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Location Canton, OH
Division World Class
Founded 1972
Director David Glasgow
Championship Titles
Corps Uniform Black pants. Blue jacket with black rectangle. Black collar and gauntlets. Black helmet with black plume.

The Bluecoats are a junior drum corps based out of Canton, Ohio. The corps is a member of Drum Corps International and they compete within DCI World Class (formerly DCI Division I). The corps is under the direction of David Glasgow.


The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps was founded in 1972, and the corps' first performance was in 1974. It was the first drum corps from Ohio to make the DCI Finals.

In 1972, Canton police officers Babe Stearn and Ralph McCauley, the director and assistant director of the Canton Police Boys' Club, met with Canton businessman Art Drukenbrod to discuss an idea they had for a music program at the old Boys' Club.

Besides being a businessman, Mr. Drukenbrod was a musician who had played his drum with many of Canton's big bands over the years. He was also a member of Canton's American Legion and VFW's national champion senior drum and bugle corps. Drukenbrod provided the drum corps knowledge and instruction, with some help from his old drum corps buddies, while Stearn and McCauley provided the future musicians.

The young musicians chose the name "Bluecoats" in tribute to the police department's retired police officers and as a program of the Police Boys' Club, they made their drum corps debut in competition in 1974. Over the next several years, the Bluecoats organization transformed from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. As community support grew, so did the size and stature of the corps. By 1976, the Bluecoats were recognized nationally as an up-and-coming organization as they competed around the country and in Canada making the U.S. Open finals that year.

Old surplus army buses painted blue (one with trademark whitewall tires was commonly referred to as the "suburban" bus) carried the corps throughout the country. The army buses transformed into used school buses and then bloomed into air-conditioned motor coaches.

Three meals a day while on the road came from an abandoned U-Haul trailer, pulled by parents' cars which sometimes hauled fresh eggs, purchased a few pennies cheaper due to volunteers agreeing to collect and clean the eggs themselves. The old U-Haul eventually became a van and then an old travel trailer, before it blossomed into a restaurant kitchen on eighteen wheels.

The evolution of the Bluecoats was greatly encouraged and promoted when in 1984, another Canton businessman, Ted Swaldo, took the reins of the organization. Swaldo's management abilities and enthusiasm became the catalyst which not only propelled the Bluecoats into national recognition as a competitive unit, but also as a role model for other youth organizations throughout the country.

The first corps from Ohio to make the DCI finals, the Bluecoats have continually found themselves in high acclaim around the country for their crowd-pleasing jazz. Always a crowd favorite, applause for the Bluecoats soon grew into roaring chants of "Bluuuuue" as the corps continued its rise to international prominence.

Founded in and supported by the people of the "Hall of Fame City," Canton, Ohio, the Bluecoats and their world-renowned "Big Band Jazz" style have become Stark County's musical ambassadors, instilling excellence in youth through the challenge, excitement, creativity and self-discipline of drum and bugle corps.

Honors: DCI World Championship Finalist: 1987 - 1998, 2000-2008 Great Lakes Drum Corps Association Champion: 1987, 1986, 1985 DCI East Finalist: 1993, 1992, 1991, 1988 DCI Midwest Finalist: 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988 DCI Canada Finalist: 1991, 1988, 1987, 1986 DCI South Finalist: 1987 US Open Finalist: 1993, 1987, 1986, 1976 US Open Class "A" Champion: 1981 American International Open Class "A" Champion: 1978 DCM Championship Finalist: 1986 through 1993 DCE Championship Finalist: 1985 Ohio VFW State Champion: 1976 through 1984

In 2006 they made history as the first "new" corps to enter the top 4 at DCI finals since Star of Indiana did it in 1990. The last corps to be in the top 4 without winning a championship at some time was the 27th Lancers in 1981.


The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps provides a program for youth in music and performance training. Leadership, personal, character and social development skills are emphasized through the challenge, excitement, and self-discipline presented by the corps through travel, competition, and pursuit of excellence.

Shows by Year


  • Repertoire:
    • Fanfare And Coronation March
    • Variations On America
    • Gospel John
    • Livin' For The City


  • Repertoire:
    • Quejada
    • Drum Fugue
    • I Believe (from Ice Castles)
    • Turkey In The Straw
    • Theme From Gold
    • Theme From SWAT
    • Bridge Over Troubled Water


  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Le Coq D'Or
    • Porgy And Bess Medley
    • Carmina Burana
    • Bridge Over Troubled Water
    • Fanfare (from Quejada)
  • Placement: 35th
  • Score: 65.50


  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Farandole
    • Corazón
    • Sweet Inspiration
    • Oklahoma Crude
    • Where He Leads Me
    • Stony End
    • Big Noise From Winnetka
    • New York, New York (from On The Town)
  • Placement: 28th
  • Score: 68.50


  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Farandole
    • Left Bank Express
    • Encore for Jazz
    • Friends
    • Exodus
  • Placement: 38th
  • Score: 52.050


  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Barnum
    • Aquarius (from Hair)
    • Encore for Jazz
    • Porgy and Bess Medley
  • Placement: 31st
  • Score: 59.600


  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Compendium
    • Carnival
    • Aquarius (from Hair)
    • Root Beer Rag
    • Pavanne
  • Placement: 33rd
  • Score: 56.250


  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Run Back to Mama
    • Night in Rome
    • Bugle Call Rag
    • Magnum Opus
    • For Your Eyes Only
  • Placement: 29th
  • Score: 66.600


  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Run Back to Mama
    • Lover Man
    • Walk Between the Raindrops
    • Sunrise Lady
    • Race With the Devil on Spanish Highway
    • One Voice
  • Placement: 28th
  • Score: 70.200


  • DCI Open Class Semifinalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Hungarian Dance no. 5
    • Doodletown Fifers
    • Salt Peanuts
    • Everything Happens to Me
  • Placement: 15th
  • Score: 80.300


  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Bye Bye Blues
    • Autumn Leaves
    • Body and Soul
  • Placement: 11th
  • Score: 85.700


  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Old Black Magic
    • Take Five
    • Autumn Leaves
  • Placement: 11th
  • Score: 86.700


  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Johnny One Note (from Babes in Arms)
    • My Funny Valentine (from Babes in Arms)
    • Sing Sing Sing
  • Placement: 8th
  • Score: 90.300


  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Caravan
    • I Got It Bad and that Ain't Good
    • Don't Get Around Much Anymore
    • It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing
  • Placement: 8th
  • Score: 89.2


  • DCI Open Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Nutville
    • Palokaville
    • A Whiter Shade of Pale
  • Placement: 11th
  • Score: 84.400


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • A Day in the Life
      • Nowhere Man
      • Eleanor Rigby
      • The Long and Winding Road
      • Penny Lane
      • A Day in the Life of a Fool
      • The End
  • Placement: 11th
  • Score: 84.600


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Standards in Blue-A Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie
      • All The Things You Are (from Till the Clouds Roll By)
      • 'Round Midnight
      • A Night in Tunisia
  • Placement: 9th
  • Score: 87.200


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Blues
      • Things Ain't What They Used to Be
      • Blues for Alice
      • In a Sentimental Mood
      • Sandu
      • C Jam Blues
  • Placement: 9th
  • Score: 84.300


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Homefront: 1945
      • Come Rain or Come Shine
      • Shippin Out
      • I'll Be Seeing You
      • Newsreel
      • Sing Sing Sing
  • Placement: 7th
  • Score: 89.500


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • American Celebrations
      • My Funny Valentine (from Babes in Arms)
      • Big Day in Bristol
      • Yankee Doodle Dandy
      • Strike Up The Band (from Strike Up the Band)
      • Prophet's Margin
      • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
      • Auld Lang Syne
  • Placement: 7th
  • Score: 86.300


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Midnight Blue...Jazz After Dark, The Bluecoats' Way
      • Harlem Nocturne
      • Moon
      • You and the Night and the Music

Placement: 11th Score: 85.600


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • The Four Seasons of Jazz
      • Winter
      • It Might as Well Be Spring
      • Summertime (from Porgy and Bess)
      • Autumn Leaves
  • Placement: 10th
  • Score: 87.100


  • DCI Division I Semifinalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Music of Chick Corea
      • Armando's Rhumba
      • Duende
      • Leprechaun's Dream
      • Celebration Suite
  • Placement: 13th
  • Score: 83.000


  • DCI Divison I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Threshold
      • Intro
      • And on the Sixth Day
      • The Witch
      • Air Antique
      • Finale
  • Placement: 12th
  • Score: 84.400


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire
    • Latin Sketches
      • Intro
      • Candelabra Rhumba
      • Red Cape Tango
      • Tango-Finale
  • Placement: 8th
  • Score: 90.750


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Urban Dances
      • Sunrise
      • Paradise Utopia (from Concerto for Bass Trombone)
      • Reflection (Overture from Dancer in the Dark)
      • Pedal to the Medal (from Motor City Triptych)
  • Placement: 7th
  • Score: 91.500


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Capture and Escape
      • Time To Take Back the Knights
      • Adagio for Theresa
      • Mediterraneo
      • Libertango
      • Code Name: Eternity
      • Original
  • Placement: 7th
  • Score: 90.750


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Mood Swings
      • Ride
      • One Day I'll Fly Away (from Moulin Rouge)
      • Hunting Wabbits
  • Placement: 6th
  • Score: 92.125


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire
    • Caravan
      • Caravan
      • Incantation (from Cirque du Soliel)
      • Ombra (from Cirque du Soliel)
      • Haji
  • Placement: 5th
  • Score: 94.450


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • connexus.
      • Roots of Coincidence
      • Distorted (from La Nouba)
      • My Heart and I
      • The Tihai
  • Placement: 4th
  • Score: 93.175


  • DCI Division I Finalist
  • Repertoire
    • Criminal
      • Battle Music
      • Small World
      • Room Service
      • Smooth Criminal
      • Hummingbrrd
      • Timbuktu
      • Every Breath You Take
  • Placement: 7th
  • Score: 94.05


  • DCI World Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
    • The Knockout
      • On the Waterfront
      • The Boxer
      • Excerpts from the "Rocky" soundtrack
  • Placement: 6th
  • Score: 93.175


  • DCI World Class Finalist
  • Repertoire:
      • Imagine
      • Children's Hour of Dream
      • Hunting Wabbits 2
      • Sky Blue
      • Haitian Fight Song
  • Placement: 6th
  • Score: 93.15


  • DCI World Class Bronze Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Metropolis: The Future is Now
      • 160 BPM
      • Aha!
      • Metropolis
      • Asphalt Cocktail
  • Placement: 3rd
  • Score: 96.40


  • DCI World Championship Finalists
  • Repertoire:
    • Brave New World
      • Creep (Radiohead)
      • Deus Ex Machina (Daugherty)
      • Harvest: Concerto for Trombone (Mackey)
  • Placement: 7th
  • Score: 92.050


  • DCI World Championship Finalists
  • Repertoire:
    • UnMasQueD
      • Masquerade (from The Phantom of the Opera)
      • Filet (from La Reve)
      • Flume
      • Ritual
      • Love Dance (from Ka)
      • Blue Cathedral
      • Epiphanies (Fanfares and Chorales)
  • Placement: 6th
  • Score: 92.550


  • DCI World Championship Finalists
  • Repertoire:
    • To Look For America
      • America
      • Agnus Dei
      • Hallelujah
      • City Life
      • Spring (from The River)
      • Ebony Concerto
      • Concerto for Wind Ensemble, Mvt. 5
  • Placement: 5th
  • Score: 95.350


  • DCI World Championship Silver Medalist
  • Repertoire:
    • Tilt
      • Uffe's Woodshop
      • Platinum Rows
      • The Hymn of Acxiom
      • to wALK Or ruN in wEst harlem
  • Placement: 2nd
  • Score: 97.175



In 1992, corps staff member Sylvester "Sly" Sybilski suggested to the current drum majors that a new tradition be started in order to raise member morale during what was becoming a rough season for the corps.

All current corps members receive a blue shoelace after their first show to commemorate their first experience as a marching member. A link from the helmet is placed on the shoelace, usually given to the new member by a veteran. On finals morning, each member is given a silver-dipped penny from the current year to attach to the link. Five-year members receive a nickel in addition to their fifth penny.


When the corps enters the field for competition, and following their performance, it is customary for the audience to chant "Blooooooo!"On a DCI PBS Broadcast, commentator and designer Michael Cesario once explained to the television audience, "They're not booing, they're Bloooing."


Remember when...

The first occurance (and forever thereafter)of "BLOOOOO" took place after the 1987 SemiFinal performance of Autumn Leaves. Rumour has it that former members of Phantom Regiment (friends of the Sop.Soloist) began the chant which caught on like wild fire into the Bluecoats first finals performance.

Autumn Leaves

The Bluecoats gather in the parking lot after every show to sing their corps song, Autumn Leaves. The lyrics are as follows:

The autumn leaves drift by my window,

The autumn leaves of red and gold.

I feel your lips, those summer kisses,
Those sunburnt hands I used to hold.

But since you went away the days grow long,
And soon I'll hear old winter's song.

But I miss you most of all, my darling,

When autumn leaves start to fall.


In 1986 just before their mid-season break, the corps was in St. Louis for a big show in Busch Stadium. A local bank - the Germania State Savings Bank - was a co-sponsor of the show and gave out t-shirts to a few of the participating corps. From that day forward, for every day that the Bluecoats were gathered for an official event (winter practice, summer tour, etc.) someone in the corps was wearing a Germania shirt. This streak stayed inteact until the end of the 1992 season.

Germania shirt

External Links

Picture (1981)