System Blue Educational Event featuring the Blue Devils
Drexel Hill, PA :: August 1, 2018
System Blue Educational Events provide an opportunity for students, educators, and fans alike to hone their performance, leadership, and teaching skills under the instruction of the finest educators in the marching arts.
Student Clinic: $100
Educator Workshop: FREE
- Instruction and materials
- Some meals (see schedule)
- Admission to DCI Chester
- Access to discounted friends/family Corps at the Crest tickets
Group rates: 5% discount for 5-9 people; 10% discount for 10-14 people. Groups of 15+ contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Upper Darby High School map
601 Lansdowne Avenue
Drexel Hill, PA 19026
HOUSING: This is a commuter camp. There are many good hotel options near the event site should you need overnight accommodations.
- 8:30 am
- Registration Opens
- 10:00 am
- Morning Session Starts
- 1:00 pm
- Lunch Break (meal provided)
- 2:00 pm
- Afternoon Session Begins
- 5:00 pm
- Camp Ends
- 7:30 pm
- DCI Show Starts
Please bring a completed medical form with you to the event. You will not be able to participate in the event with out a medical form. If under 18, the form must be signed by your parent or guardian. Download the form
Leadership / Drum Major Clinic
System Blue Leadership Clinics are for students, ages 14 and up, in all sections of the marching band, including woodwind, brass, color guard, percussion, and drum majors. Each System Blue Leadership Clinic is designed to be highly experiential, and to give students tools and concrete strategies to help make an immediate difference when they return to their own bands. Specific content includes:
- Procedures and strategies for effective peer teaching
- How effective leaders communicate
- The three components of leadership effectiveness
- Seven levels of learning and awareness
- Characteristics of high-quality leaders
- Conducting skills (for drum majors). Note that System Blue Leadership Clinics do not address mace or military-style baton skills.
One of the unique and most exciting components of System Blue Leadership Clinics is the personal interaction with the instructors and members of the 17-time World Champion Blue Devils. At multi-day leadership clinics, students will have the chance to observe and rehearse with the brass, percussion, and color guard sections of the Blue Devils.
This camp features breakout sessions specifically for drum majors and for returning System Blue Leadership campers. Drum major breakouts include:
- Conducting fundamentals
- Understanding how pulse and tempo maintenance are affected by staging
- Rehearsal management and pacing
Breakouts for returning leadership campers include:
- Advanced communication skills
- Advanced teaching skills
- Level 7 Learning
Frank Troyka is the retired Director of Bands and Coordinator of Fine Arts at Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas. A teacher of over 30 years, Frank came to Berkner in May of 2006 following seven years as Director of Bands at Cypress Falls High School in Houston. Ensembles under his director have been selected to perform at the Music For All National Festival; the Percussive Arts Society International Convention; and at the Midwest Clinic on two occasions with the Symphonic Band at Cypress Falls in 2004 and with the Berkner Symphonic Band in 2011. Frank is an active lecturer and clinician, presenting across Texas, throughout the United States, and at international destinations including Canada, The Philippines, Singapore, China, South Africa, and Dubai. He is a frequent presenter at faculty development workshops for public school music teachers as well as a guest lecturer and “hands-on” instructor for both students and teachers.
Frank is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster Fraternity, and a member of the National Association for Music Education. He is an Educational Consultant with Conn-Selmer, Inc.; the Director of Education for System Blue, the educational arm of the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps of Concord, California; and the coordinator of the Generation Next series of presentations for The Midwest Clinic. He was honored as the 2002-2003 Teacher of the Year at Cypress Falls High School and, while at Berkner High School, was one of fifteen recipients in the state of Texas of the 2010 UIL Sponsor Excellence Award. In 2014, Frank was honored by the Texas Bandmasters Association as a recipient of the Meritorious Achievement Award. In 2015, Frank was named to the International Board of Experts for the World Music Contest of Kerkrade, The Netherlands and in March of 2016, Frank was inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame.
Over the course of two decades, James Rocillo has cultivated a diverse curriculum vitae in music as a performer, educator, and competition adjudicator. His formal music education spans the campuses of Long Beach City College, Citrus College, and California State University, Northridge. Throughout the years, he has had the great privilege of receiving instruction from renowned trumpet artists Bobby Shew, Tony Lujan, Ron Stout, Sal Cracchiolo, Rob Roy McGregor, Bob Slack,Charlie Davis,Clay Jenkins, Kye Plamer, and Wayne Bergeron. Consequently, James himself has become an internationally accomplished musician and can easily shift between the genres of classical and jazz. His performances have taken him around the Pacific and back again, traveling through California, Hawaii, Canada, and Japan.
James' experience as an educator is threefold, instructing at the high school, college, and drum corps capacities. From 2000-2010, he was the Assistant Director of Bands at the BOA Grand National Finalist Ayala High School in Chino Hills, CA. Concurrently, he began his tenure at Nogales High School in La Puente, CA where he worked with the marching band, concert band, and jazz ensemble. In 2007, James joined the staff at Riverside Community College to lead the wind program for the world famous Marching Tigers and serves as director of The Lab Jazz Ensemble and Community Concert Band. In 2010 James became the Director of Bands at Colony High School in Ontario, California. Here James directs the Titan Regiment Marching band,wind ensembles and jazz ensembles. In 2016 James accepted an assistant Professor position at RCC where he will continue his duties with the jazz and concert programs and serve as the Director of the RCC marching Tigers.
Moreover, the sum of such a career has lent itself well to the role of adjudicator and clinician, which he has also fulfilled during several marching band competitions and jazz festivals in California, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma,Seattle, Malaysia and Guatemala. James is an adjudicator for the Western Band Association (WBA) and a member of the Southern California Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA)
Over the years, James has had the pleasure of working with several Open and World class groups including Yamato Drum and Bugle Corps, Concord Blue Devils B, and the six-time DCI World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard. He has also held the position of Brass Caption Head at Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps and Esperanza Drum and Bugle Corps. 2008 marked the beginning of a new and exciting chapter as James' first year on staff at the eighteen-time DCI World Champion Concord Blue Devils. James is proud to be apart of six DCI Championships with the Blue Devils (2009,2010,2012,2014,2015, 2017) and three Jim Ott awards for Best Brass performance (2008,2010,2014)
James earned his Bachelor of Science in Business/Marketing from the University of Phoenix in February of 2008 and his Masters Degree in Education from National University in May of 2013. James resides in Eastvale, CA with his partner Sara their son Miles and their adorable dog Aki.
Kevin Ronan is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Performance degrees. While a student at ASU, he studied with Sam Pilafian, world-renowned pedagogue and co-author of "The Breathing Gym". Kevin also served on the instructional staff of the ASU Athletic Band Department for five years, where he worked closely with another one of his mentors, James G. Hudson.
Mr. Ronan works year-round as a music arranger and copyist. Proficient in Sibelius and Finale, Kevin has over a decade of experience in transcribing, arranging, copyist work, and preparing/engraving pieces for publication or distribution. On the marching field, bands performing his arrangements have been recognized as State Marching Finalists and Champions.
In 2018, Kevin will begin his 12th year as a brass instructor for The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. Prior to teaching The Blue Devils, he was a member of the hornline and served as tuba section leader. Currently, Mr. Ronan resides in Lewisville, TX where he is a private lesson instructor at Marcus and Hebron High School.
System Blue Percussion Clinics are for students who are enthusiastic about marching percussion technique and performance. The clinics are designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced performers, ages 12 and up, and include instruction on snare, tenor, and bass. Focus will be on establishing solid technique and applying it to individual skills and ensemble performance. Specific content includes:
- Extensive overview of Blue Devils technique
- How to prepare for live performance
- Exercises in creating consistency through technique
- How to set proficiency goals and achieve them
- Exploring improvisation in tempo
- Exposure to diverse styles of drumming
- Q&A session with Scott Johnson and BD drum line
- Tips on how to prepare for an audition
One of the unique and most exciting components of System Blue Educational Events is the personal interaction with the instructors and former members of the 17-time World Champion Blue Devils. At select multi-day drum clinics, students will have the chance to observe and interact with the Blue Devils drum line.
Loves chicken and waffles, enjoys quaint walks near sleepy creekbeds, and drum corps. Lots, and lots, of drum corps.
2004 Blue Devils C
2005 - 07 Blue Devils B
2008 Madison Scouts
2011 & 2012 Blue Devils
2011 & 2012 DCI I & E Champ
2012 High Percussion
2012 DCI Champ
Bachelor's of Music - UCSC
Master's of Music - CalArts
Based in Los Angeles, CA
2012-Spirit of Atlanta
2015/2016/2017- Blue Devils
2013-2018- Rhythm X
From Lebanon, Ohio
A New York City native, Darick Kelly is a music educator in the New York City Department of Education. He has taught and arranged for numerous marching bands and indoor percussion units in the NYC metro area, including Walt Whitman High School in South Huntington, NY, Port Chester High School in Port Chester, NY, Passaic High School in Passaic, NJ and has given numerous clinics including the PAS Stony Brook University Day of Percussion, PAS Connecticut Day of Percussion, and the NYC Next Wave Percussion Clinic, alongside Blue Devils Percussion Director Scott Johnson.
Darick served as the snare technician for the WGI PIW United Percussion in 2009 and 2010, and was battery coordinator and percussion caption head for The Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Mr. Kelly has also arranged musical works for the New York Knicks, New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, NFL sponsored United Way, and designer Tory Burch. He has also collaborated with one of Europe's premier electronic music DJs, Thomas Gold, whose set was performed in NYC and LA. Most recently, he collaborated with Capitol Records Artist Little Daylight on their album, "Hello Memory".
He began his marching career in 1997 and completed the final 2 years of his drum corps career in the snare line with The Blue Devils in 2004 and 2005. Outside of the marching activity, Darick received his BM in percussion performance from SUNY Purchase College and in 2008, he received his MA in music education from New York University, where he performed with the NYU Symphony Orchestra, and the NYU Percussion Ensemble and has performed some of the world’s greatest concert halls, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in NYC with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. In 2007, he performed the New York Premier of Luigi Morleo's "Nessun Popolo Oppresso 10."
Color Guard Clinic
System Blue Color Guard clinics are for students who are enthusiastic about contemporary color guard technique and performance. The clinics are designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced performers, ages 12 and up, and include instruction in movement, flag, rifle and sabre. Focus will be on establishing solid technique and applying it to individual skills and ensemble performance. Specific content includes:
- Extensive overview of Blue Devils equipment technique
- How to prepare for live performance
- Exercises in creating consistency through technique
- How to set proficiency goals and achieve them
- Exploring improvisation
- Exposure to diverse styles of choreography
- Understanding and identifying performance quality
- Q&A session with Blue Devils Color Guard alumni
- Tips on how to prepare for an audition
One of the unique and most exciting components of System Blue Educational Events is the personal interaction with the instructors and former members of the 17-time World Champion Blue Devils. At select multi-day color guard events, students will have the chance to observe and rehearse with the Blue Devils color guard.
T. J. Doucette grew up in a Massachusetts drum corps family. She marched for 17 years, before teaching a number of drum corps and winter guards in the Boston area. In 1982, she moved to California to pursue other interests, but stayed connected to the activity working part-time with the Blue Devils "B" winterguard.
In 1986, TJ shifted to full-time work with the Blue Devils "A" Corps in order to return to school, and has been the lead equipment technician for the "A" Corps colorguard since. T.J. also worked with the Blue Devils World Winter Guard, the Blue Devils Twirlers Winter Guard, the San Marino Academy, Fantasia, and the Raiders World Guard.
Current projects include James Logan and Amador Valley High Schools. TJ has presented clinics in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia. Much of her travel has been to Japan where she has been teaching the Tokyo Renaissance Vanguard since 1998. She also developed two training videos for Winter Guard International.
T.J. received a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994.
T.J. was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame in 2017.
Esperanza"Espi " Tovar has performed in and taught color guard for the past 13 years. Upon Graduating from Madera South High School, she went on to a 4-year career in Drum Corps International, which included: Vanguard Cadets, Mandarins, Santa Clara Vanguard, Blue Devils, and Blue Devils International Corps. She performed for four years with the Imbue, a world-class winter guard based out of Modesto. She is also the director of the Colorguard for Fresno State University Bulldog Marching Band. As a cast member of Blue Devils Entertainment, she has performed in the pre-game show of Super Bowl 50 and has taught color guard clinics in Guatemala, Mexico, Taiwan, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Samantha McMane has been working with System Blue since 2014, following her age out from The Blue Devils color guard in 2013. Her performance experience includes Fantasia Winter Guard, The Blue Devils ‘A’ Corps, Blue Devils International Corps, and Riverside City College color guard. She has also performed on the television shows “Glee”, “Parks and Recreation”, and “LA to Vegas”. Samantha has traveled with The Blue Devils to present System Blue Clinics throughout the United States and in countries all over the world including Guatemala, Taiwan, The Netherlands, England, Italy, and Switzerland. She has also instructed several color guards throughout Southern California as well as The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps. She graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2014 with a B.A. in liberal studies and a minor in dance.
System Blue events for educators are relevant, content-rich sessions intended to be of immediate use to educators and their students. They are also designed to integrate seamlessly with System Blue student events so that educators and students are prepared to work more closely immediately at the conclusion of the event.
Each year, a slate of presentation is created based, in part, upon directors’ suggestion from previous years. However, directors are highly encouraged to contact Frank Troyka, System Blue Director of Education, with any specific requests for session topics. He will work to create an opportunity to address your specific needs.
Educator session topics vary by event and include:
- Understanding staging and timing
- Contemporary trends in marching technique
- Show design for bands of all sizes and levels of experience
- Effective training and use of student leaders in rehearsal
- Strategies and exercises to strengthen the percussion section
- Adapting the Blue Devils marching technique for the high school band
- Effective rehearsal technique and pacing
- The Blue Devils approach to intonation in the outdoor environment
Keith William Dunton is an International music clinician, and marching arts producer living in Los Angeles, CA. He holds a degree in Bachelor of Music: Trumpet Performance from St. Olaf College and is the owner of "Design by keith." a full-service program coordinating business for the marching arts industry.
He was the program coordinator to: BOA St. George Regional Champion American Fork UT, BOA San Jose Finalists Amador Valley CA & Homestead CA, YIM Runner-up Champion Eden Prairie MN, BOA St. George 2A Class Champion and finalist Loveland CO, WBA combined 1/2/3A 2nd place Fountain Valley CA & 3rd place Cerritos CA, WBA Grand Combined 4/5A 3rd place Homestead CA, Remo Series Finale runner-up James E. Taylor TX, and many other programs across the country.
Keith continues to design shows in Asia with in-person clinics multiple times throughout the year. You can contact him through his website at
www.designbykeith.com, download his app "Design by keith.", or through Instagram at "keithdunton".