Photo courtesy of The Blue Devils/System Blue
The Blue Devils (BD) System Blue Educational Series went all the way to Malaysia this winter to teach a World Band Championship International Band Camp in Kuala Lumpur. The three-day event, hosted by the Malaysia World Band Competition and Zi Productions, featured 30 members of The Blue Devils teaching master classes.
“Getting to see how much of an impact we really had on these kids was fantastic, as were the students in general,” says Casie Connolly, a four-year BD color guard veteran. “I had such a hard time leaving after three days; it was almost heartbreaking.”
Most of the participants were high school students along with some instructors from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. The camp was open to brass, woodwinds, percussion and guard. “Dancing and stretching was very new for them,” Connolly says. “Color guard just started there in 2000, and it’s very militaristic. They’re very fast learners. We wish we had a whole month to spend with them!”
The goal of the camp was to show the students and instructors The Blue Devils’ method of teaching and learning—and for the participants to perform a small routine on the last day. “Music and color guard and spreading the knowledge of dance is a great thing,” Connolly says. “I think it’s so important to keep this activity alive.”
While in Malaysia, the BD members also visited the city center, business capital and a mosque. The color guard girls even went to a spa where fish eat off your dead skin. “The trip itself was fantastic,” Connolly says. “I’ve never been out of the country before, so it was interesting to see how others live.”
This camp marked the first international System Blue Educational Series event but just one of many performances abroad for the 14-time Drum Corps International World Champion Blue Devils.