Alumni Spotlight: Cody Hicks

Name:
Cody Hicks

What year(s) did you march in the Blue Knights?
Snare in 2007 & 2008

Where did you attend high school?
L.D. Bell High School in Hurst, TX.

Education beyond high school?

I received my Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science (Health and Wellness) from University of Texas-Arlington. I also received my Masters of Science in Athletic Training from University of Texas-Arlington.

What is your current occupation?

I am a Licensed and Board Certified Athletic Trainer in Keller, TX. I work at Fossil Ridge High School as an Athletic Trainer and Sports Medicine Teacher. I provide medical coverage for over 15 sports, consisting over 900+ athletes.

Why did you choose to march with the Blue Knights?

I was a member of the University of Texas-Arlington Drumline and our past percussion instructor was Jeff Ausdemore. I also marched at University of Texas-Arlington with Chad Gibson, who was also our Snare Tech at Blue Knights. I tried out at other drum corps, but felt at home with Blue Knights. I also really enjoyed practicing and being able to turn around to see the Rocky Mountains.

What is your favorite drum corps memory?

My favorite memory was in 2008 at North Side Park. The weather is always crazy in Denver during the summer, but one day it got really bad. We were practicing Circle drill for the Ballad when a flash of lightning hit about 500 yards away. At that moment I witnessed Abe Eng perform a Spider-Man act and literally jump off of the scaffolding. He landed mid-stride and ran to cover. Needless to say, we were all very confused but also ran to our cars for cover.

How have the Blue Knights impacted your life?

I realized what hard work really truly means. Everything I thought hard work was before marching Blue Knights, was nothing close to the true meaning. Being able to truly put your all into something, and work as a team is just one benefit of marching the Blue Knights. I had many arranging opportunities for Mansfield High School, and Waxahachie High School that I would have never been taken seriously without the experience I gained at Blue Knights. I also was on the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blues Drumline for 4 seasons, which consisted of almost all DCI veterans.

What are some the Blue Knights’ core values/principles that have resonated with you in life?

Just like the Corps Song “I go on,” you learn to push forward regardless of situation. When you feel like everything is crumbling around you, you keep moving and move on.

This helped me just recently when both of my sons (Hudson- 2 years, Easton-2 months) went into the hospital 3 days apart. Hudson was in for 1 night for respiratory distress observation, but Easton was in the PICU for 4 nights on oxygen. You feel very hopeless when doctors and nurses don’t have answers, but you have to keep positive. Everything around me was crumbling away, but my faith and spirit moved us through it.

What advice would you tell someone considering trying out for the Blue Knights?

You don’t know until you try. I have tried out at 2 other top 12 corps, but Blue Knights was my home. It truly is a different experience at Blue Knights. We have tons of history and continually break the records of our past Blue Knights drum corps. You need to just come to a camp and give Blue Knights a chance. It can and will change your life for the better.

What are you looking forward to most about the 2018 Alumni Corps celebrating our programs’ 60th and 25th anniversaries?

Being back on the field with my Blue Knights family from the past and present, and enjoying the home crowd at Sports Authority Field.

How would you like to see other Blue Knight alumni get involved in the organization?

I would like the Texas members to get involved more, somehow. Maybe we host an alumni get together in Texas, and do fundraisers here so we can be involved more.


∴ Want to be featured in a future Alumni Spotlight? Fill out the Alumni Update form here or email: Alumni@AscendPerformingArts.org

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Ken Adams

KEN ADAMS

Mark Arnold is one of the longest-serving Directors in Drum Corps International, serving as Executive Director of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps since 1985 and as CEO of Ascend Performing Arts since 2010.

Under his leadership the Blue Knights organization has developed into one of the premier Drum and Bugle Corps in the history of the activity, recognized Internationally for excellence and innovation in the performing arts. Through the years the Blue Knights has expanded its programing and now serves thousands of young musicians and performers annually in multiple performing ensembles, events and educational programs under the umbrella of the Ascend Performing Arts.

In addition to shaping the course of Ascend Performing Arts, Mark also has played an integral role in the ongoing development and successes of Drum Corps International as a collective. He served as chairman of the DCI Board of Directors in 1994 and again from 2008 to 2013. Mark was honored as Corps Director of the Year in 2004, and was the inaugural recipient of the George Bonfiglio Chairman’s Award at the 2012 DCI World Championships, which is given to an individual each year who demonstrates extraordinary leadership and service on behalf of DCI and its performing drum corps.  Mark was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Blue Knights Hall of Fame in 2019.

Prior to his position with the Blue Knights, Mark was the Assistant Director of the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from 1978 through 1983, serving alongside Director Jim Jones, one of the founders of Drum Corps International and an inaugural member of the DCI Hall of Fame.  Mr. Arnold has a degree in Music Education from the University of Wyoming and taught High School Music in Wyoming and Nebraska from 1979 through 1985.
Mark Arnold

MARK ARNOLD

Scott Factor has served on the Ascend Performing Arts Board from 2012 to 2018 as a voting member in various positions including Vice-Chairman. Since 2019 my role has been in an Advisory position.

Outside of Ascend Performing Arts i am Senior Account Executive for Baxter HealthCare.
Scott Factor

SCOTT FACTOR

I am currently an Ascend Board Member-at-Large.  I have been a volunteer with the Blue Knights since 2013.  I have been serving on the BoD since 2019.  I retired from the United States Postal Service in 2010.  Although I have never marched drum corps I am an avid fan of the activity and thoroughly support our members in any way that I can.  “We Go On”!!! 

Neil Corvino

NEIL CORVINO

Board member Kathy Black is an attorney in New Mexico practicing as a full-time litigator focused on employment and civil rights defense. She came to the law as a second career after twenty-five years in high tech with NCR Corporation, doing everything from operating systems programming to Vice President positions in engineering, customer services, and sales. She earned her JD from Lewis & Clark Law School and her BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Ms. Black is active as a percussionist in the Albuquerque area. Way back in 1978 she marched with the Guardsmen, including at DCI Finals in Denver.  After many years of being just a drum corps fan, she was elected to the Drum Corps International Board of Directors in January 2016 and served on that board until January 2022, including three years as chair. 

Kathy Black

KATHY BLACK

Bryant’s path to the Ascend Board of Directors, which began in 2021 as a member-at-large, traces back to his childhood. Watching the Reading Buccaneers senior drum corps practice near his grandparents’ home ignited a lifelong passion, and a student of all thing’s percussion.

Years later a family move to Colorado provided Bryant with a platform to display his passion, both on the stage with the nationally acclaimed Green Earth Percussion Ensemble and on the field as a snare drummer with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps until his age-out year in 1984.

In his professional career as the Senior Director of Strategic Accounts at Yokohama Tire Co., Bryant credits the principles instilled by the marching arts and years on tour for his success. On a personal level, the arts played an even larger role, where Bryant met his wife, Stephanie. The Rankin’s currently make their home in South Carolina, enjoying time with their grown children, two incredible grandchildren, and their beloved brown lab, Zoey.
Bryant Rankin

BRYANT RANKIN

Retired, Director, Office of Research and Analysis, Colorado Department of Revenue Ms. Archibeque served 26 years in the area of statistical analysis for the Colorado Department of Revenue and Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Her skills in this area assist the board in developing a strategy for statistical analysis in the area of program evaluation. She has also been a significant volunteer managing and working with volunteers for the organization and will assist the board in understanding the complex nature of the organization. Her personal experiences as a minority and female can inform and promote a more inclusive environment and agenda for the projects that the board supports.

Janet Archibeque

JANET ARCHIBEQUE

Rob Batchelder was appointed to the Ascend Performing Arts Board of Directors in May 2023, and currently serves as Vice Chair. As a member of the Senior Foreign Service, Rob has represented the United States overseas in India, Poland, Germany, Argentina, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Namibia during a diplomatic career spanning nearly 30 years. He currently serves as Managing Director for Visa Services in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, DC. Rob marched in the Blue Knights hornline in 1987 and 1988, and he was Drum Major in 1989. He and his family live in Alexandria, Virginia, but his heart still yearns for Colorado.

Rob Batchelder

Rob BATCHELDER