Bluecoats Announce 2022 Alumni Corps Design Team


September 29, 2019

Preparations continue for The 50th Anniversary Bluecoats Alumni Corps!  Key to the success of this major project will be the selection and development of a program honoring all former Bluecoats while entertaining the vast Bluecoat fan base as well as the greater DCI audience.  “We needed designers that understand who we were, what we are now and how we got there,” said Ted Swaldo, Chairman of the Steering Committee. “We now have just that team on board!”

Brass design will be in the hands of Doug Thrower, who has been writing for the corps since 1997 and has been on staff since 1992.  Doug, who was inducted into The DCI Hall of Fame this past season, was previously inducted into Bluecoats Hall of Fame in 2009. “We have a lot of great charts to choose from, including some from before the Bluecoats hit the big time,” said Thrower.  “The challenge will be to have the final product flow as a single comprehensive idea.” 

Tom Rarick will handle the percussion writing and coordination.  When not doing drum corps Tom is an in-demand clinician, consultant and adjudicator.  Since 1997, he has served as a percussionist in The United States Air Force Band, Washington DC.  Tom has been with the Bluecoats since 2002 and was inducted into Bluecoats Hall of Fame in 2011. Reflecting on 50 years of Bluecoat history Tom said, “Much has changed over time and continues to evolve, especially with percussion.  We are striving for a program that has that balance of traditional and modern.”

Matt Jordan is an internationally acclaimed percussion educator, arranger, clinician and performer with vast experience in drum corps and indoor drumlines prior to coming to the Bluecoats.  He will be responsible for the sound design of the overall program, the role he currently holds with Bluecoats. Matt is excited to put a modern touch on the legacy of the corps in the modern age of amplification and electronics. “While the rest of the design team will reach back into the corps’ past repertoires and bring them back to life, my challenge will be to form the right soundscape with those treasured charts.”

Kevin Stahl will handle the visual and drill design.  He was the Bluecoat of the Year in his age out year, became a visual instructor the next year and moved up to visual caption head in 2002.  Kevin also was responsible for the visual design of the Bluecoats 2017 and 2019 special Chinese New Year’s Celebrations in Hong Kong. This past year he was inducted into Bluecoats Hall of Fame on the merits of his two decades of work with the corps.   Kevin remarked, “In just the relative short time since I marched, the visual aspect of drum corps has grown immensely. It will be exciting to design a program that will acknowledge the transformSEPTEMBER 29, 2019ation.” 

Kyle Albright will develop the color guard material.  Kyle spent his entire DCI career with the Bluecoats but also performed in the indoor circuit with Insignia and Millennia winter guards.  Kyle’s current high school program in Pflugerville, Texas, was a 2019 WGI Finalist. “I am very excited to be part of this team and this project,” said Abright, “The Bluecoats have an enormous emotional connection with so many people through their entire history, we want this program to continue our legacy of communicating that emotion.”

Rounding out the design team will be Larry Hershman, returning to his familiar role as Program Coordinator.  It was this role Larry held twice with the Bluecoats in the late 80’s and again in the early 2000’s. No stranger to massive drum corps projects, he was the Program Coordinator for the All Star Drum Corps Macy’s Parade/Today Show programs. Larry was inducted into Bluecoats Hall of Fame in 1991 and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1992.  “We have almost two hours of music to choose from,” said Hershman, “it will be a daunting, but exciting, process to put together the perfect 20 minutes.”

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