TOWNSHIP – The Canton Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps are ready to bring their music, walk and unique style back to the field after a year off.
Before the band embarks on this summer’s Magical Mystery tour, the Canton Drum Corps will be hosting a free community event.
The plaza party – scheduled for August 1 at Centennial Plaza – will allow community members to experience the region’s musical talent and premiere Bluecoat’s “Lucy” show in 2021.
“It was a personal project to bring the Bluecoats into the community,” said Mike Scott, Managing Director of Bluecoats. “We would love to bring the community there and celebrate. Partying in the Plaza is an opportunity for us to thank our hometown for its support during these difficult months and to celebrate the arts in Canton during a free event. “
Officials began speaking with city and Hall of Fame leaders about six months ago.
“It’s a way to showcase other performing arts and enjoy the amazing stage that has been built. The big arch is perfect for us to play,” Scott said. “We were able to take advantage of the pandemic to reorganize the tour to start in Canton.”
What is the Canton Festival in the Plaza?
The Bluecoats will headlining the show at 8:30 pm It will be the first performance of the body since the end of the 2019 national tour.
The day begins at noon with performances of strings and brass from the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Matt Corey Band, the En-Rich-Ment Drumline and the Scenic Route.
Aurora Ross, percussion director of En-Rich-Ment Drumline, said the party will showcase local talent and allow drumlines to showcase their talents.
“This comeback is an opportunity for Canton to see what they’re producing,” said Ross. “These kids are working so hard to make music and might aspire to be part of the drum corps someday.”
The free show provides an opportunity to expose people to the music created by the Drum Corps who may not have the luck or the financial means to attend a Drum Corps performance, Ross added.
Scott hopes to make the party an annual event.
The next day, the Bluecoats will play four sold-out concerts at Gervasi Vineyard before hitting the road.
The body will return to the area on August 9 for the DCI Akron celebration at the Infocision Stadium. Scott said that while this usually takes place in conjunction with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, this year’s show is not.
Bring back the music
The pandemic canceled last year’s Drum Corps International season. Despite the closure, Bluecoats management continued to plan for the next season and deliver educational programs, including the Bluecoats School of Arts.
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Once they got the green light for the season, Scott said, they went from “zero to 60” to plan for the body’s return.
“We had to book flights and sign contracts and all of a sudden we were a week away from spring training,” Scott said. “(The Corps members) have come from all over the world and now we have a drum corps.”
Scott said they were able to safely bring eight students from Japan and several from Canada to the Spring Training Center at Wesleyan Indian University in Marion, Indiana.
“We built a kind of bubble,” Scott explained, adding that they had a full-time medical team of five people responsible for testing and monitoring.
They limit the number of people who interact with the body during training camp.
Almost all of the more than 200 people involved in the body’s spring training – including 160 marching members – are vaccinated, Scott said.
The corps, he said, is like a small town between members, operations, and training and design teams.
“We live in four to five different buildings. We use every square inch of campus,” Scott said. “Almost 40,000 meals will be served this summer.
Since June 30, the Bluecoats have been learning and perfecting this year’s show.
The 2021 show, which was slated for last year, is the second act of the 2019 show – “The Bluecoats” – which explores the music of The Beatles.
“Even though DCI is not competitive this year, you can expect the same level of production,” he said.
The brief two-week tour includes visits to Boston and Allentown, Pa. Before returning to Akron and then to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the DCI World Championships.
“The award this year is that Drum Corps did it and we can celebrate it,” Scott said. “The blue coats were leading the charge to bring the drum body back.”
Corps members worked hard to learn the show, Scott said, but it was a challenge.
There are five fewer days of camp this year and fewer shows, leaving little time to perfect the show, he said.
Due to the threat of the virus, some changes have been made to the shows. The groups will be separated, including one body waiting outside the stadium until the other leaves the pitch.
In Akron, each corps will be assigned its own washroom and limit the number of staff members interacting with them.
“We were very lucky,” he said. “We are doing our best to keep people safe. We are delighted that the Bluecoats are back.”
Contact Amy at 330-775-1135 or [email protected]
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Party in the square
The Canton Bluecoats will host a community celebration at Centennial Plaza to kick off their 2021 touring season.
Musical acts include:
- The strings of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, noon
- The brass of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, 1 p.m.
- Matt Corey Band, 2 p.m.
- La Drumline En-Rich-Ment, 4:15 p.m.
- The Panoramic Route, 5:15 p.m.
- Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps., 8:30 p.m.
Food trucks will be on site and there is food at Jerzee’s Cafe in the square. The Jerzee beer garden will be open.
For more information on Party in the Plaza, visit partyintheplaza.org.
DCI Akron Celebration
The Townships Bluecoats will be hosting DCI Celebration Akron at 8 p.m. on August 9 at Infocision Stadium, 375 E. Exchange St., Akron.
Tickets range from $ 25 to $ 75 on presale and increase by $ 7 on the day of the event. Group tickets available.
For more information visit https://dci.org/events/2021-dci-celebration-akron.