Alumni Spotlight: Nick Soden

What year(s) did you march in the Blue Knights?
I marched Blue Knights in 2014 and 2016
What section? 

Front Ensemble
Where did you attend high school?

Buffalo High School (Buffalo, Minnesota)

Education beyond high school?
 I got my BA in Spanish/Portuguese Translation and Interpretation from the University of Minnesota.
What is your current occupation?
 I am a brand ambassador for an event staffing agency in Los Angeles.
Why did you choose to march with the Blue Knights?
I chose to march Blue Knights because every time I saw them take the field, I felt like I was told a story, and that story was relatable to my own life and it tugged on my heartstrings every single time. The culture of Blue Knights seemed to be full of heart and that each and every member was a part of an uplifting community. I so badly wanted to be a part of that.
What is your favorite drum corps memory?
My favorite drum corps memory was my rookie year of Blue Knights in 2014 on finals day. We were doing our final rehearsal run-through of “That One Second.” This show was already an emotional overload, but I will never forget looking over at my friend during the closer who played vibraphone. He’d been a member for three years and was about to age out, and his mom was a long-standing volunteer in the corps. I watched as him and his mother locked eyes and began to cry—the pride for her son was so evident, the labor of love in her time volunteering and watching her son play his final notes was a bittersweet release, and that beautiful moment will be etched in my memory forever. To me, that was their “one second.”
How have the Blue Knights impacted your life?
. Blue Knights have impacted my life in the most profound way, is that it has instilled in me values of integrity, tolerance, adaptability to adversity, and most importantly, love. Whenever I encounter difficult moments, the grit and perseverance I learned in BK were what assured me that I CAN do hard things, and I can be resilient in the face of the seemingly impossible. In addition to this, Blue Knights have given me a home, a family of people whose love is unconditional and everlasting. It’s taught me to be welcoming, accepting, and to always keep each other in the best interest. In summary, Blue Knights have undoubtedly changed my life for the better, and I want others to experience the same
What are some of the Blue Knights’ core values/principles that have resonated with you in life?

The saying “I Go On” has resonated with me very deeply. Knowing that no matter what life throws at you, you will always go on and better days are ahead. This mantra has propelled me through some of life’s most intense challenges. Cherishing the present moment has also been a principle I live by—I remember my section leader always saying “each day feels like it lasts forever, but the summer goes by in a blink of an eye.” Not only does this hold true to the daily grind of drum corps, but it serves as an important reminder to appreciate life’s highs and lows, to be present and seize every moment.

What advice would you tell someone considering trying out for the Blue Knights?
 I would recommend watching previous shows and talking with other alumni to get a feel for the culture and how the corps operates. Blue Knights have a contagious vibe, and once you catch it, it will forever be a part of you. Also, of course, make sure to thoroughly read the audition packet and practice each exercise at a variety of tempos (also faster than noted) to ensure you’re the most prepared for any curveballs or faster tempos at auditions!

How would you like to see other Blue Knight alumni get involved in the
organization?
 Especially during these times, I think spreading the word via social media in regards to donating, speaking with other alumni, and keeping the corps culture alive is extremely important. Reaching out to the organization with positive intent goes a long way, and will help preserve a bright future for the Blue Knights down the road.

 

∴ Want to be featured in a future Alumni Spotlight? Email us at Alumni@AscendPerformingArts.org

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