Alumni Spotlight: Luke Story

What year(s) did you march in the Blue Knights?

2008, 2010, 2011 Trumpet Soloist 10-11 Admin Staff 2012, 2015, 2016

What section?

Trumpet and later on admin.

Where did you attend high school?

Littleton High School in Littleton, Colorado.

Education beyond high school?

Boise State University for 3 years Metro State University for 1 1/2 years.

What is your current occupation?

Musician, I play tenor Sax and Trumpet in Float Like a Buffalo, and I am a sing-a-long piano player that plays in bars and venues around the state, as well as I teach marching band at Bear Creek High School in Jefferson County.

Why did you choose to march with the Blue Knights?

In 2006 I auditioned for BK because troopers folded and I had just taught myself a brass instrument. After getting cut I spent time learning and growing as a player for two years. After drums along the Rockies in 2007, I truly fell in love with Blue Knights and knew that’s where I had to march.

What is your favorite drum corps memory?

I have a few moments that have stuck with me after all these years. 2008 drums along the Rockies, when we walked on the field and the stadium shook, 2010 Medford Oregon, worst showers in all of the country but a beautiful rehearsal site, the show was unbelievable intimate and the crowd was so responsive and so supportive. In 2011 when our bus accidentally drove into a cornfield and the entire bus had to get off and help push the bus out of a ditch.

How have the Blue Knights impacted your life?

Hindsight of my time with bk has taught me a lot about what leadership means. As a young slightly arrogant trumpet player, I had a jaded perspective that leadership was more telling what people to do rather than leading by example. I reflect on my time as a section leader and use those lessons I have learned to help young leaders grow with the proper motivation and strength.

What are some the Blue Knights’ core values/principles that have resonated with

you in life?

The biggest lesson from BK that I have taken with me is the value of hard work. The admin staff was the hardest work but the most rewarding. YOu had a chance to be apart of something bigger than yourself and you had to shed any ego you had because it was not about you. Everything you did was for the member’s success.

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

Learn as much as you can and Have fun. This activity has evolved so much and the lessons you will learn from audition or experience camps come from some of the best educators in the country and you have the honor of playing with some of the most talented musicians in the country. Absorb all of it

 

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

organization?

I think that BK alumni can just be there to help where help is needed. During tour, you never know how greatly appreciated an extra driver to the grocery store, an airport pick up, a propane refill, all of this help relieve so much stress of a very stressed admin team.

 

 

*Did you perform in the 2018 Alumni Corps and what was your favorite memory

from our 60th Anniversary of the corps and the 25th Anniversary of BKPE?
(optional)

the 2018 alumni corps was an awesome experience. It was a 10 year anniversary of one of my favorite memories of that activity. Being a soloist nearly a decade later with the corps that had given me so much was an honor and just a ton of fun.

Check out Luke’s band “Float Like a Buffalo” here!

Share This Post

BK hall of fame feature

Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps Hall of Fame – Accepting Nominations

Nominations for the first Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps Hall of Fame are now being accepted by the Hall of Fame Committee for the ...
Read More →
Ascend-logo_elevating_below860x280.png

Bliss Coleman Appointed as Director of Development

Ascend Performing Arts, a leading organization in the performing arts community, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Bliss Coleman as its new Director of ...
Read More →
BKX24 staff David wp

BLUE KNIGHTS WELCOMES DAVID WALKER

Ascend Performing Arts is excited to announce that David Walker has joined the Blue Knights family as our new Ensemble Coordinator! David is a freelance ...
Read More →
Staff Announcement Visual Consultant

Rosie Miller Queen Joins Blue Knights

Ascend Performing Arts is excited to announce Rosie Miller Queen as Visual Consultant for the Blue Knights DBC! Rosie Miller Queen has been a seasoned ...
Read More →
Colorado Gives Day

Support Blue Knights through Colorado Gives Day

Support the Blue Knights through this annual statewide movement that celebrates philanthropy through online giving by making donations possible no matter where you live!
Read More →
Staff Announcement Color Guard Leadership

BLUE KNIGHTS COLOR GUARD 2024 LEADERSHIP TEAM

Ascend Performing Arts and the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps announce the artistic Color Guard Leadership team for 2024. James Gabonay, Color Guard Coordinator ...
Read More →
Scroll to Top

Want to Stay up to Date?

Sign up for our newsletter, the Knightly Newsbrief, to stay up to date with Ascend and all things Blue Knights. 

Email Address(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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