Blue Stars

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The Blue Stars

The Blue Stars

Location La Crosse, WI
Division World Class
Founded 1964
Director Howard Weinstein
Championship Titles
Corps Uniform Grey pants and shoes. Half white/half grey jacket with a silver star separating the colors. Navy shako with a white plume.

The Blue Stars are a junior corps from La Crosse, Wisconsin, founded in 1964. The corps has been a finalist in all three Drum Corps International divisions, and was instrumental in the founding of DCI. The corps was granted permission by DCI to return to Division I competition following its third place finish in Division II in 2005. The current executive director is Brad Furlano.


History

The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps was the brainchild of two La Crosse natives, Frank Van Voorhis and David Dummer. Voorhis dreamed of bringing a drum corps to La Crosse to serve those youth in the area who were inclined towards music rather than sports. Together they made it a reality. Dummer served as the corps' first director, while Voorhis taught marching. From a color guard in 1964, to a parade corps in 1965, and finally the first field corps in 1966, each year the corps achieved new heights. In 1971 the corps was one of the members of the Combine, and a founding member of DCI in 1972. At the first DCI championships in Whitewater, Wisconsin, the Blue Stars earned second place, defeating the Santa Clara Vanguard and missing the top spot by only six tenths of a point to the Anaheim Kingsmen.

The seventies was a good decade for the corps, but as the end approached, so the corps seemed to fall on hard times. The corps' major sponsor, First Federal Savings and Loan, had a change of management and a change of heart regarding its support for the corps. After the corps missed finals in 1980 membership began to fall off, and after the 1982 season, the Blue Stars ceased to be.

But while the corps seemed to be in its death throes, a group of dedicated alumni were already working to keep it alive. The corps' business name changed to LBS Cadets, Inc., and the Blue Star Cadets continued on in the Blue Stars' shoes wearing the same uniforms, doing similar styles of shows, and carrying on the traditions of the old "big corps." In 1986 the corps regained use of the name Blue Stars, and though the corps has used LBS Cadets as its business name to this day, the Blue Stars returned to be the name from then out. In 1987 the corps made DCI A-60 finals, and from that time forward, has never made any place lower than fifth in its division finals.

Blue Stars

After years of growing and sustaining itself in Division II/III, the corps under new management in 2004 experienced growth not seen in the corps for years, and fielded a corps of approximately 100, achieving fifth place in Division II.

In 2006, the Blue Stars returned to Division I competition. Their comeback was well received at quarter finals and semi finals in Madison, Wisconsin. The 30,000 member audience was said to have cheered so loud that the corps members could not hear their own playing. Unfortunately the elation of the fans was not enough to push the corps to finals that year, but they did receive fourteenth place, catching the Crossmen off guard.

2007 saw the birth of a new corps, visually at least, when the corps marched onto the field in a new, contemporary style uniform. The white on the right vs. blue on the left style made for some astounding visual effects, while the silver North Star on the right of the breast kept some semblance of the buckle from years past while adding the modern "shine" of drum corps uniforms today. The trademark helmet was kept, though the red plumes were forsaken for white ones, which generate a solid white corps as the members march to the left on the field. Despite these changes, the corps came in fourteenth again.

2008 brought in changes every caption (although much of the visual staff remained), as well as behind the scenes in the administration. The uniform changed once more, as the corps kept the blue and white jackets from 2007, but went to an all-white pant, giving the corps a much more clean-cut, defined appearance. Then, mid-season the corps dropped the helmets in favor of blue shakos. Their show "Le Tour: Every Second Counts" was a strong fan favorite, and the corps returned after a 29 year absences to DCI Finals, placing eighth.

In 2009, the Blue Stars returned to the finals retreat field with their show "The Factory", telling the story of a small factory-based town in America during World War II. The staff was identical to that of the 2008 season, save for a new corps director who brought with him a new visual staff. The corps finished eighth for the second year in a row, with a score of 90.05.

2010 began with great promise, the corps keeping its guard and brass staff almost completely intact, with slight changes: 2 year brass caption head Bradley Kerr Green went to Madison, and the 5 year brass arranger, Frank Sullivan, stepped into the position, with 2-year brass tech/ advisor Josh Talbott serving as co-caption head. The Drum staff changed, as Brent Montgomery, caption head for 4 years, left and was replaced by Tom Aungst, who had worked with The Cadets for the previous 20 years. The uniforms changed once again, switching to steel grey pants and jacket, with white arms and blue trim. The corps moved the four-point star to the center of the chest, and kept the blue shakos to complete the new, distinguished, look. Fielding a show created largely by Michael Shapiro, the corps' 2010 production "Houdini" featured incredibly difficult guard work, with the guard doing the opening flag and dance work while restrained in straight jackets. Telling the story of Magician Harry Houdini as an escape artist, the corps was a fan favorite all season, but failed to move up in the rankings, falling in eighth place once again, losing to Santa Clara by .1 on finals night.

Shows by year

1965

  • Repertoire:
    • Downtown
    • My Lord And Master (from The King and I)

1966

  • Repertoire:
    • Brighton Beach
    • Begin The Beguine (from Night and Day)
    • Mary Poppins Medley
    • When You Wish Upon A Star (from Pinocchio)
    • Guns Of Navarrone
    • Patriotic Medley
    • Once In A While

1967

  • Repertoire:
    • Let Me Entertain You (from Gypsy)
    • Connecticut Regimental March
    • And This Is My Beloved
    • Where Your Lover has Gone
    • El Cummancharo
    • Our Day Will Come

1968

  • Repertoire:
    • Shouthearted Men (from New Moon)
    • Black Orpheus
    • And This Is My Beloved
    • Zippity-Doo-Dah
    • In The Hall Of The Mountain King
    • Up, Up, And Away

1969

  • Repertoire:
    • Stouthearted Men (from New Moon)
    • Red, White, And Blue
    • The Odd couple
    • In The Hall Of The Mountain King
    • The Trolley Song (from Meet Me In St. Louis)
    • Our Day Will Come
    • Festive Overture

1970

  • Repertoire:
    • This Could Be The Start Of Something Big
    • Red, White, And Blue
    • The Trolley Song (from Meet Me In St. Louis)
    • Malagueña
    • Latina
    • Our Day Will Come

1971

  • Repertoire:
    • Strategic Air Command
    • Yankee Doodle
    • Yankee Doodle Dandy
    • Cute
    • Norwegian Wood
    • Latina
    • Climb Every Mountain (from The Sound Of Music)

1972

  • Drum Corps International Silver Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Intermezzo (from Suite No. 1 for Military Band)
    • First Federal March
    • Bridge Over Troubled Water
    • Norwegian Wood
    • Scarborough Fair
    • South Rampart Street Parade
    • Green Leaves Of Summer
  • Placement: 2nd
  • Score: 87.45

1973

  • Drum Corps International Bronze Medalist
  • Catholic Youth Organization National Champion
  • Repertoire:
    • Suite No. 1 For Military Band
    • First Federal March
    • Battle Hymn Of The Republic
    • Málaga
    • South Rampart Street Parade
    • El Cid
    • Conquest (from Captain from Castile)
  • Placement: 3rd
  • Score: 85.50

1974

  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Tiger Rag
    • In The Mood
    • El Cid
    • Conquest (from Captain from Castile)
    • In The Hall Of the Mountain King
    • Light My Fire
  • Placement: 12th
  • Score: 75.70

1975

  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Canzona
    • I've Been Searching So Long
    • Introduction
    • The Ballad Of Billy The Kid
    • Soulero
  • Placement:5th
  • Score: 87.50

1976

  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Jaws
    • O Bless The Lord (from Godspell)
    • Echano (from Children of Sanchez)
    • Malagueña
    • S.W.A.T
    • Bellavia
    • Soulero
  • Placement: 9th
  • Score: 80.35

1977

  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars National Champion
  • Repertoire:
    • Wedding Dance
    • Hatikvah
    • Hava Nagila
    • Selections from The Planets
    • Backwoods Sideman
    • If You Believe (from The Wiz)
    • Soulero
  • Placement: 6th
  • Score: 84.30

1978

  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Málaga
    • Suite For Jazz Flute And Piano
    • Hatikvah
    • Hava Nagila
    • Selections from The Planets
    • Backwoods Sideman
    • Come In From The Rain
    • España
  • Placement: 8th
  • Score: 84.60

1979

  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • St. Louis Blues
    • Birdland
    • La Fiesta
    • Strike Up The Band
    • Children Of Sanchez
  • Placement: 10th
  • Score: 83.05

1980

  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Pontieo
    • Go Back Home
    • La Fiesta
    • Children's Dance (from Merry Mount Suite)
    • March (from Suite No. 1 for Military Band)
    • Suite No. 2 for Military Band
  • Placement: 13th
  • Score: 77.05

1981

  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Mathis Der Mahler
    • Country Road
    • Charter Jazz Suite
    • Carnival (from La Fiesta Mexicana)
    • April In Paris
  • Placement: 16th
  • Score: 75.70

1982

  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Canzona
    • Celebration Suite
    • Alexander's Ragtime Band
    • Image Of Maria
    • Tiger Rag
  • Placement: 37th
  • Score: 53.10

1987

  • DCI Class A-60 Bronze Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Rondo Capriccio
    • Perpetual Rondo
    • At The End Of They Day (from Les Miserables)
    • I Dreamed A Dream (from Les Miserables)
    • Soulero
  • Placement: 3rd
  • Score: 79.30

1988

  • DCI Class A-60 Bronze Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • The Score
    • Don't Rain On My Parade (from Funny Girl)
    • Selections from Les Miserables
  • Placement: 3rd
  • Score: 75.10

1989

  • DCI Class A-60 Champion
  • Repertoire:
    • Carmina Burana
  • Placement: 1st
  • Score: 88.30

1990

  • DCI Class A-60 Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Rondo Capriccio
    • The Seventh Seal
  • Placement: 5th
  • Score: 81.60

1991

  • DCI Class A-60 Bronze Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • For The Beauty Of The Earth
    • Praise Ye The Lord
    • Come Before Him
    • Requiem Aeternam
    • Let There Be Praise
  • Placement: 3rd
  • Score: 84.70

1992

  • DCI Division III Bronze Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Celebration of Music by John Rutter and GLAD
      • A Mighty Fortress
      • Amen
      • Praise Ye The Lord
      • The Great Storm Is Over
      • Tag
  • Placement: 3rd
  • Score: 82.40

1993

  • DCI Division III Champion
  • Repertoire:
    • Selections from Candide
      • Westphalia Chorale
      • Battle Music
      • Oh, Happy We
      • What A Day
      • Make Our Garden Grow
      • Overture
  • Placement: 1st
  • Score: 85.40

1994

  • DCI Division III Silver Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Pictures at an Exhibition
      • Promenade
      • Ballet Of The Unhatched Chickens
      • The Hut On Hen's Legs
      • The Marketplace At Limoges
      • The Great Gate At Kiev
  • Placement: 2nd
  • Score: 91.80

1995

  • DCI Division III Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Dance Pieces
      • Armenian Dances
      • Liturgical Dances
  • Placement: 5th
  • Score: 85.40

1996

  • DCI Division III Bronze Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Appalachian Spring
  • Placement: 3rd
  • Score: 87.80

1997

  • DCI Division II Silver Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Divine Comedy
      • The Inferno
      • Paradiso
      • The Ascension
  • Placement: 2nd
  • Score: 93.40

1998

  • DCI Division III Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • The Trials of Spartaus
      • Spartacus
      • Love Theme (from Spartacus)
      • Third Symphony
      • War Of The Elders (from Belkis, Queen of Sheba)
  • Placememt: 5th
  • Score: 85.70

1999

  • DCI Division III Silver Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Ivan the Terrible
      • Overture And Chorus
      • Song Of The Fyodor Bazmanov
      • Uspensky's Cathedral
      • The Tartars
      • To Kazan
      • Humming Chorus
      • Dance Of The Tsar's Men
  • Placement: 2nd
  • Score: 92.20

2000

  • DCI Division II Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Carmina Burana
      • Were Diu Werlt Alle Min
      • Tanz
      • In Taberna Quando Sumus
      • Veni, Veni, Venias
      • In Trutina
      • Ave Formosissima
      • O Fortuna
  • Placement: 5th
  • Score: 89.55

2001

  • DCI Division III Champion
  • Repertoire:
    • The Legend of Alcobaça
      • Dom Pedro's Revenge
      • Ines
      • Coronation Of The Dead Queen
  • Placement: 1st
  • Score: 88.55

2002

  • DCI Division III Silver Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Three Decades
      • Jewish Fanfare And Chorale
      • The Inferno (from The Divine Comedy)
      • I Dreamed A Dream (from Les Miserables)
      • Candide Overture
  • Placement: 2nd
  • Score: 89.85

2003

  • DCI Division III Champion
  • Repertoire:
    • Visions Of Blue
      • Gavorkna Fanfare
      • Chorale And Toccata
      • Follies (from Divertimento)
      • Lento (from Dance Movements)
      • Movement III (from Symphony for Brass and Percussion)
  • Placement: 1st
  • Score: 88.60

2004

  • DCI Division II Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Reloaded
      • Gundam Wing
      • Tank
      • Legend of Ashitaka (from Princess Mononoke)
  • Placement: 5th
  • Score: 91.500

2005

  • DCI Division II Bronze Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Pixelation: The Music of Final Fantasy
      • The Man With The Music Gun (from Final Fantasy VIII)
      • Liberi Fatali (from Final Fantasy VIII)
      • Suteki Da Ne (from Final Fantasy X)
      • Don't Be Afraid (from Final Fantasy VIII)
  • Placement: 3rd
  • Score: 93.925

2006

  • DCI Division I Semifinalist
  • Repertoire:
    • The Gift of Freedom
      • Grover's Corner (from On The Town)
      • Simple Gifts
      • O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
      • Liturgical Dances
      • America The Beautiful
  • Placement: 14th
  • Score: 81.525

2007

  • DCI Division I Semifinalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Power and Grace
      • Firebird Suite
      • Swan Lake
      • Le Cygne (from Le Carnaval des Animaux)
  • Placement: 14th
  • Score: 84.350

2008

  • DCI World Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Le Tour: Every Second Counts
      • La Vie En Rose
      • Reverie
      • Toccata
      • Pavane
      • Pagodes
      • Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Faun
      • Clair De Lune (from Suite Bergamasque)
      • Third Symphony
      • Gymnopedie No. 1
      • The Girl With The Flaxen Hair
      • Pavane For A Dead Princess
      • Le Tombeau De Couperin
  • Placement: 8th
  • Score: 90.425

2009

  • DCI World Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • The Factory
      • Hardin County (Theme)
      • The Factory (Original Composition by Frank Sullivan)
      • Fancy Free
  • Placement: 8th
  • Score: 90.05

2010

  • DCI World Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Houdini
      • Notes on A Scandal
      • Morning Passages (from The Hours)
      • Primacy of Number from Naqoyqatsil
      • The Illusionist
      • Trapped
      • Tearing Herself Away (from The Hours)
      • The Mountain (from The Bucket List)
      • Nixon in China (Landing of the Spirit of '76)
  • Placement: 8th
  • Score: 91.9

2011

  • DCI World Championship Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • ReBourne
      • Main Titles from the Bourne Identity
      • Burly Brawl from The Matrix
      • Bourne Gets Well from The Bourne Identity
      • Trinity Definitely from The Matrix Revolutions
      • Treadstone Assassins from The Bourne Identity
      • Bullet Time from The Matrix
  • Placement: 11th
  • Score: 86.200

2012

  • Repertoire:
    • The Blue World
      • Music by Antonin Dvorak
      • Music by Marc Streitenfeld
      • Music by Frank Sullivan
      • Music by Tom Aungst
      • Music by Neil Larrivee

Mission

From the corps' website:

The Blue Stars and Blue Star Cadets are youth music organizations dedicated to:

  • the pursuit of excellence
  • the development of character
  • commitment to an organization
  • a sense of family
  • pride in one's achievements and accomplishments

In essence, the Blue Stars teach today's young adults about the life tomorrow through the mediums of marching and music. Membership rules for acceptance and participation are the same for everyone without regard to race, color, sex, handicap, or national origin. <ref>[1]</ref>

Traditions

FCO

FCO is the corps's motto. It is the shortened form of the Latin phrase "Finis Coronat Opus," which means "The End Crowns the Work."

Symbol

The Nautical Blue Star, and more recently the four-pointed North Star that adorns the uniforms since 2007, are the symbols of the Blue Stars.The six-pointed star, or Star of David, has been used as well, and has appeared in the Blue Stars' drill in addition to the five-pointed, or Nautical Star.

Song

"Jerusalem of Gold," also known as the "Jewish Chorale" to corps members, was first played by the corps in 1977.

Uniform

The helmet was the most notable tradition of the Blue Stars' uniforms, since the corps holds a trademark on their specific style. The corps switched before the Atlanta regional of the 2008 season to Blue Shakos with white plumes, adorning a silver North Star on the front. The cross straps and buckle were a part of the corps uniform from the beginning through 2007, where they switched to a split blue and white uniform adorned with a silver North Star. In 2008, they kept the split tops and the North Star but switched to pure white pants. In 2010, the corps switched again to a predominantly grey uniform, moving the Four-point star to the center of the chest while keeping the blue shakos.

Trivia

  • Blue Stars were the first corps to have gauntlets on their uniform.
  • The corps was the first to use movement by a section other than the color guard as a visual in their show. The members gave the "peace sign" in 1968.
  • The helmet design is unique and trademarked by the corps. No other corps or band can use the exact same design as part of their uniform.
  • The Blue Stars were the first corps to spell a word on the field; in 1975, they spelled "Chicago"
  • The Blue Stars were the first corps to use umbrellas on the field. They first appeared in 1977.

External Links

Blue Stars: Official Website