Alumni Spotlight: Ricky Grasso

What is your name: Ricky Grasso

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

2014: Trumpet, Rookout

2015: Administrative Staff

2016, 2017, 2018: Tour Director

Present – Administrative Consultant 


What section?

Trumpet, then administrative 🙂 


Where did you attend high school?

Newtown High School – Sandy Hook, CT


Education beyond high school?

University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, CT) B.A. Mass Communications, concentration: Advertising & Public Relations

University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, CT) MBA in Marketing

*Semester Abroad, Fall 2013 – John Cabot University (Rome, Italy)


What is your current occupation?

Marketing Manager for Reed Exhibitions (Norwalk, CT) – PGA Golf Shows & National Hardware Show 

On the side, I am the Head of Visual & Overall Design for the Newtown High School Band Program (Sandy Hook, CT) and direct the Newtown Open Percussion in the Winter Season


Why did you choose to march with the Blue Knights?

Honestly, it was a coincidence! I had every intention to skip my age out and DCI experience altogether. I had a failed attempt back in 2012 upon trying to enter the DCI activity, it was, in fact, my weight. In those two years, I dropped 100 pounds and explored Europe for a few months! Coming home I auditioned one more time at a different organization, got cut, and Ken Adams reached out to see if I wanted to March the Blue Knights! It was May, a week before Spring Training and I said YES!


What is your favorite drum corps memory?

It would have to be July 4, 2014. The corps was parked just outside of Seattle at a beautiful school surrounded by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. That day was also the day we finished the show for the first time. During the end of our first full run-through fireworks started to go off behind the field, it’s like it was planned for that exact moment. I get chills thinking about it. Hugging your sweaty friends, after working so hard to complete the product and to just look towards the mountains and see fireworks popping off – indescribable.


How have the Blue Knights impacted your life?

It’s a loaded question because quite frankly the Blue Knights are a part of me. Being with the corps for five consecutive years as both a member and someone at the helm of leading a national tour, the best word to describe my experience is confidence. As a member, it was losing all the weight, and knowing that I am good enough, I am worthy enough to be here. As a Tour Director, I learned that I can handle more than I think I can, in the most incredibly stressful moments of my life I turn back to situations on the road, and how I had to be quick and decide the fate of the other 200 people that were looking at me for the answer.


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

Kindness. It’s funny, our activity sometimes isn’t so nice – people have egos and make you feel uncomfortable in the activity you love the most. As a member, every staff member treated me with love and respect, and above all else gave me a quality education in my marching years. As a director, I always made sure everyone was treated with respect and kindness. In real life – it’s so hard to find people who are just genuinely kind and have no secret agenda, and I really learned about kindness being on the road with the Blue Knights, I take it with me every day. 


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

When you are auditioning, don’t focus on just the music, playing, spinning, beats, etc – focus on your attitude, your outlook, your perspective – things that aren’t in the packet, you will go farther than you think.
How would you like to see other Blue Knight alumni get involved in the organization?

Volunteer on tour!!!!! If you can take a long weekend off, hop on the road and drive a van, cook a meal. If you can take a week, even better! Every volunteer HELPS!


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

Share This Post

Blue Knights DBC Logo 3_2 x1000

Blue Knights Announce 2023 Visual Staff

DENVER, CO – The Blue knights drum & Bugle Corps is thrilled to announce our visual staff for the 2023 season! Randil Jeffreys visual CAPTION …

Read More →
Blue Knights DBC Logo 3_2 x1000

Ascend Performing Arts Announces James Catherall as Blue Knights Sound Designer & Audio Caption Head!

DENVER, CO – The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps is excited to announce James Catherall as the Sound Designer & Audio Caption Head for the …

Read More →
Blue Knights DBC Logo 3_2 x1000

Blue Knights Announce 2023 Percussion Staff

DENVER, CO – The Blue knights drum & Bugle Corps is thrilled to announce our Percussion staff for the 2023 season! Andrew McAfee PERCUSSION CAPTION …

Read More →
Screen Shot 2022-11-07 at 6.14.43 PM

Help Ascend for Colorado Gives Day – December 6, 2022!

Help Ascend Make BLUE Magic!!! Colorado Gives Day – December 6, 2022 For the Blue Knights, November is a new beginning. The Blue Knights Percussion …

Read More →
Blue Knights DBC Logo 3_2 x1000

Blue Knights Announce 2023 Brass Staff

DENVER, CO – The Blue knights drum & Bugle Corps is thrilled to announce our brass staff for the 2023 season! Thomas Kober Brass caption …

Read More →

Blue Knights Mourns Passing of Pat Amann

DENVER, CO – The Blue Knights and Ascend Performing Arts family is deeply saddened by the loss of former Blue Knights Instructor, Pat Amann. On …

Read More →
Scroll to Top

How do you want to support Ascend?

There are lots of ways to support Ascend.

Help us build our new Equipment Truck and Make Space for the Future

Support Ascend through Colorado Gives

Learn more about how to support Ascend

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.