Blue Knights Announce 2016 Tour Administration Team and Internships
DENVER, CO – The Blue Knights are pleased to announce the administrative tour team and internships for the 2016 season.
Ricky Grasso will be returning to the admin team as the Tour Director for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps 2016 season.
Ricky Grasso is from Newtown, Connecticut and is currently working on his Master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Bridgeport. Ricky works as an Admin Assistant for the Alumni relations office of his school and is also an instructor for the Newton High School marching band program.
Ricky has been involved with the marching arts activity since 2007 playing trumpet. He was a member of the Newtown High School marching band in Connecticut for four years, followed by his membership in the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum & Bugle Corps (DCA) based out of Seymour, Connecticut in 2011, 2012, and 2014. He then joined the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in 2014. After he aged-out of the Blue Knights on Trumpet, Grasso joined the Tour Admin team in 2015 and will continue throughout this season.
Ethan Goddard will be returning in his position as Assistant Tour Director for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps.
Ethan Goddard is from Littleton, Colorado and earned an Associates of Math from Arapahoe Community College in 2014 and is currently working on a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Colorado University-Denver. He has been involved with the Blue Knights in an administrative capacity since 2014. As Assistant Tour Director, he will be primarily responsible for all operations for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.
Ethan has four years of marching tuba and sousaphone at Columbine High School, graduating in 2010. He started with the Blue Knights as a tuba player in 2010, aged out in 2013, and is a recipient of the “Blue Knight of the Year” award. Since then he has been an assistant tour director for the Blue Knights, helping coordinate logistics and run audition camps, all days training, and the summer tour.
Keenan Evans will continue his roll with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps tour admin staff as an Administrative Assistant for the 2016 season.
Keenan Evans has been a part of the admin team since 2013. From Colorado, Keenan graduated from Columbine High School in 2009. He marched mellophone in the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in 2010, 2011, and aged out in 2012. He also marched in the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble on cymbals for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He was the recipient of the Tigue Boxwell Memorial Award in 2012 (drum corps) and the Dan Burke Memorial Award in 2014 (percussion ensemble).
Keenan also teaches for the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble as a Visual Instructor. He is currently attending the University of Colorado Denver for a Bachelors degree in Mathematics and a Minor in German.
Eric Skinner will join the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps staff as an Administrative Assistant for the summer tour.
Eric Skinner is from Jacksonville, Ohio and graduated from Ohio University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education. He has been the Director of Bands for Gallipolis City Schools for the last two years.
Eric was in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in 2007 and the Ohio University Marching 110 while he attended college. Eric attended his first drum corp show in 2005 and “has been hooked ever since”. Eric volunteered last year for a week and was invited to return to the administrative staff for this year. Eric is excited to be involved with drum corp and said “I couldn’t think of a better organization to do it with than the Blue Knights!”
Sarah Pichardo is a Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps Alumni and will be joining as an Administrative Assistant.
Sarah Pichardo is from El Paso, TX where she is a senior at the University of Texas–El Paso studying media advertising.
Sarah has been involved with color guard for 11 years and is currently the color guard director at Franklin High School. Sarah marched Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps from 2011-2015 and was a color guard captain from 2014-2015. Sarah is excited to assist the Tour Administrative team throughout the 2016 season.
Sarah Anderson will be returning to the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps as an Administrative Assistant.
Sarah Anderson is a recent graduate from Arizona State University, and has developed a passion for music and performing arts since childhood. She plays both the piano and violin and also twirls a flag from time-to-time.
Sarah began her DCI career marching with The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps color guard in 2011-2013 and aged-out with Blue Knights in 2014. She has also spent the past four winter seasons spinning for the world class finalist guard FeniX Independent. From being a communications/marketing intern to admin in 2015, Sarah is here for another year with the Blue Knights administrative team in 2016. She can only anticipate her time with the Blue Knights getting even more exciting from here!
Bridget Elliot will return to the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps Staff as an admin assistant.
Bridget Elliott has been on Admin Staff at the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps since 2015. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Special Education and Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico. Bridget is currently a high school teacher at ACE Leadership High School in Albuquerque, NM. In addition, she is also the Front Ensemble Tech for Eldorado High School.
Before her time on admin staff, Bridget was a member of the Blue Knights Front Ensemble from 2010-2014. Not only was she section leader of the front ensemble for three years and was an age out. She also received the “Blue Knight of the Year” award. While on the summer tour with the Admin Team, she is able to use her logistical expertise from her time as a member in the corps to give back to today’s members. Bridget shared that, “My goal on Admin Staff is to give the members the best experience possible. When we can run the action behind the scenes smoothly, the members can focus all their energy on their show and their Blue Knights brothers and sisters.”
Luke Story will continue his roll on the admin team as an Administrative Assistant for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps 2016 season.
Luke Story is returning to the Blue Knights for his third season on administrative staff. Luke attended both Boise State University and Metropolitan State University of Denver for Music Education. Luke works as a music instructor for Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, Colorado and is a performer with the Dueling Pianos Show in Denver. Luke marched trumpet for the Blue Knights in 2008, 2010,2011 and aged out as the trumpet section leader.
“I am very excited to be back with the Blue Knights this season. This organization has been my home for 5 seasons and I cannot wait to be a part of the amazing growth of the staff as well as the drum corps!” said Luke.
Abel Cabrera will work as an Administrative Assistant for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps administrative staff for the 2016 season.
Abel Cabrera serves as the Director of Bands at Nolan Middle School in Killeen, TX where he oversees all aspects of the program. Abel graduated from the University of North Texas in 2015 where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a concentration in Clarinet and a minor in Spanish. He is currently continuing his education by earning a master’s degree in Education Administration from Texas A&M University- Commerce.
Abel began his career in drum corps as a baritone player for the 2014 Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps. In 2015, he served on the Tour Operations team for the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps. For the 2016 season, Abel is extremely excited to serve on the admin team for Blue Knights.
Courtney Gramley will be joining the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps staff as the Athletic Trainer for the summer 2016 tour.
Courtney Gramley received her Bachelor’s of Science in Athletic Training from Eastern Illinois University in May of 2016. While at EIU, Courtney worked as an Athletic Training Student with many Division I athletic teams including: Football, Men’s Soccer, Men’s/Women’s Tennis and Women’s Basketball. As an Athletic Training Student, she also worked with many athletic teams at a Lakeland Community College including Softball, Baseball, Men’s/Women’s Basketball and Cheerleading.
Courtney is originally from Gibson City, Illinois. Her parents are Jim and Joan Gramley and has one older sister, Kate, and a niece named Sadie. Courtney has performed in band since she was in 5th grade where she played the Alto Saxophone. While in High School, Courtney participated in the GCMS Marching Band where she played Alto Saxophone, Bells as well as played in the drum line. She also performed in the Gibson City Melvin Sibley Drumline.
Tammy Bryant will join the 2016 tour staff as the Head Cook for Blue Knights 2016 summer national tour.
Tammy Bryant is originally from Chicago, IL. Tammy played clarinet for 16 years and played in the U.S. Army band before deciding to go into cooking. Tammy spent two years cooking for the army before leaving and has since cooked for public schools, private schools, catering, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, marching bands and DCI.
While she was in the military band, Tammy was stationed at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii where she played clarinet. Tammy completed Army Cook School in 1989, got an Associate’s degree from the Culinary School at Sullivan University.
Tammy starting taking her son to DCI Championships when he was 3 years old and he was instantly hooked as a musician. When her son was 5, he told Tammy that he wanted to be a Cavalier, and that she should buy a house truck and ride behind them to cook, so that’s what she set out to do.
Tammy was working as a cafeteria lady at an elementary school when she met the local high school band director. Tammy then went to tag along at competitions and started cooking for the band, and has been cooking for bands ever since. With the long term goal to work for a drum corp, Tammy worked as a high school band cook for 10 years. Tammy made it to drum corps 2 years ago and had her first tour with Legends Drum & Bugle Corps last summer as a food truck volunteer. When she was offered the position with the Blue Knights as the Head Cook she was ecstatic. “19 years ago it started, my quest to get here right now. I don’t feel like I’m working, I’m having fun!”
David Castillo will return to The Blue Knights as a Cook Assistant for the summer 2016 tour.
David Castillo is from Frisco, TX where he studies Music Education at The University of North Texas. David is Blue Knights alumni, having marching trumpet in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
David works as a prep cook for Walters Wedding Estates and teaches marching band at Wakeland High School and Richardson High School. David is excited to volunteer with The Blue Knights this summer, saying “It felt right to give back, and I wanted the chance to learn from drum corps!”
Lilly Walker will move from Marketing Intern to Ensemble Intern for the 2016 summer tour.
Lilly Walker is from Highlands Ranch, CO. Lilly has been an active musician since she was 10 years old and has performed with the Highlands Ranch High School marching band where she was a drum major. She was also in both top ensembles as first chair Tenor Saxophone. Lilly was also a member of her high school’s winter guard and took 3rd at state finals her senior year of high school. After this season is over, she will be swearing in with the Air Force Reserves.
This is Lilly’s second season with the Blue Knights; in 2015 she was one of the Marketing Interns and will now continue working with the Blue Knights by assisting with daily ensemble needs. Lilly is looking forward to another season with the Blue Knights and can’t wait to grow with them as the season progresses.
Sara Rogers will be joining as the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corp’s first Media Producer.
Sara Rogers is from Oswego, NY and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and has worked as a visual tech at Oswego High School, where she is also a substitute teacher focusing in Art, Music and Technology.
Sara has an extensive history with drum corps. She marched with the White Sabers (DCA) in 2006, was a cymbal player in the Onondaga Community College Indoor Percussion (WGI) in 2010 before marching mellophone in the Rochester Crusaders (DCA) from 2007-2009, Carolina Crown in 2010, The Cadets in 2011-2012. Sara went on to work as a Media Producer in 2013 for the Boston Crusaders and in 2014 for The Cadets/YEA!.
Sara grew up in a “drum corps family” where her mother and father both marched and taught various DCA & DCI corps such as: Avant Garde, the Geneva Appleknockers, The Patriots and the Rochester Crusaders. Her brother marched bass and tenor drums in the Kingston Grenadiers and the Empire Statesmen DCA corps. Sara’s father will be inducted posthumously into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame this year at DCA Championships weekend in Rochester, NY. Sara is excited to help build the Blue Knights media as the drum corps continues to grow.
Tony Villalobos-May has been accepted as a Media Intern for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corp summer national tour.
Tony Villalobos May is from Fort Collins, CO. Tony is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Communications with a minor in Music, Stage and Sports Production from Colorado State University. While at school, Tony has been a part of the KCSU radio news show and Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation.
Tony’s passion for music started when he marched Bass Clarinet for the Crimson Regiment Marching Band in his high school. He now is an active member of the CSU Marching and Pep Bands where he plays sousaphone. Tony continues to be involved with music through Phi Mu Alpha, a national men’s music fraternity. He is excited to be working with the Blue Knight’s Media Team to learn more pertaining to his degree while being surrounded by an environment he loves.
Ameria Miller has been accepted as a Media Intern for the 2016 season.
Ameria comes from the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas. She marched two summers with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 and 2012 on mellophone. In 2013 Ameria was a part of the visual staff at the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. Since then she has been a preschool music teacher spreading the education of music to the youngest of students.
Ameria holds a Bachelors of Radio and TV Productions Communications from Stephen F. Austin State University with a minor in music education. As an avid YouTuber, creating videos is a daily adventure. In February of this year, Ameria started her own videography company called Vedette Studios. Her studio does projects as small as simple business videos to larger venues such as weddings. Ameria is incredibly excited to bring her video and music experience to the Blue Knights Media Team!
Brett O’Neill will be working as a Media Intern from the Denver office for the 2016 season.
Brett O’Neill, a Colorado native, will be working as a Media Intern for the Blue Knights this summer. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado and Master’s Degree in Conducting from Southern Oregon University. Brett served for 11 years in the field of music education, which included 4 years at Ken Caryl Middle School and 7 years at Columbine High School. During his tenure as an educator, Brett directed concert bands, marching bands, jazz bands, choirs, and music theory courses. His groups performed at many events statewide as well as performances at Disneyland, Disney World, and Carnegie Hall.
Brett left the field of education last year to attend film school in hopes of pursuing and incorporating a different creative art into his craft. He will be creating promotional material for the upcoming “Corps Encore” show event in Utah as well as for “Drums Along the Rockies” in Colorado. Brett will be working with the Denver team in coordination with the on-the-road team to update the success’ of the Blue Knights. He will also continue his role as a trumpeter for the Mile High Big Band and The Blue 88’s during the summer months while still attending classes for video production at the Art Institute of Colorado. Brett hopes to share the importance of music and education through the powerful medium of video.
Kayle Koberowski has been accepted as a Media Intern for the 2016 summer national tour.
Kayle Koberowski will be starting her third year at the University of North Texas studying Interdisciplinary Art & Design and Journalism this fall. She’s from the small town of Pottsboro, Texas and has been involved in the marching arts for seven years. Kayle is also a member of the music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota and currently serving as the editor for the upcoming year in the Iota Theta chapter at UNT.
While primarily a piccolo player, Kayle became involved with DCI last season marching on euphonium with Genesis Drum & Bugle Corps. This year she is returning to the world of DCI as a media intern for the Blue Knights and will be with them during their Texas leg of tour.
Izaak graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2014 with a bachelors in International Relations with minors in Anthropology, Religious Studies and Spanish. Izaak marched 7 seasons with the UW marching band and served as a center snare and a drumline instructor while there. He still helps out the UW band at events and drum major leadership camps every year. Izaak marched with the Blue Knights from 2008-2010 where he served as a drum major and percussion soloist.