The Connecticut Hurricanes Join System Blue

The Connecticut Hurricanes

System Blue is proud to announce the addition of The Connecticut Hurricanes to the DCA roster of artists.

The Connecticut Hurricanes Drum & Bugle Corps is an All-Age Drum Corps performance organization based in Seymour, CT. The Corps prides itself in being the only World Class All-Age Drum Corps in New England, and draws its members from throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, as well as New York State and the New York City metro area.

Founded in Derby, Connecticut in 1932 as the John H. Collins American Legion Post Fife Drum & Bugle Corps, the Hurricanes transformed to the competitive arena in 1955 as a drum & bugle corps and became a charter member of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) in 1963. They are the oldest, continually active organization in the DCA.

System Blue is backed by over 100 years of experience and knowledge and proudly delivers the products and education we’ve only dared to dream of. The team of designers have walked the very path you walk now. They  are the same dedicated performers and educators that you are. System Blue offers a full line of Marching Brass, Percussion and Concert Percussion instruments.

Review from James Densley – Director of Bands at Fremont High School (Utah)

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I promised a post-marching season follow up review on my new System Blue drum line purchased this summer, for any curious directors out there. So here it is.. (happy reading if interested!) keep scrolling if you don’t care

First of all, just so you know where I’m coming from, I am a percussionist, and have been teaching marching percussion even longer than I’ve been a head band director, and as a performer I’ve experienced many different levels of marching performance. I’ve ALWAYS been a Yamaha guy, so this is a big deal for me!

Guys….these drums are great.

Pros: professional level instruments, but not as heavy as comparable professional instruments. They sound great, less hardware components, so less repair on small annoying parts like lug casings. Easy, EASY ON2 wrap installation. They look super cool

Cons: Not *really* a con, BUT they do have their own idiosyncrasies, and you cannot approach the tuning scheme the same way you do traditional Yamaha, Pearl, Mapex, Dynasty, etc. drums. I tried it at first and couldn’t get a great sound out of them.

To fix the tuning issues, I contacted Scott Johnson at Blue Devils since he’s had a few years to work out the kinks, to ask about how he gets them to sound their best, and he was SOOO.. open with me. I followed ALL of his advice (suggested heads, bass muffling, tuning the individual snare guts, scoops, tuning pitches/intervals, etc.), and when I did they sounded INCREDIBLE! HUUUUGE step up.

SB’s customer service: A-MAZ-ING. That’s it.

ON2 compatibility: SOOOO easy, and fast to install! If you wanted to, you could change snare wraps part way through a show (like BD did with these drums in ‘17)

My students LOVED them. Partially for the weight, partially because they are just super cool looking haha and the students loving them is worth it. Because they felt great about it, AND they took SUCH good care of them.

Weight: snares and basses are SO light! The snares are seriously about 9-ish pounds. The tenors only come in the large option with a 14” 13” 12” 10” 8” 6” sextet. So they ARE pretty heavy in their own right, BUT they are lighter than the same type of sextet set-up from other brands. If you buy the tenors, you WILL want the Randall May carriers with the ABS back support. I made the mistake of ordering basic tubular J-bar carriers for the tenors, and the weight was just a little too much, but once we replaced them with the ABS carriers, they had absolutely NO weight problems.

BOTTOM LINE: these are game changers. I know a LOT of people have been skeptical of them, but most cynics are people who have never personally experienced them. Most of them watched a video or something of BD’s battery, or took secondhand info from someone who heard from someone who worked with a group who used them. I’m telling you, as a Yamaha EVERYTHING guy (and we all know how percussionists are with their loyalties) I love these drums. If for no other reason (although there are TONS of other reasons)than the fact that my students loved them, and felt awesome-physically and mentally-using them.

If you are skeptical, please feel free to DM me with questions. Please don’t base your opinions on “well I heard _______” also, System Blue gives me nothing for doing this haha this is a 100% honest review.

Let me know if you have questions!

System Blue At PASIC 2018

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PASIC 2018
We are excited to attend PASIC 2019 on November 14 – 17 in Indianapolis, IN. If you are attending the show, please stop by and see us at booth 1501. We would love to show you around and allow you to test drive all the instruments. Scott Johnson and the System Blue staff will be in the booth to greet you, drum with you, and answer any questions you might have.

Make sure to attend the PASIC clinic/performance on Thursday, November 15 at 2PM in Room 105. The performance is entitled: 12 World Champion Hands, 60 years of Championship Snare Solos, and the People Who Played Them. The clinic features Blue Devils Alumni Scott Johnson and Casey Brohard, as well as current member Brandon Olander.

We look forward to seeing you in Indy.

System Blue Education – The Impact

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Hi, my name is Trenton Kozel and I am a senior and drum major at my high school. I just wanted to email you to let you know that you and everyone at System Blue have forever changed my band for the better.

I attend a small school of only 650 students called Orcutt Academy High School. My freshmen year, the band there only had around 10 people and we didn’t even have a director the first week. We had to practice each morning during zero period from 6:50 to 7:50 and share our classroom with regular-ed teacher. The next year, we had 14 and got to practice during first period, but we were in an old storage closet. The following year, we grew to 19 and finally had an actually room which we only shared with the neighboring junior high band. Overall, we have been struggling a long time- but growing and improving nonetheless.

The summer before this year, my director told me that we were going to have around 27 students and that we could finally bear to sacrifice a member of the ensemble for a drum major. I had always been a sort of unofficial drum major and leader in our band, but I was one of only two trumpets which are pretty crucial to the melody of most of the pop tunes we played. I was excited, but I didn’t know how much we could change and improve until I went to System Blue.

That summer, my director convinced me to go to the System Blue Leadership Camp at Grand Terrace. Honestly, at the time, I was pretty bummed out. I didn’t know what to expect, it was in one of the first weeks of summer, and it was almost a four hour drive from our city. To my surprise, however, it was extremely worth it. At System Blue, you, Ben, Kyle, and Kristen gave me the knowledge and know-how to make my band better than ever.

This year, my band has cleaner rehearsals, section leaders, a drum major, and more respect in everything we do. On top of that, we had the first ever band camp in our school’s history, and this Friday, at our football game, we are marching drill for the first time in our school’s history. In the words of my school principal, parents, and community: we are a real high school marching band. We have improved a lot, but we are not stopping here and we hope to try to put on a show and compete next season! Thank you for teaching me how to be an effective leader and giving me the motivation do something with that knowledge. Because of System Blue and this year in band so far, I want continue music my entire life and even be a band director!

All in all, I want to thank you guys because you deserve it. I, along with my director and my band, extend an enormous thank you to you, the Blue Devils, and everyone who puts on System Blue for helping me help my band. Seriously, thank you. You guys put on an amazing camp that changes lives. Needless to say, I promote it with all my heart and my band will continue to send people to learn as I did.

P.S. Sorry this is so long and if you could share or forward this to Ben, Kyle, and Kristen that would be great!

THANK YOU

Trenton Kozel

Kidsgrove Scouts Perform on System Blue Professional Marching Percussion

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Kidsgrove Scouts and System Blue partnership continues with the addition of System Blue Professional Marching Percussion to the DCE ensemble. KGS will be debut the new drums at the DCUK : Drum Corps United Kingdom show in Telford on the 9th September.

System Blue Professional Marching Percussion is used by some of the world’s elite marching ensembles including the 18-time Drum Corps International Champion Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps, 6-time WGI Champion RCC Indoor Percussion and the world renowned Top Secret Drum Corps.

“We are thrilled to strengthen our relationship with the Kidsgrove Scouts”, remarks System Blue President, Todd Tanji. “The addition of marching percussion will complement the marching brass they have been using for the past several years. Kidsgrove Scouts are an important part of our System Blue family and we look forward to even more exciting performances from their world class organisation.”

KGS Executive Director, Rob Swindells, commented “Over the last three years we have seen this partnership flourish into something beyond what we imagined. This year the corps is looking very strong and System Blue has played their part through world class equipment and education.”

Together, this is our time.

The Blue Devils Perform On System Blue

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Did you know that The Blue Devils are the first ensemble to perform on all System Blue instruments? The 2018 DCI Silver Medalists proudly perform on System Blue Professional Brass, Professional Marching Percussion as well as Professional Concert Percussion. Congratulations Blue Devils on an incredible 2018 DCI season!

System Blue Test Drive Tour – Step Into The Demo Zone

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System Blue is excited to announce our 2018 Test Drive Tour. Get hands-on experience with our marching brass and battery, as well as our brand new concert percussion series.

The System Blue Test Drive Tour follows the 2017 DCI World Champion Blue Devils across the country this summer. Check out our gear and spend some time with our designers and staff as the corps takes the field.

Experience the System Blue difference for yourself.

Find a tour date near you and RSVP for a personal appointment →