Recent drum corps alumnus Alex Factor may have only aged out from the corps in 2014, but since then he’s been dedicated to helping with all facets of Ascend Performing Arts, from assisting with camp and clinic registration for both the drum corps and the percussion ensemble, to spearheading tasks such as painting and cleaning the food truck, to working with eager middle-school band students at our Day of Percussion clinic that was held the day of Drums Along the Rockies.
Most recently, Alex (along with co-age out CJ Garcia), has become the driving force behind Ascend Performing Arts’ new leadership training program, to debut at the first Friendship Cup band competition this fall.
We took a few moments with this remarkable alumni to ask him some questions:
What year(s) did you march in the Blue Knights?
Where did you attend high school?
Evergreen High School
Education beyond high school?
Bachelor of Science in Business Association, focus on Management, University of Denver 2015
MBA Candidate, concentration in Marketing, University of Denver, Plan to graduate in June 2016
What is your current occupation?
Full-Time Graduate Student
Part-Time Contractor at Hill-Rom
Why did you choose to march with Blue Knights?
I first went to DATR when I was in middle school and loved everything about it. I continued to attend DATR almost every summer through my Junior year of high school and always admired the hometown corps, the Blue Knights. I considered auditioning for the 2009 season, but decided I needed more practice. In my Senior year of high school, a few Blue Knight veterans and alumni helped my high school marching band, and with the their encouragement and the weekly lessons from Angelo Sapienza, I got a spot on the 2011 Blue Knights Contra-Line.
What is your favorite drum corps memory?
I have several favorite drum corps memories from over the four years I marched and with all the amazing people I marched with over the years. I will break the rules and do two favorite memories. The first was during the 2014 season and we just finished our show in Erie, PA. The entire corps knew we had a phenomenal show and we were on the brink of breaking 90. When they announced the scores, there were at least 20 of us listening by the gate. When they announced we broke 90, we all gave each other hugs and knew we accomplished something the Blue Knights haven’t been able to do in several years. My second favorite memory is with the Executive Director of Ascend, Mark Arnold, and 2013-2014 Drum Major, CJ Garcia. CJ and I, along with Ken Adams and Thelma Fung, decided that we should nominate Mark for the DCI Hall of Fame because we couldn’t think of anyone in the activity who was more deserving and we were surprised he wasn’t in the Hall of Fame already. We discreetly sent in the application without Mark knowing and hoped for the best. In April of 2014, I received an email from the coordinator from the DCI Hall of Fame and got the amazing news that Mark was inducted! The best part of all of this was going in to Corps Hall the next day, coincidentally on Mark’s birthday, and CJ, Thelma, and I told him the great news.
What motivates you to continue to be involved with the Blue Knights?
What motivates me to continue to be involved is that I have gotten to know Mark Arnold, Rosalie Danskin, as well as almost every other staff member from being a local and the horn sergeant, and I have seen how much work each individual puts in to make the drum corps function. I tried to do what I could to help out as a member, but as an alumni, I feel like I can help the corps in different way and give those who give it their all everyday to make the drum corps function a break.
Anything else you’d like to add?
As an alumni, it is very rewarding to see the corps succeed after you age-out and seeing the Blue Knights making a name for the first time in a while. It is even more rewarding when you can give back with fellow alumni, like when we cleaned the food truck the day before DATR this past season. There is no better time than now to give back as an alumni. Whether it is donating or just giving a few hours to help out, it goes a long way and is very much appreciated by the whole Blue Knights family. I go on…