MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — On Aug. 13 Drum Corp International (DCI) held its world championship in the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where the Bluecoats earned the Fred Sanford Best Percussion Performance Award, and placed second overall in the competition.
One of the drummers in Bluecoats, who contributed to the line’s recognition as the best in the world, was Ty Slaugenhoup, a Morgantown native who has been playing the drums most of his life. Slaugenhoup has been playing in marching bands for almost 10 years, playing in the Westwood Middle School band, the Morgantown High School marching band, and now in the Pride of West Virginia at WVU.
Slaugnehoup said it started during quarantine in 2020, saying he was able to hone in and focus on his craft to get to a world-class level.
“When virtual auditions came along I was probably one of the first people to sign up.”
Ever since then he’s been with the Bluecoats, saying “It’s like a dream come true.”
“The people that I’ve met, the crowds that I’ve seen, the stadiums that I’ve been in, It’s amazing. You know, not many people get to do it, and I’m incredibly blessed to be able to do so,” Slaugenhoup said.
Slaugenhoup said one of the biggest things to note is that playing in a DCI corp is very similar to playing in a sport. They train their bodies with stretching and cardio in the mornings so their bodies are able to carry drums around for multiple hours a day while practicing their field show.
Percussion Coordinator for the Mountaineer Marching Band Brandon Lojewski worked with Ty Slaugenhoup since 2020, and now again in the 2022 marching band season.
“He’s a great student to work with. Fantastic attitude and an incredibly talented person,” Lojewski said.
Lojewski went on to talk about some of the differences between playing in a DCI corp compared to a college marching band.
“In DCI they work on one show – very intricate, high level of difficulty through an entire summer. With collegiate marching band, we do a new show for every game, so we’re looking at approximately six different shows a season.”
To watch the Bluecoats’ performance at the DCI World Championship Finals, you can go here.