River City Rhapsody coming to Metamora

Jessica Van Beek

The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps will be performing at Malone Field at Metamora Township High School at 6 p.m. July 6.

Corps Director Howard Weinstein said the youngest member of the group is 15 years old and the limit is 22. He said most of the members are from all around the United States, with one member from Holland, two from Japan and one from England.

He said about 500 students try out and 150 are allowed in the group.

Trumpet player and Illinois State University sophomore Karol Donalik, 19, of Lemont, is in his first year with the Blue Stars.

Donalik said some of the best things that come along with being a part of the group are cooperation, dependability, and personal responsibility. He said personal responsibility is the most important lesson he has learned from his experience.

Donalik added when they leave for a show or new area, everyone has to have everything together on time.

“If you’re late, you’re holding everyone back,” Donalik said.

Weinstein said the drum and bugle corps practices one weekend a month in addition to a five week spring training. He said for performances, the Blue Stars travel around the United States. They start in the Midwest then travel to the northeast, then southeast, and end in the Midwest.

Donalik said one difficult aspect that comes along with participating in Blue Stars is being away from home. However, he said, participation in Blue Stars is an overall positive experience. Weinstein said members participate for the camaraderie and to gain experience marching with the drum and bugle corps.

Members of the Blue Stars from Central Illinois include Drum Major, Mark Donahue of Morton, Baritone Section Leader, Kevin Guth from Washington, veteran trumpet Michael Chiapetto of Springfield and first-year trumpet Matt Foster from Morton.

The July 6 show is co-hosted by Metamora High School bands and the La Crosse, Wis.-based Blue Stars. The gates will open at 5 p.m.