Bluecoats, University of Mount Union Announce 5-Year Residency

| |
Bluecoats Logo

Bluecoats Logo

Today Bluecoats and the University of Mount Union announced the signing of a long-term agreement that will keep the Bluecoats Spring Training, The Blue Way Summer Arts Camp, Bluecoats Opening Night Community Celebration, and the Bluecoats Fellowship Residency in Stark County for the next five years.

This multi-year agreement follows the relocation of Bluecoats’ Spring Training to Mount Union in 2023, which was met with huge support from the Canton, Alliance and Stark County communities, as well as the students and staff of the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps. The corps’ annual Spring Training, held each May and June, is the pre-season training camp for the world-renowned corps. The corps participants, staff, and volunteers descend on the beautiful Mount Union campus for nearly six weeks to produce the summer’s competitive show and prepare for the more than 8,000-mile national tour.

“This multi-year relationship allows us to do so much more than bring Spring Training back to Stark County, it’s going to allow the organization to make much deeper investments in our local community, and expand the community programs that our local community loves,” said Mike Scott, CEO of Bluecoats. “Not only has Mount Union helped to make our world champion drum corps better, it has enabled us to invest and expand upon The Blue Way Summer Arts Camp, the Bluecoats Fellowship, and the Bluecoats Summer Music Series.”

Last year marked the first time that the Bluecoats organization “moved in” to Mount Union and ensured that the corps was one of the only drum corps of its scope and national merit to host Spring Training in its home county. Leveraging this new home base, the organization significantly expanded its local programming. Nearly 200 students attended The Blue Way Summer Arts Camp, an overnight summer camp for high school students aspiring to be Bluecoats, and nearly 3,000 people flocked to the first-ever Bluecoats Opening Night Community Celebration, which featured every single drum corps operating in the State of Ohio, in exhibition.

“We could not be more pleased by the opportunity to extend our initial partnership with the Bluecoats by engaging in this five-year partnership, “said Gregory L. King, president of the University. “Our inaugural experience with this nationally-known, top-notch organization was outstanding, and the Mount Union and Alliance communities made their support of this partnership known by showing up for event after event. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to put our campus and its facilities to good use over the summer months while also making a positive economic impact on our community. We hope to welcome even more visitors to Mount Union in 2024 and beyond to experience the class act that is Bluecoats.”

More Than Just Spring Training

The multi-year agreement reinforces Bluecoats’ commitment to investing in its local community. Beyond Spring Training, the agreement allows the organization to continue to offer several programs in its home county and allows for the secure establishment of new events and opportunities.

1. New in 2024, the Bluecoats and the University of Mount Union will jointly host Band Director Days in partnership with Mount Union. These jam-packed single-day events will be an opportunity for band directors to visit Bluecoats Spring Training and get a peek behind the curtain as the world-renowned marching ensemble learns and produces its show. Each day of Spring Training relies heavily on the pedagogical and operational expertise of the dozens of music education and administration professionals who make up the Bluecoats team. Band directors will have the chance to watch these rehearsals, meet the staff, learn more about the Bluecoats approach, and meet other band directors in attendance. Stay tuned for more event dates at

2. The Blue Way Summer Arts Camp is an annual two-day summer camp for high school and college students eager to learn from the Bluecoats instructional team and spend two days living alongside the Bluecoats at Spring Training. Following the great success of hosting The Blue Way Summer Arts Camp at Mount Union in 2023, the organization is thrilled to give it a more long-term home in Northeast Ohio.

3. Launched in 2023, the Bluecoats Opening Night Community Celebration is the annual worldwide debut of the Bluecoats’ creative production. The event also showcases local music and arts programming like Bluecoats’ local 18+ ensemble Rhythm IN BLUE, the EN-RICH-MENT Drumline, and Cincinnati Tradition.

4. Also operated alongside Spring Training is the residency portion of the Bluecoats Fellowship, an honors program for a select few up-and-coming designers in the marching arts who come from traditionally under-represented communities. Nearly 100 applications have been submitted for this year’s program. The 2024 class of Bluecoats Fellows will move to Spring Training for their residency and work alongside and observe the training camp, including one-on-one mentorship with their corresponding professional designers.

Posted by on Thursday, February 1st, 2024. Filed under Current News, DCI World, FrontPage Feature.