Blue Knights 2019 Banquet Awards

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – On August 6th, the 2019 Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps hosted their Annual Awards Banquet in Indianapolis.

After the corps finished up a full day of rehearsal, the members and staff were released to get ready for the evening’s plans. Meanwhile, the volunteers and cook staff were hard at work to provide a home-cooked meal for the corps that night.

Once the corps finished watching the 2019 slide show and enjoyed a delicious dinner, Mark Arnold, Executive Director, welcomed all in attendance and thanked the numerous volunteers, drivers, admin, and staff who helped make the season possible. He also thanked the members of the corps for their hard work and dedication for the 2019 production, “… I Remember Everything”.

Following this, Mark then let the caption heads to present their section awards.

Color Guard

Rookie of the Year  – Cole Shirk, Nathan Straub, Julie Adams
Most Improved – Izzi Romero
Best in Section – Sam Van Dusen
Becky Brown Memorial Award – Kirsten Huffman

Visual

Rookie of the Year – Jacob Rodriguez (trumpet)
Most Improved – Kara Whitaker
Best In Section – Zach Del Bello

Brass

Rookie of the Year – Noa Kobe
Most Improved – Micah Carter
Best in Section – Kendall Haight
Tigue Boxwell Memorial Award – Joseph Thomas

Front Ensemble

Rookie of the Year- Caroline Byington, Jenny Smith
Most Improved – Juliana Zlatniski
Best in Section – Malani BydalekBattery Awards
Rookie of the Year – Thomas Rogstad
Most Improved – Blue Knights 2019 Snare Line
Best in Section – Aaron Yewman
Dan Burke Memorial Award – Nic Rundell

Blue Knight of the Year

Daniel Belcher

Blue Knights Age Outs:

Kirsten Huffman
Jake Knievel
John Alptekin
Thomas Rogstad
Austen White
Eugene Kim
Saydee Navarro
Matt Rosales
Aaron Yewman
Kimberly Miller
Joseph Thomas
Nicholas Rundell
Nick Penick
William Park
Sarah Wilms
Alaina Perun
Isabella Romero
Juan Rutiaga
Brianna Kelley
Julie Adams
Andrew Granado
Kendall Haight
Maya Botkin
Micki Hayes
Henry Ives
Baxter Irwin
Kara Whitaker
Morgan Molina
Daniel Belcher
Malani Bydalek
Rhema Baissa
Matthew Voogd
Josh Hallinan
Hunter Holtzworth
Caleb Florence
Bryce Turner
David Roybal
Sarah Callin
Chia-Wei Huang

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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