What year(s) did you march in the Blue Knights?
I marched in the summer of 1987.
Hornline – Lead Soprano
Where did you attend high school?
Mountain Crest High School, Hyrum, Utah 1983-86
Education beyond high school?
I went to Utah State University in Logan, Utah in Marketing. I decided to expand my horizons and spent a semester abroad at Kansai Gaidai University of Foreign Studies, in Osaka, Japan 1993. I graduated with a BA in Marketing with Minors in Japanese and Vietnamese in 1995.
What is your current occupation?
I’ve been a full time web developer since 2000.
Why did you choose to march with the Blue Knights?
I was in the marching band all through high school and attended a few DCI competitions in Ogden, Utah. I remember seeing the Blue Knights, Blue Devils, Santa Clara Vanguard, Velvet Knights, etc. and thought they were all were all awesome. They performed with such passion, electricity and military precision. It lit a fire in me and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. After high school, a few of my friends from the marching band told me about tryouts for the Blue Knights and invited me to go
and I jumped at the opportunity. Honestly we chose the Blue Knights because it was the closest to Utah (10-hour drive) but I’m glad we did. I impressed Mark Arnold with my trumpet skills at the tryouts and he offered me a scholarship. I am grateful to him for this as I don’t think I could have afforded it otherwise as I was preparing for a mission that fall for the LDS church. That summer was a truly an amazing experience and made me
a Blue Knight for life.
What is your favorite drum corps memory?
It’s hard to pick just one memory. My favorite memories are making new friends and the places we traveled. We literally went from coast to coast. For example, it was so cool to go to China town in San Francisco and see that iconic crooked Lombard Street. I remember the sheer beauty and grandeur of Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon. We took a boat ride out around the Statue of Liberty in New York, and I was in
awe seeing this statue in person which I’d always only seen in movies. Touring with the Blue Knights opened my eyes to a bigger world out there.
How have the Blue Knights impacted your life?
I think being part of the Blue Knights gave me the confidence that I can set a goal for myself and not give up until I accomplish them. After the Blue Knights I went on an LDS mission, learned Vietnamese in 6 months out in the field, spent a semester in a foreign country, graduated from college and started my own web design business which I still run part time today along with my full time web design work. I continue to pick bigger and loftier goals and belief I can and will achieve them.
What are some of the Blue Knights’ core values/principles that have resonated with you in life?
There are so many values and principles that I picked up from the Blue Knights.
1) Teamwork: throughout my career I’ve worked on teams to accomplish collective goals.
2) Leadership: on my mission I was a district leader for a year. I believe the Blue Knights gave me the confidence to step up to the challenge. Later on I worked for Wiworks, Inc. for 8 years and was the web design director over a team of 6 web developers and again my experience with the Blue Knights prepared me for this.
3) Service to others: just this year I saw a very powerful example of the true nature of the Blue Knights. A food truck from another drum corps broke down and the Blue Knights immediately stepped up and went to their need with one of their food trucks until the other corps could get theirs fixed. I’ve tried to always do what I can to help others in need and not turn my back on them.
What advice would you tell someone considering trying out for the Blue Knights?
GO FOR IT! Nothing ventured nothing gained. Will it be hard? YES. Will it be scary? YES. Will there be failures along the way? YES. Will it be worth it in the end? MOST DEFINITELY! The sense of accomplishment you will gain at the end of a season with the Blue Knights will carry on with you for the rest of your life and give you a foundation for bigger and greater accomplishments.
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?
Yes, I did and it was incredible. When I first heard that they were doing an alumni performance I immediately signed up. It reminded me of the Blues Brothers when they said “We’re getting the band back together”. My favorite memory was on the day of our performance. I was in the back waiting area where we stored our instrument cases hanging out with John Rizka and Danny Roberts and about to head up to the stands with the rest of the group. John was holding a rifle and Danny a flag and I casually asked what they were doing. They said they were part of the flag ceremony. I was look wow cool! Then the coordinator walked up and asked if I wanted to participate by holding the sword. I was like heck ya! We quickly did some practice runs then I called my brother, David, and said to make sure he and my sister, Robyn and my mom were in their seats for the opening ceremony as there was something special in store but didn’t tell them what. Then the moment arrived and the three of us marched out onto the field with our heads held high in front of thousands of spectators and we were on the jumbotron screens with the cameras pointed at us and marched up to the 50-yard line just like the marines. It was a feeling of pride to represent the Blue Knights in that capacity and to stand at attention as the national anthem was played. Finally, our performance itself was the icing on the cake. It was just an amazing feeling to pull of the performance that we’d worked so hard for over the previous year as individual groups and then as one large cohesive group in front of a crowd of enthusiastic fans. I was touched that the younger Blue Knights corps was so supportive and excited for us as well. In the end I was very grateful for my brother, sister and mother coming all the way to Denver to see me perform. When I was in the corps back in 1987 I never had any family members come to my performances so this meant a LOT!
How would you like to see other Blue Knight alumni get involved in the
I think as alumni we should always show our financial support where we can and help to promote any fundraisers to make sure the Blue Knights remains strong and viable into the future.
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