Blue Knights Announce 2022 Drum Majors!

Blue Knights 2022 Drum Majors

DENVER, CO – The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps is excited to announce the drum major team for the 2022 season!


Ethan Masters

 

Ethan Masters is from Missouri City, Texas, and is currently a Senior at Texas A&M University where he is studying Electrical Engineering with a minor in mathematics. Ethan graduated from Ridge Point High School where he played saxophone and was a drum major for three years. This will be his fourth and final season of drum corps, and third season with the Blue Knights. He also marched in 2019 with the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps as one of their drum majors.

 

“My time with the Blue Knights have been some of the best years of my life,” said Ethan. “As sad as I am that this will be my last year in the activity, I am excited to perform once again with this group of amazing people!”


Dallan Heard

 

Dallan Heard is from Donalsonville, Georgia. He recently moved to Colorado to be closer to the Blue Knights, as well as to march the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble on cymbals. 

 

As for his drum corps career, Dallan served as a drum major for the Seattle Cascades in 2019, the Southern Knights in 2020, and found his home with Blue Knights in 2021. This will be his second year with the Blue Knights. 

 

“Ever since I auditioned three years ago I fell in love with the Blue Knights,” said Dallan. “Their constant efforts to make sure that every member is loved and cared for is what makes Blue Knights so special to me”.


Laura Gill

 

Laura Gill is from Canyon, Texas and is currently a senior at Canyon High School. After graduation, Laura plans to double major in music education, with an emphasis on horn studies, and piano. This is Laura’s second year with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, having played synth in 2021.

 

“After being a member of the Blue Knights last year, I knew I wanted to come back,” Laura said. “To come back as a drum major is an honor, and I cannot wait to work and learn with this team.”


Laynie Metsker

 

Laynie Metsker is from Milford, Ohio, and is a freshman at the University of Colorado Boulder studying Music Education and Bassoon Performance. She plays saxophone in the Golden Buffalo Marching Band and Basketball Band, and is also involved in CU’s chapter of the National Association for Music Educators.

 

Laynie’s drum corps career begins this year as she heads into her first season with the Blue Knights. She previously spent four seasons in the Milford High School Marching Band, one of them as a section leader and two as a drum major, before she graduated in 2021.

 

“I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of an organization that cares so deeply about the well-being and growth of every member,” said Laynie. “I already feel so loved and accepted by the Blue Knights community, and I can’t wait to work with the amazing people around me in the coming season!”

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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