Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble
George Lindstrom was the director of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in 1984. His wife Lynn was one of the founders of Winter Guard International, and the director from 1978 to 2001. In 1992, thanks to the efforts of George and Lynn, WGI expanded to include percussion as a part of the “Sport of the Arts”.
Then in September 1993, the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble was founded to give local talent a means to perform during the winter season and to train them for possible future membership into the drum corps. The group competes in Percussion Independent World class in both WGI and the Rocky Mountain Percussion Association, which is the highest level of competition.
Early programs consisted of field-style drill on a gymnasium floor, and members in the ensemble wore the classic 21 dot corps uniform. In 1994, the ensemble’s first year of competition, the Blue Knights won the inaugural WGI Independent World Championship.
Throughout the next few years, the Blue Knights performed shows with complex movement, staging, and costumes, continuing to innovate and leave a mark on the indoor percussion activity.
With high-profile staff and designers including Mike Nevin, Ralph Hardimon, Jim Crouch, and Dave Marvin, the percussion ensemble maintained a top three finish from 1994-2003, and won an additional three world championships in 1999, 2000, and 2003.
The Blue Knights also operated an Independent Open Class ensemble that made WGI finals in 2005 and 2006.
As the longest continually running Independent ensemble in WGI, the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble has been home to members who have gone on to make great strides in the world of marching arts including alumni who have recently started their own Independent World groups in the state of Colorado including Rise Percussion and Altitude Percussion, giving the ensemble competition in the state of Colorado; something that was not present in the group’s history.
Because of the hard work that members, staff, and volunteers put in year after year, the ensemble continues to thrive and innovate and is looking to once again make waves in the world of indoor percussion.
- For 23 years, the Blue Knights are the longest running PIW ensemble in WGI and one of only 5 world champions. They were also the first WGI group affiliated with a DCI corps.
- The Blue Knights have won 11 WGI medals, which is the second most of all groups (behind Music City Mystique) and also have the second most appearances in WGI finals (again, behind Music City Mystique).
- In 1999, the ensemble scored 97.1. This remained the highest WGI Independent World score until 2009.
- The Blue Knights have won 4 WGI Independent World Championships and 22 RMPA State Championships.