2020 Blue Devils Brass Section: Chase the Clouds Away

July 8, 2020

The 2020 Blue Devils brass section would like to honor two great Blue Devils with their own rendition of a corps classic, Chase the Clouds Away. Jim Ott tragically died in an automobile accident on July 8, 1980, while on tour with the Spirit of Atlanta. Before his time at Spirit, Jim was a brass instructor and arranger for The Blue Devils. One of the most iconic arrangers in the activity, Jim was also a master teacher, and had a unique way of both challenging and encouraging his students, always getting the very most out of their performances. Many of the arranging and teaching techniques Jim used are still inherent in the current staff and corps. On May 23rd of this year, we unfortunately lost Dave Dugan, who was the first drum major for the corps in the 70’s. Just watching Dave on the podium, you could tell he was a person who loved life, and had an infectious way of making people smile. Dave was the perfect leader to set our organization on its path to greatness, and is the featured drum major in this video. His generosity, sensitivity, kindness, love, hard work, and commitment to all involved, is embedded in who we are today. Jim and Dave were both tremendous individuals on and off the field, and have without a doubt instilled their roots within The Blue Devils forever. When asked why “Clouds” was selected for the 2020 virtual brass piece, current Blue Devils brass arranger and co-caption head John Meehan said, “I have always felt Clouds was as close as a corps song as we have at the Blue Devils. Having lost Dave this year, and knowing this would be the 40th anniversary of Jim’s passing, it felt like the perfect tribute piece”. Without further adieu, we present to you the 2020 brass section, performing Jim Ott’s arrangement of “Chase the Clouds Away”. Enjoy! #bdworld

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