On its way to the Drum Corps International World Championships, the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps took a detour … to its own backyard.
On Aug. 1, 2019, the Bluecoats played the halftime show for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. Both organizations are headquartered in Canton, Ohio.
Including the Bluecoats felt like a natural fit. “We’ve been long wanting to bring in a marching band element [to the game],” says Anne Graffice, vice president of development and strategic adventures at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The organizations’ proximity to each other has helped facilitate a relationship.
“We have a long friendship with the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” says Mike Scott, Bluecoats CEO.
Graffice and Scott have been speaking for years about how to work together; however, the Bluecoats’ tour didn’t allow it until this year.
While exciting to play for a new kind of audience, the corps faced logistical challenges such as when and where to rehearse and how to set up and take down the show in the precious seconds allotted.
“So much of drum corps is doing the same thing and following a pattern, so it’s a little nerve-wracking when you change, … but of course, it’s also exciting,” Scott says.
According to Graffice, the five-minute show—cut down from the Bluecoats’ usual 13-minute program—went over as well as anyone could’ve imagined.
“Nobody left their seats,” she says. “It was captivating, and they were absolutely phenomenal. … The crowd was overwhelmed and overjoyed and thrilled. … [The Bluecoats] just didn’t disappoint on any level.”