line, can say something few of his drum corps peers can match: he played in the Alamo Bowl on January 3, 2009, in San Antonio, Texas! No aerobatic catches or bone-crushing tackles for him, though; Paul was a member of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band which performed as part of the halftime show. Highlights of his all-expense paid trip included sectionals with the U. S. Army Field Band, making new friends, sightseeing around San Antonio, and in a personal moment, the opportunity to visit the grave of his great-grandfather.

    He was one of only 97 high school seniors from around the country to qualify to participate in the six minute show which featured Grand Funk Railroad’s "We're an American Band" and "America" from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Practices were pretty intense by high school band standards, running five to six hours a day for the whole week prior to the show. Paul felt the members of the band were "very, very good," and they picked up the show very quickly.

    Paul was first made aware of the opportunity from an article on DCI.org last March, and submitted the required video audition demonstrating his musical, marching, and communication skills. His father was able to give him a call two weeks before the end of the Blue Stars 2008 tour informing him that he was accepted. Paul was positive about the entire adventure, saying, "it was a very exciting experience on and off the field, and I'll never forget it."

    The Blue Stars would like to congratulate Paul Gentine on a job well done!

     
    Brass Odyssey Featured Four from Blue Stars' Family
    Jan 5, 2009 12:24 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Ellie Lundin stands in the wings awaiting her next stage entrance (Photo by: Melanie Weiss)

    The Blue Stars were well represented on the recently completed Brass Odyssey tour of Japan. Four members of the Blue Stars' family were among the elite 47-member Brass Odyssey cast: Brass Technician Amy Frost (trumpet/piccolo trumpet), Member Ellie Lundin (trumpet), Brass Technician Melissa Primavera (bass trombone/euphonium/baritone), and Color Guard Technician Krystal "Cookie" Shepherd (visual ensemble).

    Billed as "The Best of America's Dream Team," and performing as the Brass Angels, the two-hour stage show "Odyssey" featured a fast-paced mix of musical styles combined with the dynamic motion of marching and dance.

    Primavera, summed up the experience by saying "It was incredible! I was thrilled by how appreciative the audiences responded to our performances." She added that it was great to have a chance to travel around Japan and take in the different sites and culture.

    Frost, was recruited early in the group's formation, and felt the four Blue Stars gained valuable experience that will translate into the way they teach and perform for the corps next season. This sentiment was echoed by Lundin, a lead trumpet in the Blue Stars horn line, who thought the demands of the tour really helped her develop further as a musician.

    Although the four are sad to be done with the nearly 50 show tour, they're glad to be home and excited about joining the rest of the Blue Stars in Indianapolis on January 16.

    We're proud of their accomplishments and pleased that such talented individuals are a part of the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps!

     
    Blue Stars Announce 2009 Visual Staff Leaders
    Nov 3, 2008 1:02 PM (Submitted by: Howard Weinstein)

    Chris De Leon joins the Blue Stars organization as Visual Caption Head for the 2009 season. Joining De Leon will be Bob Barfield as a key Visual Program Consultant and Instructor, as well as Chris Turner as a Lead Movement and Marching Technician.

    Chris began his drum corps career as a member of the Boston Crusaders from 2000-2003, Chris aged-out as Drum Major in 2003 and was awarded Crusader of the Year by his fellow members. He spent the 2004-2007 seasons as a member of the Visual staff with Boston, serving as Assistant Visual Caption Head during the 2007 season.

    Over the past five years Chris has worked as a visual instructor/clinician and instrumental specialist with several award winning marching bands and color guards from Florida, Indiana and Ohio. Some of the more recent groups include Northmont High School, Tarpon Springs High School and Lawrence Central High School.

    Born and raised in Miami, Fl, Chris currently resides in Columbus, OH where he attends The Ohio State University on a Jazz Scholarship. He will complete his Bachelors degree in Music Education/Jazz Studies in 2009.

    "It has been amazing to watch the Blue Stars' steady improvement into one of the elite drum corps of the activity. I am humbled and extremely excited to be a part of this incredible staff, some of whom are dear friends and former teachers.", states De Leon.

    Corps Director, Howard Weinstein states, "The addition of Chris De Leon as our Visual Caption Head now completes our entire instructional and design team. Chris is passionate, hard working, and will bring an energy to the Blue Stars that will affect both the instructional faculty and the membership with incredible impact. As an organization, we have taken our time to find the most qualified and appropriate people for all of these roles, and I am ecstatic to have De Leon and his team on board."

     
    Sullivan, Ford, and Larrivee Complete Blue Stars 2009 Design Team
    Oct 16, 2008 10:49 AM (Submitted by: Howard Weinstein)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the return of Frank Sullivan and Kevin Ford, and the addition of Neil Larrivee as designers for the corps' 2009 production. Sullivan returns for his fourth season as brass arranger and composer, Ford returns for his second season as drill designer, and Larrivee joins the percussion team as arranger and consultant. They join the previously announced 2009 designers: Michael Shapiro, color guard; Brent Montgomery, percussion; Tom Aungst, percussion; and Seth Adams, percussion.

    Corps Director Howard Weinstein says, "I could not ask for a more innovative and creative design team for our drum corps. It's exciting to have the continuity of last year's team, with the great talent that we have added this year. I truly feel we are heading in the right direction, and with these gentlemen at the helm of design, we could not be in better hands."

    Frank Sullivan was a member of the Star of Indiana organization from 1991 to 1993 and both a member and instructor with Star of Indiana's Brass Theater from 1994 to 1997. In 1998 he joined The Cadets' on Brass Staff, eventually assuming the Brass Caption Head role there in 1999.

    Away from the drum corps activity, Frank graduated from Indiana State University in 1996 with a degree in Music Education and was a band director in Indiana from 1997 to 2001. From 2001 to 2004 Sullivan toured with the BLAST, serving as a performing soloist, the music manager, and the artistic supervisor. In 2004 he composed the program for Boston Crusaders. Since then he's been hard at work creating Inspire Music and Entertainment Productions, an arranging company based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Frank has been the Blue Stars' brass arranger since the corps' return to World Class in 2006.

    "I am very much looking forward to the upcoming season with the Blue Stars," said Sullivan. "As we begin the design process, we will continue to create productions that are cutting-edge, enjoyable for the members and audience alike, and challenging for every performer on the field."

    Kevin Ford is the Director of The Leadership and Music Conservatory at Tarpon Springs High School and brings to the Blue Stars Drum Bugle Corps his 20 years of experience as a nationally accomplished show designer and music educator. Consistently recognized for his creativity, work ethic, and his continued commitment to excellence in music education, He is presently in his fourteenth year of teaching in the public school system, all of which have been spent as the Director of Bands at Tarpon Springs High School. His responsibilities there include directing the Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Marching Band, Winter Guard, serving as Solo and Ensemble Coach, and developing the curriculum for the Conservatory Student Leadership Courses.

    Mr. Ford received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Florida, and is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the Florida Bandmasters Association, the Pinellas County Music Educators Association, and the Phi Kappa Psi Honor Society. In 2004 Mr. Ford was selected as Who's Who Among Teachers and in 2005 was selected for the prestigious Who's Who Among Americans award. In addition to his duties at Tarpon Springs High School, Mr. Ford enjoys an active schedule as a leadership speaker, guest clinician, and adjudicator throughout the country and is nationally renowned for his creative abilities as a show designer, drill writer, and consultant for the musical and visual arts.

    He is currently the show designer for numerous high schools, the 5- time Bands of America AA National Champion Tarpon Springs High School Marching Band, and has been the visual designer for 4 different top 12 drum and bugle corps throughout his 20 year career. He is also the Co- founder of Inspire .Music and Entertainment Production Company. He currently serves as a member of the prestigious Bands of America Educational Advisory Board. Most notably, Mr. Ford was hired as the Artistic Designer for The Opening Ceremonies to The 2002 FIFA World Cup Soccer Games in Daejeon Metropolitan City, South Korea.

    "I grew up in the drum corps activity myself, and being involved with a corps in rich as tradition as the Blue Stars allows me to continue to give today's participants the same great opportunities I had in the activity," said Ford. "The Blue Stars are re-staking their mark on the activity, and I am very proud to be a part of it."

    Neil Larrivee is the former Pit Director and Arranger for the nine time DCI World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Having joined the Cadets staff in 1993, he was part of 4 DCI championships and 4 High Percussion Awards. Other drum corps that Neil has arranged for include; Bluecoats in 1998 & 1999, Northern Star of England in 2006 & 2007 and Jubal of the Netherlands in 2007 & 2008.

    Neil served as Co-Marching Band Director, Percussion Director & Arranger at King Philip Regional High School of Wrentham, MA from 1985 - 2002. He was the Director and designer for the 2000 WGI Scholastic World Champion King Philip Indoor Marching Percussion Ensemble. King Philip placed second as well in '97, '98 & 2001. The King Philip Concert Percussion Ensemble also placed second during 2001 in the Scholastic Concert World Class.

    During his time at King Philip, the Marching Band attained 15 Massachusetts State Marching Band Gold Medals, 8 New England Scholastic Band Association Championships, 10 New England Championship High Percussion Awards, 4 United States Scholastic Band Association Championships, 6 USSBA Championship High Percussion Awards, 2 Bands of America Northeast Regional Championships, 2 BOA Grand National Semi-Finalist placements and the 2000 Grand National AA Bronze medal.

    Since 2004, Neil has been the pit arranger for the Dartmouth High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble. Dartmouth is the 2008 WGI Scholastic World Champions and placed second in 2006 & 2007 while also placing 3rd in 2004 & 2005.

    Neil served on the WGI Percussion Advisory Board & Steering Committee from 1997 - 2002. He has been a judge for WGI, NESBA, MICCA & USSBA and endorses, Yamaha, Remo, Zildjian and Sibelius Software. Additionally, Neil is the Director of Education and New Product Development for Vic Firth Inc.

    "What a pleasant surprise it was for me to receive an invitation to join the Blue Stars team," said Larrivee. "This is an organization that is very easy to see myself a part of. There are several fine individuals who I have worked with before in some capacity making it feel very comfortable right from the get-go! The 2008 season for this corps surely was very impressive and I look forward to contributing what I can as the Blue Stars continue to develop this fine organization."

    2009 Auditions
    Auditions for the 2009 Blue Stars will be held November 28, 29, and 30 in Indianapolis, Indiana; December 6 in Minneapolis, MN (brass and percussion); and December 13 in Los Angeles, CA (guard). For more information on becoming a part of the Blue Stars, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Green, VanDoren Return to Lead Blue Stars' 2009 Brass Program
    Oct 8, 2008 9:45 PM (Submitted by: Howard Weinstein)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the return of Bradley Kerr Green and Donnie VanDoren to lead its brass program in 2009.

    "Bradley Kerr Green's resume and success with the Blue Stars' Brass program speak for itself. He has done a great job with growing the brass program's performance along with the overall drumcorps, and I expect this to continue into the 2009 season as he continues at the helm. In addition, having Donnie Van Doren continuing in his role with the Blue Stars is a complete honor as he is an icon in the activity. Donnie is a consummate professional, and consistently gives our organization his very best."

    Bradley Kerr Green returns for his second season as the Blue Stars' brass caption head in 2009. Brad began his drum corps career as a euphonium player for the Cadets of Bergen County in 1995. He aged-out as Drum Major for The Cadets in 1998, where the corps earned its seventh DCI World Championship title and Brad was presented with the Jim Jones Leadership award.

    From 1999 to 2004 Brad was a member of the theatrical production BLAST serving as conductor, trombonist, and euphonium performer. From 2001-2004 he was the brass supervisor/manager for the Broadway, Anaheim, and National Touring casts of BLAST.

    In 2004 Brad assumed the role of Brass Caption Head for the Blue Knights drum and bugle corps. In 2006 he joined the brass staff for the Santa Clara Vanguard drum and bugle corps; he then assumed the role of Assistant Brass Caption Head in 2007. In 2008 Brad was appointed Brass Caption Head/Staff Coordinator for the Blue Stars drum and bugle corps.

    Brad has served as an instructor, adjudicator, and arranger/composer for marching bands and drum and bugle corps across the United States. From 1995 to 1999, he completed course work for Music Education at the University of North Texas. In 2008 he earned his Bachelor of Arts with Honors from The New School University. Currently, Brad resides in New York City.

    "I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the 2008 Blue Stars, and I am honored to be returning for the 2009 season. The Blue Stars organization continues to be saturated with some of the finest instructors, designers, and administrative staff the activity has to offer. The membership's understanding and approach to performing, musicality, and the technique program will only grow stronger in 2009."

    Donnie VanDoren is returning to the Blue Stars as Head Program Consultant and Brass Advisor. VanDoren is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Casting Director for Mason Entertainment Group, creators of the theatrical show BLAST and the new touring show MIX (Music in Extreme).

    VanDoren has many years of experience in the drum and bugle corps activity. From 1980 to 1984, he was the Brass Caption Head for the Garfield Cadets, winning two world championships in 1983 and 1984. In 1985, VanDoren served as the Brass Caption Head with the Casper Troopers, placing 9th at DCI Finals.

    VanDoren was the Brass Caption Head for the Star of Indiana in 1986, and from 1988 to 1993, winning the world championship in 1991. From 1994 to 1998, Donnie served as Brass Theater's Music Manager, and helped the organization transition into the BLAST production that has been touring the US and abroad since 2001. BLAST is the recipient of both an Emmy and a Tony award.

    In 1998 and 1999, VanDoren was the Brass Caption Head for the Cadets of Bergen County, winning the world championship in 1998. Since 2005, he has been an advisor to both the Blue Stars and the Carolina Crown. He's an inductee of the Cadets Hall of Fame, the Star of Indiana Wall of Fame, and the DCI Hall of Fame.

    Donnie resides in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife, son, and daughter.

    "It is a joy for me to witness the growth and development of the organization, and particularly the staff, some of which have been former students. I am incredibly proud of the staff for their approach to education, their role modeling, and the positive influence they are making on the membership."

    2009 Auditions
    Auditions for the 2009 Blue Stars will be held November 28, 29, and 30 in Indianapolis, Indiana; December 6 in Minneapolis, MN (brass and percussion); and December 13 in Los Angeles, CA (guard). For more information on becoming a part of the Blue Stars, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Shapiro Returns to Lead Blue Stars' 2009 Color Guard
    Sep 24, 2008 11:32 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the return of Michael Shapiro as caption head and designer for the 2009 Blue Stars color guard. Under Michael's design and instruction, the Blue Stars' 2008 guard placed 7th at the DCI World Championships and dazzled audiences with the their skill, performance and creativity.

    "We are thrilled that Michael is returning to the Blue Stars for the 2009 season," said Blue Stars Corps Director Howard Weinstein. His creative energy and passion for the activity are infectious and help to bring out the very best in our members and staff. Michael plays a key role in the development of the field product, helping the Blue Stars push the innovation envelope while still maintaining the elements of the organization that truly represent the corps. I have had the honor of working with Shapiro on past projects, and I am looking forward to working with him again."

    Michael began his marching career with the Spirit of Atlanta and also performed with the Madison Scouts, and Alliance of Miami. He went on to teach and write for Alliance, as well as many other drum corps and winter guard ensembles. Shapiro's DCI and WGI teaching experience is extensive, and includes Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Crossmen, Carroll High School, The Company, Crown Guard, Mayflower (UK), and many other talented organizations.

    Michael received his undergraduate education from the University of Miami, and currently resides in West Hollywood, CA and teaches many ensembles in the Southern California area. He also directs the Diamond Bar HS Colorguard and is the founder and director of the Corona winter guards. He is very excited to return to the Blue Stars in 2009.

    2009 Auditions
    Auditions for the 2009 Blue Stars will be held November 28, 29, and 30 in Indianapolis, Indiana; December 6 in Minneapolis, MN (brass and percussion); and December 13 in Los Angeles, CA (guard). For more information on becoming a part of the Blue Stars, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    American Express GivingExpress Program
    Sep 11, 2008 10:39 PM (Submitted by: Tim Kviz)

    Do you have an American Express credit card? Now there is an easy way to support the Blue Stars with the GivingExpress Program.

    With this program, you can either make a one time or recurring monthly or annual donation using your American Express card, or you can donate some or all of your membership rewards points to the Blue Stars.

     
    Montgomery, Aungst, and Adams to Lead Blue Stars Percussion
    Sep 5, 2008 2:57 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is excited to announce the return of Brent Montgomery as percussion caption head and Seth Adams as director of the front ensemble program, and the addition of Tom Aungst as lead percussion consultant for the 2009 season.

    Brent Montgomery and Seth Adams are familiar to people who have followed the Blue Stars in recent seasons, as they return for their 4th and 3rd years, respectively. Tom Aungst may be new to the Blue Stars, but he is certainly well known to anyone who has followed drum corps over the past three decades.

    "Tom and I have been friends for many years, and I'm excited that, at long last, we get the opportunity to work with each other," said Montgomery. "Having Tom at the Blue Stars is a tremendous development for our players and the drum corps. He will be an integral part of the design process and also heavily involved in ensuring the best possible ensemble cohesion for the percussion and drum corps."

    "I am very excited to be working with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps," said Aungst.  "As anyone can see from the last few years, they are a corps that has made great progress.  With the talented staff that has been put together, the 2009 season should prove to be one of their best ever."

    "I could not be more thrilled to have Tom's influence and expertise as part of the Blue Stars' percussion program," said Corps Director Howard Weinstein. "He will not only be an incredible addition to the percussion staff, but will also have an impact on the organization as a whole, based on his many years of experience and success in the activity. Tom Aungst is the epitome of professionalism, and a true innovator in the drum corps activity."

    Also returning to teach the Blue Stars' percussion program in 2009 are instructors Jesse Willis, Brian Blume, Eric Thompson, Justin Alvis, and ensemble consultant Nick Angelis.

    About Brent Montgomery
    Brent Montgomery is in his fourth season as the Blue Stars Percussion Caption Head. Prior to joining the Blue Stars, Montgomery spent the 1991-1993 seasons with Star of Indiana, working with percussion ensembles that some consider among the best in the history of the activity.

    Since 1993 Montgomery has focused primarily on commitments outside the activity, though he has served as an advisor to three other corps. "The Blue Stars opportunity was one I couldn't pass up," said Montgomery. "To have a chance to work with an organization with this much heritage and tradition is a gift. I'm really looking forward to being able to contribute to the corps and give back to the activity."

    Montgomery received his Master's Degree in Music from the University of Massachusetts. He currently lives in Indianapolis, IN and works nationally as a percussion arranger, consultant and clinician.

    About Tom Aungst
    Tom Aungst has been involved in the drum and bugle corps activity for almost thirty years. Tom started marching in 1979 with the Reading Buccaneers Senior Drum Bugle Corps. In 1981, he became a member of the Garfield Cadets and continued to march with the corps until his age-out year in 1984. Aungst became the lead percussion technician for the Cadets from 1985 until 1989. From 1989 through 2008 Tom was the Director of Percussion and Arranger for the Cadets. In his 27 years with the Cadets, Aungst has been involved with winning nine DCI World Championships, six Fred Sanford High Percussion Awards, and nine runner-up titles. Tom was inducted into the Cadets' Hall of Fame in 2004 and the DCI Hall of Fame in 2006.

    Aungst is currently the Percussion Director for the Dartmouth Public School System in Dartmouth, MA. His position includes teaching percussion students from fourth grade through high school. He also carries with him great success on the Winter Guard International Percussion circuit with Dartmouth High School capturing 3 World Championships in 1998, 1999, and 2008, and placing in the top three every year since.

    Aungst has a Bachelors in Music Education from West Chester University in PA, and a masters in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University. Tom lives in New Bedford, Mass., with his wife Darcie and his two Sons, Alan and Noah.

    About Seth Adams
    Seth Adams returns to the Blue Stars for his third year as the director and arranger of the front ensemble program. Seth holds degrees in Music Education and Percussion Performance from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he studied arranging and composition with DCI Hall of Fame inductee Thom Hannum and Canadian composer Dr. Carl Wiens. As an arranger, Seth has shared writing credit for drum corps and marching band shows with Thom Hannum, Colin McNutt, Michael Klesch, Wayne Downey, Daisuke Okamoto and Jay Bocook, among others. Seth was the arranger and director of the Carolina Crown Front Ensemble for the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

    Currently residing in Boston, Seth is entering his second year as music director at Saint Mary of the Hills School in Milton, MA. Seth works with the Norwood High School Marching Band and is a contributing arranger for the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band. Seth is also an avid bass player, having performed and recorded with a number of artists of numerous genres throughout the Northeast.

    2009 Auditions
    Auditions for the 2009 Blue Stars will be held November 28, 29, and 30 in Indianapolis, Indiana; December 6 in Minneapolis, MN (brass and percussion); and December 13 in Los Angeles, CA (guard). For more information on becoming a part of the Blue Stars, visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Blue Stars Visa Card Now Available
    Sep 4, 2008 12:52 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Any credit card can send you a statement. This card lets you make one loud and clear!

    Get in step with the new Blue Stars custom Visa cards!

    Now, your everyday purchases can help us raise much needed funds that can offset the ever escalating costs of touring. The first time you use your new Blue Stars Visa card, UMB Bank will contribute $50 and they'll continue to donate a percentage of all retail transactions. All at no additional cost to you with no annual fee. You'll find it hard to choose from the 5 amazing custom designs but easy to show off your choice everywhere Visa is accepted.

    Click Here to Apply Now!


    Frequently Asked Questions
    Q. How does opening a credit card with UMB benefit Blue Stars?
    A. Blue Stars receives $50 for each approved application that is activated and used within 90 days of approval. Additionally, a percentage of every retail purchase made using the card will be donated to Blue Stars.
    Q. Who is UMB?
    UMB a multi-bank, multi-billion dollar holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, was recently ranked by Smart Money as "the highest-scoring traditional bank among our favorites." As a leading card issuer with nearly 40 years of credit card experience, UMB offers a wide range of consumer and commercial Visa and private label products. For more information, visit www.umb.com.
    Q. Is there an annual fee?
    A. No, there is no annual fee.
    Q. What is the interest rate on the card?
    A. 0% for the first six month introductory period on purchases and balance transfers. After the six month introductory period, the interest rate will be the federal prime rate (no lower than 5.25%) + 5.90%.
    Q. Can I apply over the phone?
    A. Unfortunately, not at this time.
    Q. How can I get an application by mail?
    A. Paper applications will be available at certain Blue Stars events or by contacting timothy.kviz@bluestars.org. We encourage you to apply securely online to help us reduce marketing and processing costs.
    Q. When I apply for the card, will my transaction be secure?
    A. Yes. Your application will be transmitted to UMB through an encrypted security page.
    Q. Do I have to activate and use the card within a certain time period for the Blue Stars to receive the $50?
    A. Yes. But you only need to use the card once within the first 90 days for us to receive the $50 bounty. Of course, we encourage you to make it your primary card because Blue Stars receives a percentage of every retail purchase at no additional cost to you.
     
    Howard Weinstein Named Blue Stars Corps Director
    Aug 25, 2008 10:12 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the hiring of Howard Weinstein as Corps Director. His responsibilities will include the continued growth of the drum corps and providing its students, staff and volunteers with an educational and rewarding experience with the organization.

    "Having Howard as part of the Blue Stars management team bodes well for the continued success of the corps," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "His extensive experience as an educator and corps director will allow him to step in immediately and capitalize on our momentum of the past five years."

    Howard was recently the Director of the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps. Under his leadership, the group became a perennial finalist within the Drum Corps International arena, placing as high as 5th at the 2000 and 2002 DCI World Championships. In addition to his programmatic and administrative duties with the corps, he served as the spiritual leader for the organization, teaching leadership and life skills as well as maintaining the chemistry and culture for the group.

    Weinstein was a music educator for more than twenty years. His symphonic, marching and jazz ensembles were consistently rated at superior levels at both district and state competitions and won numerous grand championships throughout the southeast. Weinstein serves as a national adjudicator and clinician and is in high demand as a consultant to music educators throughout the country. He has spoken at several major universities, and teaches leadership in many music education forums.

    "I could not be more thrilled to be continuing my career with the Blue Stars organization. The incredible group of leaders, supporters and educators that are already in place, coupled with the forward motion of the drum corps, is a combination that inspires me to bring my very best each day. I am humbled and honored to have been chosen to work with this fine drum and bugle corps, rich with tradition, yet setting the trends for the future."

    Auditions for the Blue Stars 2009 season will begin at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN over Thanksgiving weekend. Audition and winter camp information will be available in the near future at www.bluestars.org. Howard can be contacted at howard@bluestars.org.

     
    Blue Stars Take 8th Place At DCI
    Aug 13, 2008 10:38 AM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The 2008 Ending to the show included a formation of a cyclist, complete with rotating wheels

    La Crosse Tribune Article

    Article on DCI.org

    Congrats to everyone involved with the Blue Stars this year for an extremely successful season!

    For the first time in 29 years, the Blue Stars placed in the top twelve corps at the DCI Finals. The Blue Stars finished in 8th place in 2008 after 14th place finishes in 2007 and 2006.

    Here are the scores from Saturday's Finals Show:

    1Phantom Regiment98.125
    2Blue Devils98.100
    3The Cavaliers97.325
    4Carolina Crown96.800
    5The Cadets94.750
    6Bluecoats93.175
    7Santa Clara Vanguard93.025
    8Blue Stars90.425
    9Blue Knights88.250
    10Boston Crusaders87.275
    11Glassmen87.200
    12Madison Scouts85.225

     
    Online Shopping To Benefit the Blue Stars
    Jul 15, 2008 10:50 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)


    You will find hundreds of stores and thousands of special deals and coupons in our mall. We get a portion of every dollar spent in our mall.visitourmall.com/BlueStars

    Also, we have set up a shop page so that you can find the online mall and other similar programs more easily

     
    Magazine Fundraiser
    May 5, 2008 10:33 PM (Submitted by: Eric Sabach)

    Our online fundraising store has over 650 of the most popular magazine titles at up to 85% off newsstands prices. Purchase or renew your favorite magazine subscriptions and 40% of your purchase will go directly to the Blue Stars!

     
    Spring Training News!
    May 1, 2008 11:21 AM (Submitted by: Eric Sabach)

    The Indiana FFA Leadership Center in Trafalgar, Indiana is the ideal setting for our Spring Training this year. Their 168-acre facility offers a natural setting that will enable the members and staff of the Blue Stars to focus on the task at hand, preparing our 2008 production of “Le Tour – Every Second Counts” for our Drum Corps International World Class tour this summer.

    Lodging accommodations include private rooms, semi-private rooms and group cabin housing. Well air conditioned and heated, clean cabins, will accommodate the membership and newly finished shower houses will give the members clean and affordable comforts for our three week stay there.

    The Fellowship Center and Main Lodge are great spaces for inside sectionals, meetings, and to relax before lights out. Wireless internet, big-screen TV with a DVD player will allow the members some comfortable down time. There are also outside covered picnic areas, incase of a rainstorm.

    A great main field with elevation and plenty of fields to line in the area will allow the Blue Stars to break down into sectionals easily, then get back together later in the day to put the parts back together in ensemble rehearsal and run throughs.

    Items of note:

    -The food service trailer will be serving all of our meals while we are at camp, so the members will be well accustomed to Sharon’s great cooking before we leave for La Crosse on June 13th.

    -There are no laundry facilities at the camp, so we will be busing the members into town in shifts while we are at the FFA Center to do laundry and give them some down time.

    -Members will be checking in starting on Friday, May 23rd and continue to noon on Saturday. Rehearsals will start later in the afternoon after a spring training orientation session.

    -The schedule for Spring Training will be finalized after the May 2-4 camp.

    -Airport shuttles will run from the Indianapolis Airport to the FFA Center.

    -You can read more about the Indiana FFA Center and contact information here: www.indianaffacenter.com

    -You can see where the FFA Center located on the map here: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=6595+S.+125+W+%7C+Trafalgar,+IN+46181&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=29.992289,81.914062&ie=UTF8&ll=39.375644,-86.119981&spn=0.007132,0.019999&t=h&z=16

    We will leave the FFA Center on Friday, June 13th and head to La Crosse, Wisconsin for a week in our home town, before leaving on our summer tour. Events are in the process of being finalized and we look forward to seeing all of our La Crosse family when we return home for “Blue Star Days” from June 14th to June 20th. More information to follow.

     
    April Camp Report and Video
    Apr 13, 2008 11:00 PM (Submitted by: Jonathon Powell, Principal Conductor)

    Finally, the Blue Stars had a camp where the weather decided it would cooperate with them for the weekend.

    The corps arrived for what had been a heavily anticipated weekend. With the postponement of learning drill from last camp, they knew that they would finally get a chance to go outside and put the bike on the field.

    Friday night the corps arrived with a few minor problems. It appeared as though, while the weather was cooperating in Indianapolis, other parts of the country were not as fortunate. But we pushed on through a fast paced music rehearsal that included small group performances of “Stage 5 of ‘Le Tour.’”

    Saturday the corps awoke to a dense fog and upside-down day for food (Upside down meaning that we eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. The members love this!). To begin their day they were served cheese and pepperoni pizza as they headed out to an amazing early April temperature of 30 degrees as to begin their outside drill rehearsal. They went for quick run as the field lining chalked a field and the scaffolding crew put together what they claimed to be scaffolding. The Visual Caption Head however disagreed. As the fog began to clear the temperature shot up from 31 to 58 degrees in 1hr. The corps finished out both the morning and afternoon blocks by completing all 30 sets that were to be learned at the last camp and even added a little playing. The evening rehearsal brought it all together as the corps ensembled part two of “Stage 5”, and marked the first third of the race complete.

    Sunday brought back a review of sets learned and added the additional element of putting all of the programs music with it. The afternoon block started with a brief corps meeting with our director, Eric Sabach, and he was excited to see the progress that was made over the weekend. At this time the corps was informed that it would be staying at Star Hall during Finals Week 2008 in Bloomington. You could feel the buzz and excitement coming off the corps as it found that it had one of 3 premier sites during finals week. By this time a considerable amount of parents, friends, alumni, and Star of Indiana Alum had converged on the rehearsal site to see the final run. There is a slight possibility that the corps even disturbed a proctored test that was given as there was a considerable amount of people in the tracks grandstand. They didn’t seem to mind however.

    Everyone is looking forward to May camp as it brings the final rehearsal before move-ins. It also allows many members to see friends they haven’t seen since January as the Color Guard was not required to attend winter camps.

    Things are heating up in Indianapolis and it is not just the weather. Everyone is excited and looking forward to what is to come from “Le Tour: Every Second Counts”

    Please enjoy the April Camp Video. Thanks to staff member and Blue Stars alumnus Doug Hall for his hard work on the video.

     
    Vic Firth and The Blue Stars Join Forces!
    Apr 12, 2008 3:26 PM (Submitted by: Eric Sabach, Corps Director/Director of Youth Programs)

    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce that they have entered into a 3-year agreement with Vic Firth to be the sole supplier of all percussion sticks and mallets.

    For over 40 years, Vic Firth has been a leader in design, innovation and technology. They have pioneered new concepts and methods to constantly improve upon the manufacturing process, resulting in the world's best drumsticks and mallets.

    Blue Stars Front Ensemble Arranger, Seth Adams says, "I am personally ecstatic that the Blue Stars are now exclusively using Vic Firth sticks and mallets. I have long been a fan of the quality and variety of Vic Firth products, as well as the value of Vic Firth's online resources and the company's dedication to quality percussion education. For the Blue Stars to be affiliated with the best stick and mallet company is an important step in our ensemble's progress."

    Neil Larrivee, Vic Firth's Director of Education and Product Development, “All of us at Vic Firth are thrilled to welcome the Blue Stars to the Vic Firth team! We have all watched as the corps, now with DCI World Class status has continued to grow with excellence and impact within the marching music community. With an exciting staff of educators and designers, along with great performers and an experienced administration team--the future will likely be brighter then ever for this fine corps! We are so happy to have all of this now occur while the Blue Stars choose to perform exclusively with Vic Firth sticks and mallets. We wish you all the best!”

    Eric Sabach, Corps Director, said “Vic Firth is a wonderful company with true vision from both a product and marketing standpoint. Vic Firth’s brand strategy reaches into many markets and their educational initiatives affect many students around the world that will now know more about The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. Quality of product and quality of sound are the two trademarks of a Vic Firth implement. That and being able to work with a like-minded person like Neil makes this relationship a no brainer! Vic and their people are the best in the industry.”

    For more about Vic Firth, their products and their amazing artists, please go to www.vicfirth.com

    For more about the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps, please visit www.bluestars.org

     
    2008 Season Horn Sergeant and Section Leaders!
    Mar 26, 2008 11:35 AM (Submitted by: Eric Sabach)

    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce our 2008 Season Horn Sergeant and Section Leaders!

    GREG STOECKER – HORN SERGEANT/MELLOPHONE SECTION LEADER

    Greg Stoecker, a native of Memphis Tennessee, will be serving as the horn sergeant for the Blue Stars in 2008.

    He began his drum corps career six years ago while he was a sophomore at Cordova High School. For both the 2003 and 2004 seasons, Greg served as the mellophone section leader for Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps. His senior year in high school, Greg went on to march in the Phantom Regiment, and finished the 2005 season as a side field conductor. Greg found his home the next year when Shane Fudge, a previous instructor, mentor, and good friend recruited Greg to the Blue Stars. During the 2007 season, Greg was appointed the high brass leader. Now, his age out year, Greg will finish his drum corps career as the

    mellophone section leader and the horn sergeant.

    "Being a part of the Blue Stars has been such a great experience for me. I have been given outstanding instruction as well as the opportunity to develop musical and leadership skills. The Blue Stars legacy shines in the Drum Corps history, and it is an honor to play a part in this chapter of the corps' ongoing story."

    Greg is the son of Bob and Jeannie Stoecker. He is currently studying Music Business at the University of Memphis, and performing in many ensembles, including the Mighty Sound of the South Marching Band, the Symphonic Band, and the University Singers.

    BRIANA ENGELBERT – EUPHONIUM SECTION LEADER

    Briana Engelbert has performed on euphonium with the Blue Stars from 2006-present, earning the Rookie of the Year Award during the 2006 season and attends Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. She is in her sophomore year, where she is currently the principal euphonium in the symphonic band, the baritone/euphonium section leader for her second year and also a member of the jazz band on trombone.

    Briana has been playing euphonium for seven years, being fortunate enough to start lessons when she was nine years old. She has been competing in annual solo contests since then and has qualified for state level competitions. She has also been awarded positions in many honor bands

    in Indiana and Illinois. Briana has also performed with the Northwest Indiana Youth Symphony Orchestra on trombone and tenor tuba.

    "I am ecstatic for our 2008 season! With Le Tour, our experienced staff, and dedicated members, you'd have to be dead to not be pumped for this season."

    KEVIN GUTH – BARITONE SECTION LEADER

    Kevin Guth is currently a sophomore at Oklahoma City University pursuing a degree in business administration. He participates in the Wind Philharmonic as a trombone player, as well as the OCU Trombone Ensemble. Kevin began his drum corps career in 2004 at the age

    of 15. This will be his fourth year as a baritone player for the Blue Stars and his first year as section leader.

    “I could not be more excited about this year. We have an awesome design team, who have created a truly innovative show. With some of the best people in the activity on our staff, this year will truly be one of the best for the Blue Stars.”

    TROY JONES – TUBA CO-SECTION LEADER

    Troy Jones, originally from Greentown, Indiana, is a 2006 graduate of Eastern High School. He is currently a sophomore at Indiana University Bloomington pursuing a degree in Political Science/ Pre-Law with plans to attend law school upon graduation. This will be Troy's fourth consecutive year with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps and second as section leader in the Tuba line. He is currently on staff at Owen Valley High School in Spencer, IN. When Troy is not working or schooling he enjoys recreational activities with friends, studying more of course, and chillin' with his dog Kosmo.

    " I am very excited to lead the Tuba line again this year, and be an example for new members showing them what is means to be a Blue Star. Finis Coronat Opus."

    RICHIE SHOCKLEY – TRUMPET SECTION LEADER

    This will be Richie’s 5th and final year with the Blue Stars. He played mellophone for the first two years and since then has been playing trumpet. In 2004 he played the mellophone duet. Richie was a four-year member of the Mesquite High school marching before graduating in 2005. He received the highest raking at the Texas UIL Solo and Ensemble all 4 years at Mesquite High School. In his senior year he was trumpet section leader and the trumpet soloist. He then attended the University of Texas - Arlington as a Music Theory

    major. He marched with the University of Texas - Arlington marching band for one year. After one year at UTA he decided to become a Fire Science major and hopes to one day become a firefighter in Texas.

    SAVAHNA SPERLE – TUBA CO-SECTION LEADER

    Savahna Sperle is from Lindstrom, MN currently attending school to be a Music Education major in hopes to become a Junior High music teacher. She also has two jobs, which include being a manager for three Burger Kings in her area, as well as being a Personal Care Assistant; taking care of special needs kids and adults. Savahna's original instruments are the flute and voice. Through out her Junior High and High School years, she has learned to play every instrument in band, while being the section leader of the flute, trumpet, baritone, and tuba sections. She was an All State tuba player in MN during her graduating year in 2004. Along with the wind instruments in her music career, Savahna was captain for two years in the Forest Lake Winter Drum Line playing 3rd bass and cymbals, which lead her to her drum corps career.

    In April of 2003, Savahna was brought to her first drum corps camp with the Blue Stars, being the first person from her area in MN doing drum corps, starting as one of five baritones then winning the Division 3 championship that year. She came back in 2004 as a baritone player for the Blue Stars to return to Division 2, then in 2005 to fulfill her dream to march the contrabass. In 2006, Savahna was along for the ride while the corps climbed back up to Division 1, and has been in the Contra line since. 2008 will be Savahna's sixth and age out year at the Blue Stars and cant wait to finish out with the best season yet.

     
    March Camp Report and Video
    Mar 15, 2008 9:23 AM (Submitted by: Eric Sabach)

    Mother Nature has had a fun winter. Just the weekend before it was in the mid 60s, motorcycles were on the roads and people were outside in short sleeves. Well, it didn't last for long!

    This was going to be the first camp to get outside and start to learn the first 30 pages of "Le Tour" but as the temperatures dropped, the clouds came in on Friday morning, and we were at just the start of a heavy snow system moving in, this time from the south. Though the Indianapolis area saw very little snow during the day, Kentucky, Southern Ohio, and Tennessee were just a few of the states south of us that got record snow fall. Some members drove from North Carolina and when they came within 70 miles of Indianapolis, they had to seek shelter in a local motel. A few others did the same and some could not even make it out of their driveways.

    But that did not stop the Blue Stars from forging on!

    With the Starbucks coffee brewing in the morning and a great breakfast, the schedule remained intact. Rather than go outside, the visual staff had extensive time to go over movement and marching techniques, conditioning, jazz running, and playing on the move in our rehearsal facilities. The horns and drums learned even more music and the ensemble rehearsals on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon paid huge dividends.

    Of course on Sunday, the snow was almost melted, the sun was out, and you would have never known much about the storm that came through.

    For our ever faithful fans, here is a taste of the summer to come from the Blue Stars!

    March Camp Video (Windows Media Format - 4.8MB)

     
    2008 Program: Le Tour
    Mar 3, 2008 7:45 PM (Submitted by: Eric Sabach)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is proud to present their 2008 program entitled “Le Tour: Every Second Counts.” Since its’ inception in 1903, the Tour de France has tested the limits of the human heart and to this day remains one of the most physically and mentally challenging events in the world. Words like “Passion”, “Intensity”, “Endurance”, and “Teamwork” only begin to describe the attributes needed to compete with the world’s best cyclists in this 21-stage event. These words are also descriptive of the skills each performer must demonstrate throughout the summer in the drum corps activity.

    Musically, the Blue Stars 2008 repertoire will feature original material juxtaposed with familiar melodies by well-known French composers such as Fauré, Satie, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Widor, and Ravel. Visually, the design will capture the imagery, artistry, and beauty that are characteristic of the Tour de France. Through a creative and innovative approach to this program, “Le Tour: Every Second Counts” will be filled with extraordinary moments that will both challenge the performers and ultimately result in an exciting and emotional journey for the audience.


    Click to view the "Le Tour" trailer (11.7 MB)
    Video is in MP4 format, Quicktime Movie Player Recommended
     
    February Camp Report and Video
    Feb 26, 2008 7:12 AM (Submitted by: Eric Sabach)

    Camp Video Link (Windows Media Player - 4.6MB)

    The sun set on the Indianapolis area on Friday, February 15, 2008 as the La Crosse Blue Stars started to check-in for winter camp #4 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana. The members were charged with energy for another weekend of preparation for their 2008 show and also to ready them for MARCHing Camp on March 7-9, 2008 (more details at www.bluestars.org)

    Friday started with the usual sectional meetings, where they reviewed the work from the last couple of camps and started to learn new music. The battery percussion was happy to have Blue Stars percussion consultant, Colin McNutt available to work with them over the course of the weekend.

    Saturday morning the corps awoke bright and early with a detailed body warm-up by our conditioning guru Doug Hall and our team of conductors. All set to some funky Dave Matthews music help relax and focus the corps on the goals for the day.

    Next we went off into sectionals. The battery left for the “barn” to work on basics with caption-head Brian Kraft and the visual team and the brass and front ensemble moved to their normal sectional areas. In the afternoon, the brass line was next to the “barn” to go through their conditioning paces (they love their 2 mile run) and more details in regard to the movement program for the summer.

    That evening, after dinner and warm-ups, all sections of the corps got together in ensemble to work all of the music in the show. You can start to see the determination on the faces of the members with all of the elements coming together.

    Saturday night we faced some unique adversity. Though a warm front was coming through the Indiana area and the temperature was forecasted as near 65 degrees on Sunday, a fast moving storm was coming from the Northwest, bringing rain to Indiana and ice/snow as you moved further north in to the Upper Midwest. Corps Director, Eric Sabach, had a short meeting with the corps and in the safety of the members gave the members from the soon to be affected areas the opportunity to leave camp early and, with the advice of their parents, head home safely. With a few interesting stories, all made it home safely.

    Sunday came and though we were about 20 members short, we pushed forward with our goals. Our brass arranger/program manager, Frank Sullivan, and Eric Sabach sat down with each section of the drum corps and showed them an animated version of their drill and music to the first 5 minutes of the show. The integrated effects created by Frank Sullivan, Kevin Ford, Michael Shapiro, with Brent Montgomery and Seth Adams, brought a series of spontaneous response from the members. We are sure that they will do the same for fans across the country this summer.

    We ended the day with our usual music ensemble and “show and tell” for staff, volunteers, and parents/friends in attendance. The members knew now what their show was going to start to look like and kicked it into the “next gear” in our preparation for our upcoming MARCHing Camp (March 7-9) and all the way through Spring Training to our first show.

    The color guard’s next camp is May 2-4, 2008 and that will be their final post WGI audition weekend. All those interested can fill out a membership application on www.bluestars.org and the staff will keep you informed as we get closer.

    Also, we have 1 mellophone, 2 euphonium, and 2 tuba spots still available. The drum corps is near full, but we are always looking for the best, brightest, and talented possible for the drum corps. If you have interest in being a member of the Blue Stars, please contact Corps Director / Director of Youth Programs – Eric Sabach at eric@bluestars.org for more information.

    Stay tuned for our show announcement on March 1st, 2008.

     
    Blue Stars 2008 Conductors
    Jan 18, 2008 9:28 AM (Submitted by: Eric Sabach)

    Jonathan Powell, Principal Conductor

    Jonathan Powell has been appointed Principal Conductor for the 2008 season. He brings with him 5 years of conducting experience in the competitive marching arena. Prior to his arrival to the Blue Stars, he served 2 years as a Drum Major at the University of Arkansas, and 3 years as a Drum Major at Summit High School in Mansfield, Texas. He has been the recipient of conducting awards at nationally renowned conducting camps, and his conducting teams have been recognized at regional and national invitational marching contests. He has studied conducting under Professor W. Dale Warren of the University of Arkansas.

    Jonathan is a native of Arlington, Texas, but currently resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He is the son of James and Debra Powell. He is currently a junior undergraduate at the University of Arkansas, where he is pursuing degrees in Chemical Engineering and International Business and Economics.

    “I am honored and excited to have been entrusted with this position at the Blue Stars. The Blue Stars have a proud and storied tradition, and I am honored to be a part of it. I look forward to getting to work with each of the members as we develop lifelong bonds in music. I look forward to the challenge of living up to the Blue Stars name and learning its traditions. My hope is that the members and staff will hold me to the highest standard as we journey on our quest for excellence.”

    Joseph Raymond III, Associate Conductor

    Joe B. Raymond III, former drum major of the Capital Regiment, begins his 2nd year as conductor for the Blue Stars in 2008. Joe graduated from Harrison Central High School in his hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi in 2005. He currently attends Delta State University where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in music education and is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity.

    "I am very excited about the progress of the Blue Stars for 2008 season. I look forward to the corps' performance and the increasing growth of the Blue Stars and am glad to have the chance to help aid in this growth for another year."

    Terryl Banta, Associate Conductor

    After a year away from the activity, Terryl Banta returns to drum corps as a Blue Stars Associate Conductor. Previously, she was the drum major for the Seattle Cascades for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Prior to her time at Cascades, she spent her first year of drum corps as a drum major for the Spokane Thunder in 2004.

    Terryl is a music education major at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington.

    The 2008 drum corps season will be Terryl’s eighth season of marching music, and sixth as a drum major. “I am absolutely excited to join the Blue Stars on this constantly upward-moving journey! After spending just one weekend with the corps, I am sold. I personally witnessed the wonderful atmosphere this corps creates, and I look forward to a great experience with a corps that’s doing all the right things.”

    The Blue Stars are still in the ongoing process of auditioning potential members for the 2008 season. It is not too late to take part in the process. For information on auditions or general information, please email the corps director, Eric Sabach at eric@bluestars.org

    Please visit our website at www.bluestars.org for an upcoming announcement on our 2008 program, news, scores, merchandise, and to donate.

     
    2007 Season Wrap Up
    Aug 16, 2007 4:35 PM (Submitted by: Webmaster)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved in helping to make the 2007 Blue Stars' season a success.

    The 2007 season will be remembered as another outstanding year of growth, development and acheivement in all facets of the organization. Our membership, staff and the program we presented further established the Blue Stars as a leader in the activity and a strong competitor within Drum Corps International.

    To all of our volunteers, instructional, design and administrative staff:
    We would like to offer our most sincere thank you for the dedication and work that you provided our membership. Your efforts made the 2007 season a year to remember.

    To all of our 2007 members:
    You represented the organization well and provided performance after performance throughout the season that will not soon be forgotten. Take pride in what you have accomplished and be sure to take time to reflect on all that you learned this season. Be sure to thank those who helped you along the way and those who provided you with the tools you needed to reach the level you did. You all finished strong!

    To all of our 2007 sponsors and supporters:
    We could not have presented the level of program or provided our members with the experience we were able to this season without your support and guidance. Our most sincere thank you is extended to the following: Stanbury Uniforms, Dinkles Shoes, Avant Guard Flags and Costumes, Pearl, Adams, King Ultimate Brass, ProMark, REMO, WIPFLI, Jahn Transfer, Graphic Packaging, j.Martin Signs, La Crosse Tribune, WKBT, all of the Be Instrumental donors, Refrigeration donors, Charlie Cullen and the Alumni Challenge donors.

    Thanks again to everyone involved with the 2007 campaign. The accomplishments of the group are truly impressive. Onward to 2008!

    Finis Coronat Opus,

    The Blue Stars Board and Administration

     
    Blue Stars Members Featured on Video Blog
    Jul 27, 2007 10:49 AM (Submitted by: Webmaster)

    A nubmer of Blue Stars members have been featured recently on www.marchingtvchannel.com. Click on 'More' to view the video blog.

     
    In Search Of: The Blue Stars
    Jul 4, 2007 2:12 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Local TV station WKBT Channel 8 recently aired three feature stories on the Blue Stars. To watch Jennifer Livingston's latest "In Search Of" reports on the Blue Stars, go to: www.wkbt.com.

     
    Follow the Blue Stars at LaCrosseTribune.com
    Jun 22, 2007 10:44 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Want to keep up with the Blue Stars this summer? La Crosse Tribune reporter Terry Rindfleisch follows the Blue Stars all the way to Indianapolis with updates in the newspaper and online at LaCrosseTribune.com/bluestars. You can also go to LaCrosseTribune.com and click on Blue Stars in the Quick Links box.

     
    2007 Preview Concert
    Jun 11, 2007 2:24 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The 2007 Preview Concert will be held Friday, June 15 at 8:00 pm. The preview performance will be held in the football stadium at Sparta High School. The performance is free and open to the general public, however an at-the-door donation to our fuel fund is much appreciated.

    UPDATE: The football stadium in Sparta is not directly at the High School. Sparta Memorial Field is located on Rusk Avenue in Sparta.

     
    Alumni-Booster Challenge 2007
    Jun 11, 2007 2:02 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Periodically, the corps has needs that come up at less than convenient times. It is at those times that we call upon our supporters for help. In the past, the call has gone out for help to replace battery equipment that was literally falling apart, purchase much needed long rangers, replace a failing copy machine, and other numerous items small and large.

    Now, our needs are focused on refrigeration and freezing for the cook truck. The current refrigerator/freezer setup is not adequate for our needs. We thought we could make it work for one more season, but it has become obvious that we need to do something now. In order to efficiently prepare healthy, tasty meals, we need to move away from the current chest freezer setup.

    It will cost $6000 to replace the current four chest units with two efficient upright units (one double freezer, one double refrigerator) that are built tough enough for travel. The benefits of moving to these units include:

    - Safer food handling - these are stainless units that are designed for commercial food preparation.

    - Efficient food storage - if you've ever owned a chest freezer, you understand the phenomenon of food "getting lost" at the bottom. We've got four. If you've spent any time at all volunteering on the food truck, you've participated in the constant game of shuffling food in and out of the chest freezers.

    - Efficient food preparation - these units will give Sharon the storage space to prepare meals in advance when she has extra help (most weekends), so times with fewer volunteers are less stressful.

    - Less power consumption - our current four-unit setup is contributing to our blowing of circuits at our housing facilities. The new setup will draw less power and make desparate calls to housing contacts less frequent.

    - More storage space - our food truck was built when we had 60 members. Now that we're a full corps, we obviously have to travel with more food. Moving to upright solutions will allow us to reconfigure the front of the truck and accomplish two things: 1. Gain more storage space. 2. Put more storage space lower in truck. It's tough to get #10 cans up to the 8-foot shelf in our current setup.

    To donate online, visit: http://www.bluestars.org/support/donate.php

    To send a check, make it payable to Blue Stars and send to:


    Blue Stars

    PO Box 2523

    La Crosse, WI 54602-2523

    Thanks for your support!

     
    Blue Stars Choose Pearl/Adams
    Apr 4, 2007 9:01 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps has entered into a partnership with the Pearl Corporation. Beginning with the 2007 season, the corps' percussion section will be playing Pearl Drums and Adams Musical Instruments exclusively.

    "I have been a huge fan of Pearl and Adams percussion equipment since my first experience with Pearl at the Star of Indiana," said Percussion Caption Head Brent Montgomery. "The quality of their equipment combined with exceptional service and a commitment to excellence make this an exciting time for the Blue Stars percussion program. Most importantly, our members will benefit from this partnership, and that to me is the most exciting element of this new venture."

    “Pearl is proud to support the efforts of the entire Blue Stars organization, its members and teaching staff. The Blue Stars have a long storied tradition and we are extremely proud they have chosen Pearl & Adams as their percussion company of choice," said Rudy Gowern, Marching Percussion Marketing Manager, Pearl Corporation. "It is always gratifying to support youth and the art of music in a positive way. The Blue Stars with Pearl & Adams- The Best Reason to Play Drums”

    "The Blue Stars' goal is always to provide our members with the highest quality performance equipment, so the decision to partner with Pearl was easy," said Blue Stars Director Chad Armbruster. "Our members and staff are enthusiastic about the opportunity to experience the outstanding product quality and customer support for which Pearl is known."

    About the Blue Stars
    Founded in 1964, the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is celebrating its 44th season in 2007. The corps is a founding member of Drum Corps International and a 27-time finalist in Division I, II and III competition. For more information about the Blue Stars, please visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Passing of Tom Adams
    Apr 4, 2007 8:22 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    It is with much sadness that the Blue Stars report the passing of former volunteer Tom Adams. Tom's daughter Rachel was a baritone player in the 90s, and Tom went on the road to do whatever needed to be done. He is remembered for his smile and great sense of humor, and a tireless work ethic. Our prayers go out to Rachel and the entire Adams family. He will be missed.

    Visitation Information and an Obituary can be found on the La Crosse Tribune.

    An article about Tom can also be found at the La Crosse Tribune.

     
    Passing of Ed Lau
    Mar 1, 2007 1:25 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    It is with much regret that the Blue Stars report the passing of former Equipment Manager Roy E. "Ed" Lau. Ed was involved with the corps during the 60s and 70s and will always be remembered for his kind heart and skill with a welding torch. He will be missed.
    Visitation Information and an Obituary can be found on the La Crosse Tribune.
     
    February Camp Log - Christina Jordan
    Feb 12, 2007 5:13 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps held their February camp in Saint Paul, MN this past weekend. Christina Jordan, a second year member of the front ensemble had the following account of the weekend

    "The February Camp turned out to be a pretty awesome weekend. It started out with seeing familiar faces i hadn't seen in a month. I love coming back to camps and seeing all my friends, along with new faces.

    Friday night we ran excercises for an hour of so, but then dove right into the pit feature music. After working on that for the rest of the night it was time for meeting and snack. This is one of my favorite times of the night, get in a little practice, but then hang out with people, talk to the other sections about what the had been doing.

    Saturday morning after wake up and breakfast, we warmed up and went right into learning the music for the ballad. We split into sections and at the end of the night came back together to put it all back together. We played a few fun excercises to break up the learning of music. But the word for Saturday was show music.

    Sunday morning we continued work on the ballad and also reviewed the power opener. After lunch was amazing, putting together the ballad with the hornline was great, it was a huge rush, if we are putting stuff together in february, imagine how great we will be this summer. When the battery joined us for the opener, you could just feel the power.

    That was pretty much the whole camp. It was great, I loved it and can't wait until March!"

    The next camp will be March 16-18 in the Twin Cities area. To inquire about open positions in the corps please contact email director@bluestars.org

     
    December Camp Video Posted
    Jan 2, 2007 12:29 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    A video with footage from the December camp has been posted on the Blue Stars Media Page. Thanks to Doug Hall for putting the video together.

     
    February Camp Location Changed
    Dec 18, 2006 10:04 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    This weekend's camp will held in Saint Paul, MN at Battle Creek Middle School

    Battle Creek Middle School is located at 2121 North Park Dr., St. Paul, MN 55119

    Directions to Battle Creek Middle School can be viewed at: mapquest

    With the late notice of this change please help us in communicating to those you know from the corps.

     
    Audition Camp Report
    Dec 6, 2006 11:55 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars have kicked off their 2007 season with audition camps in Minnesota, Indiana and Texas. Between the three camps students from all over the United States, Canada, The Netherlands and Japan have auditioned for the corps.

    The focus of these camps has been on education. Each member that has attended an audition camp has received individual instruction, fundamental technique sessions and ensemble performance experience both musically and visually.

    "We're very pleased with the amount of interest we have seen in students looking to join the Blue Stars in 2007. This is a direct testament to the recent efforts of the entire organization from instructors and designers to alumni and volunteers. It's an exciting time to be a part of the Blue Stars.", said Corps Director Chad Armbruster.

    The Blue Stars next audition camp is December 15-17 at Irondale High School in Mounds View, Minnesota. Prospective members in all sections are encouraged to attend. Click here for more information on the December camp.

     
    2006 Banquet Recap
    Dec 6, 2006 11:46 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars recently celebrated the success of their 2006 season with an awards banquet held near the corps' audition site in Mounds View, MN. The banquet was very well attended by 2006 marching members, instructional staff, volunteers, supports and the board of directors. The evening included recaps of the 2006 season, an awards presentation, slide show and concluded with continued fellowship and dancing well on into the night.

    Awards were presented in the following areas:

    The 2006 Rookie of the Year award was presented to Brianna Engelbert, a member of the brass line. Two awards for outstanding leadership were presented again this year. These awards went to Jesse Talbot and Peter Brue for their positive energy and efforts both on and off the field this past summer.

    The 2006 volunteer of the year award was presented to Mary Silva who was on the road with the corps for a great majority of the summer and was instrumental in initiating the Blue Stars medical program this past summer.

    The Star of the Year award, presented each year to any member of the organization for outstanding service in a given season was presented to Nick Young. Nick's involvement in the 2006 season included serving on the board of directors, running the website, driving bus, and volunteering at Oktoberfest. Steve Stueck, the inaugural recipient of the award presented Nick with the award.

    Perhaps the highlight of the evening came when Dorothy "D.J." Johnson was recognized for her 40th year of service in the Drum and Bugle Corps activity. D.J.'s service to the Blue Stars over the past several years has been tremendous. We are grateful that D.J. chose to spend number 40 with us!

    To wrap up the evening's awards presentation 9 members were recognized as age-outs and the newest class of Blue Stars alumni. The contributions of the class of 2006 were many. This group helped to lead a young corps to a high level of performance and achievement.

    Congratulations Age-Out Class of 2006!

    1 yearJoseph Brick
    Karen Wesolek
    2 yearsShannon Frantz
    Alex Larson
    3 yearsAndrew Dussl
    Candice Schrader
    Miranda Soucie
    4 yearsMeghan Polcher
    5 yearsDani Sexton
     
    Blue Stars Take 14th Place
    Aug 12, 2006 3:17 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars capped off their 2006 season with a 14th place finish at DCI Semifinals on Friday, August 11th. For a complete scoring recap visit www.dci.org

    The 2006 season was the Blue Stars first year back in Division I since 1982. Congratulations to all of the members, staff, volunteers and board of directors for making the 2006 season such a great success.

     
    Blue Stars Head Out on Tour
    Jun 16, 2006 12:42 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars loaded up the buses and headed out on tour last night, following a successful dress performance for the hometown fans. The La Crosse Tribune ran an article recapping last night's show. Check it out here: Large Crowd Sends Off Blue Stars on Tour.

     
    The Gift Of Freedom--Day 1
    May 25, 2006 12:25 PM (Submitted by: Dawn Christianson)

    Camp Decorah in all of its beauty, a million mosquitoes, the local raccoon is back, bunks crammed into the sleeping quarters, and the drummers have moved in before the rest of the corps. A little biking, running, roller blading, bonfires, rolls from the bakery, smores and maybe some fishing are a few of the amenities that have taken place.

    And how could I forget to mention the drumming! Tracking up and down the main dirt road with the Dr beat at 10 pm.....these guys are nuts. They just love to drum. A few more members to arrive on Wednesday, Thursday and everyone else on Fri and Saturday......

    Here we go folks, the 2006 season is here! I can't wait to see this show on the field....

    FCO,
    Dawn

    For daily updates and pictures visit the Blue Stars Discussion Forums

    Dawn Christianson (Pataska) is an alumnus and member of the Blue Stars Board of Directors. For the past few summers she has traveled with the corps and provided nearly daily updates and pictures on the progress of the corps. Check the Blue Stars forums frequently for 2006 season updates.

     
    New Video Released
    May 2, 2006 7:30 PM (Submitted by: Webmaster)

    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce the release of a new video by Visual Staff member Doug Hall entitled 101 Reasons why you should Volunteer for the Blue Stars (14.8 MB WMV File).

    To view this video you need a media player capable of playing WMV files (such as Windows Media Player) and a high speed Internet connection.

    The Blue Stars are extremely grateful for the support that our volunteers provide. Simply put, we would not be able to operate without our volunteers! For more information on how you can help the corps, go to http://www.bluestars.org/support or email director@bluestars.org

     
    Blue Stars Featured in La Crosse Tribune
    Feb 16, 2006 10:39 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars were recently featured in a La Crosse Tribune Article. The corps will be rehearsing in La Crosse Friday, February 24 through Sunday, February 26 at Longfellow Middle School and Central High School. Be sure to check back next week for more schedule details

    To view and discuss this and other stories please visit our public forums.

    Here's the link: http://www.bluestars.org/forum/

    Our most sincere thanks to Terry Rindfleisch and the La Crosse Tribune for posting this story.

     
    Congratulations to Jennifer Livingston and WKBT!
    Feb 13, 2006 10:58 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    You can find the award listed on the Wisconsin Broadcasters Website for "Awards for Excellence - 2005b Award Winners."

    That website can be viewed at:

    http://www.wi-broadcasters.org/assn/awards/Awards05b.htm

    Here are the details of the awards that Jennifer and WKBT were presented with:

    FEATURE

    First Place-WKBT-TV, La Crosse , Blue Stars #1

    Merit-WEAU-TV, Eau Claire , Bells Of The Barn

    Merit-WKBT-TV, LaCrosse, Calender Girls

    BEST USE OF VIDEO

    First Place-WKBT-TV, La Crosse , Blue Stars #2

    Merit-WXOW-TV, La Crosse , Coming Down

    Merit-WAOW-TV, Wausau , Black Bear Tagging

    Our Thanks and Congratulations to Jennifer Livingston and WKBT-TV!.
     
    An Opportunity to help our Local Community
    Feb 9, 2006 11:36 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Allen Ebert, Artistic/Managing Director of La Crosse Community Theatre needs to gather 7,500 names and addresses by February 17. In order to take part in the survey, contact La Crosse Community Theatre with your name, address and email address.

    You can give them that information by calling the theatre at (608)784-9292 or by email to aebert@lacrossecommunitytheatre.org

    Be sure to help this important local arts company. Help us show the support the Blue Stars have for La Crosse!

     
    Guard Member Emily Brown featured on Drum Corps International Homepage
    Jan 27, 2006 3:46 PM (Submitted by: )
    Guard member Emily Brown was recently featured on dci.org. Click Here to read the story.
     
    Waggoner and the DCI Honor Corps
    Dec 9, 2005 1:19 AM (Submitted by: )
    Name: Rachael Waggoner
    Hometown: Dubuque, IA
    Instrument: Color Guard

    Number of years marched: 3 with Colt Cadets, 1 with Emerald Knights, going on 5 with Blue Stars

    Tell us about your weekend you spent with the DCI honor corps.
    I don't even know if I can accurately describe how much fun I had this weekend. I arrived on Thursday evening and checked into the hotel. After being checked in and meeting other corps members in the lobby, I went to my room, with directions from some other really friendly members. Friday night was rehearsal, which was very laid back and productive. Jaime (the guard instructor) and Joe (his assistant) were awesome and the work was really fun. The other girls and boy in the guard were a ton of fun and we bonded immediately. We were all pretty tired after that, so most of us went to sleep around 2 or 3 am.

    Friday morning consisted of more rehearsal and then some free time in the Magic Kingdom. This was my first time in Disney World, so I had a ball! It was also really cool to hang out with one of my friends from Colts who I had marched with in Colt Cadets when I was 12-14. We go to different colleges and obviously march different corps, so we haven't been able to see eachother much in the last few years. It was great seeing how strong and natural our friendship still is. I also had the opportunity to form so many new friendships that have the potential to continue for a VERY long time. We were all discussing meeting in parking lots after shows this summer. We met around 6pm and went backstage to get ready for a parade and marched in a parade through the Magic Kingdom on Friday night. This served as a sort of dress rehearsal for Saturday. Friday night, I basically hung out at the hotel with friends and then went to bed early because I was exhausted.
    Saturday morning, the guard loaded a separate bus and went directly to the Magic Kingdom because we were opening the entire parade! We got some sweaters from Disney to wear over our uniforms (they had been worn for the last 35 years or something along those lines) and sat around for a few hours waiting for our cue. During this time, we all talked a lot and got to know each other more. Finally, we went and taped the opening of the Christmas Day parade, then ran backstage again, took off the sweaters, changed flags and ran through the routine a few times.

    Then, we ran back out to meet up with the corps. While waiting to shoot the take, the guard was told to spin to create some color behind Regis and Kelly. The end product of this: 1630 dropspins. OUCH! I guess we're the Honor corps for a reason! Finally, we shot our segment of the parade. All in all, this was really fun. After eating lunch, we did the whole thing again (thankfully minus the dropspins). Then, we were bussed over to MGM and had a few free hours. At night, we met up and went to a special balcony to watch the Fantasmic show and eat TONS of desserts. I'd have to say that this was one of my favorite things that we experienced in a park. The show was Amazing and made me feel like I was 4 again. It was impossible not to be caught up in the Disney Magic.

    To add to the night, we received goodie bags from the DCI staff. Inside was basically half my Christmas list worth of DCI merchandise!!!! I was shocked to put it lightly. THank you DCI!

    Saturday night, most of the corps headed out to Pleasure Island to dance and party in the many dance clubs. It was fun meeting up with groups of people from every corps and dancing the night away. This is where I made the majority of new friends. After taking the bus back around 2am, a lot of us hung out in various rooms until 4 or so.

    Sunday was our free day to do what we wanted. I started the morning with some friends that I had met over the weekend (actually, I had talked to one of the guys over DCP a few years back and we met on Thursday night in person by pure coincidence... it's funny how these things work out). We went back to the Magic Kingdom to ride Space Mountain and do some shopping. I then proceded to Epcott and explored everything there was to do there. I took lots of pictures, but most of my friends had early flights, so by 3, I was alone in the park. That didn't stop me from having a good time, and about 6 or 7pm, I headed back to the bus stop. When I got there, there were four guys in corps jackets. We started talking and ended up hanging out the rest of the night. They were from Spartans and one from Academy, so we talked about Div II/III for a while and all our different experiences.

    All in all, I met a lot of great people, had a corps filled, magical weekend and would do it again in a heartbeat!

    What as the high point of the weekend, if you had to pinpoint one moment?
    Definitely Pleasure Island. My favorite club was 8Track because we all knew the 80s music that they were playing and just had a lot of fun. All of the DCI members seemed to find eachother and we'd dance and introduce ourselves. We had a pretty good group going by the end of the night and made sure we kept track of eachother and got to the bus on time, and even hung out after we got back to the resort and the next day.

    How was the rehearsal schedule? What were rehearsals like?
    We packed a lot into a little bit of rehearsal. Thursday night we had a meeting, met everyone, stretched and learned/reviewed the routine. This lasted from about 10pm-1am. Friday morning, we rehearsed from about 9:30-1:30. This consisted of learning drill and putting everything together with music and some sectional time. Saturday, the horns and drums practiced and the guard headed over to the Magic Kingdom for taping of the opening segment of the parade. Overall, rehearsals were focused but laid back. Everyone seemed to be having fun and getting things done.

    What did you learn? What will you "take away" from the weekend?
    I learned a lot about other corps and how they run things/ their traditions, and such. This was really cool, because every corps has thier own identity, but it was also really fun seeing all the similarities, regardless of region, division, and section. One of my favorite things was hearing phrases that we didn't know any other corps used and finding out that everyone has similar corps lingo...

    I'm going to take away a TON of memories, lots of new friends, and basically, a new family of corps people. I'll also take away lots of respect for everyone involved.

    Feel free to add anything else you'd like.
    I'd do this again in a heartbeat!!!!!!! I also would like to thank all the people who sponsored me in this trip. It has meant a lot to me and I'm eternally greatful that you helped provide me with this amaizing experience.

     
    "Drum Corps Was With Me"
    Dec 2, 2005 8:16 PM (Submitted by: Julianne Stennes)
    Only two weeks after performing in the Blue Stars Colorguard at my 4th DCI World Championships, I packed my things once again for a long trip away from home. This time I would be going a little farther away and I would not enjoy thew comfort and company of my Blue Stars family. I left to spend the semester studying and working in Kenya. As I absorb one after another life-changing experience in Kenya, I find my drum corps skills coming in handy in every challenging situation, and I have discovered again and again the strength of the Blue Stars in me.

    Drum Corps was with me on the overnight bus from Nairobi, Kenya to Jinja, Uganda, and I found myself right at home. It was dark and crowded and hot, and we spent two hour broken down on the side of the road. Though I was halfway around the world, moments like this are exactly what four years in Division II/III Drum Corps had prepared me for. The ride was a little bumpier than I am used to but the experience was much the same.

    The sun rose while we crossed the border into Uganda and three hours later another student realized that we were several miles past where our transportation was waiting for us. The bus stopped but would not go back, so we were left on the side of the road outside of Jinja with all our luggage, no Ugandan money, and only a vague idea where we were trying to go. Luckily, I was armed with my drum corps skills of level-headedness and leadership during times of adversity, and we found our way to our destination.

    Drum Corps was with me on a camping trip to Maasai Mara National Park when I returned to my tent to find it infested with ants. After spending only a few minutes inside, the ants were all over me and in my clothes. I promptly realized that in this part of the world ants bite, and that my only course of action was to strip down to my underwear by the campfire in front of all my friends, two strangers and one camp site employee who didn't understand a word of English but found my predicament quite amusing. Though I had to abandon my modesty and was being bitten everywhere by tiny red ants, I could not wipe the smile off my face. The seasoned drum corps veteran in me knows that no amount of discomfort is suffered in vain if it makes a good story.

    Drum Corps was with me when I went out into the Maasai community with a local community health worker on his daily rounds. After hours of climbing over the hills at the edge of the East African rift valley, I was winded and sweating, but not complaining.

    My escort, Noah, sweet but overly concerned, asked, "Are you okay?"
    "Of course I am fine," a little walking never killed anybody.
    "Do you need to stop and rest?"
    "Not if you don't," as long as the drum major can move her hands, I can move my feet, right? This is not so different.
    "Aren't you hot?"
    "I've been hotter," Alton, Illinois, June 2005.
    "Aren't you tired?"
    "I've been more tired," hundreds of times.

    Noah was impressed with my attitude, which was contrary to his stereotypes about people who look like me: "You must have that white color painted on your skin. No white person can walk this much without complaining!"

    But I am no stranger to a little work, a little heat, or a little physical discomfort. I am not an average American; because Drum Corps is with me, I am a little stronger.

    Jullianne "Gumby" Stennes is entering her fifth and final season with the Blue Stars Color Guard. She's been kind enough to keep an online blog on the Blue Stars forum, which you can read here.

     
    “Be Instrumental” Capital Drive Off to a Great Start.
    Dec 2, 2005 7:01 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)
    After a few weeks of phone calls and discussions with Alumni, the Blue Stars are pleased to report that the "Be Instrumental" campaign has taken some positive and exciting steps.

    Alumnus Susan Varner-Withrow was one of the first to contribute to the campaign, purchasing 3.5 shares. A member of the Blue Stars Flag and Rifle Lines in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1978, Varner-Withrow is now a resident of Orchard Lake, MI. "Blue Stars was an important part of my life growing up," said Varner-Withrow, "It's wonderful to see the organization flourishing. I’m excited to be a part of that."

    "Alums like Susan who take the opportunity to give back to the corps play an incredible role in our success," said Executive Director Greg Struve. "We're very fortunate to have her help in getting this campaign started."

    Other contributors include Jay and Kathryn Severance with 1.5 shares, Nick Young and Brad Furlano with 4 shares each, Bruce Fausy with one share plus a brand new laptop computer, and the Russell and Vera Smith Foundation with 12 shares, among others. The total pledged as of December 1st exceeds $40,000. "We still have a long way to go," said Struve, "but this has been a great start. I hope there are other alums and supporters in the drum corps community who will come on board in the coming weeks... We're going to provide these members with the equipment they need to be successful in Division I."

    Shares in the Blue Stars "Be Instrumental" Capital Fund Drive are available for $1500 each, and can be paid for immediately, or on a monthly basis over 1, 2, or 3 years. They will go to offset the costs of a new 72 instrument hornline, a new line of front ensemble equipment, a badly needed new battery, and a new equipment trailer to carry all of the equipment.

    Are you read to Be Instrumental in the Success of the Blue Stars?
    Right now, 100 young adults are anxiously waiting for an instrument. And for as little as $42 a month, you can give it to them. You can Be Instrumental in their success.

    You'll be guiding their lives along a creative, socially fulfilling path. Many alumni will tell you their time in the Blue Stars changed their lives. They learned teamwork and dedication, poured their emotion into performance, and gained integrity and self-esteem. The experience literally transformed them into disciplined, confident, socially responsible adults. Will you help continue that legacy?

    Contribute to the Blue Stars capital fund drive! Be Instrumental in our success. Click Here .

     
    Blue Stars November Audition / Clinic Attendance Exceeds 200
    Nov 28, 2005 12:23 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    Last weekend more than 200 young people from across the nation attended the Blue Stars audition camp, held at Irondale High School in New Brighton, MN, making it the best attended camp the corps has ever hosted.

    “We were delighted by the turn-out this weekend,” said Executive Director Greg Struve. “We expect to have even more attending our second audition camp in December.” Those interested in auditioning in December should get more information on the audition information page.

    Corps Director Chad Armbruster had similar sentiments. ”This staff is poised to produce the next great Blue Stars corps," said Armbruster. "During our sunday concert every caption showcased outstanding potential to a gathering of alumni, fans and future members. What a great way to kick the season off!"

     
    What to Expect from Audition Weekend
    Nov 13, 2005 1:32 AM (Submitted by: Rachel Traczyk)
    So, what should you expect from your first weekend camp?

    Its gonna be sweet.

    You'll be at Irondale High School. When you get there, if its after banquet, we'll be settling down and hitting the hay around 11 pm. If you get there after 11, get into the gym as quietly as possible. You should be in there by midnight, if possible.

    We'll sleep in there, I'll wake you up in the morning (or a staff member) and we'll go eat breakfast. Make a friend or two, this is a great time to get to know what your corps looks like after sleeping hard for an evening! (and its not always pretty!)

    After that we'll have registration and start rehearsals. Expect to work hard. Expect to sweat. Expect to want to shower afterwards! You'll be playing for half the day and marching the other half (if you're in the hornline). You'll be playing the whole day if you're in the drum line. And Guard...
    Lets just say you'll be sore at the end of it all!

    We'll break for lunch, and break for dinner. And we'll even have a snack at the end of it all. And you'll get some time to get water in there too... so bring a water bottle! The bigger the bottle, the less you have to go -run- to fill it up. (hint hint)

    Then it'll be time to get to bed. Sunday will be similar, rehearsal wise, but we'll end earlier. You MAY be sore. Heh. Expect to be sore. But stretch out and such, and you'll be fine. Whats different about today? We'll perform for each other. Each respective section--guard, drums, horns...

    And we'll have to clean up. No one is exempt. Check out my other post to see what your section has to do. And NO ONE may leave without checking with me first... when your job is done, let me know, and I'll let you go. Some members choose to go to perkins afterwards and enjoy the company of other members without a rehearsal going on too... I highly recommend this... a great way to get to know everyone else. I'll even try to get out and do it! (If I'm not working that evening!)

    Soo...
    Thats all of that...
    Again, contact me about ANYTHING!!!

    Rachel
    -Corvitanu (AIM)
    -Minapalvella-at-hotmail.com

     
    Potts, Temby to head up Blue Stars Visual Program
    Oct 19, 2005 4:30 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce the addition of Ben Potts as the Visual Caption Head and Staff Coordinator, and the return of Al Temby as Drill Writer for the 2006 season.

    Ben Potts
    Potts aged out of the Toledo Glassmen in 1999, where he remained as an instructor until 2002. He served as a visual co-caption head with the Madison Scouts in 2003 and 2004, and with Carolina Crown in 2005.

    “I’m thrilled to have Ben on board,” said corps director Chad Armbruster. “Ben has a truely unique and straightforward communication style both on and off the field that will be a tremendous asset to our members and staff. His attention to detail and constant drive for perfection will have an immediate impact to accompany our move back to Division I."

    As a resident of Indiana, Potts has instructed many high school marching bands, winter guards and winter drum lines throughout the Midwest, most notably Castle High School, Gibson Southern, and Forest Park.

    Currently Potts resides in Jackson, Mississippi, where he’s an assistant band director, drill writer, and program designer for the Jackson Academy Band, the BOA 2004 Class A National Champions. Potts is also heavily involved as an adjudicator and a clinician in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky. During the spring of 2005, he restructured the Mississippi Private School Association's judging system and it's criteria on the adjudication sheets.

    "For years Greg Struve and I have been conversing about drum corps strategies, human nature, successes and failures, and the Blue Stars Organization. When he finally asked me about coming to the legendary Blue Stars to head up the marching, I jumped at the opportunity. I have great respect for both Greg and [Corps Director] Chad Armbruster, and their vision for the direction of the corps. These are two outstanding and energetic administrators who put the members and staffs experiences before anything else. I’m excited to join the team and I’m sure that in 2006 the Blue Stars will be off and running!"

    Al Temby
    Temby has been writing for 27 years and has written for nearly 100 different marching bands, winter guards, and indoor percussion units in that time.

    Temby marched in the 32nd Hussar Drum and Bugle Corps from Middleton, WI from 1969-1972 and Madison Scouts from 1973 to 1975. He was on staff at Scouts in 1977 and Blue Stars in 1979 serving as a color guard tech in both organizations. Temby wrote for the Capitolaires in 1982, Genneseo Knights from 1983-1986, Florida Wave in 1985 and 1986, Skyriders in 1989 and 1990, Colts in 1990 and 1991. He also served as a visual consultant at Madison from 1987 - 1989.

    Temby has written for 18 State Champion Marching bands in Indiana and has a total of 54 top 3 finishes and 100 state finalist shows in that state. He worked with perennial BOA finalist Ben Davis in 2004, and 4-time National Champion Western High School from Russiaville, IN during the 80’s and early 90’s. Last season Temby wrote shows for 25 marching bands from all over the country.

    He’s also written drill for the University of Mississippi for the past 13 years, and has written for Colorado State, and Elon University in North Carolina.

    “I was actually on Blue Stars staff last time it was a Division I corps, so the opportunity to be here again for the second run is quite a blessing,” said Temby. “I enjoy being a part of something that’s building, growing and on the rise and I’m excited to see what the Blue Stars can accomplish in open class.”

    About the Blue Stars
    Celebrating its 43nd season in 2006 the Blue Stars are proud to be America’s newest Division I corps. The corps is a founding member of Drum Corps International and a 27-time finalist in Division I, II and III competition. For audition materials and information for the Blue Stars check out the Blue Stars’ Membership Information Page .

     
    Chippewa Falls Tragedy
    Oct 16, 2005 10:30 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    Early in the morning on Sunday, October 16th, one of the busses carrying staff, chaperones and members of the Chippewa Falls marching band crashed into a jack-knifed semi trailer. The full story is at USA Today.

    The Chippewa Falls program has contributed several members to the Blue Stars over the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all involved.

     
    DCI Interview with Greg Struve
    Oct 5, 2005 9:09 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)
    DCI has posted an interview with Executive Director Greg Struve about the Blue Stars' return to Division I Competition
     
    La Crosse Tribune: "Blue Stars Back in Division I"
    Sep 26, 2005 12:45 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    Click here to read the La Crosse Tribune's front page article highlighting the Blue Stars recent success.
     
    The Blue Stars Return to Division I Competition
    Sep 26, 2005 12:28 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    This past weekend, The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps was granted Division I status by the Drum Corps International member corps. The Blue Stars will compete as a Division I corps for the first time in 23 years during the 2006 season, including regional competitions and the DCI World Championships in Madison, WI. The surroundings will be new, but it feels like home.

    The next chapter in the Blue Stars' story will include joy and sorrow, pain and comfort, victory and defeat, answers and questions... In the end, however, the things that will guide us in the future are the same as our past: friends and family, tradition with an eye towards tomorrow, and an unwavering belief that we can accomplish anything when we work together.

    The Board of Directors and Administration would like to sincerely thank everyone who helped to make this dream a reality. Thousands of members, alumni, volunteers, parents and supporters have been there for the Corps on this amazing journey. Without all of this support - both large and small - we would not be at this exciting juncture.

    Celebrate tonight. Tomorrow the work begins. Finis Coronat Opus!

    To sign up for membership information in the 2006 Blue Stars Click Here.

     
    Blue Stars Place Third at DCI
    Aug 14, 2005 4:38 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    The Blue Stars wrapped up the 2005 season with a third place finish at the DCI Division II/III Grand Finals. Congratulations to all 2005 members, staff and volunteers for a fantastic season!
     
    Blue Stars Place Third at Div II Finals
    Aug 12, 2005 7:24 AM (Submitted by: Bruce Furlano)
    Division II Finals, Brockton, MA

    1. 96.275 Spartans
    2. 95.625 East Coast Jazz
    3. 92.675 BLUE STARS
    4. 91.850 Fever
    5. 91.650 Teal Sound
    6. 90.375 Impulse
    7. 88.575 Oregon Crusaders
    8. 88.325 Jersey Surf
    9. 87.025 Memphis Sound

    For all scores including Division III finals, check out DCI.org
    There is also an acticle in the La Crosse Tribune.
     
    Blue Stars Performance Time for Division II Finals
    Aug 10, 2005 5:24 PM (Submitted by: Bruce Furlano)
    Thursday, August 11, 2005 will be the Division II & III Divisional Finals. The event kicks off at 3:00 pm eastern. The Blue Stars will perform at 7:48 pm eastern in Brockton, Mass. at the Brockton High School. For the full schedule, check out DCI.org

    After the show, check our the the Blue Stars forum for scores and discussion.
     
    Blue Stars Place Third at DCI Div II Prelims
    Aug 9, 2005 2:39 PM (Submitted by: Bruce Furlano)
    1. 94.450 East Coast Jazz
    2. 94.100 Spartans
    3. 92.600 BLUE STARS
    4. 90.750 Fever
    5. 89.675 Teal Sound
    6. 88.075 Impulse
    7. 87.875 Oregon Crusaders
    8. 86.225 Jersey Surf
    9. 84.925 Memphis Sound

    For up to date scores for Division III prelims, check out DCI.org
     
    Blue Stars Housing for DCI Finals Week
    Aug 5, 2005 10:07 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    For finals week the corps will be staying at the dorms at
    University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
    285 Old Westport Rd.
    Dartmouth, MA
    www.usmassd.edu
     
    Corps Seeking New Home in La Crosse
    Aug 3, 2005 12:21 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    Last week the Blue Stars were informed that our office at 20 Copland Avenue in La Crosse is going to be torn down as soon as September 1st! The corps is in need of the following:

    Storage Space (600 to 1200 sqaure feet) and/or
    An office area with space for two desks, a copier and phone and computer access.

    If you have or know of space that will be available shortly, please email Greg.Struve@bluestars.org .

     
    "Blue Stars Delight Home Town Crowd"
    Aug 2, 2005 12:27 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    The La Crosse Tribune had a great write-up of the corps' home show this weekend. Check out the article. You can also click here and scroll down to see some pictures of the home show - including a couple shots of our great turnout!
     
    "On the Road with the Blue Stars"
    Jul 29, 2005 3:32 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    The Corps received front page press in today's La Crosse Tribune. Reporter Terry Rindfleisch spent two days with the corps experiencing life on the road with the Blue Stars. Check out the article.
     
    You’re Never Too Young – Or Too Old
    Jul 28, 2005 11:31 AM (Submitted by: Penny Barnes)

    You are never too young to be a drum corps fan and go on tour. And, you are never too old to do the same. The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps of LaCrosse, WI can attest to the truth of this adage. This past week, Evan Barnes Guffey, born May 1, 2005, and Dorothy "DJ" Johnson, born January 19, 1928, were on tour together with the corps.

    DJ has been involved with drum corps for decades. She is an expert seamstress and keeps seams sewn, buttons in place and spirits high. As a result of her long tenure with the activity, she has wonderful remembrances of drum corps from long ago and enjoys sharing them with those around her. DJ is the only two-time recipient of the coveted DCI Volunteer of the Year award receiving her second commendation at the 2004 finals in Denver. In the midst of preparing uniforms for her "rookie season" with the Blue Stars, she had to undergo heart surgery in March. This spunky little lady was not to be beaten. She joined the corps by mid-season and brought new joy to all who watched her overcome difficulties.

    Last week, when the Blue Stars needed a short-term truck driver, Executive Director Greg Struve called Kim Barnes. Struve had worked with "Kimmie" while she drove the equipment truck for the Madison Scouts and kept all of the vehicles on the road for several years. She is also a brand new mom to Evan. She was able to clear her schedule and said she would help out the corps as long as Evan could join her. Evan might as well get an early start at this game. His parents were married on a free day in Las Vegas in 1998 while mom, Kimmie, was driving the truck and dad, Greg, was on the visual staff with the Madison Scouts. Greg had also been a marching member of the corps and currently serves a visual caption head for Minnesota Brass, a DCA member corps. By early July of this year, Evan has already attended (and sometimes slept through) six drum corps shows at the ripe young age of two months.

    And so, on July 20, Evan and DJ together proved that you are never too young or too old to be a drum corps fan.

    To sign up for membership information in the 2006 Blue Stars Click Here.

     
    Blue Stars Enjoy Great Showing at DeKalb
    Jul 10, 2005 4:37 PM (Submitted by: Blue Stars Staff)
    This weekend at DeKalb the Blue Stars posted one of their strongest performances of the season, including their first tie with a Division I corps. "The show was strong, with improvements in every caption," said corps director Chad Armbruster. "We've made some changes in the show that continue to have a great impact in the overall product. We plan to put the finishing touches on in our next couple of rehearsal days this week. The members are working incredibly hard; I'm optimistic."

    Executive Director Greg Struve was also in high spirits. "I think the product is coming along so well, in part because the management team has made such great strides! We made it from DeKalb to St Louis in 6 hours last night. That's almost 400 miles! We haven't had a breakdown or a major vehicle issue yet this year, and the worst problem we had at the Stillwater surprise DOT bus inspection was needing to change a tire. We've got a nearly full team of volunteers for the rest of the tour, souvie sales are exceeding our expectations... Steve, Traci, Andrew and Kaydee are have done GREAT work!"

    Program Coordinator Mark Moss said "We enjoy playing at DeKalb because, with the exception of our upcoming clinic at the RCA Dome, it's one of the biggest venues we'll see this summer. A stadium of that size really adds a level of excitement." Also note: At the DeKalb show all corps were scored on the same 'sheets.' This is different than the scoring system in place during the rest of the year.

    Dekalb, IL (DCM)
    DCM Championship
    July 9, 2005

    Results
    Minnesota Brass 86.30
    Blue Stars 83.05
    Pioneer 83.05
    Teal Sound 81.45
    Govenaires 69.75
    Kilties 68.70
    Capital Sound 64.35
    Lake Erie Regiment 63.85
    Frontier 59.20
    Racine Scouts 52.50

     
    Blue Stars Team Up with NAMM to Offer Educational Clinic at RCA Dome
    Jul 8, 2005 6:03 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    INDIANAPOLIS, IN, July 8, 2005 – The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps and NAMM, the International Music Products Association, today announced a free educational clinic that will take place at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis on July 21, 2005 from noon to 2 pm.

    Clinic attendees will have the opportunity to observe the corps rehearsing, catch the daily full-performance run through, and have an opportunity to participate in a beginning marching session with the corps! No admission will be charged for this event, but fans will be able to purchase Blue Stars merchandise in the Blue Stars Souvenir Tent.

    “I think it’s great that NAMM is sponsoring a free clinic for the Indiana music education community,” said Executive Director Greg Struve. “And I’m excited that the Blue Stars will have an opportunity to perform in Indianapolis. We have a lot of fans and alumni in the area who are excited by the corps recent growth – this will be there only opportunity to see us this year.”

    “The Blue Stars are talented, passionate advocates for strong music education programs and great examples of how music helps kids do better in school and in life,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. “NAMM is honored to sponsor this opportunity for Indianapolis fans to come out and see this amazing group of musicians in action.”

    About the Blue Stars
    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is celebrating its 42nd season in 2005. This year the corps continues to enjoy explosive growth, fielding a 128 member ensemble for the first time since the late 1970’s. The corps is a founding member of Drum Corps International and a 26-time finalist in Division I, II and III competition. For audition materials and information about the Blue Stars visit www.bluestars.org or call 651.552.0377.

    About NAMM
    The International Music Products Association, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization’s popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $16 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM, interested parties can visit www.namm.com or call 800-767-NAMM (6266).

     
    Online Update 6/12/05
    Jun 12, 2005 3:25 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    It's been a busy couple of weeks here in God's country. The bugs at Decorah were surprisingly docile, the weather was the best I've seen in years (almost no rain!) and the boy scouts were wonderful to work with.

    The corps left for Markesan Friday night and is going on the second day of rehearsal there right now. Note for Parents and loved ones: there is no cell phone coverage in Markesan.

    The staff and design are both well beyond my expectations. John Wasson's book is exciting and melodic, and the brass staff is doing a great job helping our new full-size hornline maximize it's potential. Al Temby's visual design is beautifully layered, and his staging is second to none. The staff has stepped up our rehearsal etiquette and intensity this year and the results have been dramatic. We're pushing the members harder than they've ever been pushed, and they love it.

    Every year at spring training we come out fired up and motivated - this is drum corps; this is what we do. But this year something's different... Seeing this program come together and starting to wrap our collective head around what we have here is exciting in a way I can't quite describe... I think this is going to be a very memorable season.

    Will this show be the best Blue Stars product ever to hit a marching field? Is this show going to be one of the most entertaining and energetic in the activity this summer? Even I can't tell you definitively - yet. You'll have to see for yourself... Come see us perform. While you're there, show your support by buying a T-shirt.

    See you on the road!

    greg

     
    Blue Stars Add Weekend of New DCI Shows in June, Week of New Shows in July
    Jun 12, 2005 1:05 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    This week the corps added 5 DCI performances to it's summer schedule. After the Port Washington and Woodstock DCM shows, originally scheduled for July 25th and 26th, chose to cancel their programs, DCI offered Blue Stars two replacement performance opportunities. One the 24th and 25th of June the corps will perform in Madison, WI, and Des Plaines, IL, respectively.

    We're also excited to have added three new performances during the fourth week of July. Our stops in Middleton, WI, Chippewa Falls, WI, and Dubuque, IA will replace the Winchester, TX show, which is no longer taking place.

    This summer Blue Stars will be performing in a whopping 33 shows, plus 17 concerts, clinics and parades (6 on the 4th of July) for a total of 50 public appearences. Now THAT's a drum corps tour!

     
    Blue Stars Featured in La Crosse Tribune
    Jun 8, 2005 2:16 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    The Blue Stars were featured in todays issue of the La Crosse Tribune. Click here to be redirected to the Tribune's article.
     
    Blue Stars Featured in La Crosse Tribune
    Jun 8, 2005 2:11 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    The Blue Stars are featured in today's edition of the La Crosse Tribune. Click here to read the article.
     
    A Night at the Races - Support the Blue Star Cadets
    May 23, 2005 7:33 PM (Submitted by: Denise Pagonis)
    The LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway has teamed up with the Blue Star Cadets to help them get New Blues. Enjoy an evening of chills, thrills, and excitement while donating to a great cause.The La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway will donate $5.00 per ticket sold.

    Purchase your tickets for Speedway action for Saturday August 20th with a rain date of August 27th from any Blue Star Cadet Member or call 782-3219 for more information.

    To purchase tickets online click on the image below.
     
    Move-In Information
    May 17, 2005 4:58 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    This year the corps will be staying at Camp Decorah begining at 6pm on May 27th. June 11th through June 16th the corps will be rehearsing in Markesan, WI. Our first show will be in Mankato, MN on the evening of June 17th.

    Members are expected to attend memorial day camp in full. Those who need to return for school conflicts may do so, provided they have been cleared by Chad. For your sake as well as ours, we suggest that you make extraordinary efforts to spend as much time rehearsing with the corps as possible.

    Members and staff that are driving to Camp Decorah will be able to leave their vehicles at a safe, monitored location in LaCrosse prior to our departure for Markesan, WI on June 10th.

    Member check-in begins at 5:30pm. Rehearsal begins promptly at 7pm.

    Member RSVP.
    Staff RSVP

    Where is Camp Decorah?
    Camp Decorah
    W7495 Council Bay Road
    Holmen, WI 54636
    Driving Directions

    Can I Still Audition?
    Available positions are posted to the home page. If you would like to inquire directly, you may call the corps office at 651.552.0377.

    Need more information?
    If you have questions about the Blue Stars or the upcoming camp, please call (651) 552-0377 or send an email to Greg Struve at Greg.Struve@bluestars.org. Don't forget to RSVP RSVP.

    Staff / Section Leaders
    Section leaders will be meeting at 11am at Camp Decorah on Thursday, May 26th. Staff members will be meeting that same evening at 7pm.

     
    May Camp Log - Allison Barthel
    May 16, 2005 8:16 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    Friday had finally rolled around after a long week of finals. The sun was beginning to set on a beautiful day, and the time was right to head to Irondale High School. The last camp before move in had come with the promise of a terrific season. May Camp was here. I arrived to find a small portion of the batterie in the orchestra room, hacking away on their drums. The rest of the line and staff slowly started to trickle in, and we stayed in sectionals to clean and memorize our notes. The only time we got together as a full line that night was to watch a video that Doug Hall had made from the previous camp. Carefully watching to find our individual and ensemble mistakes, we knew what we were to work on this weekend. Saturday morning strolled in with an eye-opening song from our drum major, Rachel. The entire corps had breakfast, then stretched with Mark in the big gym, and then went to do basics. The batterie went to the lower gym with Jeff and Brandon for some 8's and 8's, then grabbed our set books and drill charts. We learned the beginning few sets of our show outside in the drizzle and went to lunch for a delicious meal provided by the cook staff. After a quick warm up and run through of the cadence and parade tune, we played with the horns. The corps set up a parade block and took a few laps around the parking lot to prepare for our first performance.

    After more drill learning, we ate dinner and went to warm up. We cleaned some of our book and went with the pit. After a short while, the horns joined us for music coordination. Then it was time for a quick snack and a shower, and then off to bed.

    On Sunday, we ate breakfast and went to the field for stretch with Mark. Soon after was a quick jog and then basics in a parking lot. Then, the entire corps reviewed all the drill we had learned the previous day. We learned three or four more charts, did a few runs, and went in for everybody's favorite lunch- macaroni and chicken nuggets.

    Before Show and Tell, we warmed up and worked with the pit for a bit. The horns came in and we coordinated and then played all of our show music for everyone who came. Then everybody scrambled to the big gym for an awesome performance by the color guard. Everyone said their good-byes to everyone else, we packed up the truck and everyone went home. We now find ourselves counting down the days until we move in. Camp went wonderfully and the summer will, too.

     
    May Camp Log - Emily Brown
    May 16, 2005 6:58 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    I’m always excited when it comes to Fridays, but it was a camp weekend, so it made it all the more better because I got to see my friends. I get nervous when it comes to camps because I never know what the staff is going to throw at us but I do know that it is going to be hard, make us use our heads, and be really awesome. I don’t have a long drive down to camp so I got down there early and helped unload stuff and do whatever needed to be done. That night the guard started out with stretching and meeting new staff members. This year we have such a great staff and there are 7 or 8 of them. After stretching, the whole guard went to rifle, which I have never really touched (needless to say, this will be my second season EVER touching guard equipment). We learned basics and some exercises and some tosses. We had snack at 11pm and I love snack because you get to hang out with friends and meet the new members (which we have a lot this year!). After snack was lights out and curfew, and I was ready to go to sleep. Candice (one of my closest friends) and myself blew up our air mattress and went to bed. At about 3am I awoke to realize our air mattress was completely flat. Last camp my air mattress went completely flat 2 nights in a row and I was hoping this wasn’t going to be a constant happening.

    Saturday we woke up and stretched as a full corps in the gym because it was raining outside and very cold (imagine that in Minnesota). Marc, led the full corps stretch. He always makes things very interesting and fun. After stretching we went into sectionals. The guard went and learned a dance warm-up. Then we went to a meeting where they talked about everything that happens and doesn’t happen on the field. We got our drill and went outside to learn some. Let me tell you, it was raining and very cold, Minnesota sure showed us that even though its May it can be cold! We went into lunch, which was very yummy. After lunch we went into sectionals. The guard learned the dance and learned our parade block. Went outside where the horn line and drumline was and practiced how it would be if we were in a parade. After marching around the parking lot, we went and learned more drill and went over the drill we had already learned. Then it was off to supper, where another fabulous meal awaited us. After supper, we had sectionals until snack. The guard learned some show work, which is pretty difficult for some and others it a piece of cake. Our guard staff is moving us to the next level and it’s very exciting to see the progress everyone is making! We had snack and then it was off to bed. Luckly, Candice’s and my air mattress didn’t go completely flat but only a little.

    On Sunday we stretched as a full corps on the field, which was a little wet. Marc led stretch again. After stretch we went into sectionals outside for a little bit. The guard worked on our show work in the wind. Then we came together as a corps and ran through some drill and then put some show work in with that drill. Putting work and drill together is very hard and I’m glad that the horns and drums were patient as we had to run it a couple of times. All in all we got through 17 sets this weekend and the guard even had some show work with it. Very exciting for everyone! Then it was lunch, and our cook staff is awesome with what they make. I would like to thank all the volunteers who come in and cook for us and those who will come this summer and do that, hats off to you! After lunch it was sectional time till show and tell and the guard worked on our dance warm-up that we will use all summer and then worked on our show work. We ran upstairs to watch the pit, drums and horns do their show and tell. I must tell everyone, that I’m so stoked for this year. Listening to them play our show, I got chills and so excited. From where this corps was when I first marched to where it is now, its amazing. I got the chance to talk with some alumni of the corps, which is always an amazing experience to meet people who are the reason this corps is here. We ran down to the gym and performed for the rest of the corps, the staff, parents and alumni. I got chills just do the dance warm up and the little bit of show work. I’m so excited for this year, and everyone better be watching for the Blue Stars when we take the field because its going to be amazing. Thank you to everyone who has been there and is there for this corps, I hope everyone is as pumped for this season as I am! See you all on the field, whether you’re marching or watching.

     
    Volunteer for the Blue Stars!
    May 11, 2005 2:51 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    As of 5-11-05, the Blue Stars still have a need for several volunteers in the area of food preperation, driving, sewing and souvenir sales to help the success of our 2005 summer tour.

    If you are interested in volunteering please email Traci Glasscock at traci@bluestars.org for more information.

     
    Membership Openings in the 2005 Blue Stars 6/11/05
    May 8, 2005 3:32 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    Presently the corps has the following positions available:
    1 Color Guard
    1 Baritone
    1 Mellophone

    All Percussion positions are filled. If you are interested in performing with the Blue Stars this summer or would like to be placed on a waiting list for brass or percussion, please fill out the membership interest form and email Greg.Struve@bluestars.org.

    You may also scroll down on the home page and watch a video of our winter camp season thus far, view the 2005 summer tour schedule and read a description of our 2005 show "Pixelation".

     
    Picture of the Week
    May 2, 2005 11:27 AM (Submitted by: Doug Hall)
    Thank you everyone who contributed in the efforts to share their memories with the rest of the Blue Stars community and drum corps world. Please visit the photo album on the website to see more kodak moments of the Blue Stars organization.
     
    Blue Stars Announce 2005 Administrative / Management Internship Openings
    Apr 15, 2005 3:23 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    Did you know that Blue Stars receive nearly 100 staff applications per year, often for a half-dozen openings? In the drum corps activity, getting your foot in the door can be a daunting task because many applicants lack sufficient Drum Corps instruction experience.

    Following a successful pilot program in 2004, this year the Blue Stars will take 4 Administrative / Instructional Interns on tour - one in each caption. Interns will gain valuable experience instructing in the caption for which they are chosen, and will also experience first-hand the inner workings of a drum corps management staff.

    College Credit may be available, depending on each institution's requirements. We're happy to do the required paperwork.

    2004 Administrative Intern Andrew Herrera said "I've always dreamed of being a corps director. I feel that the experience I gained last season has helped place me on the right track for my career as a music educator."

    Internship Job Description

    For more information or to apply, send an email to Andrew.Herrera@bluestars.org

     
    Blue Stars Alumni in Oktoberfest Parade
    Apr 8, 2005 9:28 AM (Submitted by: Steve Severance)

    A group of Blue Stars alumni are organizing an event for Blue Stars alumni, members, staff, and supporters to march in this year's Oktoberfest parade in La Crosse, WI. If you're intereseted in participating click on this link to the discussion forum topic or email Steve Severance

     
    Winter Camp Video Posted
    Apr 7, 2005 7:29 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    Doug Hall, an alumnus of the Blue Stars and member of this year's instructional staff has compiled a video from this winter's camps. Enjoy!

    MPEG Format | Real Format

     
    Blue Stars Announce 2005 Tour Schedule
    Mar 7, 2005 12:30 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars 2005 Summer Tour will include 50 performances taking place in 20 states as the corps will travel over 12,000 miles enroute to the Drum Corps International World Championships in Boston, MA.

    You might want to bookmark the Summer Event Calendar as it will be updated throughout the season. Also, signing up for Blue Stars Updates is a great way to keep in touch with changes on the tour, and get the most up-to-date news on the corps.

     
    Blue Stars' Battery for Sale – Free Shipping
    Feb 28, 2005 11:28 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    The Equipment:
    The Blue Stars are selling their Battery which includes 8 snares, 4 tenors, 5 bass drums, plus one vest and one piece of stadium hardware for each. The equipment was purchased by the corps mid way through the 2002 season. It's been used for 2.5 seasons and is in fantastic shape.

    These are Yamaha's top-of-the-line drums. The manufacturer's suggested retail price on this equipment is $23,175.00. Blue Stars are offering it to the public for a firm $10,900. In addition, if payment is made prior to 3/31/05, the Blue Stars will take care of all shipping and handling costs at no additional charge.

    Pictures of the equipment are included below.

    Terms:

    • A $1000, non-refundable deposit will secure the equipment. Remainder due within 15 days. The equipment is being sold as a line only and is not available for individual purchase.
    • Full payment accepted via cashiers' check or check prior to shipment. Cashier's check is preferred. We'll wait for standard checks to clear before shipping. In the case of a check, we will wait 3 weeks for it to clear before shipping.
    • Credit Card or wire transfer purchase available provided buyer accepts charges associated with payment.
    • Shipping will be arranged via a private Van line, and may take 6-8 weeks. Expedited shipping may be available for an additional charge.

    For more Information or to find out if the battery is still available please contact Chad Armbruster at Chad.Armbruster@bluestars.org

    Pictures of the Equipment:


    Snare Model Number MTS-9214VR

    Note: There are 8 snares being sold. One of the snares was not available on the day we took the picture.


    Tenor Model Number MQC-660234VRSH


    Bass Model Numbers and measurements
    MB-8218XR 18"
    MB-8222XR 22"
    MB-8224XR 24"
    MB-8228XR 28"
    MB-8232XR 32"

    Specs on the drums from Yamaha's web site:
    Marching Percussion Equipment Front Page:
    MTS Snares
    8200 Series Tenors
    8200 Series Bass Drums

     
    Blue Stars announce their 2005 program – "Pixelation”
    Feb 18, 2005 11:52 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce their 2005 program entitled "Pixelation: The Music of Final Fantasy." The corps will focus its programming on the work of the Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu, performing his compositions from the widely popular video game series, "Final Fantasy."

    The music from "Final Fantasy" spans the gamut of musical styles from rock and techo to symphonic and jazz. The music in the earlier installments of "Final Fantasy" tended to be more synthesizer-based scores, but later chapters in the series have transitioned to full instrumental works recorded with live orchestra and chorus.

    This mirrors a trend in the gaming industry at large, where budgets have expanded to allow the possibility of complex orchestrations to be recorded as accompaniment for live-action video (LAV) segments, game play, and opening and closing credit sequences, narrowing the gap between video game and feature film production.

    "Pixelation" will feature four compositions from the "Final Fantasy" series: "The Man With the Machine Gun," "Liberi Fatali," "Isn't It Beautiful?" and "Don't Be Afraid." These works appear in the game titles of "Final Fantasy VIII" and "X," and have been performed and recorded by professional orchestras and choral ensembles in Japan.

    "Pixelation" offers many musical challenges for the performers, and creates an exciting venue for visual design and color. The music's depth of subtlety and sophistication is a good fit for the corps' rich tradition of performing such works.

     
    Blue Stars Recieve Another "Most Improved" Award for 2004 Season
    Jan 27, 2005 6:32 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    This weekend in Orlando the Blue Stars recieved the 'Most Improved' award for Division II. In December the corps also recieved the 'Most Improved' award for DCI-Central and Drum Corps Midwest.

    Executive Director Greg Struve said "Receiving these awards was a great honor. I think they're a testament to the hard work of everyone involved with the 2004 season."

     
    New Store Item
    Jan 24, 2005 8:36 PM (Submitted by: Bruce Furlano)

    The Blue Stars online store has a new sweatshirt available. It is a Russell Athletics full zip hooded sweatshirt in grey with navy felt lettering.

    This item is available in limited quantities.

    Purchase Now

     
    January Camp Log - Ryan Hardie
    Jan 19, 2005 1:33 AM (Submitted by: Ryan Hardie)
    January was yet another very successful camp to mark down in the books for the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps. From extreme cold to the largest hornline turnout in Blue Stars’ history to having the 2005 drumline set, January turned out to be a very eventful and promising camp.

    Friday night started by getting many hugs and smiles from all of our friends. Then we unloaded the truck which was an experience in itself. I have never been in weather that cold before. A few of us who neglected to wear gloves received minor frost bite (I think) on a couple fingers from holding onto the metal, but we are all OK.

    Once we had all of the equipment into the school, we broke into sub-sectionals. The bass line worked on all new splits for the third straight camp in a row. We looked at a few new crazy wicked exercises that Brandon, our caption head, wrote for us that worked on timing. We also looked at and worked on our new cadence. We had snack and then were able to bond with new members and old friends along with having sectionals on our own before lights out and curfew.

    Saturday, we woke up and had full corps stretch. Our “normal” camp schedule, if there is such a thing, was kind of thrown askew due to a large basketball tournament going on in most of the gyms but we were able to deal with that. Heck, we’re drum & bugle corps for Pete’s sake!

    The drumline then split into subs again and continued to work on all the new stuff while furthering our skills, chops, and intelligence. Lunch came around and we had the best possible meal for a freezing cold day…..GRILLED CHEESE and soup!!

    There was a full corps meeting after lunch and then we did ensemble work. We played the 2005 cadence for the first time as a whole line so that was very exciting. We split for dinner. Then we had a gruesome, yet very fun, visual block for 3 ½ hours with Miller.

    Sunday rolled around and we had full corps stretch and then more subs and ensemble work. We did as much cleaning as possible on the things we were going to play for show-and-tell. Lunch came around and then we did more ensemble time.

    Before we knew it, it was time for show-and-tell. The record-setting hornline started it off. Great Scott Batman! They were amazing. There is nothing like getting chills 4 or 5 times in a matter of a couple of minutes. They blew my face off. I was in awe listening to the hornline play the ballad piece from last year, which is going to be a concert piece this year. They pulled a piece out from 1977 titled Jewish Fanfare and I was overwhelmed when they played it as well. Of course, they ended with the corps song and it was probably one of the best times I have heard them play it.

    Colorguard then did their thing. They were very good as well. It was nice the see the guard grow more in personnel and still maintain their excellence in the flag and saber work they did, not to mention that is was on a stage with limited space!

    Frontline followed playing through a few of their exercises. With a few vets not able to make camp, their numbers were down a little but they as well maintained their usual level of excellence and were able to have an impressive showing.

    The 2005 Blue Stars Drumline finished the show-and-tell by playing through our new stuff. With the debut of one exercise and the cadence, we threw down some challenging beats. There is some room for improvement but that can be expected since it is only January. The bass line was kicking in full throttle with wicked splits along with the snares, tenors, and plates.

    All in all, the January camp was very successful. I am very excited to see all of us grow and not only maintain, but go beyond the level of excellence that the Blue Stars organization is known for. This year is very promising and we will definitely be able to carry on the tradition and pride behind the buckle on our chest. Finis Coronat Opus! Ryan Hardie is a second-year age-out in the Blue Stars Bass Line.

     
    January Camp Log - Rachel Traczyk
    Jan 17, 2005 4:32 PM (Submitted by: Rachel Traczyk)
    There are some benefits to living close to a corps camp site... you don’t have a long drive, you can work out last minute kinks in your life before you leave for a weekend, you can get enough sleep the night before, and arrive refreshed and ready to go. However, this comes at a price at times... I happen to live right near the Minneapolis airport as well, and therefore I tend to volunteer my afternoons and evenings to picking people up and being a taxi for a couple members of the corps. Did I mention that I drive a Geo Metro, and that I’ve been playing contra lately?

    My camp weekend started off with picking up a colorguard member from the Greyhound station, and then picking up a staff member from the airport. To make an unecessesarily long story shorter... I ended up with my contra in my ‘trunk’, my bags packed carefully around it (protection), a flag pole sticking up near my shifter back to my rear window, 2 passengers (both covered in luggage) and absolutely no visibility because of the fog that formed on the windows from our breathing and conversation. Despite some challenges... and an incredibly small amount of space... we all arrived safely and were able to jump into the action that had started merely an hour earlier.

    The hornline spent the first night in sectionals, working on our warm ups, excercizes, and the music we’ll be playing for concerts. The staff dealt out the constructive criticism–use more air, watch your attacks and releases...etc. We focused greatly on proper tone production, the mechanics of playing, and also on the mental game of drum corps.

    Saturday morning began with a hornline/drumline combined stretch. As usual, Jeff made the morning far more interesting with his sense of humor and style of stretching. This year, however, we are focusing more on conditioning--correctly--earlier on in the season. So, instead of tens of hundreds of pushups during stretch, we only did 5. But... I know that I am far more sore today than I’ve been in a long time from those 5 pushups than I’ve ever been from the hundreds I did on tour last year!

    We spent a majority of Saturday working on music, again, working on the fundamentals of playing and then meeting together to put together the concert pieces and excercizes. Later on that evening we had visual rehearsal in which we reviewed a lot of the fundamentals of marching and really touched on some key ideas specific to our high brass/low brass sections.

    Sunday we woke up and stretched as a corps, again, enjoying the time we get to spend with eachother and bonding as a whole corps before we went our separate ways to prepare for show and tell. The hornline warmed up in sectionals first. Later we met together to do a combined marching and playing session of across the floors. It was really awesome to be able to watch from the sidelines when there was a group marching; it’s a position you don’t normally get to see as a marching member–the growth and capabilities from an ‘out of the block’ perspective. I was thrilled to see the talent and growth that our hornline has.

    After lunch, we got together for show and tell and were able to play for our corpsmates. During one of our concert pieces, I had the chance to glance up at the percussion and guard members in the audience, and I noticed a good friend of mine being brought to tears by our playing... its moments like that that I live for as a musician, and I was nearly drawn to tears as I was playing. However, I maintained my composure and finished the song. When we were finally able to play the corps song, the power and growth of the corps finally struck me. Not only was there enough emotion in the sound of the hornline, but the feeling of really being a hornline... a corps... a family... really hit me. And I’m sure it helped that we had the largest amount of horns at this camp in Blue Stars history!

    After we finished playing, we had the chance to watch the percussion and colorguard perform for us. We finally have our battery decided on, which is awesome! The colorguard is achieving a level of performance that I think is phenomenal, especially after only having a weekend of interrupted and crazy space to learn a segment of work in.

    All in all, I’m very excited for what the corps will be bringing to the table this year. The feeling of being a family, the tradition and hard work ethic we’ve always worked towards, and the feeling of being part of something larger than yourself is as strong as ever. I’m thrilled to be a part of the 2005 Blue Stars season and can’t wait until we get on the field! Rachel Traczyk is a second year member of the Blue Stars, and is presently studying music education at the University of Minnesota.

     
    Coulee Cadence First Rehearsal
    Jan 5, 2005 9:24 AM (Submitted by: Denise Pagonis)

    The Coulee Cadence Youth Percussion Ensemble will have its first rehearsal on Sunday, January 9, from 1-3pm at the Blue Stars corps hall. The corps hall is located at 20 Copeland Avenue in La Crosse. Contact 781-7739 or 782-3219 or email dpagonis@centurytel.net for more information.

     
    Acclaimed Composer John Wasson to return to Blue Stars
    Jan 4, 2005 2:13 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    John Wasson will return to the Blue Stars this season, as the corps anticipates is largest incarnation since 1979. This will be Wasson’s second season as the corps’ arranger.

    Wasson is a composer, producer and performer with a wide range of musical experiences spanning many genres. He has composed and produced music for such groups and ensembles as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the U.S. Air Force "Airmen of Note," the Texas Boys Choir, and the Dallas Brass. His published music appears in the catalogs of Hal Leonard Publications, Warner Bros. Publications, and Word Music, Inc.

    As an instrumentalist, John has been a bass trombone performer with the Woody Herman and Stan Kenton Orchestras, the Dallas Brass, the Dallas Symphony and Dallas Opera Orchestras. He has worked with such notable artists as Michael Bolton, Tony Bennett, Bill Conti, Cab Calloway, Reba McIntyre, Liza Minnelli, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Richard Stolzman, and Joe Williams.

    Other clients of Wasson's include the Dallas Cowboys Football Club, Electronic Data Systems, Radio Shack, the Salvation Army, Southern Methodist University and Walt Disney World.

    "It’s great to have John back with us again," said Blue Stars Executive Director Greg Struve. "We're thrilled to have someone with John's talent and background working on our 2005 program. His professional experience will be invaluable to the Blue Stars as we strive to design a program that is enjoyable and challenging for our members to perform, and simultaneously entertaining and appealing to the audience and judges."

    "I also think it speaks volumes that John is an alumnus of the corps and is returning to help the Blue Stars continue the momentum created over the past few seasons. The Blue Stars are considered a family, and whether you marched in the corps in the 60s, the 80s or today, you always have a home in La Crosse."

    Wasson was a baritone player for the Blue Stars during the 1974, 75 and 76 seasons, and is excited to work with the organization that helped him get his start in music.

    "I am so grateful for the opportunities the Blue Stars offered me," said Wasson. "Even while marching with the corps in the 70s, I often dreamt of one day writing for a drum corps maybe even my own! Now that I have enjoyed so many fascinating musical opportunities, I can think of no better way of saying thank you than to come back and contribute to an organization that played such a pivotal role in my own music education. I am excited at the prospect of giving everything I can to help the members, the program, and the reputation of the Blue Stars reach the highest levels possible. I am looking forward to a great season in 2005!"

     
    Armbruster, Ritacco to Lead Blue Stars’ Brass in 2005
    Jan 4, 2005 2:11 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps have named Chad Armbruster and Dan Ritacco as the 2005 brass co-caption heads. They will lead a brass staff that has more than 80 years of drum corps experience. “All of our instructors this year are outstanding musicians,” commented Corps Director Bill Sucha, “but more importantly, all of them are great teachers and great people. I think it’s clear that this staff will bring the Blue Stars brass line to a new level of excellence.”

    Chad Armbruster (co-caption) is currently pursing his Master’s Degree in conducting from The University of Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2005 season will be Armbruster’s twelfth in drum corps. He is a former marching member of the Capital Sound and the Madison Scouts, and has taught with both Minnesota Brass, Inc. and Southwind.

    Dan Ritacco (co-caption) will be enjoying his 21st drum corps season in 2005. Ritacco previous experience includes several years with the Madison Scouts, and four years as brass caption head for Capital Sound.

    Annette Nicks returns to Blue Stars for her second season as an instructor. Annette aged-out of the Colts as their baritone section-leader. Currently she’s finishing her Master’s degree in Music Education at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, where she’s served as drum major the past two years.

    James Benton was the principle tubist with the Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra at West Texas A&M University, his alma mater. An alumnus of the Phantom Regiment, he has been teaching with Midland Lee High School’s marching program since 2000. James has studied with a long list of low brass ‘notables’ including Patrick Sheridan, J. Samuel Pilafian, Dianna Swoboda, Timothy Northcut, and Brian Bowman.

    Tom Richards has been a teacher at the junior high, high school and college levels since 1974. He has a Master of Music Degree from the University of Michigan in Wind Instruments. In his 30 years as a teacher, Tom has directed marching ensembles of all sizes (50 – 250) and been successful at all levels.

    Roger Grupp will be assisting the Blue Stars during winter rehearsals. Grupp has been a performing member of Minnesota Brass Inc. for 30 seasons and has been a soloist with the corps every year since 1986. DCA named Grupp the best soloist in its 1993 championship competition and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame named him an Associate Member in 2001. Grupp began his drum corps career in 1961 and 1962 with the Pine City Saints, and continued with the St. Paul Scouts in 1963 and 1964.

    Brian Schutta marched with the Madison Scouts hornline from 2001 to 2003, before aging out with Concord Blue Devils in the contra line. He is an alumnus of Irondale High School's acclaimed Marching program, where he instructed during 2001 and 2002. He’s currently attending MusicTech College in St. Paul, Minnesota studying to become a Sound Engineer.

    Jonathan Bomgardner holds a Bachelor of Music Education from The College of New Jersey and a Bachelor of Arts in Church Music from Concordia University, St. Paul. He marched with the Crossmen in 1992 & 1993 and with Jersey Surf from 1993-1996. He’s served as Director of Bands at Washington Township High School in Sewell, New Jersey where he assisted with the marching program and wrote drill.

    Andrew Erickson recently aged-out of the Madison Scouts after his 5th season marching, and 2nd as tuba section leader. He spent two years instructing at Champlin Park High School – one of the fastest-rising programs in Minnesota – and presently serves as visual caption head at Andover High School in Andover, MN.

    Gregory Hahn marched with the Cavaliers from 2001-2004. He served as section leader of the Mellophone line for two years and as a soloist in 2004. Hahn is beginning his fourth year as an instructor for Blue Springs High School in Missouri.

     
    December Camp Log
    Dec 23, 2004 12:46 PM (Submitted by: Candice Schrader)
    This December camp was one of the best camps that I have ever been to. Yes, there were lots of new auditionees, but that’s what made it great. This camp truly seemed to capture the Blue Stars atmosphere.

    From the moment I walked into the gym, I could tell that everyone in the colorguard was there to work. Friday night consisted of stretching, some basic movement exercises and flag basics. After that, Luke began teaching a few new releases on flag. They were difficult, but everyone picked up on them and was working hard.

    Saturday started with a good morning stretch, which also means bonding time for us. We kinda use this time to get to know the new people and introduce them to our wacky ways. When that was done, we had to wait for the gym to open up before we could go spin, so we took that time to learn more about each other and began to become a family. Shortly after we found out that the gym we were going to rehearse in was being used, so we moved to the band room and did dance for about two hours.

    Lunch came and went, and we were finally able to start spinning. Luke began to teach us the flag work we would perform at show and tell and after dinner we learned the rifle work. Both were very hard because of the tempo of the music, but it was some of the coolest work I’ve ever performed. To end the night we had long cool down stretch. All of our bodies were aching and it was exactly what we all needed to not wake up sore the next morning. I think for most of us though, it was a nice moment of relaxation.

    After our 7a.m wake up the next morning, we stretched again and went straight to work. We danced for a short while and then the sabres went to learn some more basics while the flags reviewed work and exercises. Then we had the rest of the time to go over our work to prepare for show and tell on our own. I look forward to this time of the weekend the most. It’s now that we get to help each other out and tell people how far they’ve come in this short weekend. We get to watch ourselves perform and there’s nothing better than that. Before we knew it, it was time for show and tell and we were performing for the rest of the corps and other friends and family. I think we really turned some heads this weekend. This guard definitely has the potential to be great.

    This weekend held true to everything the Blue Stars organization is about. Family, tradition, pride and everything else that keeps us coming back. There was a positive attitude all around and you knew everyone was there for the same reason; to make this the greatest season that Blue Stars has ever seen.

    Candice Schrader
    Blue Stars Colorguard 2004

     
    Blue Stars Begin Collaborative Relationship with University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
    Dec 3, 2004 2:01 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce the initiation of a collaborative relationship with the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, aimed at providing a new opportunity to students who want to march Drum Corps and attend college.

    Beginning this year, the two organizations will work together with the hopes of providing some of the Blue Stars' marching members access to a high-quality college education while facilitating their development as leaders within the corps.

    "This is an excellent opportunity," said Blue Stars Executive Director Greg Struve. "During recruiting season we were consistently hearing from students who were worried about how marching Blue Stars might affect them as they prepare for their first year of college. I think this relationship with UW-La Crosse will help waylay many of those concerns."

    Struve continued, "The relationship also offers many of our existing members from around the country a chance to continue pursuing their academic goals at a top-notch college university and be nearer to their Blue Stars family."

    He closed by discussing the possibility that active Blue Stars members may consider applying to the University for the January 2005 semester. "I've already heard from several members who are looking into it."

    "There are a number of reasons that we think Blue Stars and UW-L will have a great relationship," said UW-La Crosse Director of Admissions Kathryn Kiefer. "The corps draws members from all over the country and the world, and we're excited about the effect that may have on campus diversity. Also, I'm told that Blue Stars' members are often very accomplished academically, which will help with the application process."

    Members' academic achievements will no doubt be a significant consideration as enrollment at the college is selective. For fall of 2004 the University received over 6500 applications for approximately 1600 spaces in their freshman class.

    Interest in the University has steadily increased for years, driven by strong programs in education, science and allied health, exercise and sports science, and business. The college is also one of only 12 universities in the country that offer an undergraduate degree in archaeology.

    "The Blue Stars are one of the fastest growing corps in America, and UW-La Crosse is one of the strongest colleges in the Midwest. To me it seems like a natural combination," said long-time Blue Star and UW-L alumnus Brad Furlano. "The work ethic I developed in Blue Stars combined with the skills I learned at UW-L went a long way toward preparing me for life in corporate America."

    Those interested in auditioning in December and/or learning more about UW-La Crosse should click the membership information link on the left.

     
    Blue Stars Host Largest Audition Camp in Corps’ History
    Dec 1, 2004 3:44 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    Last weekend more than 130 young people from across the nation attended the Blue Stars audition camp, held at Irondale High School in New Brighton, MN, making it the best attended camp the corps has ever hosted.

    “We were delighted by the turn-out this weekend,” said Executive Director Greg Struve. “We expect to have even more attending our second audition camp in December.” Those interested in auditioning in December should download an audition packet from the corps web site.

    Corps Director Bill Sucha said he is “extremely encouraged,” and that the success of winter recruiting efforts have exceeded everyone’s expectations. “The 2005 Blue Stars will surprise many,” commented Sucha, “even those who remember the larger top-twelve Blue Stars corps of the past. I think we’re going to continue to build on the successful foundation the corps laid in 2004 and provide an even larger, more successful corps in 2005.”

    The music is being written, and the full show is very close to being finalized. Corps members are very excited about the show concept chosen and the music they heard on Sunday at the close of camp.

    Look for a show announcement before the Holidays.

     
    Estes, Chamberlain to lead Blue Stars percussion for 2005
    Nov 19, 2004 2:53 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    Brandon Estes will be the Blue Stars’ percussion caption head for the 2005 season.

    Estes is currently a first year graduate assistant at Northern Illinois University, where he serves under Prof. Robert Chappell and is working towards his masters of music performance degree.

    A native of Houston, and a former percussion section leader with the Pioneer, Estes aged out as a snare player with the Madison Scouts. He also has experience as a marching percussion adjudicator in Illinois, a clinician in Texas, a performer with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and has instructed, written, and arranged for the acclaimed Connally High School indoor and outdoor marching percussion ensembles. His ensembles have won multiple state championship titles in Texas.

    Blue Stars’ director Bill Sucha said, “Besides being a top-notch instructor with experience at all levels of the activity, Brandon is an individual of great integrity with a passion for teaching.” Sucha continued, “I’m excited to see him take a leadership role here, and I’ve no doubt that he’ll be a great contributor.”

    This year, the Blue Stars’ former percussion caption head Ben Chamberlain will take the role of percussion arranger and consultant. A Blue Stars’ alum, he is widely considered to be one of the top percussion arrangers and instructors in the Midwest.

    “I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the corps again,” said Chamberlain. “Brandon has a great reputation in the Midwest -- it will be fun to see him build on the Blue Stars’ great percussion tradition.”

     
    Interested in Driving A Passenger Coach For Blue Stars?
    Sep 15, 2004 2:22 PM (Submitted by: Henry Kaynes)
    As one successful drum corps season ends, it is not too early to look towards ’05. A continuing need is for drivers for the Blue Stars coach buses. To drive a coach, a CDL (commercial drivers license) is required. This license is also referred to as a Class B license. If you are interested in driving for the Blue Stars, we will assist you in obtaining the required license by providing you with the behind-the-wheel training to successfully pass a road test with a state examiner.

    As with your personal auto vehicle license, you must begin the process by obtaining a learner’s permit; specifically, a Class B learner’s permit. Two written (or computer based) tests are required; an air brake knowledge test and a passenger coach knowledge test. The manuals for these tests can be obtained at your local Department of Motor Vehicles testing station.

    Once you have obtained your Class B learner’s permit, current Blue Stars drivers will provide you with training and experience in a Blue Stars’ motor coach. If you will commit to studying for and passing the required written tests in the September/October time frame, behind-the-wheel driving could begin as early as November. The sites for the driver’s training are likely to be in the LaCrosse, Milwaukee, or Minneapolis areas. However, other sites can be arranged depending on the number of interested persons in a particular area.

    In return for Blue Stars’ driving instructor and vehicle time, it is expected that you will volunteer to drive one week with adjoining weekends next summer (more if you are interested and able to do so.) Being a Blue Stars driver will give you quality time with a family member or friend in the Corps and the experience of seeing drum corps from inside the activity.

    Lastly, it is important to note that you do not need to be expert in diesel engines or skilled in double-clutch shifting. The coaches have automatic transmissions and you will be taught how to inspect your vehicle and to check basic fluid levels (oil, coolant, etc.)

    If you would like to talk with another Blue Stars volunteer about being a driver, contact Henry Kaynes, 651.631.2699 or A hkaynes@msn.com.

    Henry Kaynes is a resident of New Brighton, MN, and is a professional drivers ed instructor.

     
    Bill Sucha's Marching Knights program featured in Pioneer Press
    Aug 25, 2004 2:55 PM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    The Irondale Marching Knights are featured in the Wed., August 25 edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Bill Sucha serves as both the director of the Marching Knights’ and the Blue Stars. Other Blue Stars staff or members teaching the Marching Knights include: Gary Swanson, Andy Combites, Jeff Meyers, Kathy Dorn, Kevin Whalen, Julianne Stennes, Jake Coon and Heather Novak. In addition, there are a number of current and former Irondale members in the Blue Stars.

    Click on the following link to access the story (note: you may have to go through a free registration process to access the story).

    They Know the Drill

    Good luck, Irondale, on a successful season!

     
    Blue Stars Complete Stellar 2004 Season
    Aug 18, 2004 3:00 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    The Blue Stars drum and bugle corps completed an awesome 2004 season with a 5th place finish in Division II competition at the DCI World Championships in Denver, CO. The Corps and organization grew in every imaginable way over the past 12 months, and the results were truly amazing.

    Many thanks go out to the volunteers who helped to make the 2004 season special. Without the many drivers, cooks, sewers, builders, massage therapists, and hundreds of other unknown job-doers, this season would not have been possible. Special thanks to Traci Glasscock for doing a wonderful job with the food program, Dorothy Johnson for fitting the corps uniforms and sewing the guard unis, and Steve Tichkowski, Mike Silva and Tom Anthony for driving the entire summer. You are truly iron men and women.

    Finally, thanks to the members of the corps for performing to the best of your abilities and learning what it truly means to be a Blue Star: Finis Coronat Opus.

    I can’t wait for the 2005 season to begin – only 3 more months!
     
    Price reduced 25% on 2004 Tour Shirts
    Aug 11, 2004 1:57 PM (Submitted by: On-Line Store)
    Prices have been slashed on the 2004 Tour shirts. The price is $12 down from $16 on the road. Get your 2004 tour shirt before supplies are gone. They are available in white or light blue. Sizes are limited, so check out the online store now.
     
    Online Store Open for Business
    Aug 11, 2004 1:23 PM (Submitted by: Webmaster)

    The online store is now up to date with our current inventory of souvenirs. We even have a new item: the Drum Corps is My Bag tote bag.

    Price: $10

     
    Blue Stars Seek Cook Staff to Round Out 2004 season
    Jul 4, 2004 2:13 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    The Blue Stars are seeking volunteers willing to work on cook crew for one to three weeks during the month of July. “During previous years three to four cook staff met our needs,” said executive director Greg Struve. “This year we’re finding that three to four makes for a long day for our volunteers. We’d love to run a team of five or six.”

    The corps has openings for the week of July 11th to the 17th, 18th to the 24th and 25th to the 31st. We’re happy to help with logistics, travel and other arrangements.

    If you’re interested please dial the corps cell phone at 651.336.0736.

     
    La Crosse Community Foundation Helps Blue Stars Replace Front Line Equipment
    Jul 4, 2004 2:04 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    The Blue Stars would like to express our gratitude to the La Crosse Community Foundation for their generous support this summer. The foundation’s generosity resulted in the corps being able to make significant upgrades to our front ensemble equipment.

     
    Mid-Season Executive Report – The State of the Blue Stars
    Jul 4, 2004 1:02 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    Where we’re at:

    Yesterday, standing in Madison I had the opportunity to watch the corps warm up, and for the first time I got that feeling in my stomach that keeps me coming back to this year after year. I love July!

    The organization is hitting on all cylinders from top to bottom. Last weekend we sold more souvies than we sold last year. In addition to 100 of the strongest young people I’ve ever had the pleasure of serving, we’ve been blessed with a fantastic food program, a great staff of people who get along and are here for the right reasons, a supportive board, and hundreds of excited, generous alumni.

    That’s been the highlight of the past four weeks for me – alumni. Regardless of which decade they marched, they all say the same thing; it’s fantastic to see the sea of navy blue walk onto the field and march a great show.

    How we’re doing it:

    What’s been the key to this season’s growth? Fastidiously keeping within our circle of focus. Every ounce of our limited resources goes toward providing a positive experience for our membership, developing a product that’s enjoyable and successful, and growing the organization in a rapid yet fiscally responsible fashion.

    That’s a recipe for a great product, a great experience, and, eventually, a large, talented and consistent ensemble. It also means that for the time being we lack the resources to return every phone call, letter, and email as promptly as we might like. Judicious use of resources is a necessary evil in a time of rapid growth, and it’s one of our greatest challenges.

    What you can do:
    Be a part of our growth! Here are three simple ways to help the corps:

    1. Buy a T-shirt or other souvenir – Every purchase helps the corps get down the road!
    2. Volunteer as a member of the cook staff – We have between three and four cooks for the rest of tour. We prefer to travel with six whenever possible! When we have six in the kitchen the staff can rotate in and out, each serving two or three meals a day rather than the full four. Every volunteer we add makes the cook crew experience better. We could really use a few more cooks for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th week of july! Please call Susan at 210.385.0160 if you’re interested.
    3. Become a sustaining contributor – You would not believe how beneficial a pledge of $15 or $20 per month is to this ensemble. Consistent, steady streams of outside income are going to be the single most important factor in our long-term success, and our pledges – even the little ones – go a long way! Click here to become a sustaining contributor!
     
    Last Chance to March in the 2004 Blue Stars
    Jun 1, 2004 9:01 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    Current openings:
    Hornline
    Contra Bass 1

    Guard Flag Line 3

    Anyone with experience as a high brass player in high school or college is qualified to audition for the mellophone line. Anyone with unshakable determination and fortitude is encouraged to fill a position in the Baritone or Contra Bass lines.

    Color guard positions are available to those with previous expereince in dance or guard.

    If you've ever considered marching drum corps, don't miss this opportunity! Come be a part of the 'fastest growing corps in America.' We've got plenty of talent; what we're looking for now is someone with the determination to make it through spring training.

    If you're interested, leave a message at the Blue Stars office. 608.782.3219.

     
    Memorial Day Camp/Move-In Information
    May 27, 2004 10:05 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    Where is Camp Decorah?
    Camp Decorah
    W7495 Council Bay Road
    Holmen, WI 54636
    Driving Directions

    Can I Still Audition?
    Email Greg for information about available positions at Greg.Struve@bluestars.org. Sorry, there is absolutely no availability in the percussion section.

    What should I bring?
    Please Click Here to download a Blue Stars 2004 Tour Guide.

    Need more information?
    If you have questions about the Blue Stars or the upcoming camp, please call (651) 552-0377 or send an email to Greg Struve at Greg.Struve@bluestars.org. Don't forget to RSVP if you're coming to camp.

     
    Blue Stars Featured in La Crosse Tribune
    May 27, 2004 2:58 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    The Blue Stars were featured in the La Crosse Tribune! Click here to read what the Tribune had to say about the upcoming season!
     
    Fuel Price Increase - You Can Help!
    May 21, 2004 9:22 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    The Blue Stars are gearing up to hit the road for the 2004 season. The corps is looking awesome, as we have just finished our most successful winter in more than two decades. The show is coming together and the members are excited to move in next weekend and begin living with their new “family.”

    But, there is a dark cloud on the horizon: the price of fuel. As I’m sure all of you are aware, the cost of fuel has increased substantially in the past few weeks. Prices for unleaded fuel are more than $2.20 per gallon in some places. At this time last year it was about $1.40 per gallon. Diesel fuel has fared slightly better, but is still about 25% higher than budgeted.

    Our fuel budget was set at $17,000, and after recalculating to account for current prices we are looking at spending approximately $25,000 on fuel this summer. That additional $8,000 will put a serious crimp in our summer tour budget. You can help!

    The Return to Glory campaign was launched to meet the capital needs of a group that is growing fast and on its way to return to Division I competition. The campaign is a two year effort to raise the money necessary to purchase buses, front line equipment, brass, uniforms, equipment and food trailers, and other necessary items.

    The Return to Glory campaign is off to a great start, but in this budget cycle we still have capital purchases coming out of the operational budget. Donating to the Return to Glory campaign will give the Corps the funds necessary to make all capital purchases from the capital budget, thereby freeing up operating money for increased fuel expenditures.

    Your donation to the Return to Glory campaign helps the Blue Stars purchase the equipment necessary to be successful in the future and also helps relieve the current burden of increased fuel prices in the current season.

    We are asking that you please strongly consider becoming a sustaining member of the Blue Stars through the Return to Glory campaign. A donation of $25 per month will provide $600 for the corps over the life of the campaign. A commitment of $45 per month will allow the corps to utilize $1,080. Monthly contributions allow us to accurately plan for future purchases and are easier to plan in your own personal budget.

    The development office is here to answer any questions that you may have about the Return to Glory campaign or the Blue Stars’ immediate financial needs. You may contact Greg at greg.struve@bluestars.org, or by phone at 608.782.3219.

    Thank you in advance for your support of the Blue Stars. The organization has made incredible strides in the last eight months, and we think we have a product that will be incredibly rewarding to our members, alumni, supporters and fans. It is our sincere hope that you will consider becoming a sustaining member of the Blue Stars by committing to a monthly contribution. The link below will take you directly to a site where you can donate on a monthly basis, or you can also donate a one-time lump sum.

    Return to Glory

     
    Blue Stars Announce Partnership with StylePlus
    May 19, 2004 1:20 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    Blue Stars Announce Partnership with StylePlus

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is pleased to announce that this summer the corps will be marching in StylePlus’ Triton marching shoe.

    “I am thrilled and delighted to begin this relationship with StylePlus,” said Blue Stars Executive Director, Greg Struve. “When we were looking into shoe companies, I wore the Triton around the office for a couple of days. I’m really impressed! Not only will they be an excellent compliment to our uniforms, but there’s some sort of gel in there that actually conforms to your feet after a few hours. They’re more comfortable than my street shoes. We’re quite pleased to be wearing a product of this caliber.”

    “StylePlus is proud of the prestigious addition of the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps to the growing list of bands & corps switching to the Triton” said StylePlus Sales Manager, Frank Mangee. “We knew we had a winner with the Triton; it is our most popular shoe.” This particular marching band shoe has enjoyed increasing, popularity since its introduction in 2002 and is also worn by the Pioneer and the Phantom Regiment.

    This new sponsorship agreement will provide significant benefits to both parties. StylePlus’ tradition of excellence and craftsmanship match most appropriately with the Blue Stars’ storied history of maintaining the highest standards of performance and competitive effort. “Both the corps and the company are going places,” said Mangee.

    Further information regarding StylePlus may be found at www.styleplusband.com/products.asp

    About the Blue Stars

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is celebrating its 41st year in 2004. The corps is a founding member of Drum Corps International and a 25-time finalist in Division I, II and III competition. The Blue Stars are the 1989, 1993, 2001 and 2003 DCI Division III World Champions. If you are interested in membership or other information about the Blue Stars, please visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    May Camp Log - Betsy Mraz
    May 17, 2004 11:19 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    This weekend’s camp marked a transition for the corps between winter weekend camps and summer every-days. The past three days we spent together were highly productive and will really contribute to our future success.

    After arriving at Edgewood Middle School on Friday night we headed out to the parking lot to begin preparing for our first performance: the Onalaska Sunfish Days Parade on May 29th. There’s something about marching at night that brings a group of people closer together, when the sun has set below the horizon and the only source of heat is our own bodies. Despite the absence of several members of the hornline and drumline, we worked hard and were finally beginning to march as one.

    Following announcements later that night, a group of Christians showed interest in having a Bible study together during the summer. I was filled with joy and reassurance at the fact that even in a secular organization God has planted seeds that will unite, grow, and spread His word.

    Saturday morning we received our parade tune and by the end of rehearsal we had most of it memorized. Everyone was focusing intently and I was impressed with how quickly we were able to learn the song by memory.

    The afternoon was spent learning drill to the opener. The weather was mild and, thankfully, free of rain, and it was a relief to be able to get outside for a while. The entire corps worked efficiently and within a few hours we had 25 new sets learned. The hornline worked out a few tricky subsets, the guard practiced challenging drill, and before supper we were able to perform all that we had learned while singing our music. I love that in Blue Stars, unlike my experiences in marching band, I can count on everybody to give their all, stay focused, and strive for excellence. I have high hopes for the future of the corps. Even though we still have a lot of work to do, I feel that we achieved a high level of success on Saturday afternoon thanks to concentration and determination from everybody.

    Saturday evening the hornline and drumline worked together on the revised version of “Tank.” The song is awesome to play with the whole hornline after playing it alone for three weeks, but it’s even more amazing with the addition of the drumline. Our show is so full of excitement and energy that I can’t wait to see the reaction of the audience at our first performance.

    Sunday was the final day of camp. In the morning the hornline marched a fun style of basics block that not only improved our technique and step size but forced us to trust each other and work as one. After that the entire hornline, drumline, and guard rehearsed the parade block for May 29th, complete with the drumline cadence, the parade tune, horn moves, and guard work. Even though we only marched in circles around a 400 meter track, it was exciting to think about performing in less than two weeks. We were blessed with gorgeous weather, which I think helps improve everybody’s attitude and level of energy.

    Throughout the weekend additional preparations were made to get ready for summer, which is quickly approaching. The pit was extremely successful in fundraising, equipment was transferred into our new trailer, and the rookies were fitted a final time for uniforms.

    We worked hard this weekend and learned quite a bit, but I think the most significant achievement the Blue Stars made this weekend was developing trust in one another. I feel that we’re no longer a hundred individuals; we’re finally starting to build solid relationships and unite. This in itself is a great accomplishment. I can hardly wait for summer!

    Betsy Mraz is a first year member of the Blue Stars Mellophone line.

     
    New Store Merchandise
    May 13, 2004 12:17 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The first of many new items has arrived and is now on sale in our online store. It is a Birch-colored embroidered polo shirt. Click here to view the new shirt.

     
    Blue Stars Announce Partnership with Stanbury Uniforms
    May 11, 2004 10:42 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is pleased to announce a new agreement with Stanbury Uniforms.

    “We hope this next step in the relationship between the two organizations will advance the stature, success and reputation of both,” said Blue Stars Executive Director, Greg Struve.

    The corps’ Visual Coordinator, Gary Swanson, said “To date, all of our expectations have been exceeded. I’m delighted with the quality, construction, and look of their uniforms.”

    "Having the opportunity to provide uniforms for the Blue Stars is a real thrill for all of our employee owners,” said the CEO, Gary Roberts. “The dedication and history of the Corps mirrors that of Stanbury Uniforms. The excitement generated in seeing our product showcased by this prestigious Corps is truly what makes our role in this industry worthwhile.”

    Struve added, “I’ve been most impressed with the family atmosphere Stanbury strives to create within the company, despite being one of the larger players in the industry. They’re really a pleasure to work with.”

    This new sponsorship accord will provide significant benefits to the company and the Corps. Stanbury is characterized by a tradition of excellence and quality which match most appropriately with the Blue Stars achievements in showmanship, musicianship and overall performance.

    About the Stanbury Uniforms

    For over eighty years, Stanbury Uniforms has pledged to create and produce the absolute best uniforms for marching bands, drum majors, front lines and concert performance groups. Further information regarding Stanbury Uniforms may be found at http://www.stanbury.com.

     
    Blue Stars Announce Partnership with Pro-Mark
    May 6, 2004 5:56 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is pleased to introduce Pro Mark Corporation as a new sponsor. Pro-Mark Corporation is the world’s largest manufacturer dedicated exclusively to the design, production, and distribution of drumsticks, mallets, and percussion accessories.

    “I’ve been very impressed with my past dealings with Pro-Mark, both in terms of the quality of their product and their customer service,” said Blue Stars Executive Director, Greg Struve. “They really go out of their way to keep their customers happy. I’m delighted at the opportunity to work with them.”

    “Pro-Mark is very excited about our partnership with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps,” said Director of Education for Pro-Mark, Staci Stokes. “Blue Stars has the reputation of being a strong corps, and can always be counted as a major contender in this activity. We are honored to have them represent our company and our products.”

    This new sponsorship opportunity will be of significant benefit to both organizations. Pro-Mark is an acknowledged leader in its field of percussion equipment, while the Blue Stars reputation as a first-class competitor with the highest standards for performance quality is widely known throughout the nation’s Drum Corps community.

    About the Blue Stars

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is celebrating its 41st year in 2004. The corps is a founding member of Drum Corps International and a 25-time finalist in Division I, II and III competition. The Blue Stars are the 1989, 1993, 2001 and 2003 DCI Division III World Champions. If you are interested in membership or other information about the Blue Stars, please visit www.bluestars.org.

     
    Summer Volunteer Positions Available
    May 4, 2004 3:36 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The summer tour schedule is now online here. The dates in which we are in need of more volunteers are highlighted. Please email volunteering@bluestars.org or call (651) 552-0377 to volunteer.

     
    Drum Corps World Calls Blue Stars the "Fastest Growing Corps in America."
    Apr 29, 2004 12:41 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    Note! DCW is presently offering a discount on subscriptoins if you get them prior to the start of the season. Now would be a great time to renew or start a subscription! Click Here to subscribe to drum corps world.

    by Michael J. Carlson

    “The Fastest Growing Corps in the Country” is the anthem sounding in the halls of the Blue Stars organization these days.

    Executive Director Greg Struve explains: “One camp with 100+ in attendance might be lucky, twice could be a fluke, but after the third time everyone started to really understand that we’re on our way to the fielding the largest, most talented group we’ve had in 20 years.”

    No, this is not an April Fools joke, and no, this is not a 1970s flashback – this is Blue Stars 2004, and they are on the rise. Camps are packed with talented performers, and all are determined to make their return to Division II a knockout performance.

    “So many different things have gone into the growth of the corps this year. Certainly getting advice from DCI hall-of-famers like David Kampschroer (former-Blue Stars director) and my mentor Scott Stewart (former-Madison Scouts) has been a great blessing. Input from current directors like Pat Seidling (Phantom Regiment) and Greg Orwoll (Colts) has been a great help as well.”

    Of course, ending the 2003 season as the Division III Champions may or may not be a recruiting draw, but when it comes to the Blue Stars organization they provide a much more important attraction.

    “New members come because they believe in where the corps is going and they want to be a part of it. They stay from month to month because this is a solid, values-based organization that believes in putting people over product and teaching people how to love everyone in their corps – even those they don’t particularly like. Competitive success is a fine thing, but it’s fickle. It’s the values of an organization that make it successful year in and year out.”

    For all corps, returning drum corps veterans set the membership foundation at the start of every season. Over past few years the Blue Stars enjoyed one of the highest retention rates in Division II/III at 50- to 60-percent.

    The 2004 season, however, looked to be a very difficult challenge for the La Crosse corps.

    “In October we were projecting a retention rate of 25-percent - significantly below where we had been traditionally,” explains Struve. “Many of our strongest leaders were planning on auditioning with other corps. Those who want to march somewhere else usually want to become part of a tradition of excellence – that indefinable mystique that only those top six or seven corps have about them year after year.”

    An enduring element of the Blue Stars’ legacy is an organization in touch with its roots. Rich in traditions, the La Crosse group does not separate themselves from the drum corps of yesteryear, but carry on as an extension of the vision of founding members, Frank Van Voorhis, Dave Dummer and David Kampschroer. From the beginning the Blue Stars’ vision has been to symbolize excellence – a legacy very much alive throughout the organization.

    “The most important part of our retention was helping our veterans understand that if they went they would have the chance to help another corps maintain that mystique, but if they stayed they could help their own corps revive it. Being a part of a legacy is an honorable and worthwhile thing, but recreating a legacy of your own corps is something entirely different and – in my mind anyway – something much more exciting. Those who came back buy into that idea.”

    Consequently, the corps enjoyed an unprecedented 80-percent return of last year’s veterans.

    “All of them could have stayed home and made money for college. Instead they came back because they wanted to be part in the third phase in the life of this drum and bugle corps.”

    The corps also has a new staff that is just as eagerly waiting for the new season as the performers. They also come with their own strong creditentials for excellence.

    Throughout the staff there are 14 music education degrees and three doctoral candidates. Furthermore, visual coordinator Gary Swanson is a program coordinator with one of the top 10 scholastic world guard (WGI); brass arranger John Wasson has worked with music publisher Hal Leonard and Warner Brothers for years; and corps director and music coordinator Bill Sucha was named one of the top 50 band directors in America by School Band and Orchestra magazine.

    “Everyone on staff here is here because they love this corps and we recognize that this organization has the potential to return to Division I again – and quickly. But more importantly, everyone is on the same page pedagogically. We’ve got a staff that puts the needs of the membership ahead of their needs as individuals. That’s a rare and precious thing, and it’s something that the members could see right away. It was a big part of getting people here, and it was an even bigger part of keeping them.”

    This season’s growth and passion is nothing new to the Blue Stars. They were a perennial DCI Division I finalist for the first eight years of DCI. And in Division II/III, when they weren’t marching off with one of their four championship titles, they spent the past two decades in their division’s top five.

    “Every veteran, every board member and every volunteer we’ve had in the past four decades has contributed to getting us to where we are right now. There really is nothing extraordinary about doubling in size; the pieces were here when the new administration arrived, we’ve simply helped the organization realize it’s potential. The work ethic here is astonishing, as are the performance expectations that this group carries for itself.”

    For those of us who have been around for awhile, it looks like the Long Blue Line is back.

    “Everyone in this organization is here because we want to see the Blue Stars “Return to Glory” so to speak. In the 80’s and 90’s we were one of the best corps in Div II/III. Now we’re working to return to the position that the corps held prior to that – during the 60’s and the 70’s when we were a charter member of DCI and a perennial Division I finalist,” says Struve.

    And how does Greg Struve feel about being at the helm of “the fastest growing corps in the country?”

    “Just that every day I say a prayer of thanks that I get to serve this organization. Seeing the work the members, staff and board have put in during this off-season has been the most rewarding experience of my life. If this keeps up the next couple of years are going to be truly extraordinary.”

    But Struve won’t take credit for this new growth. Like the Blue Stars’ leaders before him, he knows it’s all about the people who make up the organization.

    “Everyone who’s a part of the organization right now, from the members to the staff to the board to the food crew, is excited about doing what it takes to make that happen. That’s why we’ve grown.”

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    Camp Log - Rachael Waggoner
    Apr 28, 2004 8:16 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    This weekend's camp brought me a new level of joy. I've been excited for this summer for quite some time, but standing on the field and looking around at a corps twice the size of any I've ever marched before took my breath away.

    Friday night and Saturday morning, the Blue Star Cadets were in attendance. It was really cool to be looked up to like that. I used to march Colt Cadets and remember the feeling of watching “the big corps.” Being on the other side of that, I was filled with pride and a remembrance of what corps has done for me and will do for the kids that will one day be filling our shoes. I think that the Cadet corps is such a great opportunity for our organization and for the kids involved. Allowing us to interact is an even greater step.

    Saturday morning, we started learning drill and although we only set six pages, the progress we made is amazing. During sectionals, the guard learned our opening statement. We now have full work for the six pages that are on the field. Starting the show with four to fives and a toss just adds to the intensity and thrill of this year's show for me.

    After sectionals, we had ensemble. Putting music and work on the field reminded me of my past summers, but our numbers and excitement enhanced every aspect. The show seems to be coming together quite nicely. Drill also presented a great way to get to know new members. I tried to make a point of introducing myself to someone new every time we set a new spot. This method works well, and I met some really cool people that I can't wait to march a summer with.

    Saturday night, the guard loaded into cars and went to Irondale for sectionals. The ride over was interesting…we managed to get lost going to a school only two blocks over and two blocks up from where we started. When we arrived though, we split into sub-sectionals. Sabers and flags each warmed up and commenced learning a short routine.

    The ditty was a ton of fun and really challenging. It started off as just something to do, but we later put it to the midi of the Closer, and it became a really cool routine. I definitely have the bruises to show for it though.

    On Sunday, we performed the Opener work with the corps playing as well as with a recorded version. We also did our Closer ditty. All in all, the guard is really coming together as is the rest of the corps. This season is shaping up to be the best yet!

     
    Greg's April Camp Synopsis
    Apr 25, 2004 8:49 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    The April camp was another in a string of successful camps for the Blue Stars. The strength and focus of this organization has always been on developing character first and foremost. I’m a little worried about that this year, because this is already the best group of young people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Where are we going to go from here? ;-)

    The corps’ roster shows 99 current members. We presently have an opening in contra bass line and two to four in the color guard. The staff is excited about this year’s large turnout, but I think we’re even more pleased by the incredible maturity and energy that the members consistently display. Growth can be scary and difficult, but this ensemble has adjusted to doubling in size with very little difficulty.

    Last November we set some ambitious goals. One of those goals was to have the ensemble marching and playing in April. This weekend was spent focusing on our visual program to make sure that happened. Thanks to the efforts of Visual Caption-Head Mike Rossi, the rest of our visual staff, and our hard-working members, Saturday evening featured a moving and playing run of the first segment of the program. Of course there is a lot of work to do, but I think everyone was pleasantly surprised by what we saw and heard. A great weekend and another in a string of successes!

    Our next camp is back at Edgewood Middle School, May 14th to the 16th - just three short weeks away! There we plan to prepare for our debut performance at the Onalaska Sunfish Days Parade on May 29th. I’m excited to see how the city of La Crosse will react to 100 Blue Stars marching down the field.
     
    Blue Stars Post March Camp Video
    Apr 6, 2004 11:52 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    March camp was another in a string of successful camps for the Blue Stars.Click here to download a short video clip (Windows Media Player required).

     
    Camp Log - Julianne "Gumby" Stennes
    Mar 31, 2004 8:24 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    Leaving my house in New Brighton at 6:10pm to head over to Irondale High school for colorguard practice is not an unusual activity for me. But this particular part of my routine is not usually surrounded with as much excitement as it was last Friday night when I left my house to go to March camp. After seven minutes of driving I arrived in the old familiar parking lot, but as I entered the building for the fourth time this week and probably the thousandth time in my life, it struck me exactly how lucky I am� and not just lucky for the short drive (although I am sure some members may envy me for that). What was really amazing about this camp was how so many of the things that bring me joy, inspire me, and define my personal identity could come together in one weekend.

    The first thing we did once camp started was to head down to Irondale's old "upper gym" for a full-corps stretch. For most of the corps this gym is just another forgettable place, one of many we are sure to see during our adventures as a drum corps family; but for me this place has been one of the most important spaces in which I have lived my life and formed my identity. It was here that I first spun a flag, and where a friend first called me "Gumby." It was here that a piece of fabric on a pole and a character made of green clay first became inseparably tied with my personal identity.

    Now, once again, I was back in this old familiar place, practicing hard and working to be a better performer and a better person.

    In addition to practicing hard all weekend, on Saturday night the colorguard got to go and watch state colorguard finals. We saw many of the same groups we had seen earlier when we went to another local guard show during January camp. It was a great opportunity to bond with eachother and to see how far a colorguard can come in just a few months. We also got the opportunity to cheer on some of our fellow Blue Stars who are members of some of the performing colorguards.

    Our dance instructor, Michael, was with us all weekend. The dance he taught us for show-and-tell was one of the most difficult and beautiful I have ever done. Michael is a professional dancer, and as someone who has worked hard and made dance his life, he is an inspiration to all of us who have a passion for our art.

    Throughout he camp the corps was surrounded by many other people who inspire me and who embody what this drum corps is about. New people like Bill Sucha, Gary Swanson, and Greg Struve remind us that the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is going places. Old faces like the Furlanos and Eric Miller, who are the heart of the corps and the embodiment of what a Blue Star is, reassure us that no matter what changes may come, this is still the same corps that we all fell in love with.

    There is no better place than Irondale, the school where I learned to love colorguard and worship drum corps, to remind me that the Drum Corps I pour all my love and devotion into is alive and well. For me, this camp was about reflecting on where I have come from and where I am going, and also reflecting on the bright future the corps has: one that is solidly rooted in our and strong past.

    Julianne Stennes a captian of the Blue Stars Color Guard. This will be her third year as a member of the corps.

     
    Camp Log - Jake Coon
    Mar 30, 2004 10:12 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    I find myself in much the same fashion as Ms. Brody found herself earlier, in that I am not quite sure what to write, much less how to write it. Perhaps I should let my instincts wander on their own, and see where it takes me.

    I found myself a Blue Star in the early winter months of 2002. Since then, I have yet to miss a camp. Perhaps it is luck with my schedule, or perhaps it is dedication. Either way, I have seen a few camps go by. Compared to the last two years, the camps thus far this season have been overwhelmingly successful and increasingly encouraging. This camp was no exception.

    The whole line was in attendance (!!) this weekend and was clearly better than last camp. Who knew that practice does actually pay off? We retired that night with the promise of new parts and went to snack. As usual, the cook staff did a great job in feeding us not only that night, but all weekend.

    Seeing everyone in the hornline and the guard again was also a hype, but it still pains me to know that I do not know everyone in the corps yet. It is a lovely problem to have, however. A half an hour of the obligatory greetings was culminated in a small group hang out in the nice weather outside, until the gym called our names out and we decided that rest would be essential to our performance.

    Saturday was spent working on everything. Parts were changed, parts were cleaned. My favorite part of Saturday was getting to track for the first time this season. We wanted to find a lake, but instead we fought it out with the rain. I�d like to think we won, but even if we didn�t, tracking in the rain builds character. At least that�s what I tell myself to distract the wet feeling of my clothes. The line is coming along incredibly well. The transition from inside to outside went rather smooth, and I can�t wait to start drill next camp. After ensemble rehearsal, the corps hung out until lights out.

    Sunday was perhaps one of the coolest days I have had at any camp. A nice long stretch began the day, and we got to drum until 11:30, when the corps had the distinct privilege to meet the founder, Dr. Kampschroer. We got to listen about when and how he founded the corps, and some of the events that DCI has faced since then.

    We wrapped up with a little 'show and tell.' It gives me chills to be playing with a line of this caliber and potential. The full ensemble ran through the opener, part of tank, and the ballad. The crowd seemed to latch onto the opener rather well, and applauded our efforts appropriately. We only played half of Tank, but the ballad gave everyone butterflies, I�m sure.

    It is amazing to me how much effort the new folks on staff have put into learning and understanding the history of our corps. Our unique heritage is something that really makes the corps special. The past two years have been a great experience for me, and it seems that this year is no exception. The only thing that will be different is that this year we'll have twice the number of people on the field living the uniform. We have come as individuals. Now it is time to become a corps.

    Jake Coon is a third year member of the Blue Stars. This will be his second year as percussion captain.

     
    DCI now offering II/III championship week tickets online
    Mar 3, 2004 1:18 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    See the Blue Stars perform in Denver! Click Here to order your II/III championship week tickets!
     
    Feb. Camp Log - Mike Thursby
    Feb 26, 2004 12:47 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    My name is Mike Thursby. Everyone in the corps calls me Mizu. I'm currently a freshman at the University of Iowa, majoring in percussion performance. This will be my fourth year marching drum corps � seems like longer to me � my first year I marched with the Emerald Knights from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This year I am the quad section leader, in my third year as a member of the Blue Stars.

    This past camp was filled with a lot of getting to know new members and corps bonding. We were allowed the evening time to �hang out� and go swimming. Some members also watched drum corps DVD�s, while others did homework.

    The camp started a bit late for me due to some inclement Minnesota / Iowa weather. When I arrived sectionals were already over, and people were swimming. But just as I expected at 11:00 pm, many of the drummers were still going hard practicing. That evening we had received some extended parts for the ballad and continued to work on our opener. Some of the parts we have this year are the hardest I have seen in my years of marching. That is a credit to our wonderful new staff. The music we are playing has an incredible feeling, which I am excited to perform in front of a crowd as soon as possible.

    On Saturday we started the morning by having full corps stretch. I find this part of camp quite rewarding, because after four years of drum corps my body isn�t what it used to be, so stretch gets me ready for the day. Vegas (another percussionist) and I also continued the new tradition we like to call �Pass the shoe.� We continued camp by receiving our cadence, which has some sweet grooves and licks in it for the entire battery.

    Next we proceeded to basics block with Eric Miller our marching instructor. Miller's basics reminded me that it's time to start training for the summer! That's something for me to continue to work on... :-) But I realized also that the group of people I will be marching with has an incredible feeling, vibe if you will. That night we had full corps ensemble, drum major try-outs, and some sectional time.

    Every time I hear that horn line I get chills, especially during the ballad. There is only one or two things I can compare it to... Imagine yourself standing on a warm beach in Florida, watching the most beautiful sunset ever, while listening to the waves. It's that amazing to me!

    Overall camp was quite successful. I don�t remember cleaning parts of the show at camp. One of my personal highlights was showing off my new tattoo. I decided after winter break to get a tattoo to help remember the Blue Stars and this part of my life forever. The things I have learned while marching corps will help me in college, and as I get a job in the future. The corps motto �Finis Coronat Opus,� the end crowns the work, surrounds a circle representing the work a drum corps member puts in to the summer. Then I have a star and the Chinese characters for drum. I feel that all of these things represent who I am as a person, how I will continue to follow this motto, and who I will be in the future.

     
    Blue Stars announce 2004 program: "Blue Stars: Reloaded"
    Feb 25, 2004 9:53 PM (Submitted by: Blue Stars Design Team)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps from La Crosse, WI is excited to announce its 2004 program, "Blue Stars: Reloaded." The title is most fitting and reflects the sudden growth and new direction of the Blue Stars organization. Since fielding a corps of 51 members and capturing the 2003 Division III DCI Championship, the corps has nearly doubled in size and will compete in Division II during the 2004 season. Growth has occurred across the board in all captions, and most visibly in the new 50-member horn line and expanded color guard.

    "Blue Stars: Reloaded" will feature the music of three prominent Japanese composers of anime film and television soundtracks. "When [Program Consultant] Andy Combites first played the tunes for our design team, we were completely taken with them," recounts John Wasson, Brass Arranger for the show. "The music is contemporary and full of energy, and spans a wide range of musical styles from symphonic to jazz to rock. And much of the music of Japanese anime is virtually unknown to American music fans."

    The 2004 show will open with music from the anime television show "Gundam Wing", composed by Koh Otani. The Gundam franchise has spawned numerous television shows and video games over the years. With all the action and drama of a typical science fiction movie, the piece begins the show with a high-energy blast and features the larger brass line and powerful battery and front ensemble sections.

    The second song is the latin/jazz-influenced "Tank!" which is the theme song from the "Cowboy Bebop" television series, composed by renowned film and jazz composer Yoko Kanno. The offbeat "Cowboy Bebop" has gained notoriety in the United States through its run on The Cartoon Network's late-night "Adult Swim". The show's quirky attitude and sassy style are effectively supported by Yoko Kanno's high-energy retro-mix of cool jazz and latin styles with contemporary dance and techno rhythms.

    Joe Hisaishi's lush orchestral score for the motion picture "Princess Mononoke" provides the third selection in the show in a beautiful and haunting ballad entitled "The Legend of Ashitaka". Princess Mononoke is the creation of Hayao Miyazaki, the godfather of Japanese animated feature films and director of last years' Academy Award-winning animated feature "Spirited Away." Hisaishi has released over 60 albums as a pianist and a composer of jazz and orchestral music.

    For the closer the corps returns to Koh Otani's music from "Gundam Wing." This selection showcases the battery and front ensemble and traverses the styles of avant-garde, rock and fusion to bring the show to an energetic and spectacular conclusion.

    "Designing and writing this show has been an exciting endeavor," commented Wasson. "The wide span of musical styles affords the corps a wonderful opportunity to showcase its versatility and artistic depth. Capturing and communicating the style and uniqueness of this relatively unknown music has provided a stimulating challenge to the corps staff. The entire corps is excited about the music and the opportunities it provides for fast-paced and ever-changing visual presentation."

    "It's been a blast designing this show with Bill (Sucha), Gary (Swanson), and John. I can't wait until Garret Decker gets a chance to help us realize our visual concepts and ideas on the field this summer with the drill," added Combites.

    As the Blue Stars enter this competitive season, they are committed to retaining the musical integrity and sophistication that has characterized their rich and successful history. With this new and exciting program the Blue Stars are "reloaded" and ready to take the field in 2004!

     
    Feb. Camp Log - Robyn Brody
    Feb 25, 2004 9:40 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    The season is upon us! Well . . . not really. But it sure felt like it this weekend! Blue Stars had a full corps camp this weekend in Mounds View, Minnesota. Now I can officially say that I have risked my life for my corps. We had a warm week here in the upper Midwest, but by mid-Friday were back to sub-freezing temperatures. This meant super slick roads. I believe we passed at least 25 cars that had spun off or flipped onto the side of the road. Needless to say, it was slow going, and by the time I got to the camp site at about 10 PM, only about 75% the corps had made it.

    The hornline was in rehearsal when I arrived, so I immediately set my stuff down in the hall, grabbed my mello, and joined them in arch. Even with only three-fourths of the horns there, the sound was full and potent. One of our assignments from last camp was to memorize one of the chorales we've been working on, the hornline arrangement of our corps song, and the opener. So we got to it. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it sounded from my vantage point, it didn't really sound any different than when we had music. Of course, it wasn't perfect (I'll admit that there were a few notes here and there that I kept getting tripped up on), but there are a lot of notes in that opener, and I was proud of the hornline. They obviously had all worked on the materials in between camps.

    We were told to bring swimsuits to camp, because our school facilities included an indoor pool that we were able to use after rehearsal!! Of course, I had music theory homework and Central Asian History readings to slave over, so I personally did not partake in the aquatic festivities. Snoring in the night was greatly reduced from last camp. This I was happy to discern as I snuggled into my air mattress and mulled over how much I loved being around the people in the corps. It's funny how you can go months without seeing your corps friends, but when you finally do, it's still obvious that they know and understand you better than everyone else. All the private jokes and stupid sayings that no one else understands retain their full comedic value; big huge hugs are the standard form of greeting; a certain enigmatic quality of ardor begins to fill the empty space.

    Well, Friday night always kind of sets the tone for the weekend, and Saturday was quite a fulfilling day of rehearsal. It was a standard drum corps day: up early, stretch, run, visual basics, sub-sectionals, full sections, ensemble (some eating in there as well). We had some excitement of getting the final two tunes of the show, plus an extended ballad. I've said it about our music already, but "Wow!!" This music is so fun, energetic, challenging, and just cool. Did I say challenging? We had the added luxury of having former Blue Star and current brass arranger, John Wasson (a.k.a. "The Man") at our disposal this weekend. What a talented, engaging man. He sat in on all of our rehearsals, ready to adapt and modify his arrangements on the spot whenever needed. It was very neat to see that if John changed something (whether it be notes, rhythms, articulations), it was instantly better. He had a great ear for knowing what exactly needed to be changed in order for us to play the music as well as it was written.

    On Sunday we rode the wave of momentum that was created on Friday and got ready for show and tell. Due to snowstorms that were rapidly encroaching the area, we had to move the performance up a bit, but it went off without a hitch. The brassline performed "America/O'Canada," "Jewish Chorale" (the corps song), the show Opener and Ballad with full ensemble, and the show Closer with just horns. I was just disappointed that we didn't perform the second piece of the show, which we had worked hard on all weekend!! But the time will come soon enough. I had to keep mentally pinching myself because at times, I just couldn't believe that it was only February. Or that the mellophone section that I was in had ten people in it!

    On Friday night at camp, I used my cell phone to take a picture of my friend Mizu, specifically his new tattoo (Don’t leave now! There really is a point to this story!). In between his shoulder blades, he has the word "drum" in Japanese kanjis enclosed in a blue star, with the banner "Finis Coronat Opus." That means "The end crowns the work." It is the Blue Stars motto. Well, I saved it as my background, and every time I open my cell phone, it catches my attention. I was thinking today how, like Mizu's tattoo, the corps is always with me, and always will be. The memories and experiences I've had, and especially the identity that I have forged because of the corps, are permanently engrained in me. That's really cool. So I'm just thinking-what does this season hold for me? I'm impatient, because of weekends like these that I don't want to end. I've said it before that this corps (meaning this Blue Stars, as it is right now) is something amazing. Not potentially, not "going to be," it is. So when do I get to leave the real world and dedicate my life to it? Not soon enough.

     
    Feb. Camp Log - Rachael Waggoner
    Feb 25, 2004 12:17 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)
    My name is Rachael Waggoner, I am eighteen years old, the flag captain, and this is my third season with Blue Stars. I started out marching in a different corps when I was twelve, so this will be my seventh year total in corps. When I came to the Blue Stars, I found my home and I have been in love with the organization ever since.

    This last weekend was by far my favorite camp in my corps experience. Although I could not be there until Saturday afternoon, due to a speech competition, I still got a lot out of the weekend. The corps is definitely coming great strides both musically and in bonding. Many relationships were formed and reinforced over the course of the weekend.

    One of the best things about the corps this year is that our size has not inhibited the strong ties that we all cherish. This weekend, we had pool time where we bonded with each other, and even those who didn't swim socialized during breaks and before bed. I'm sure that I can speak for all sections when I say that we are definitely clicking. The guard is already its own family.

    Learning a ditty to our ballad was extremely fulfilling. It gave me goosebumps to see how the increased guard size allowed for layering and partner work that was not practical or as effective with the smaller guards of years past. The music definitely lends to varying emotions that will make this show very exciting from a performing standpoint.

    The best part of the weekend, however, was sitting in front of the corps proper as they played through three of our show pieces, and the hornline played the corps song. The sound emitted from a 50-person hornline compared to a 17-person line is amazing. I don't think the goosebumps will ever go down. The emotion and work that went into the performances translated into some of the most remarkable musical moments I've experienced at a camp. These moments will only become more numerous and powerful as the season progresses.

    Many of these musical moments can be attributed to John Wasson, our brass arranger, whom we had the opportunity to finally meet this weekend. He received a five-minute standing ovation on Sunday, needless to say, we were happy to see him!

    I would also like to say bravo to all four drum major candidates on a job well done this weekend, and congratulations to Kevin Whalen, our new drum major!

     
    Whalen named Blue Stars Drum Major
    Feb 24, 2004 4:22 PM (Submitted by: Dan Ritacco)

    The Blue Stars are pleased to announce the selection of Kevin Whalen as Drum Major for the 2004 season. Mr. Whalen survived an intensive two-camp audition process that saw the four finalists get put through the paces. The process involved a written questionnaire and an interview with a panel that included the Furlano brothers (a member of the Furlano family filled the DM position with the Blue Stars from 1983 to 2001). Program Consultant Brad Furlano said, "All of the candidates performed very well and brought their personal strengths to the table. We really couldn't have made a wrong choice. In the end, Kevin proved to have all the tangibles and intangibles necessary to best fulfill the responsibilities that are a part of being the Blue Stars' Drum Major."

    Kevin is an 18-year-old senior at Irondale High School in New Brighton, MN. At Irondale, he has been involved with the jazz ensemble, symphony orchestra, concert choir, and the renowned marching band, where he has served as the drum major for the past two seasons. Kevin will attend the University of Minnesota- Morris this coming fall, where he will focus his studies in History and English, as well as continue his passion for the arts.

     
    Camp Report - Robyn Brody
    Jan 21, 2004 1:06 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    This will be the first in a series of Camp Reports written by marching members of the Blue Stars. The reports are designed to give our fans an 'inside look' at what goes into being a member of this ensemble.

    The hardest thing in writing anything is figuring out how to start. My problem is a little bit more complex because my particular subject is something that I can't stop thinking about, so how do I just stop thinking and start writing? Well, I guess you want to know who I am and what it is I'm supposed to be writing about. That's where I'll begin.

    My name is Robyn Brody, and the most important part of my identity for the purposes of this memoir is that I am a member of the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps of La Crosse, Wisconsin. If you're familiar with drum corps, you'll understand why that is such a huge part of my identity. If you're not, then hopefully by the end of this you'll have a little bit of an idea. This will be my third year with the corps as a member of the mellophone section. I drove 2000 miles in May of 2002 with no idea what I was getting into, and now I'm hooked. I even moved to Madison in part so that I could be close to the family that I so quickly acquired. I had my first day of school as a transfer student in music education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison today. That's just a little background information. The real point of this is to give all of you an idea of what occurred this weekend at the corps' third gathering of the season. It was quite a weekend for me.

    First off, let me point out that it was all of about, mmmm, ZERO degrees outside in Minnesota where the camp was held. Needless to say we held visual blocks inside! It all started out pretty typical--check in with the Furlano brothers (if you don't know who they are, let me just say that they are of the highest ranking of Blue Stars Royalty if there exists such a thing). There were lots of big hugs, names, and excitement exchanged. After a quick meeting with the corps director, it was off to sectionals! The brassline was herded off across the parking lot. This is where the first really cool moment occurred, for me at least. After a nice long warm up, we began our repertoire with a Chorale in our brass packet that we have focused on in past camps. It's quite beautiful, and standing in that church, with silver bugles reaching far out on either side of me as far as my peripheral vision could see, I felt a little bit of awe as the echoes of our resolved chord shimmered in the air. I guessed it was then that it really dawned on me that this brassline has a special chemistry already. Little did I know that before the conclusion of camp, I would see this property (whatever it is that defines chemistry of a group) manifest itself in the corps proper, like a color of the sunset that is impatient to fill the sky with its beauty. It amazed me that it happened so soon, with such a varied and vast group.

    When I awoke on Saturday morning . . . er, when I eventually dragged myself out of my sleeping bag after a bout of being harassed by a handful of vets for my bed-sluggedness, I was ready to go! At high brass visual, the second really cool moment occurred. I got into the back where I can get a good vantage point, and I was blown away. I could feel the focus and concentration of this portion of the hornline, which also happened to be a third bigger than our entire 2003 hornline. Yeah, I think the only thing that can describe it is . . . sweet.

    I'm skipping some things here. First of all, the horns read America/O'Canada, and in one night had it sounding good. We learned the ballad in one fell swoop and had ourselves (well, myself at least) in near tears every damn time we played it. Another great moment: uniform fittings. Putting on my blues, even if just to make my butt look good (I'm not explaining that one, you had to be there!). The feel of that particular fabric on my skin, the way I couldn't help but to stand a little straighter even though I was barefoot and hardly anyone could see me; little reminders of why I keep coming back.

    Fast forward to ensemble rehearsal that evening. Finally we had all the musical entities of the corps together, and all around me I could feel the electricity sparking as we began creating our show. Now, I can't tell you the names of the pieces, but I will tell you these two things. I play more notes in my opener this year than probably my whole show last season (at least that's how it seems). And not just notes. I mean crazy kinds of cool notes. And then our ballad is probably one of the most beautiful I've ever heard on a drum corps field. That's all I'm going to say about it for now.

    I went to bed feeling deliciously sore all over and exhausted. Unfortunately, I was kept up half the night by the approximately seven people that were snoring louder than I ever thought humanely possible. Alas, the downside of sleeping in a room with your 100 closest friends. Well, attempting to sleep. Of course the next morning I was wrapped tightly in my cocoon for a good half hour after our wake up call. But this was it, our last day together until next camp, and we all knew how excruciating the time between is. We got ready for 'show & tell', where each section performs for the rest of the corps, staff, and alumni what they each worked on all weekend. What I appreciated most about our work as a corps was our efficiency and constant forward momentum. We accomplished a great deal of things in a short amount of time, which is a testament not only to the skill of the staff, but the maturity of the members as well. It was then, as we performed together, and that invisible web of electricity snaked its way around the room to bind us all together, that I was struck by the sense of how awesome drum corps is. This isn't the first time this has happened to me, and I'm sure it won't be the last, but the power of the feeling never lessens.

    Robyn Brody is marching her third season as a member of the Blue Stars Mellophone line. She's presently enrolled at UW-Madison as a music major.

     
    Kirk to Lead Blue Stars Percussion Staff
    Jan 20, 2004 12:11 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the hiring of Tahle Kirk as the corps' Percussion Caption Head. Kirk's talent and experience will ensure that The Blue Stars continue their tradition of percussion excellence.

    "The percussion line has been the crown jewel of this corps for decades," said corps director Bill Sucha. "One of our highest priorities this winter has been making sure that we found a staff with the talent and the drive to improve on what is already an extraordinary section."

    Tahle Kirk (Caption Head) marched with Lone Star Drum and Bugle Corps for 8 years. He spent 6 years as the percussion section leader and aged out as drum major. He was the second member to join the corps and the last original member to age out. He currently serves as the Percussion Director for the Terrell Independent School District near Dallas, Texas.

    Joni DeClercq (Front Line) is an alumnus of both Blue Stars and Phantom Regiment, where she aged-out as the front line section leader. She received her Bachelors degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Kentucky under James Campbell, and is presently finishing a Master's degree at UNLV under Dr. Dean Gronemeier. DeClercq is presently an alternate with the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra and was an alternate with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra as an undergraduate. Other credits include performances with Bill Molenhof, Gary Cook, Anders Åstrand, Michael Burritt, Andrew Spencer, Jerry Steinholtz, Joe Porcaro, Emil Richards, Dave Samuels, Dan Moore, Michael Gould, Brian Mason, Ruben Alvarez, Steve Houghton, and Zoro.

    Andy Pruyn (Bass Line) was section leader of the Glassmen bass line in 1997. Pruyne received his Bachelors degree in music education from Northern Kentucky University and currently serves as a band director and percussion specialist at Mesquite High School in the Dallas, Texas. Other instructing credits include Ryle High School in Kentucky and Cincinnati Glory in Ohio.

    Ben Scearce (Tenors) marched with the Delta Brigade Drum and Bugle Corps. Scaerce holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Oklahoma State University. He is currently the percussion specialist and assistant band director for the Burkburnett Independent School District in Burkburnett, Texas. His performance credits include a P.A.S. High School Tenor Drum title in Phoenix, Arizona, Oklahoma State University's P.A.S. Percussion Ensemble, the indoor P.A.S.I.C. drumline, and the Oklahoma Music Educators Association's State Conference. Scearce was the founder of the Oklahoma State Winter Percussion Ensemble.

    About the Blue Stars

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is celebrating its 41st year in 2004. The corps is a founding member of Drum Corps International and a 25-time finalist in Division I, II and III competition. The Blue Stars are the 1989, 1993, 2001 and 2003 DCI Division III World Champions. For more information about the Blue Stars check out www.bluestars.org.

     
    Blue Stars Announce February Camp Location
    Jan 19, 2004 8:44 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    The Blue Stars' February camp will be held at Edgewood Middle School in Mounds View, MN beginning at 8pm (registration at 7pm) on Friday, February 20 and ending at 3:30pm on Sunday, February 22.

    Link to February camp information page

     
    Amundson Bakery to Donate Baked Goods to Blue Stars
    Dec 18, 2003 12:35 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    Blue Stars would like to thank Amundson's Bakery for their generous donation of baked goods and continued sponsorship. Amundson's Bakery has been in business since 1954 and they offer a full line of bakery goods. Now located at 906 Riders Club Road in Onalaska. Owners Chris and Bill Latham expressed their appreciation for the Blue Stars dedication "Blue Stars are a wonderful group and we always support youth activities first".

    Executive Director Greg Struve said, "The support of local businesses will continue to play an essential part in the Blue Stars moving to the next level. I'm very appreciative of the Latham's donation and I hope we're able to enjoy a long relationship with Amundson's Bakery."

     
    Blue Stars Offer Percussion Equipment On Ebay
    Dec 17, 2003 9:46 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    Click here to see the auction listing

    About the Equipment:

    The Blue Stars have posted their snare line on the popular online auction site, www.ebay.com.

    The instruments are 14' x 12' MTS model Yamaha Snare Drums, model MTS-9214VR. This is a 'dutch' style auction with a total of 6 instruments available. As with all our equipment, this instrument was very well taken care of and shows only minor wear and tear.

    This auction includes the snare drum, a black protective cover and a standard vest style marching snare drum carrier.

    Retail price in Yamaha's 2003 Percussion Catalog is $995 for the drum only, $1240 for the drum and the vest. This auction is for BOTH the drum and the vest.

    Tubular Carrier and Stadium Hardware available on request for $50 extra.

    Bidding starts at $625 a piece. 6 snares are available.

    Our tenors and bass line will be posted in the coming weeks as well. Write director@bluestars.org for more information.

    Click here to see the auction listing

     
    Blue Stars Announce December Camp Location and Details
    Dec 9, 2003 11:50 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    Camp

    Our next camp will be held at Irondale High School in New Brighton, Minnesota. The camp will begin at 8pm (registration at 7pm) December 19th and conclude at 3:30pm December 21st.

    Here is the address:

    Irondale High School
    2425 Long Lake Road
    New Brighton, Minnesota 55112
    Mapquest Map

    Openings:

    The corps currently has the following openings in our 45 member brass line:

    1 Soprano
    1 Mellophone
    3 Baritone
    2 Contra Bass

    The corps has the following positions open in the Battery:

    0-1 snare
    0-1 tenor
    1-2 bass drum
    1-2 front line

    There is very limited availability in the color guard, but it is possible that one or two positions will open up.

    Preference will be given to those who attended the audition camp in November, however, anyone interested in marching is encouraged to attend next week. If nothing else you'll learn a lot.

    Cost:

    If you attended November camp, cost is $35. If this is your first camp, cost is $65.

    Audition information:

    Barring unforeseen circumstances, December will be the final month that auditions are accepted for any position. If you are still interested in auditioning and cannot attend December camp, you may be allowed to audition via video. Reply to this email for more information.

    If you are attending camp to audition and have not done so already, please contact the following staff for more information.

    Brass: Chad Armbruster (Chad.Armbruster@bluestars.org)
    Guard: Gary Swanson (Gary.Swanson@bluestars.org)
    Battery: Tahle Kirk (Tahle.Kirk@bluestars.org)
    Pit: Joni DeClercq (Joni.DeClercq@bluestars.org)

    Those who have been offered contracts

    Remember to communicate. I cannot stress this point enough! We want you to be successful and we want you to have the opportunity to march here! If you miss camp without prior notice, you will likely be moved to alternate status or lose your position.

    RSVPing

    Last month we had to scramble to make sure we had enough equipment. This problem can be eliminated if we find out ahead of time who is and planning to attend. Please RSVP immediately if you're coming, as it allows us to ensure that everyone has the most educational and rewarding camp experience possible.

     
    Blue Stars Host Largest Audition Camp in 23 Years
    Dec 2, 2003 11:51 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    Last weekend more than 100 young people from across the nation attended the Blue Stars audition camp, held in West St. Paul, Minnesota, making it the best attended camp the corps has hosted since 1981.

    The corps is holding several winter camps in the Twin Cities area because a large number of recruits and returnees hail from there. The corps will continue to be based in La Crosse, and its spring and summer operations will originate from that Mississippi Valley town.

    Nearly half of those in attendance auditioned for the brass line. With more horn players planning to audition in December, the Blue Stars can be counted on to field 45 horns. Percussion and color guard numbers were very gratifying for last year's Division III champions. Many more than expected tried out for the planned 22 guard positions, and the talent level is very high. Some 20 players auditioned for the one opening in the snare line.

    "We were delighted by the turn-out this weekend," said executive director Greg Struve. "We'll be accepting auditions for the few remaining brass and color guard spots in December, and we expect to have no trouble fielding a 90 member corps in 2004." Those interested in auditioning in December should download an audition packet from the corps web site.

    Corps Director Bill Sucha said he is "extremely encouraged," and that the success of winter recruiting efforts have "exceeded everyone's expectations." The 2004 version of the Blue Stars will surprise many, even those who remember the larger top-twelve Blue Stars corps of the past.

    Sucha was particularly pleased with the recruits' talent and commitment level, as well as the number of leaders who already seem to be stepping forward.

    Bill added that he wanted to thank the many parents, friends, volunteers, and staff who contributed to making the weekend camp such a great success.

    The music is being written, and the full show is very close to being finalized. Corps members are very excited about the show concept chosen and the music they heard on Sunday at the close of camp.

    Look for a show announcement before the Holidays.

     
    Rossi to serve as Blue Stars' Visual Caption Head
    Nov 25, 2003 10:24 AM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is proud to announce Michael Rossi as the 2004 visual caption head. Rossi's talent and experience will help to shape the Blue Stars' 2004 production into a vehicle enjoyed and respected by members, fans and judges alike.

    Mike Rossi is a doctoral candidate in trumpet performance at the University of North Texas where he serves as second chair trumpet for the acclaimed University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra. Rossi marched with the Velvet Knights in 1987 and 1988, and with the Santa Clara Vanguard in 1989. Following his tenure in junior corps, he marched for four years with the U.S. Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps. As a performing cast member of Blast II Shockwave he was a featured trumpet soloist. Rossi has a masters in performance from Akron University and is also a substitute for both the Irving Symphony Orchestra and the Plano Symphony Orchestra.

    "We're very excited to have a third doctoral candidate on staff," commented Corps Director Bill Sucha, "Rossi's experience as a professional musician with the U.S. Marine Corps and with Blast's Shockwave production will be a great asset to the already outstanding Blue Stars visual program."

     
    Harris and Armbruster Lead Blue Stars' Brass in 2004
    Nov 13, 2003 4:11 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps have named Clayton Harris and Chad Armbruster as the 2004 brass co-caption heads. They will lead a brass staff that has more than 80 years of drum corps experience. "All of our instructors this year are outstanding musicians," commented Corps Director Bill Sucha, "but more importantly, all of them are great teachers and great people. I think it's clear that this staff will bring the Blue Stars brass line to a new level of excellence."

    Clayton Harris (co-caption head) is a doctoral candidate in trumpet performance at the University of North Texas where he serves as principle trumpet for the acclaimed University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra. Clayton also plays lead trumpet in the 5 O'clock Jazz Ensemble and has performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Prior to beginning his teaching fellowship at North Texas Clayton taught with Oachita Baptist University. Clayton is a former marching member of the Madison Scouts.

    Chad Armbruster (co-caption head) is currently the director of bands at Hastings, NE high and middle schools. The 2004 season will be Armbruster's eleventh in drum corps. He is a former marching member of the Capital Sound and the Madison Scouts, and has taught with both Minnesota Brass, Inc. and the Southwind drum and bugle corps.

    Dan Ritacco will be enjoying his 24th drum corps season in 2004. Ritacco worked with the Capital Sound Drum and Bugle Corps from 1996 until 2003, serving as caption head during his last three seasons.

    Ray Vasquez will be returning to the Blue Stars as a consultant in 2004 after two very successful years as the Blue Stars brass caption head. Vasquez is currently a doctoral candidate in trumpet performance at the University of Minnesota. Prior to beginning his teaching fellowship Ray worked for the Disney International Show Band at Disneyland Paris, and also instructed with the Phantom Regiment in 1995.

    Roger Grupp will be assisting the Blue Stars during winter rehearsals. Grupp has been a performing member of Minnesota Brass Inc. for 30 seasons and has been a soloist with the corps every year since 1986. DCA named Grupp the best soloist in its 1993 championship competition and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame named him an Associate Member in 2001. Grupp began his drum corps career in 1961 and 1962 with the Pine City Saints, and continued with the St. Paul Scouts in 1963 and 1964.

    Annette Nicks is a music education major with an emphasis on trombone. She is a two-year alumnus of the Colts where she was the 2003 baritone section leader.

    David Seip is a music performance major at Wichita State University. He is a four-year alumnus of the Blue Stars and was the winner of the 2001 DCI I&E contra competition.

    Jeff Appel is a music education major at Ball State University. He marched with the Blue Stars as a baritone in 1998. He taught the Blue Stars' brass full-time in 2002 and part-time in 2003. He will be teaching on a somewhat limited basis this season.

     
    Gary Swanson to Lead Blue Stars' 2004 Program
    Nov 6, 2003 11:42 PM (Submitted by: Greg Struve)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the addition of Gary Swanson as the corps' program coordinator. Swanson's talent and experience will help to shape the Blue Stars' 2004 production into a vehicle enjoyed and respected by members, fans and judges alike.

    Swanson is best known for his 13 years of dedication to the pageantry programs at Irondale High School in Minnesota. He is the principal designer and program coordinator for the Irondale winter color guard a group that is the 2002 WGI Scholastic Open world champions and a 2003 WGI Scholastic World finalist. Swanson is also the color guard caption head for the Irondale marching band and the visual coordinator for the Irondale winter drum line.

    "The Blue Stars are having a very successful off season in terms of recruiting and staff development," said Executive Director Greg Struve. "Gary Swanson is another key piece of the equation as we build the Blue Stars into a top-tier, division II drum and bugle corps."

    "I'm excited to join the Blue Stars organization," said Swanson. "I've always admired the corps in the past, and am thrilled with the opportunity to develop a program that takes advantage of the corps' increased membership."

    In addition to his work with Irondale, Swanson's accomplishments include:

    • Design consultant to several marching band and color guard programs
    • WGI advisory board member
    • North Star Color Guard Circuit executive board member
    • 1998 and 1999 color guard caption head for the Minnesota Brass, Inc. drum and bugle corps
    • 1992 Super Bowl event choreographer

    Swanson received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in apparel design and is currently working in the Twin Cities area as a freelance designer.

     
    Bill Sucha Joins Management Team as Corps Director
    Oct 24, 2003 9:58 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the hiring of Bill Sucha as the Corps' Director. Sucha brings to the Blue Stars considerable experience from his involvement in the drum corps, marching band, winter color guard and winter drumline activities.

    Sucha is known throughout Minnesota and across the U.S. as an innovative and effective music educator. In 2001 he was the Minnesota recipient of the "50 Directors Who Make a Difference" by School Band and Orchestra magazine. In addition, Sucha received the "Good Neighbor" award from WCCO TV for his dedication to the music programs in the Mounds View, Minnesota school district.

    Currently, Sucha is the Concert and Marching Bands Director at Irondale High School and the Director of Bands at Edgewood Middle School. As the Irondale Marching Band Director, Sucha has consistently produced one of the most innovative, entertaining and successful marching bands in the midwest. He is also involved with the very successful Irondale Winter Drumline and Color Guard programs.

    "What excites me the most about having Bill on board as the Blue Stars' director is that, above all else, Bill is an educator," said Blue Stars' Executive Director Greg Struve. "With his considerable talent and skill, Bill will be able to positively impact every aspect of the organization the members, the staff and the behind-the-scenes operations."

    Sucha will be responsible for hiring and developing the Blue Stars' staff and ensuring that the Blue Stars' members have an enjoyable, rewarding and educational experience with the corps.

    "I'm extremely excited to be working with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps," said Sucha. "I've been a fan of the corps for many years and I relish the opportunity to contribute to the Blue Stars' growth and success in the upcoming years."

    In addition to his work in the Mounds View School District, Bill Sucha has served on the Boards of the North Star Color Guard Circuit, the Minnesota Percussion Association, Royal Guard and Minnesota Brass, Inc. Sucha is also the Adjudication Coordinator and Trainer for the North Star Color Guard Circuit.

    About the Blue Stars
    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps is celebrating its 41st year in 2004. The corps is a founding member of Drum Corps International and a 25-time finalist in Division I, II and III competition. The Blue Stars are the 1989, 1993, 2001 and 2003 DCI Division III World Champions. If you are interested in membership, please fill out a membership application.

     
    Select Positions Still Available!
    Oct 13, 2003 3:22 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars still have openings in the brass line and color guard for the 2004 season. If you are interested in participating in what looks to be the strongest showing this corps has seen in recent historty, follow these steps:

    1. Fill out and submit the membership interest form so we have your information in our database.
    2. Fill out and submit the Camp RSVP Form as soon as you decide to audition.
    3. Download the audition packet specific to your section.
    4. If you need a ride click here to post to our ride board.

    Audition Tips:

    • Don't be intimidated. We go to great lengths to ensure that our audition process is an educational experience for everyone involved.
    • You will NOT be asked to sight-read
    • You will NOT audition in front of anyone who is not a staff member
    • You will receive helpful instruction and advice that will improve your performing
    • You will find the staff to be friendly, courteous and interested in seeing you succeed.
    • You will be able to use the experience as a stepping stone for other auditions (i.e. collegiate ensembles, etc.)
    Remember, everyone who attends the audition camp will go home a better performer.

    Who Will Make the Corps:
    Remember, you don't necessarily need to be a virtuoso to have a successful audition. We have assembled one of the best staffs on the planet, so can provide the teaching if you supply the effort. Above all else, we're looking to have you show us your work ethic, your character, and your desire to contribute.

    Questions or Comments? director@bluestars.org

     
    Blue Stars and Blue Star Cadets Banquet 2003
    Oct 9, 2003 9:11 PM (Submitted by: Robin Anthony)

    You are all cordially invited to attend the 2003 Annual Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps and Cadets Banquet. Please join us in celebrating the successful seasons of the Blue Stars and Blue Star Cadets. You will also have the opportunity to order your World Championship Rings, details to follow. Don't miss this exciting event. We promise it to be the best banquet ever!

    Banquet Information Page
     
    Applications Now Being Accepted for 2004 Staff Positions
    Sep 10, 2003 12:36 AM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars are now accepting applications for the corps' 2004 staff. If you are a dedicated, hard-working and reliable individual and want to teach with the Blue Stars in 2004, please fill out the 2004 Staff Interest Form.

     
    Struve Named Executive Director of the Blue Stars
    Sep 5, 2003 10:43 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the hiring of Greg Struve as the corps' new executive director. In this position, Struve will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Blue Stars and provide leadership and direction for the entire organization.

    Struve brings a wealth of experience to the Blue Stars. He marched with the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps and later worked for two years as the assistant to Scott Stewart. Struve also served as the marching band director at Champlin Park High School and helped start a non-profit, music education group in Minnesota.

    "I'm honored to be part of an organization that is as steeped in tradition as the Blue Stars," said Struve. "The Blue Stars are one of the founding members of DCI and have had a great deal of success over the years in every DCI division. I look forward to working with the Corps' huge alumni base to build on that tradition and continue the corps' momentum and growth in the future."

    Struve takes over the executive director role from Interim Director Brad Furlano. Furlano will work with Struve to ensure a smooth transition for the organization, and will continue to work with the corps as program consultant, public relations director and a volunteer.

    "Greg Struve is a remarkable person who brings great enthusiasm and passion to the Blue Stars," said outgoing interim director Brad Furlano. "Greg has the abilities and determination to build on the successes the corps enjoyed in 2003. I look forward to working with him to make the 2004 Blue Stars a corps of which all alumni, boosters and fans can enjoy and be proud."

    Greg Struve can be contacted via the director@bluestars.org e-mail address.

     
    Blue Stars Win 4th World Title
    Aug 11, 2003 10:44 AM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars completed their 2003 season undefeated in division 3 with a decisive victory over the rest of the field at the DCI division 2/3 championships in Orlando, Forida.

    DCI Division 3 Finals Scores:
    1 Blue Stars 88.60
    2 Yamato 85.55
    3 Marion Glory Cadets 83.65
    4 Lehigh Valley Knights 83.35

    The Blue Stars won caption awards for Visual Performance, Brass Performance, and Overall General Effect. This championship is the fourth in the Blue Stars history (1989, 1993, 2001, 2003). This year also marked the 17th straight division 2/3 finals appearance for the Blue Stars, a new record for division 2 and 3 corps.

     
    Semifinals Rained Out, Blue Stars Top Seed in Finals
    Aug 8, 2003 8:10 AM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    Thursday's DCI Divison 2/3 Semifinals competition was rained out after the first seven corps had already performed. The Blue Stars had just arrived at the stadium and started their warmups when the rain came. The show was then delayed with hope that the rain would end quickly. Unfortunately, the field was too soaked to resume the competition when the rain finally stopped.

    DCI decided to cancel the show and seed all of the corps that had not yet performed into finals in the same order that they were seeded for the semifinals show. Below is the schedule for Saturday morning's Division 2/3 finals competion. The Blue Stars are the top division 3 seed in finals. If the Blue Stars can win on Saturday, they will complete their season undefeated in division 3.

    DCI Division 2/3 Finals. August 9th - Orlando, FL
    9 a.m. Lehigh Valley Knights
    9:17 Marion Glory Cadets
    9:34 Impulse
    9:51 Yamato
    10:08 Capital Sound
    10:25 Revolution
    10:42 - INTERMISSION
    11:00 Blue Stars
    11:17 Jersey Surf
    11:34 East Coast Jazz
    11:51 Spartans
    12:08 Patriots
    12:25 Esperanza

     
    2003 DCI I&E Results
    Aug 7, 2003 9:40 AM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars competed in 6 events at the DCI Individual & Ensemble competition Wednesday, August 6. Below are the results for our members:

    Name Competition Score Place
    Shawn BaneckFlag86.0012th of 21
    The Brass LineBrass Ensemble94.506th of 21
    Ben FrankeSoprano74.0021st of 26
    Joni OelschlagerAuxiliary82.5017th of 22
    Anthony OlivasSnare80.5018th of 32
    Kelli RutherfordBaritone76.0017th of 22
    Cameron SeipSoprano76.9018th of 26
    Dave SeipContra92.005th of 13

    Full Results from DCI

     
    Blue Stars Members Featured on DCI.org
    Aug 6, 2003 1:24 PM (Submitted by: Bruce Furlano)

    There have been two features on DCI's website over the past few days.

    Shaylee Young
    Leandro Pascui

     
    Blue Stars Win Div 3 Prelims
    Aug 6, 2003 8:30 AM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars took a major step towards a championship Tuesday by winning the division 3 preliminary competion. The Blue Stars scored 88.75 points. Yamato, from Japan, was the second place corps with 86.35 points.

    Here is a link to today's La Crosse Tribune about the the Blue Stars article: Blue Stars dominate D-III drum corps field

     
    Blue Stars Continue To Win
    Jul 28, 2003 12:23 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars had an impressive weekend beating all of their division II and III competitors.

    Follow this link to read the July 28th article from the La Crosse Tribune entitled "Blue Stars set beat to No. 1"

     
    Blue Stars Going For World Title
    Jul 24, 2003 11:06 AM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars left on their final tour of the 2003 season Wednesday night. They will compete in Dubuque, IA Thursday, July 24th and Dekalb, IL on July 25th before heading towards Orlando, their final destination for the summer. *Complete Schedule

    Click here to read today's La Crosse Tribune article about the Blue Stars' championship tour.

     
    A Volunteer's View From The Road
    Jul 17, 2003 7:45 AM (Submitted by: Brian Stahlkopf)

    My name is Brian Stahlkopf and I am an alumnus of the Blue Stars who marched from 1979-81. After being away from drum corps for several years and hearing the corps was in need of assistance, I agreed to spend a portion of my summer vacation going on the road with the corps from July 3-13. My volunteer duties primarily consisted of assisting the head cook provide the corps with 3 meals and a snack a day. The experience was challenging, insightful, rewarding and brought back many memories of what it means to be a Blue Star....link to the rest of the story

     
    Blue Stars Take Div 3 At Midwest Championship
    Jul 14, 2003 8:05 AM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars have successfully defended their 2001 and 2002 division 3 championships at the Drum Corps Midwest Championship in Dekalb, IL.

    The Blue Stars scored a 60.6 over the Marion Glory Cadets, who scored a 53.65 at the July 12th finals competion.

    For more information about the progress of the Blue Stars 2003 season, go the the 2003 Summer Tour forum in the Blue Stars Discussion Board.

    The La Crosse Tribune published a story entitled "Blue Stars dominating in weekend competition" on July 14th, providing more details about the Midwest Championship.

     
    Blue Stars Prepare For Drum Corps Midwest Championships
    Jul 8, 2003 4:33 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars continue their march towards Dekalb. Here are the scores from the latest competition:

    Drums on Parade, Whitewater, WI
    July 9, 2003

    PlaceCorpsScore
    1Madison Scouts80.65
    2Southwind70.70
    3Capital Regiment69.80
    4Capital Sound63.20
    5Blue Stars60.00
    6Lake Erie Regiment50.90
    7Bandettes50.35
    8Decorah Kilties 34.15

    Click here to read the July 8th article from the La Crosse Tribune

     
    Blue Stars Continue To Entertain Crowds
    Jul 6, 2003 8:43 PM (Submitted by: Terry Rindfleisch - reprinted with permission from the La Crosse Tribune)

    Holmen, WI Drum corps fans knew who would win the River City Rhapsody Drum and Bugle Corps Competition Wednesday night before it was over.

    The finish has been the same at some other competitions: Spirit of JSU of Jacksonville, Ala., first with 74.5 points, the Colts of Dubuque, Iowa, second with 71 points and Southwind of Lexington, Ky., third with 68.2 points.

    Drum corps fans came to see a good show, but mostly they came to see the La Crosse Blue Stars and support the corps at its home show. About 1,000 people attended the show at Holmen High Schools Empire Stadium.

    Emotions ran high when the Blue Stars took the field in exhibition. A fan yelled, "Go, Blue". Another screamed, "We're here for you". In the stands were Blue Stars alumni from the 1970s, 80s and 90s and their families.

    The Blue Stars, who are trying to survive financially as a corps this summer, gave a stunning performance for a Division III corps with fewer than 60 members. They played, marched and looked like a big open-class, but only lacked the sound of more than 120 open-class musicians.

    The crowd gave the Blue Stars a huge ovation.

    The Blue Stars scored a season-high 56.45 points Tuesday, July 1st in Mankato, Minn., to remain unbeaten this summer in their division.

    "This is a really talented group of kids, and they are hitting their stride now", said Brad Furlano, a former Blue Star drum major and volunteer executive director of the corps.

    Furlano said he doesnt know if the Blue Stars will break even on the show, but he was happy with the crowd. "This is a great crowd, and we should do OK", he said.

     
    New Feature on www.BlueStars.org
    Jul 4, 2003 11:02 AM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    We are pleased to announce a new feature to this website: The Photo Album. You can get to the Photo Album by clicking on the "Photo Album" menu choice on the top of every page.

    You can browse the photos in the photo album in the order that they were added to the photo album database (choose the "All Years" option) or you can pick a year and look at only photos from that year.

    In the near future you will be able to upload your own images to the photo album. You will also be able to add your own comments or captions to images in the album.

    As this feature is brand new and has not been tested thoroughly, you may find bugs in the system. Or you may have an idea of how to make this feature better or easier to use. Please send all comments and suggestions to webmaster@bluestars.org

     
    Blue Stars Receive Donations
    Jul 1, 2003 9:50 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Stars would like thank the First Federal Capitol Bank for their recent $2500 donation to the corps. First Federal and the Blue Stars have a long history together as the bank was one of the corps' original sponsors in the 60's and 70's. In fact the Blue Stars were once known as the First Federal Blue Stars.

    The Blue Stars would also like to thank Great Lakes Cheese for their generous donation of cheese for the corps. The Blue Stars now have enough cheese to feed a small army. Thanks a lot Great Lakes!

     
    Blue Stars Receive Fuel Donation
    Jun 18, 2003 8:10 AM (Submitted by: Robin Anthony)

    Blue Stars would like to thank Midwest Fuels for their generous donation of 6,000 gallons of diesel for the 2003 season. Midwest Fuel is the leading supplier of independent energy to homes and businesses in the Minnesota and Wisconsin. Midwest Fuels is dedicated to providing their customers with an unprecedented level of professional service, timely delivery, economical pricing, and ecologically sound energies.

    Diesel is like gold to Drum and Bugle Corps! Thank you Midwest Fuels!

    Please patronize their services-


    La Crosse, Wisconsin
    1-800-769-3308
    (608) 782-3308
    615 Sumner Street 201
    La Crosse, WI 54603
    ckastello@midwestfuels.com
    Byron, Minnesota
    1-800-692-0330
    (507) 775-2669
    13th Place N.W.
    Byron, MN 55920
    mhanson@midwestfuels.com

     
    Blue Stars Welcome New Sponsor
    May 15, 2003 6:04 PM (Submitted by: Denise Pagonis)

    We are proud to have Magic 105 / La Crosse Radio group as our newest sponsor. They have agreed to provide free air time for our Home Show and our Raffle, as well as providing free community support spots for the Blue Star Cadets. They will be making a radio spot featuring four members of the Cadets.

     
    The Blue Stars 100 Campaign
    Mar 30, 2003 11:01 AM (Submitted by: Alumni Association)

    The Blue Stars have been home to several thousand people since it was founded in 1964. That's an enormous amount of people who have worn the cross straps, buckle and pith helmet. It's time we use our power of numbers to our advantage. Instead of a few people being asked to give a lot, we are asking a lot of people to give a little.

    We are asking each and every alumnus, friend and fan of the corps to donate $100 for the 2003 season. Think of the possibilities: 1,000 people times $100 equals $100,000! That's enough money for the Corps to purchase fuel, food and other items to get down the road, and begin laying the groundwork for the future needs of the organization. Will YOU help to provide the Blue Stars' experience to hundreds more young adults?

    Click here to pay via Credit Card or

    Click here for the complete story or
    Click here to download the donation form

     
    Blue Stars Receive Grant to Purchase New Uniforms
    Dec 5, 2002 9:37 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)
    Fred J. Miller, Inc. and
    LBS Cadets, Inc.

    The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps received a grant from the La Crosse Community Foundation for the purchase of new uniforms. The uniforms worn by the Corps in 2002 were 13 years old and badly in need of replacement. Thanks to this generous grant, the Corps will be able to take the field with pride and confidence in 2003.

    When the Corps hits the field in June 2003 it will be wearing an updated version of the traditional Blue Stars' look. Renowned uniform designer Michael Cesario has taken the traditional Blue Stars' uniform and added some modern touches. Traditionalists shouldn't worry, however, as fans new and old will immediately recognize the corps as the Blue Stars.

    As you can see from the picture, Mr. Cesario has designed a uniform that is retro in respect to its sleeves. The Blue Stars wore short sleeve tops from its founding in 1964 through 1974, and again from 1982 through 1989. The Corps' staff and administration would like to know what you think about the short-sleeve uniform tops. Please visit the Blue Stars' discussion forums and take the uniform poll found in the General Discussion forum.

    The entire Blue Stars' organization would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to the La Crosse Community Foundation for its generosity and kindness in helping the Corps to fulfill this need.

     
    Design Team Announces 2003 Show
    Dec 5, 2002 9:16 AM (Submitted by: Brad Furlano)

    The Blue Stars' design team has officially announced it's 2003 program entitled "Visions of Blue." The corps is extremely excited about the 2003 show, which will consist of the following pieces:

    "Gavorkna Fanfare" by Jack Stamp
    "Chorale and Toccata" by Jack Stamp
    "Follies" from "Divertimento" by Roger Cichy
    "Lento" from "Dance Movements" by Philip Sparke
    Third Movement from "Symphony for Brass and Percussion" by Alfred Reed

    "These pieces will provide a great vehicle for the Blue Stars' members to showcase their talents on the field and give both the audience and judges an equally awesome experience viewing our drum corps," said percussion arranger and caption head Ben Chamberlain.

    In addition to Mr. Chamberlain, the Blue Stars 2003 design team includes: Brad Furlano, program development; Bruce Furlano, program development; Ray Vasquez, program development; Ben Harloff, brass arranger; Scott Hirsch, percussion arranger; Alison Mullaney, color guard; Heather Strub, color guard; and Pete Harvey, drill design.

     
    Blue Star Cadets Launch Website
    Jun 9, 2002 5:16 PM (Submitted by: Nick Young)

    The Blue Star Cadets are proud to announce the launch of their own website: www.bluestarcadets.org. The website is still under construction but for now you can view pictures from past performances and download their membership brochure.

    The Blue Star Cadets are a youth band with members of ages 8 to 14. They are currently seeking members in all sections. For membership information please visit their website or contact corps director at (608) 782-3219 or email director@bluestarcadets.org.

     
    Blue Stars Win World Title!
    Aug 9, 2001 1:14 AM (Submitted by: Erik Paulson)

    The 2001 Blue Stars capped their competitive season tonight with a first-place finish at the DCI World Championships in Buffalo, NY. The Blue Stars, second-place finishers in the preliminary competition, overtook the Raiders for the title by a razor-thin 0.05 points, and capturing the percussion and marching performance captions. The final scores in Division III were:

    Blue Stars 88.55
    Raiders 88.50
    Americanos 86.80
    Marion Glory Cadets 85.55
    East Coast Jazz 82.80
    Les Senateurs 80.60
    Teal Sound 79.35

    This is the third World Championship the corps has earned, and the first since 1993. Congratulations to all the members, and all of the corps competing this evening.

     
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