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Bluecoats Launches Rhythm IN BLUE as SoundSport Ensemble


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https://bluecoats.com/news/2023/1/17/bluecoats-launches-rhythm-in-blue-as-soundsport-ensemble

 

In 2023, Rhythm IN BLUE will bring the Bluecoats Experience to any performer 18+. The Rhythm IN BLUE season will operate with a lesser time and financial commitment to performers and will culminate with a performance at the DCI World Championships Week in Indianapolis.

 

1/17/23

 

Today Bluecoats announced the re-launch of Rhythm IN BLUE as a DCI SoundSport ensemble. Formerly a Bluecoats alumni-focused ensemble, Rhythm IN BLUE is now open to any performer 18 or older. The launch was initially planned for the 2020 season, but canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, the new vision for Rhythm IN BLUE returns, providing a more accessible and affordable program offering the Bluecoats Experience

“SoundSport fills a unique niche in the marching arts community,” said Rhythm IN BLUE Education Coordinator Rachel Spencer. “We can have a student-centered and performance-based approach, without the costs of a full touring drum corps model.” Program fees for the season will hover around $1,000 for commuters. 

Rhythm IN BLUE will audition virtually, starting January 18th, and those invited to continue the experience will learn the six-minute show remotely throughout the winter and spring. “We are only going to meet four weekends this summer,” stated Ensemble Director, Jay Wise. “Our approach will be very different to get the most out of the performers in a short period of time, leveraging Bluecoats technologies and practices developed during the pandemic, including Bluecoats School of the Arts.

Conceptual rendering of 2023 Rhythm IN BLUE musician look.

Conceptual rendering of 2023 Rhythm IN BLUE musician look.

The show design and creative approach of Rhythm IN BLUE will echo that of the Bluecoats, including custom costuming from Stanbury Uniforms, top-of-the-line instruments from Yamaha and TAMA | Bergerault, and cutting edge electronic sound design. “SoundSport offers such a unique platform to do all sorts of amazing things” said Wise. “Rather than try to follow any existing model, we are going to try to blaze our own path through this unique format within DCI, and open our program to so many more performers eager to get a taste of the Bluecoats Experience.”

“We have always seen Rhythm IN BLUE as a great potential platform for extending the Bluecoats Experience to a wider audience,” said Mike Scott, CEO. “We have assembled an incredible staff of Bluecoats alumni, recent Bluecoats Fellows, and other experts from around the activity. Making Rhythm IN BLUE 18 and older, leveraging Bluecoats School of the Arts, and bringing together these amazing people, is sure to bring the Bluecoats Experience alive for this new generation of participants in our programming.”

To learn more about joining Rhythm IN BLUE in 2023, visit bluecoats.com/rhythminblue.

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While I think this is a cool idea, I am a bit taken back at the cost.   Granted, we havent seen a schedule, but Soundsport was intended to be affordable.  Which also prompts the "what is affordable" in this day and age, but woof.   

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53 minutes ago, C.Holland said:

While I think this is a cool idea, I am a bit taken back at the cost.   Granted, we havent seen a schedule, but Soundsport was intended to be affordable.  Which also prompts the "what is affordable" in this day and age, but woof.   

That's a good question. Hard to make a blanket judgement on "affordable." But here are some comparisons for context. Relative to Bluecoats DCI experience, these fees are around 80% less. In comparison to an independent WGI experience, these fees are around 40% less than average. There isn't really any shared SoundSport data to make direct comparisons. A lot of SoundSport groups come and go. In this case, there is a stable and proven organization with an excellent reputation for running safe and organized educational experiences at a high level. Which ads value as well. I am not sure how "4 weekends" translates to rehearsal time, performance experience, etc. And it will be interesting to see how well the virtual education works in between those weekends. 

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1 hour ago, mingusmonk said:

That's a good question. Hard to make a blanket judgement on "affordable." But here are some comparisons for context. Relative to Bluecoats DCI experience, these fees are around 80% less. In comparison to an independent WGI experience, these fees are around 40% less than average. There isn't really any shared SoundSport data to make direct comparisons. A lot of SoundSport groups come and go. In this case, there is a stable and proven organization with an excellent reputation for running safe and organized educational experiences at a high level. Which ads value as well. I am not sure how "4 weekends" translates to rehearsal time, performance experience, etc. And it will be interesting to see how well the virtual education works in between those weekends. 

totally understood, and I'm sure this is all still in development,  however I just find this not on par with even the DCA groups in the same region.   While RHR's season costs more than this total, it feels like you get more for your money overall.  And Columbus Saints cost half this.  Which i think that those are the most comparable programs to this, and in the same region for understanding costs. 

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On 1/24/2023 at 9:41 AM, C.Holland said:

While I think this is a cool idea, I am a bit taken back at the cost.   Granted, we havent seen a schedule, but Soundsport was intended to be affordable.  Which also prompts the "what is affordable" in this day and age, but woof.   

Cost will “hover” around $1,000. LOL!

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On 1/24/2023 at 12:39 PM, C.Holland said:

totally understood, and I'm sure this is all still in development, however I just find this not on par with even the DCA groups in the same region.   While RHR's season costs more than this total, it feels like you get more for your money overall.  And Columbus Saints cost half this.  Which i think that those are the most comparable programs to this, and in the same region for understanding costs. 

I agree 100% on the overall point (that DCA might be cheaper, and closer to a real drum corps experience), but I think Bloo is 'banking" on the fact that people want a cheaper Bluecoats Experience, and if they can't have the DCI part, maybe the SoundSport part will fill the bill. Granted, Columbus Saints' brand might be as big as Bloo's, so my point could be moot! (I'm not familiar enough with the brand/people of DCA)

What Bloo really needs to do is start their own DCA corps, weekend only, Memorial Day Weekend camp, July 4th parade, etc. Thye could even line up the weekends with their DCI corps to share facilities and resources (When around Ohio). Their mission statement should include words like Entertainment and Affordable. Every kid cut from winter Bloo DCI camps should be offered a spot in the Bloo DCA corps. Give the aged-out people a chance to stay engaged, if they desire. Lots of win-win. I'm sure it's still too expensive, bah.

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