Blue Knights Announce 2019 Drum Majors

DENVER, CO — Ascend Performing Arts are proud to announce the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps Drum Majors for the 2019 season!

Daniel Belcher is originally from Milford, Ohio, and resides in Montréal, Québec where he studies Electrical Engineering at Concordia University. This will be Daniel’s fourth season with the Blue Knights, having started with the corps in 2016. Daniel has served as a drum major for the Blue Knights for all three of his previous seasons. This is his final season with the corps.

Daniel was also a charter member of the Winter Guard International Winds group Rhythm X Winds where he performed for four seasons on baritone. He has also instructed for several high school band programs in the southwest Ohio area. His primary instrument is the trombone.

“The Blue Knights has been my home for several years now, and this year to me is about leaving with absolutely nothing left to give,” said Daniel. “It’s been the honor of a lifetime to serve and represent such an impactful and incredible ensemble, and my ultimate goal for my final season is to be able to part knowing that I’ve truly made a difference to the organization and those in it.”

Caleb Florence is from Golden, Colorado and is currently a Music Education student at the University of Northern Colorado with a focus in Classical Percussion as well as a minor in American Sign Language.

Caleb is also returning to the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble (BKPE) for his fourth year on the bass line. Caleb currently holds a Winter Guard International “Fan Favorite” award for his time with the Northglenn Performance Theater (2015) and is thrilled to spend his third and final summer with the Blue Knights.

“The Blue Knights will be just as powerful as always, but I am even more excited to the the strides that we take off the field, just as much as we do on the field as a corps,” said Caleb. “It is extremely humbling and an honor to be able to lead the corps for one last summer, and to create a culture that will grow even after I am no longer there.”

Micki Hayes is from Lexington, Ohio and currently in pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a focus on flute studies at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Whilst at Wright State, she is an active member in the school’s Ohio Collegiate Music Educators Association chapter, flute choir, and also has served as the conductor for the pep band. Micki graduated from Lexington High School in 2016 where she served as the drum major for the Lexington Band of Gold and participated in ensembles such as the Bands of America National Honor Band and the Cavalcade of Bands Tournament of Roses Honor Band.

Micki was a member of the Blue Knights Admin team for the 2018 season, is currently the visual caption director at Tippecanoe High School, and was the Assistant Marching Band Director at Newton High School.

“I am so incredibly excited to represent and serve a unique and amazing group of people, who’s excellence I strongly believe in, especially at an organization that I’ve spent many years looking up to,” said Micki. “Last year, I was able to experience how the Blue Knights bring excitement, happiness, and touch people’s lives all over the country from behind the scenes. This year, I am humbled and more than excited to join the corps on field and I look forward to achieving new heights of creative excellence with the Blue Knights family.”

Stephen Scassera is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is 19 years old. This is his second year of drum corps and his second season with the Blue Knights as a drum major. Stephen graduated from Kiski Area High School in 2018 and participated in marching band for all four years, three of those as a drum major.

Outside of drum corps, Stephen is a freshman at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he is currently studying Safety, Health, and Environmental Applied Sciences.

“To be a part of this organization is a dream come true for me,” said Stephen. “I’m so happy to be with such an amazing and talented team of leaders and hard workers in the corps, and I can’t wait to see what this season has in store!”

Tanner Mahovsky, 19, is from Grand Junction, Colorado and is enrolled as a Music Education major at Colorado Mesa University. Tanner graduated from Fruita Monument High School, where he spent two of his three years in marching band as trumpet section leader. Although he is majoring on clarinet, he also plays trumpet, saxophone, and marches mellophone with the CMU Maverick Stampede. This will be his third year of drum corps, and his second season with the Blue Knights.

“I am incredibly excited for the things we have in the works for this season.” said Tanner. “I feel truly honored to return for my second season to this organization, and I am looking forward to serving this group of amazing people once again.”

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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


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


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


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


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


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


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