Educational Event featuring the Blue Devils

  • Educational Events
  • Leadership
  • Percussion
  • Color Guard

Katy, TX :: July 16–17, 2020


System Blue Educational Events provide an opportunity for students, educators, and fans alike to hone their performance and leadership skills under the instruction of the finest educators in the marching arts.

Individual advance registration: $180
Individual late registration (starting July 11): $205

Educator Workshop: $50 (FREE if 10+ students from you school are attending)

Price includes:

  • Instruction and materials
  • Some meals (see schedule)
  • T-shirt
  • Sticks (for percussion attendees)
  • Admission to Tour of Champions

Group rates available. Contact lbraatz@systemblue.org for groups of 10 or more.


James E. Taylor HS map
20700 Kingsland Blvd
Katy, TX 77450

HOUSING: This is a commuter event. There are many good hotel options near the event site should you need overnight accommodations.

The Home2 Suites by Hilton is offering a special rate of $89/night.

Call 1-800-774-1500 or visit home2suites.hilton.com (group Code BDF / hotel code HOUHK)

Home2 Suites by Hilton Houston/Katy
20985 Katy Freeway
Katy, TX 77450


  • Medical form – 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.
  • Event packet – This contains event information and a parking map. (updated 2020-01-20)

Thursday, July 16
10:00 am
Registration
11:00 am
Morning Session
1:30 pm
Lunch provided by System Blue
2:30 pm
Afternoon Sessions
5:30 pm
Dinner provided by System Blue
6:45 pm
Evening Sessions
10:00 pm
End Of Day
Friday, July 17
10:00 am
Registration
11:00 am
Morning Session
1:30 pm
Lunch provided by System Blue
2:30 pm
Afternoon Sessions
5:30 pm
Dinner provided by System Blue
6:45 pm
Evening Sessions
10:00 pm
End Of Day

Leadership 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.

Percussion Clinic

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

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 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
  • Tips on how to prepare for an audition

Educator Workshop

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