Hundreds of alumni of Canton, Ohio’s Bluecoats made a memorable splash at the 2022 DCI World Championship Semifinals — performing with the Bluecoats 50th Anniversary Alumni Corps.

But Bluecoats alumni had been performing together long before the summer of 2022.

A past participant in Drum Corps International’s SoundSport program, Bluecoats’ alumni-focused Rhythm IN BLUE has, for a number of years, entertained fans across the DCI Summer Tour.

Capitalizing on their SoundSport experience in addition to the success and widespread reach of their 2022 alumni corps, the Bluecoats are taking the opportunity to reboot their Rhythm IN BLUE ensemble, opening the doors to the group to any and all performers 18 years or older starting in 2023.

The ultimate aim is to provide the “Bluecoats Experience” at a lesser time commitment and lower barrier to entry for participants.

“SoundSport fills a unique niche in the marching arts community,” said Rhythm IN BLUE education coordinator Rachel Spencer. “We can have a student-centered and performance-based approach, without the costs of a full touring drum corps model.”

For the 2023 SoundSport relaunch of Rhythm IN BLUE, the group will be working on a six-minute show remotely throughout the winter and spring. It’s an educational process the group fine tuned as part of last summer’s alumni corps. In all, the group has plans to meet just four weekends over the summer, with seven performance opportunities on their 2023 schedule. It will conclude with DCI’s SoundSport International Music & Food Festival in Indianapolis, August 12.


For that six-minute production, director Jay Wise says that Rhythm IN BLUE is looking forward to “branching out and investigating the SoundSport genre.” With the influence of Bluecoats’ accomplished designers, Wise said that Rhythm IN BLUE’s productions will carry a similar style and tone to the World Class corps’ programming.

“It’s got to be cool,” he said. “And it’s got to be good. So, that’s what we’re trying to aim to do. You look at our product, whatever it will be, and go, ‘Oh, that’s totally the Bluecoats, but I’ve never seen the Bluecoats like that.”

An added bonus, the all-inclusive, any-instrument nature of SoundSport allows for ultimate creativity.

“Our creative team loves this idea, because there are really no rules,” Wise said. “You can really make it what you want to make it.”