Alumni Spotlight: Shaun Roos

Name: 
Shaun Roos 

What year(s) did you march in the Blue Knights?
I marched in the summer of 1987.

What section?
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
organization?
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.


∴ 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