David Glasgow, 23, was recently appointed to the position of executive director of the Bluecoats -- one of the younger people to be appointed a Division I position like this in recent memory (he shares his youth with John Michael Hines of the Pioneer). Prior to taking this position, Glasgow was the Bluecoats' tour director, and later served as that corps' assistant director. Before attending his first board of directors meeting this past weekend, where he sat amongst the more seasoned Division I lions, the North Canton, Ohio, resident answered a set of questions for DCI.org. DCI.org: Do you have family near to where you live in North Canton? Glasgow: Most of my family lives in the small town of Hartford, Mich. -- about five hours from Canton. My girlfriend, Genevieve, attends graduate school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
DCI.org: You were a member of the Bluecoats, right? What instrument did you play, and describe your own abilities on it.
Glasgow: That's right! I played euphonium during my first two years with the corps. I am originally a saxophone player, so my abilities were limited when I first joined the corps. Luckily, I improved over the course of my first season and the brass staff let me hang around. I was the drum major in my final two years as a member.
DCI.org: How does it feel to be a corps' executive director at such a young age? Glasgow: It's a tremendous honor, and a huge responsibility. It's exciting though, and there's nothing else in the world I'd rather do.
DCI.org: Where did you go to school, and did you study anything that would prepare you to be a drum corps' executive director?
Glasgow: I am a Michigan State Spartan. At MSU, I studied industrial-organizational psychology, and my degree had a business emphasis. However, nothing prepared me for this job more than the "on-the-job" education I received as drum major, tour director and assistant director of the Bluecoats.
DCI.org: What went on behind the scenes of the Bluecoats organization prior to your being named executive director?
Glasgow: This is was a planned move by the organization. We knew that the next step in the evolution of our corps was the hiring of a full-time director. As drum major I had the opportunity to work closely with (former director/current program director) Bill Hamilton, and (former program director) Larry Hershman -- they saw that I had the skills for the job, and recommended me to our board of directors. After a couple of years of training -- and after we were able to the establish resources to make it possible -- the organization made the move.
DCI.org: Walk us through a typical "day in the life of the executive director."
Glasgow: It's pretty normal. I usually arrive at my office around 7:30 or 8:00 a.m., check my e-mail, and start working on the various projects of the day. Later in the day I might have meetings with board members, talk to staff on the phone about various aspects of the upcoming season -- things like that.
DCI.org: What aspects of the job are you looking forward to, and which ones are you not?
Glasgow: I look forward to working with the people that are involved in our corps -- the members, staff and volunteers. I'm not looking forward to early morning wake-ups while on the road -- there is always a new "crisis" that has to be dealt with!
DCI.org: Who in the drum corps community do you admire?
Glasgow: The people within the activity that I most admire are the people from whom I've learned the most -- Larry Hershman, (former Bluecoats director/current business manager) Ted Swaldo and Bill Hamilton.
DCI.org: What would be your dream job, if being executive director is not that position?
Glasgow: I've always thought it would be exciting to be the owner of an NFL franchise. But for me, being executive director of the Bluecoats really is the perfect job.
DCI.org: What advice would you give to young people who want to direct a corps?
Glasgow: I can't say enough about how much I learned from the drum major experience. Young people that are interested in drum corps management should start there -- it's a great way to meet influential people and learn about what goes on behind the scenes of a corps.
DCI.org: Describe what a Bluecoats show will look like in 2015.
Glasgow: Wow -- ask me in 2014! The same things will be important then that are important now: Creating a show that is fun and challenging for the members to perform, and exciting for the audience to watch!