Blue Knights Announce Visual Staff for 2017 Season

DENVER, CO – The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the Visual Staff team for the 2017 Drum Corps International season.


Neil Adkison will return as the Visual Caption Head for the Blue Knights.

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Neil Adkison has been involved with DCI for over 16 years both as a performer and an instructor. He spent 5 years with the Concord Blue Devils as a performer and has since taught Blue Devils B, Santa Clara Vanguard, Madison Scouts, Carolina Crown, and is now serving his 3rd year as the Visual Caption Head for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

Neil currently lives in Bellbrook, Ohio where he works with the Centerville Jazz Band, Rhythm X Winds, and is a full time teacher at the Warren County Learning Center where he works with grades K-12


Jonathan Morgan will be returning for his 2nd year as the Blue Knights Assistant Caption Head for the Visual Staff.

JonathanMorganJonathan Morgan has been involved with drum corps for over a decade. He spent six years marching euphonium with Carolina Crown, serving as horn sergeant for his final season. Since aging out, Jonathan has acted as a visual instructor with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps and Assistant Visual Caption Head for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps.

Outside of the marching arts, Jonathan recently completed his Masters degree in Modern European History with a focus on French Nationalism. He is passionate about the positive impact a deep understanding of the past can have on making a better world today. Jonathan is excited to be returning for a 2nd season with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps as the Assistant Visual Caption Head.


Kyle Marx will return for his 3rd year on the Visual Staff for the Blue Knights.

This season will be Kyle’s 7th year of activity in the drum corps community as a performer and instructor. Prior to teaching for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, Kyle was on the visual staff for the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps in 2014. As a performer, he was a lead trumpet player for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps from 2011-2013.

In 2015, Kyle received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ohio University where he was a performer for the Ohio University Marching 110 marching band.


William (Bill) Redd will be returning to the Blue Knights for the 2017 season. 

BillReddBill joined the staff of the Blue Knights in 2015 and is returning for his 3rd season. He is a graduate of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s of Music Degree in K-12 Music Education (2014). Bill currently teaches instrumental music at Moon Area School District, a school recognized by the NAMM Foundation as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education.” Bill teaches Beginning Band; Marching Band (as a designer, brass and visual instructor); Brass Ensemble; Pit Orchestra; and Chamber Music.

Bill is an active teacher and clinician in the Greater Pittsburgh area. He has taught both indoor and outdoor ensembles including, Moon Area Marching Band as Assistant Director, Kiski Area Marching Band with brass and visual, Norwin Marching Band as a trumpet instructor, Mars Marching Band (2013, 2014) as brass instructor and visual clinician, the General Butler Vagabonds Drum and Bugle Corps as brass caption head (2014), Slippery Rock University Winterguard (2013, 2014) for visual, Moon Area High School Winterguard for visual, and North Allegheny Indoor Percussion (2014, 2015) for visual, and Mars Indoor Percussion as the visual designer.

Bill is a freelance trumpeter in the Pittsburgh area. He also performs as a member of the Allegheny Brass Band. In 2010, Bill and a few friends founded Redemption trumpet quartet, which is active in performance and chamber brass clinics at local schools. Bill has performed as a member of The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps and performed in the inaugural season of WGI Winds as a member of Rhythm X, Inc.


Kathy Sullivan (K.K.) will be returning to the Blue Knights visual staff for the 2017 season.

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K.K. Sullivan is entering her 6th year of teaching. Her career in music pageantry started in 2011 at Blue Devils B, where she played tuba. During her 2 years with Blue Devils B, K.K. received a silver and a gold medal. In 2013, she joined the Blue Devils A Corps on tuba, where she remained through the 2015 season, bringing home another silver and two more gold medals.

When DCI was not in season, K.K. spent her time playing cymbals for the WGI circuit. She started out in an Open Class group in 2013, and then continued on to join Vanguard Winter Percussion for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and RCC for the 2016 season.

K.K. has had the opportunity to teach ever since her senior year of high school in 2011-2012. Her teaching experience ranges from junior high and high school to college/independant groups. She is currently the Visual Caption Head and Drill Writer at Buchanan (Clovis, CA), a visual/tuba tech at Clovis West (Fresno, CA), and a cymbal tech for Clovis High’s (Clovis, CA) Indoor World Line and Fresno State’s Independent Line (Fresno, CA).


Ken Karlin will be joining the visual staff as a Visual Consultant for the 2017 season.

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Ken Karlin began his drum corps career in 1987 as a member of Star of Indiana Drum & Bugle Corps. He served on the visual staff of the Bloomington-based drum corps from 1989-1992. He joined the 17-time DCI World Champion Concord Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps visual staff in 1995. He has been the visual designer for the 5-time Open Class DCI Champion Blue Devils B drum corps since 1999, and served in that capacity for the 2008-2009 Madison Scouts.

Ken holds a degree in music from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and was an associate director of bands at James Logan High School in Union City, California from 1999-2012, where the marching band was the Western Band Association Champion 11 times during his tenure. Since 2012, he has been an associate director of bands and director of jazz ensembles at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.


Jonathan Halvorson will be joining the Blue Knights visual staff for the 2017 season.

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Jonathan Halvorsen began his marching career in the fall of 2009 at Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska, playing his primary instrument the trombone. After graduating high school, he joined the Cornhusker Marching Band at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. After his sophomore year, Jonathan joined the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps for the 2015 and 2016 seasons playing baritone.

He is currently finishing his last year of his degree at the University of Nebraska, expecting to graduate in May of 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, and has also been involved with teaching and judging bands in the Omaha/Lincoln area.


Jon Popham will be returning to the Blue Knights as a member of the visual staff

JonPopJon Popham is excited to be returning for his 5th year as an instructor on the Blue Knights Visual Staff. Prior to joining the Blue Knights, he was on the visual staff with the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps (2011-2012). Jon also currently works with Rhythm X Winds and Capitol City Percussion.

Jon has been the visual caption head for the Williamstown High School “Band of Spirit” since 2009. While holding this position at Williamstown, the band has been a Kentucky Music Educators Association state finalist and earned the Class A State Championship in 2009 and 2014; the “Band of Spirit” has also been a BOA Regional Class Champion. Jon is an active clinician and designer for bands throughout Kentucky and southwest Ohio. Jon is currently on the instructional staff for Sycamore High School (OH) and Grant County High School (KY).

Jon resides in Erlanger, Kentucky. He is a Special Education (Learning and Behavior Disabilities) teacher at Williamstown Independent Schools and a 2012 graduate from the University of Kentucky.


Brittany Graham will return to the Blue Knights for her 3rd year on the visual staff.

BGrahamBrittany Graham, a graduate of Baylor University, is a resident of the Austin area where she is a band director at Round Rock High School. Brittany has 7 years of experience in Drum Corps International as a member and instructor. Her drum corps experience includes performing with Revolution from 2005-2006, Blue Knights from 2008-2009, visual staff with the Boston Crusaders in 2014, and visual staff with the Blue Knights in 2015 and 2016.

Along with her drum corps experience, her teaching experience includes being on visual staff for Monarch, an independent winter drumline from Houston, working as a visual technician for several band programs throughout central Texas since 2009, and being a middle school and high school band director for 4 years in the San Antonio area.


Tony DiMartino will be returning to the Blue Knights for the 2017 season.

TonyDTony started marching drum corps at the age of 14 in upstate New York where he marched several years of senior corps with the White Sabers and the Empire Statesmen. He then went on to march the 2009 and 2010 seasons with the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps. He marched 2012 and 2013 with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, receiving the “Rookie of the Year” award in 2012 and aging out in 2013.

Tony graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2014 with a degree in Public Relations. He has taught and written for various ensembles in the indoor and outdoor setting in upstate New York as well as parts of Massachusetts, and Texas. Additionally, Tony will assist with Rhythm X Winds in the 2017 season. His past drum corps teaching experience includes Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps.

Tony currently resides in Dayton, Ohio and attends the University of Dayton School of Law.


Matt Osborn will be returning to the Blue Knights Visual Staff for his 3rd season.MattOsborn

Matt is from Akron, Ohio currently pursuing a Music Education degree at The Ohio State University. Matt has been involved with drum corps since 2010. As a performer, he marched 2 years with the Glassmen Drum &. Bugle Corps in 2010 and 2011 and aged out with Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps in 2012.

Matt has taught Norton High School and Revere High School in northeast Ohio for 4 years before moving to Columbus. Matt has also been a member of Rhythm X Winds since 2015.


John Joseph (J.J.) will be returning to the Blue Knights visual staff in 2017.

JJJohn “JJ” Joseph graduated from Irondale High School (New Brighton, MN) in 2012 where he has been active in the color guard since 2009. The summer following graduation, JJ began his drum corps career as a member of the color guard with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps from 2010 to 2014. Most recently, JJ performed with 3-time Winter Guard International world champion color guard, Onyx, from Dayton, Ohio in 2015 and 2016.

JJ has taught numerous color guards throughout the country including Irondale High School, Rocori High School, Elk River High School, Carroll High School, Southgate Anderson High School, Lakota West High School, Worthington Kilbourne High School, Northmont High School and Novi High School. JJ has recently started teaching visual in various marching bands including Moon Area High School, Fairborn High School and Kettering Fairmont High School. JJ currently serves as the Color Guard Director at Lebanon High School (Lebanon, OH).

He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Childhood Education at Wright State University (Dayton, OH).


Andrew Desmond will return to the Blue Knights for the 2017 season.AndrewDesmond

Andrew is currently completing his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at The Ohio State University. Andrew spent two summers with the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps where he performed on both the tuba and baritone. During his age-out summer in 2014, he served as the baritone section leader for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps.

He has also worked as an instructor and consultant for a number of high school programs throughout the country, including Northmont High School (Clayton, OH), Clover High School (Clover, SC), Charlotte Catholic High School (Charlotte, NC) and Harding High School (Marion, OH).   


Spencer Smith will return to the Blue Knights for the 2017 season.

SpencerSmithSpencer is a currently a student at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where he is studying euphonium with Danny Vinson and pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Instrumental Music Education.

Since 2011, Spencer has been actively involved in Drum Corps International as both a performing member and on educational faculty. He began performing with the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps in 2011 before moving on to the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps from Madison, Wisconsin in 2012. During his time with the Madison Scouts, Spencer was recognized as the brass “Rookie of the Year” and served as the baritone section leader for the 2013 season. He has most recently taught as a member of the visual staff for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyoming in 2014.

Spencer now instructs low brass master classes and serves as the head visual technician for the Spring High School marching band in Spring, Texas, where he has been employed since 2011. He has also worked as an adjunct visual instructor for the Klein Oak High School marching band and has taught private euphonium lessons for the Crosby Independent School District.


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