Bluecoats School of the Arts

Bluecoats School of the Arts

The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps turned a season of canceled programming into a new online educational program called Bluecoats School of the Arts. Launched in September, the program features three components: live virtual events, on-demand coursework, and private lessons with Bluecoats instructors.

“Most people focus on drum corps being canceled, but every program that the Bluecoats organization offers was canceled,” says Bluecoats CEO Mike Scott. “The question we had on our minds was: How can the Bluecoats organization continue to provide the best in what we have to offer from an educational, artistic, and pedagogical standpoint?”

The Bluecoats started building its School of the Arts from scratch in late March. The staff designed the program to give more students access to the corps’ programming by prioritizing low costs and capturing all content. Free programming will be offered to music and dance students at the Canton City School District and an arts not-for-profit called ENRICHment of Stark County.

The program’s on-demand courses let students experience at their own pace. For private lessons, Bluecoats School of the Arts will streamline scheduling, payment, and videoconferencing. Live virtual events include performance-area specific institutes and larger-scale symposiums. The school announced in October that the program’s December symposium will feature GRAMMY-winning musician and composer Jacob Collier as a keynote speaker. Students can choose what components to participate in with no minimum or limit.

Scott says the school fills needs that continue beyond the pandemic. “We didn’t build School of the Arts as a patch,” Scott says.

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About author

Kacie Brown

Kacie Brown was a member of the Pride of Broken Arrow from 2012 to 2016. She is now an associate instructor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she is pursuing a Master of Music degree in saxophone performance as a student of Dr. Otis Murphy. She completed a Bachelor of Music degree with a certificate in journalism at Indiana University in 2020. In 2019, she won the inaugural Elise Hall Competition for Emerging Saxophonists and has performed at the U.S. Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, and the Society of Composers, Inc., National Student Conference.

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