Blue Devils

Concord, CA United States
Founded: 1970

Active Junior
World Class
Return to
Results from final championship competition of the year
  • Position: 3
  • Score: 96.900
Repertoire for 2000
Methods of Madness
A Night Piece For Orchestra..Prelude & Blues (from Taxi Driver) by Bernard Herrmann
Prelude (from On Dangerous Ground) by Bernard Herrmann Citizen Kane - The Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann - RCA Victor 0707-2-RG
Prelude (from Psycho) by Bernard Herrmann Cinema Century / O.S.T. Cinema Century / O.S.T.
Scene d' Amour (from Vertigo) by Bernard Herrmann
The Wild Ride (from North By Northwest) by Bernard Herrmann Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest - Original Motion Picture Score - Varese Sarabande VSD 47205

The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps is a World Class competitive junior drum and bugle corps based in Concord, California. The Blue Devils are the current DCI World Champions, having won their record 18th Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championship title on August 12, 2017.

Ann and Tony Odello and the Concord, California, branch of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) acquired the defunct Martinettes drum corps and drill team in 1957. On that foundation they created the Blue Devils (named "Blue" for the VFW color and "Devils" after Concord's local landmark, Mt. Diablo). Starting with fewer than 50 young members, the organization was an all-boy drum corps unit using only percussion instruments, with a separate all-girl marching team.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s the Blue Devils organization oversaw several drum and bell and twirling corps. The drum and bell corps won many major competitions and held the California state championships for a number of years. The junior and senior twirling corps won every state, regional, and national competition they entered. The senior twirling team, the Devil's Advocates, was also very successful during the 1980s. The team won seven national championships as well as the world championships in 1983 and 1984. 

Tony Odello resigned as manager of the bell corps in 1964, and Jerry Seawright assumed the position, with Erlene Shaffer as manager of the majorettes. In 1965 the twirlers fielded a group with twelve members to compete in field shows and parades. The twirlers eventually evoled into Winter Guard programs.

In 1968, a third unit was added to the Blue Devils when a new junior corps was established after the original junior drum and bell corps elected to compete as a senior unit. All of these units did so well that in the late 1960s the senior drum and bell corps decided to make the transition to a full drum and bugle corps.

In 1970, the Blue Devils recruited ten brass players to join the talented percussion line and color guard from the bell corps, and on February 14, 1971, the Blue Devils attended their first standstill competition in Downey, California. By the spring of 1972 the drum and bugle corps had grown in size to more than 70 members and traveled on their first summer tour to compete with groups in the Pacific Northwest. The corps did very well on this tour and changed their category from B to A status that same year.

The new Blue Devils toured on a national level for the first time in 1973 and gained associate membership in Drum Corps International by placing 23rd at the DCI Championships in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Also during 1973, the junior drum and bell corps was converted to a "B" bugle corps, and an even younger-aged "C" bugle corps was established.

In 1974 the corps earned a full DCI membership by virtue of their ninth place finish in Ithaca, New York. In 1975 the Blue Devils placed third, and in 1976 they won their first Drum Corps International Championship, topping every caption.

Since 1975 the Blue Devils have never placed out of the top five at Championships and have won the DCI World Championship title eighteen times, more than any other corps in history. The Blue Devils is the only corps to have scored in the 90s every year since 1975.

One unique aspects of the 1994 championship program was the use of scuba tanks as percussion instruments in the pit.

Two segments of the Blue Devils' 2003 show, 'The Phenomenon of Cool,' were in 5/4 time, Dave Brubeck's "Unsquare Dance" and Paul Desmond's "Take Five." They are the only corps in memory to march more than half their show in odd time. That extraordinary show was the vehicle for a season-long slow-motion race as the surging Blue Devils finally caught and passed the streaking Cavaliers to capture their 11th DCI championship, after a three-year hiatus, with a finals score of 98.8.

Blue Devils founder Jerry Seawright died in early 2004. That year, BD ran a nearly perfect string of wins right up to DCI Championships in Denver on the strength of a muscular jazz show entitled 'SummerTrain Blues Mix.' This railroad-themed show featured train-like vocal sound effects from the guard, as well as tuned railroad rails in the pit. On Finals night, the corps captured high guard and high brass before yielding the championship back to the Cavaliers by a mere 0.075 point.

Among the Blue Devils eighteen World Championships are those of 1982, 1994, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2017 when the corps went through the entire season undefeated.

In 2014, the Blue Devils won their sixteenth DCI World Championship and recorded their sixth undefeated season. At the DCI Finals in Indianapolis, the corps received a record high score of 99.650, beating the second place Bluecoats by 2.475 points. BD's score topped the previous high of the 2002 Cavaliers and 2005 Cadets by half a point, and the corps earned a perfect score from seven of the eleven judges.

In the middle of the Blue Devils' 2017 season, a 1972 tape recording was discovered of the corps' late director, Jerry Seawright, addressing the crowd at the Blue Devils' first appearaance as a drum and bugle corps.  Excerpts fron the tape were added as voiceovers to their program, "Metamorph," which went on to win the corps' 18th DCI Championship.

Along with the DCI Championships, the Blue Devils Winter Guard won the Winter Guard International Championship in 1995, in 1996 with a record score of 99.45, in 1997 and again in 1998.

In the fall of 1989, the organization moved into its current building complex in the North Concord Business Park. There the Blue Devils Music School was established and began enrolling students as young as four years old. The music program has since been discontinued. In 1996 the organization added yet another program, The Diablo Wind Symphony. The Symphony serves 60 to 80 students ages 14 to 18.

Today the Blue Devils organization encompasses a wide spectrum of programs. The Blue Devils family includes the A, B, and C drum and bugle corps, three winter guard programs, RCC Indoor Percussion, and the wind symphony. Over 500 young people, ages seven to twenty-one, are currently members of the Blue Devils performing units. More than 8000 young people have been served by the Blue Devils in its 60-year history.

Apart from their competitive performances, the Blue Devils are committed to offering the educational and cultural experience of international travel to their members. In 1983 the Blue Devils drum corps attended the 21st Century Celebration in Osaka, Japan. Teams from the Blue Devils twirling programs have traveled to Tokyo in 1982, Milan in 1983 (gold medal team winners), Calgary in 1984 (gold medal team winners), Turin, Italy in 1986 and Lyon, France in 1998. The percussion section was featured in 1988 as the centerpiece of a week-long schedule of performances at Japan Greenland. In the spring of 1988, the Blue Devils Winter Guard traveled to the Netherlands for clinics and performances. The drum corps returned to Japan in the fall of 1996 for a ten-day tour that included field show, parades, and indoor theatre performances, as well as clinics. The 2000, the Diablo Wind Symphony had a very successful fourteen-day Australian tour with performances in major Australian schools.

In 2015, Blue Devils International, a 97 member corps of alumni of  the Blue Devils (and 8 other corps) traveled to the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Switzerland, performing a seven minute show at drum corps shows and for two weeks at the Basel Tatoo.

The Blue Devils have offered performances and clinics with great artists in the musical world. They have in concert with Maynard Ferguson, Bobby Shew and Chuck Mangione, as well as the late Stan Kenton and Buddy Rich. Clinics sponsored by the Blue Devils have featured Ralph Humphrey, Dave Weckl, Steve Houghton, Peter Erskine, Bob Montgomery and many others. The Blue Devils have highlighted musical selections from these great bands and artists in their repertoires over the years.

For an opportunity to entertain and perform in an intimate theater environment, the 1997 Blue Devils created 'Exhaltation,' combining the intimacy of the theater with the exhilarating power of field performances. 1998 saw an expansion of these performance opportunities with the creation of 'Exubero,' which traveled throughout the U.S. In 1999 audiences across the midwest and in Europe were treated to the exciting '{Jazz} Man in the Moon,' utilizing the talents of all sections to create a study of the ever present mystery of the effects of the moon on the cycles of life. The 2000 On-Stage production thrilled fans throughout Europe and was the centerpiece of the European tour.

Backed by a strong administrative program, The Blue Devils from Concord, California, rank unquestionably as the highest ranking and most consistent corps in the history of DCI, and one of the best drum corps ever. Through 2017, BD has won eighteen (18) DCI World Championships. The corps has finished as champion or runnersup for eleven consecutive years (2007-17) and, since earning their first Finals slot in 1974 (9th) has placed as low as 5th place only in 1991.

[BD Performing Arts; Drum Corps World (multiple issues), Dave Strickler; A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vol. 2; Steve Vickers; Drum Corps International]

Members (133)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Armstrong, Ann Mellophone 1997; 2000
Arocena, Dennis Euphonium 2007
Banks, Johnny Baritone 1982
Benzor, Sonia Color Guardd 2013
Boyce, Hunter Mellophone 2006 to 2007
Burns, Zachary Color Guard 2012
C, Shannon Brass 1985 to 1986
Carino, Tony Brass 2006
Carpenter, Shawn Contrabass 1998 to 1999
Chapman, Adam Contra 2004
Chavez, Mike Front Ensemble 2008
Cobbett, Jared The Line - Contra 2010
Cole, Tim The Line 2001 to 2003
Cowden, Ben Contra 2003 to 2005
Cuthbert, Scott Quads 1984
Dang, Trent Pit 1995
DeMello, Jeff Baritone 1973 to 1978
DeMello, Jeff Transportation Director 1982
DeMello, Jeff Tour Director 1983
DeMello, Jeff Board of Directors 1998 to 2005
DeMello, Jeff Baritone 1973 to 1978
DeMello, Jeff Board of Directors 1998 to 2013
Dean, Don Contra Bass 1988 to 1990
Diehl, Jason "JD" Mellophone 1999 to 2000
Dillon, Matt Baritone 1984
Donovan, John Soprano 2001
Doop, Paul Front Ensemble 1987
Egland, Todd Pit 1993
Egland, Todd Pit 1993
Ellichman, Nancy MFL Horn 1987
Emmond, David Mellophone 1995 to 1997
Espy, John Pit 2005
Exley, Joe Contra "THE LINE" 1991 to 1992
Faccone, Garrett Soprano 2009 to 2011
Foley, James 'Axel' Mellophone 2002
Gallagher, Katherine Guard 1989
Gilman, Greg Baritone 1980 to 1981
Gilmartin, Melissa Color Guard 2001
Giroux, Laurie Colorguard 1976 to 1979
Goldberg, Jeremy Soprano 2002
Goldberg, Jeremy Trumpet 2002
Gray, Joe mellophone 2000 to 2001
Halls, Brad Snare 1985
Hammer, Devin Snare Drum 1978 to 1980
Harris, Catherine French Horn 1978
Hastings, Simon Alto / Mellophone 1990 to 1991
Hauger, Glen Mellophone 2005
Helbush, Robert Baritone 1974 to 1977
Hernandez, Felix Hornline 1979
Hernandez, Gregorio baritone 2003
Hoffman, Daryl Baritone 1975 to 1976
Horowitz, Harrison Baritone 2004 to 2005
Hyde, Travis Baritone 2002 to 2004
Jimenez, Cesar Alto 1989 to 1991
Johnson, Anne soprano 1970 to 1971
Jones, Phil Soprano 1986
Kajiwara, Masahiro Color Guard 1999 to 2000
Kelley, Allen colorguard 1992 to 1993
King, Sam French Horn 1984 to 1985
Lack, John Baritone 1999
Lambertson, Thom Support Staff 2007
Lawson, Jerry Euphonium 1984 to 1985
Lennox, Christopher Bass Line 2007
Leonard, Tobias Drum Major 2001 to 2002
Lisowyj, Michal Soprano 1999 to 2003
Love, Julie Color Guard 1982 to 1986
Lozaga, Eric Baritone 1998 to 1999
Lucas, Jeff Euphonium 1987 to 1988
Lévis, André soprano 1976 to 1977
Lévis, André soprsno 1976 to 1977
Mackiewicz, Dawn Marie Euphonium 1997 to 1999
Makin, Brad Sop 1978; 1980
Margraf, Mike Soprano 1990
Martin, Eric Contra 2000
Martin, Steve Mellophone 1993 to 1994
Martin, Steve Alto/Mellophone 1993 to 1994
Mavroudis, Christina Cymbals 1981
McFarlin, Adam The Line 2002
McGlothlin, Michael Mellophone 2001
McGlothlin, Michael Mellophone 2001
McMillan, Rob Tenors 1973 to 1978
McPhee, Dave (ANTMAN) Baritone 1991
Meininger, Nathan Mellophone 2009
Miller, Dillon The Line 2007
Mutz, Alex Euphonium 2009 to 2010
Nelson, Duane baritone 1979
Nelson, Jeff snare/staff 1982 to 1983
Nelson, Kayla Baritone 2007
Nicholson, Anthony contra 2008 to 2009
Odello, Andrew Bass Drum Line 2007 to 2011
Pasteur, Chris Baritone/Euphonium 2003 to 2004
Peel, Bernie Driver 2008
Peterson, Doug Soprano 1982 to 1985
Peterson, Doug Driver "The Hound" 1986
Pierce, Mark mallet 1978
Poulan, Key Baritone 1983
Poulan, Key Baritone 1983
Poulsen, Amy Mellophone 1998 to 1999
Quillen, Mike Soprano 1979 to 1982
Ronan, Kevin Contra 2004 to 2006
Selinsky, Gayle Color Guard 1980 to 1982
Serkin, Jeremy Mellophone 1999 to 2003
Shane, Larry Soprano 1990
Signorelli, Tony Horn Line Lead Baritone 1981 to 1983
Skinner, Erik Mellophone 2004
Smith, Brad Trumpet 2005
Smith, Lee Baritone 1998
Snyder, Dave Soprano 2004
Snyder, Sean Brass staff 2003 to 2006
Stanciu, Jessy Colourguard (hopefully marching this year!!!) 2005 to 2007
Strowbridge, Jamie Timpani 2003
Supnick, Jon Bassline 2004
Sutton, Jonathan Bass 2005 to 2006
Sweeney-Robinson, Francine Colorguard 1987 to 1988
Tesar, Scott Marching Mallets (Marimba) 1979
Thompson, Antonio Lead Trumpet 2003
Thorpe, William Booster Organization 1990 to 1992
Tompone, Shane Tompone Soprano 2004 to 2007
Turner, David Tenors 1995 to 1997
Watson, Aaron Lead Sop 2003
Watson, Chris Baritone 2005
Watson, Thom Contra 1986 to 1988
White, Korey Mellophone 2003
Williams, Ricky Pit 2001
Williams, Tom Brass/Contra 2001 to 2002
Yee, Rick Bass Drum 1991 to 1992
atsushi, kobayashi Baritone,Euph 1994 to 1996
chang, kevin Euphonium 2015 to 2017
estrella, carlos soprano 1990
guerra, jerry Contra 2000
irvin, chuck Contra Bass 1980
warner, raphael Guard 2005 to 2006

CORPS 72 items

Blue Devils

Blue Devils from the Bill Ives Collection
Blue Devils

Blue Devils Concord CA-1 from the Bill Ives Collection
Blue Devils

Blue Devils Concord CA-2 from the Bill Ives Collection
Blue Devils

Blue Devils Concord CA-4b from the Bill Ives Collection
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Blue Devils Concord CA-5 from the Bill Ives Collection
Blue Devils

Blue Devils Concord CA-6 from the Bill Ives Collection
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Blue Devils from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Pat Sideling
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1998 Blue Devils One Hand One Heart from the Chris Maher Collection
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1999 Blue Devils Rhythms at the edge of time from the Chris Maher Collection
Blue Devils

Blue Smoke DVD from the Chris Maher Collection
Blue Devils
PDF Document
168-173, Blue Devils from the Steve Vickers Collection
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Blue Devils 1 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
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Blue Devils 2 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
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Blue Devils 3 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
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Blue Devils 4 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
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Blue Devils 5 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
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Blue Devils 6 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
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Blue Devils 7 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
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Blue Devils 8 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
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Blue Devils 9 from the Wayne Hiller Collection