DENVER, CO – The Ascend Performing Arts family is saddened by the loss of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps’ first director and long-time supporter, Ray Route. Ray served as the director of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from its inception in 1958 until his retirement in 1972.
During the years Ray was the director, the drum corps went from marching in local parades to competing on a national level. In 1963, they took their only trip to the VFW Nationals, held in Seattle, Washington, hoping to stake claim to national attention. In addition to placing 10th in their debut at that prestigious competition, the Blue Knights won the separate color guard championships, besting the likes of the powerhouse Cavaliers and Troopers. This first taste of national success would encourage and exhilarate the young group to accomplish greatness that continues today after more than 55 years.
Ray had this to say upon the 30th anniversary of the Blue Knights:
“No one experience stands out in my memory more than the knowledge of being a part of a group of dedicated people who gave birth to an organization that has weathered the test of time for the last thirty years. I was honored to have been given the privilege of being one of the original directors. In that position, I was able to touch the lives of many young people, encourage their self-esteem and help prepare them for adulthood. This goal was accomplished through discipline, organization, music, marching and participation in the total drum corps experience. Most of these young people have taken their place in society and have made us all proud of them.” ~ Ray Route
A funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, November 7, 2014 at Olinger Highland Mortuary & Cemetery in Thornton, CO. (map)
» More information on the service can be found here.