Two drum corps organizations will soon be represented outside of the United States, as the Blue Knights get set to send a contingent of performers to Taiwan, with the Blue Devils sending a group of staff members into Mexico City.
Blue Knights has been invited to perform as part of the Taoyuan Band Festival at the end of May, while the Blue Devils will head to Zacapoaxtla, Mexico at the beginning of June to work with a newly formed drum and bugle corps in the area.
Blue Knights' trip, which is similar to one taken by the Blue Devils in 2013, is made possible by Motif Music, an Asian music organization that has been working with Drum Corps International over the last year to bring its DrumLine Battle and SoundSport programs to students in China. A 50-person Blue Knights ensemble will participate in a number of events including educational clinics, a parade and staged exhibitions that will culminate with a performance at the Taoyuan Band Festival on May 24.
"With the drum and bugle corps engaged in preparations for their 2014 summer tour, we are able to draw the talent from our other ensembles to develop this program," Blue Knights Executive Director Mark Arnold said.
The ensembles that will fill out the group are part of the Blue Knights' Ascend Performing Arts parent organization. Members will be tapped from Ascend's longstanding WGI Sport of the Arts percussion program, through a partnership with the Opus 10 winter color guard and through the Broncos Brass, an ensemble made up of Blue Knights alumni and others who perform at Denver Broncos NFL home games. "We are fortunate to have the ability to seize this opportunity," Arnold said.
The Blue Knights conglomeration will work up a production for the trip titled "An American Journey," which will feature music from Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring" and "The Red Pony."
Learn more about the Blue Knights' trip to Taiwan.
The Blue Devils will send five staff members June 7-8 to Zacapoaxtla, Mexico (about 175 miles east of Mexico City), to present the organization's System Blue educational clinics to area students. The trip is organized and sponsored by H?©roes, a drum and bugle corps formed just last year after the group's founders were inspired by seeing the Blue Devils teach and perform in Guatemala.
The Blue Devils staff members will spend time with the group covering a variety of skills and topics related to winds and percussion, dance and color guard, and even corps management and development.
"Our goal in presenting these System Blue Clinics is to give our students and teachers a chance to learn directly from those who have participated in the world's best drum corps," H?©roes founder Edgar Carreon said.
The trip will be part of the Blue Devils' ongoing "One Music, One World" initiative, which has allowed corps and staff members to travel around the world to an impressive number of locales including countries in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. This will mark the Blue Devils' first trip to Mexico, and as such, several of the staff members selected to make the journey are fluent in Spanish.
"By accessing our pool of talented members, alumni and staff to present System Blue clinics around the world, we stand behind our mission to unite cultures and inspire youth through music and performance," Blue Devils Executive Director David Gibbs said.
Learn more about the Blue Devils' trip to Mexico