Drum Corps International
Blue Stars focus on putting music on the move
The Blue Stars horn line rehearses Sunday, March 11 in Indianapolis.Photo by: Drum Corps International

Blue Stars focus on putting music on the move

by Chris Weber

Members of the Blue Stars brass section converged in Indianapolis this past weekend with their sights set on the summer season.

After rehearsing at the Indiana State Fairgrounds March 9-11, it’ll be just two months until the corps “moves in” for spring training rehearsals.

Dr. Ward Miller, Blue Stars brass caption head, said that for the second year in a row the corps had a record number of students who tried out during the off-season.

“We auditioned about 500 to arrive at this horn line now,” Miller said. “We love seeing the interest both in us and also [in] the growth in the [drum corps] activity, but it’s also a little bittersweet to [have to] send so many really talented good folks away.”

Miller has served in the caption head role since 2015, and in that short amount of time has worked to turn the Blue Stars horn line into one of the hallmarks of the corps’ identity.

“[Ward Miller] is an amazing educator, and he really has been able to take our horn line and push us to places that we didn’t think we could necessarily go to,” Blue Stars drum major Taylor Smith said. “The way our horn line has sounded the last couple years, we’re nothing but proud of that.”

One of the focuses of the corps’ rehearsal camp this weekend centered on making sure performers were as comfortable playing their instruments standing still as they were playing music on the move.

“We’re real believers that if it’s not [played] on the move, it doesn’t count,” Miller said. “This weekend for us is always about getting [past] that shock to the system, [stressing] that you’ve got to sound great on the move, and you’ve got to look great while you play at the same time.”

Miller reports that the corps has already been playing through and “tracking” more than half of its 2018 production.

“This season has a long way to go,” Smith said. “I’m really excited to see the progress we make as this show evolves and once we actually put it on the field.”

Blue Stars will be among the corps that perform at Drum Corps International’s season-opening event on June 21 in Detroit.

View Blue Stars' 2018 tour schedule