BD Performing Arts (BDPA) in Concord, California, and USBands in Allentown, Pennsylvania, have combined to create a nationwide pageantry arts network. USBands will become one of several organizations operating under the BDPA umbrella. BDPA already manages Riverside City College Indoor Percussion, the Diablo Wind Symphony, Western Band Association (WBA), and of course the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, among other programs.
According to Shaun Gallant, BDPA CEO, working with USBands extends both organizations’ reach to connect more student marching bands to each other through competition circuits. Having WBA and USBands under the same umbrella will allow the organizations to “facilitate great events and create opportunities for young people across the country,” Gallant says.
USBands will continue to have a direct role in facilitating competitions. The top priority while establishing the new relationship was ensuring continuity in USBands’ current work, says Sean King, executive director of USBands. “The number one thing was that [we] would remain consistent in service to the music education community.”
In fall 2020, USBands had established a virtual season for schools and educators. King recalls band directors telling him, “We wouldn’t have had a season if it weren’t for this eight-week virtual competitive season.”
USBands will take the concept into the winter with a virtual music festival that can include marching groups in “the Creative Class,” King says.
While the relationship is making strides, Gallant knows that a piece is still missing—performing together on the field. “We’re looking forward to getting back on the field of course,” he says.