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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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