DENVER, CO – The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps Hall of Fame Committee is pleased to announce the induction of the inaugural 2018 Hall of Fame class. The following individuals were selected by their significant impact to the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps through their years. They will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, July 13th at a reception at DoubleTree DTC (map) open to the public (get tickets here). Hall of Fame inductees will also be recognized at Drums Along the Rockies on Saturday, July 14th at Mile High Stadium (get tickets here).
Robbie Billings was the Visual Designer and Color Guard Caption Head for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps where he oversaw the corps’ show design throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s. It was Robbie’s design and technique that gave the Blue Knights their unique visual identity and was at the forefront of making the Blue Knights perennial DCI finalists.
Ralph Hardimon started with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in 1990 as an educator and designer, and has been a valuable consultant to the Blue Knights ensembles since. Ralph led the percussion into the Top 8 in DCI 13 times. His influence expanded beyond percussion and helped lead the corps through decades of success.
Dave Marvin started with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in the 1970’s as a member and has moved into several roles within the organization. Dave filled the roles of music arranger for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, show designer for the 4-time WGI World Champion Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, and as Director of the Denver Broncos Stampede Drum Line. Dave has not only helped the organization, but has created several performance opportunities for thousands of young musicians throughout the state of Colorado.
Ray Route was the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps’ first executive director for 14 years from 1958 to 1972. Ray instilled what it meant to be a Blue Knight in the organization’s formative years to encourage, build self-esteem, and help prepare the young musicians for adulthood.
Andy Smart started with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps as a lead soprano player in 1994 and aged-out of the corps in 1999 as the drum major after 6 years as a performer. Andy joined the educational staff as the Brass Caption Head in 2002 and 2003 and returned to the role from 2008-2011 to help the drum corps regain its place in DCI Finals.
Fred and Fae Taylor are the founders of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps. They brought their success in show business to Denver in 1951 and started the popular Fred & Fae Talent School. As a drum instructor, Fred wanted a performance outlet for his students and formed a junior drum & bugle corps known as the Blue Knights in 1958.