Jonathan Vanderkolff Inducted to DCI Hall of Fame

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Bluecoats LogoToday, Drum Corps International announced the induction of Bluecoats Artistic Director Jonathan Vanderkolff into the DCI Hall of Fame! Jon’s impact on the drum corps and marching band activity, and the thousands of students, fans and collaborators he has worked with throughout his career, is second to none. The Bluecoats organization is so proud of Jon!

Jon joins fellow Bluecoats designer Doug Thrower, who was inducted in 2019.

Jon was born into drum corps in Canada where his father was founder of the all-girl division Ventures. He marched as a member of the Kiwanis Kavaliers and then moved on to the Garfield Cadets where he finished his junior drum corps career in 1987. Those were formative years, learning from Hall of Fame designer George Zingali. He has shared that knowledge and artistic touch with some of DCI’s top corps, including The Cadets, Santa Clara Vanguard and Madison Scouts.

A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Vanderkolff brought a unique perspective when he took over the visual program for Star of Indiana in 1993. He helped bring the music of Barber and Bartók to the field in an innovative way, showcasing an ahead-of-its-time production to audiences across the country.

When DCI Hall of Fame member Bill Cook decided to take Star from the field to the stage after the 1993 DCI World Championships, he called on Vanderkolff to lead the transition. Vanderkolff did so masterfully. “Brass Theater” became “Blast!” “Blast!” became a Tony and Emmy award-winning production on Broadway in 2001.

Jon joined the Bluecoats organization as the Artistic Director in 2013. In his last decade of service one can see easily find vast impact his vision has made on the drum corps activity through “Bluecoats hits” such as TILT, the Bluecoats, Kinetic Noise, The Garden of Love, and of course the organization’s first World Championship show Down Side Up.

“Jon Vanderkolff — artistic director, visual designer, music composer, choreographer. Such a rich and diverse talented individual with artistic depth, voice and vision.”
— 2015 DCI Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Sacktig

“Jon is an ‘all-in’ creative force in every program he’s involved with. Jon’s process is unique. He creates a collaborative environment that extends beyond staff and reaches out to the performers.”
— 2016 DCI Hall of Fame inductee Denise Bonfiglio

Posted by on Wednesday, April 10th, 2024. Filed under Current News, DCI World, FrontPage Feature.