A contingency of 14 Blue Devil drummers have just returned from a successful week of performances and clinics in Lithuania and are planning a return trip to Malaysia this summer. Over the past two years Blue Devil members and staff have given performances and clinics in Malaysia, Guatemala, Taiwan, South Africa and Brazil, with plans for future events in Europe, the Mid-East and Asia.
"We've long held the belief that it is important to give our members opportunities to experience a variety of diverse cultures, traditions, customs, and contemporary lifestyles through international travel and performances" states BD Performing Arts Executive Director David Gibbs. "It's at the base of our mission and since our first trip abroad in the early 80â€™s with our twirling program and the â€˜A' corps, we've taken various ensembles overseas on 21 separate occasions."
"With the recent development of our System Blue programs and increased international opportunities, it was time to envision a larger plan" Gibb's goes on to explain. "So in 2011 BD Performing Arts created our "One Music One World" initiative, which is simply an over-arching goal to accept all opportunities to leverage music and performance and bridge cultural, economic, and musical divides".
From supporting disadvantaged youth through the Field Band Foundation in South Africa to showing the value of music education to developing communities in Eastern Europe to augmenting an already enthusiastic marching activity in Asia, the BDPAâ€™s One Music One World initiative strives to make an impact on a broad scale.
"One Music One World isn't exclusive to international outreach, as we certainly support music education in our communities also" states Gibbs. "We've recently given significant material support to under-funded music programs in inner-city Los Angeles and the Bay area, and we offer opportunities for disadvantaged youth to more easily participate in our stateside System Blue educational events."
"And of course, we are very proud that our System Blue program is the key sponsor in bringing back the Individual and Ensemble event to the Drum Corps International Championships this summer, allowing all young people the opportunity to develop and showcase their talents" says Gibbs.
"The One Music One World initiative allows us to combine the amazing talents of the Blue Devil members and staff with our rapidly growing System Blue programs to increase our ability to support music education across the globe" concludes Gibbs. "We are experiencing a very healthy and successful period in the BD Performing Arts organization and sharing that with young people here and around the world is something we believe is true to our mission".
To learn more about OMOW, visit bluedevils.org/about/omow/.
To read about International trips, visit bluedevils.org/about/international-travel.php.