Blue Knights Announce 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees

DENVER, CO – Ascend Performing Arts is pleased to announce the Blue Knights Hall of Fame class of 2023.

The Hall of Fame was created to preserve the memory of the incredible people who have made a substantial, positive impact to the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps and who can serve as role models for present and future generations. The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding alumni, educational staff, administrative staff, and volunteers who have contributed significantly to the organization.

The Hall of Fame Committee has selected the 2023 inductees who will be recognized at this year’s Drums Along the Rockies event at Colorado State University (get your tickets to the show HERE).

∴ Read about our past Blue Knights Hall of Fame Classes of 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018.


Doug Kelley

Doug Kelley’s decades-long involvement with the Blue Knights reaches back to the early 1980’s where few alumni have had the year-after-year impact he had. After graduating from Northglenn High School, Doug joined the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps as the captain of the bass drum line in the winter of 1980. He marched for three years from 1981 through 1983. Due to his past bus driving experience, Doug drove the color guard bus during the 1982 and 1983 seasons. To date, he is the only “member bus driver” in the history of the Blue Knights!

After his age-out season, Doug went on to support the Blue Knights and its different mission areas. He has volunteered at Blue Knights Bingo since 1981 helping support the drum corps’ fundraising efforts. In addition, he helped open the current Blue Knights Bingo location in Arvada, and still serves as a certified games manager and part of the management team. He also ran the Rocky Mountain Color Guard Association (RMCGA) bingo game in Arvada when Opus 10 was part of the Blue Knights in the early 2000’s.

Doug has also been a leader with Ascend Performing Arts’ events. He was a founding member of the Drums Along the Rockies Committee in 1985 (and remains the Chairperson today). He has helped manage the Drums Along the Rockies show starting in 1984 and has worked every year since as Assistant Operations Manager and Operations Manager. He became the Events Director with the passing of fellow Blue Knights Hall of Famer, George Lindstrom in 2021. In addition, Doug has also managed other Ascend Performing Arts events such as Corps Encore in Ogden, UT, and Drums Along the Sandias in Albuquerque, NM.

Closer to home, Doug worked with fellow Blue Knights Hall of Famer, Dan Burke, as operations managers for the new Friendship Cup High School Marching Competitions in 2012 serving 24 high school bands in Colorado. He was promoted to Event Director for the Friendship Cup in 2016. Doug even played a key role in the Blue Knights hosting the 2004 Drum Corps International World Championships in Denver where he also served as the local housing manager for 51 drum corps.

Doug’s involvement also positively impacted the Winter Guard International (WGI) community. Through the years, Doug has supported the Rocky Mountain Percussion Association (RMPA) and the Rocky Mountain Color Guard (RMCGA) circuits at location competitions and board meetings. He even worked with George & Lynn Lindstrom, the RMPA and RMCGA leadership teams to host several shows by the Blue Knights to help bolster color guard and indoor percussion in the Rocky Mountain Region. Today in 2023, the number of RMPA and RMCGA performing ensembles have significantly increased in number and competitiveness because of his dedication and hard work.

Finally, Doug has been a member of the Ascend Performing Arts Board of Directors for over 20 years since the late 1990s. He has even served in leadership roles such as Board Secretary, Vice Chair, and Board Liaison to the Blue Knights Alumni Association for the past 10 years. Doug continues to be a leader in the Ascend Performing Arts organization as the Events Director for all of Ascend’s events. Doug continues to make the performing arts community stronger every year with his dedication to ensuring our events are run at the highest levels in the country to the benefit of tens of thousands annually.

Nominated by: Blue Knights Hall of Famer, Gregory “GM” Kuzma


Amy Lueb

Amy Lueb carries the spirit of the Blue Knights with her and has used the drive and hard work that she developed during her time with the Blue Knights to positively impact the lives of those around her. Amy became a Blue Knight in 1992 as a color guard performer at the young age of 15. Amy continued to perform with the Blue Knights for 8 years until her age-out in 1999.

During her time as a performer, Amy stood out as a leader in the drum corps. Over the past 31 years, Amy has been a color guard performer, color guard captain, drum major, camp volunteer, office administrator, and a financial contributor to Ascend Performing Arts. She taught spin, rifle, and dance to the Boulder Fairview Color Guard from 1995 to 2010. Amy led her color guard students through 15 years of successful seasons and a lifetime of positive and nurturing memories.

When Amy’s teaching days came to an end, she continued to give back to the color guard activity with Winter Guard International (WGI) where she has spent the last 20 years judging winter guards. For the last 10 of those years, Amy also served as a color guard judge for the Colorado Bandmasters Association (CBA) where she continues to emphasize the quality, skill, and dedication to the marching arts that she learned with the Blue Knights. Amy personifies the Blue Knights spirit and continues to give her time and talent in a variety of areas in the performing arts community in Colorado.

Nominated by: Blue Knights Alumni, Diane Guerrero-Even, Karen Shaw-Kitto, Jennifer Hanson-Korb, & Cristy DeChant-Hamilton


Harvey Pierre

Harvey Pierre’s memory continues to demonstrate the Blue Knights values of humanitarianism, dedication, and opportunity.

Harvey began driving tractor trailer for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in the summer 1999. With his welcoming personality and his infectious smile, he quickly became a member of the Blue Knights family for the next 20 years.

As a vehicle driver for the Blue Knights, Harvey safely traversed over 10,000 miles across the country each year with the lives of the Blue Knights in his hands. He was always thrilled at the opportunity to get the drum corps and their equipment onto the field for performances and could be found on the 50 yard line cheering on the Blue Knights nights, night after night during the Drum Corps International (DCI) summer national tours.

Harvey encouraged the people he worked with to enjoy the day, no matter how hard it got on the road, and to care for our fellow community members. Many Blue Knights credit their own successes because of his natural ability to inspire and motivate all of us.

In 2018, Harvey was diagnosed with cancer and spent his last tour driving with the Blue Knights. He passed away shortly after the summer national tour concluded. He literally spent his last healthy days with the drum corps he loved and who loved him.

Nominated by: Blue Knights Hall of Fame Committee


Kenny Ward

Kenny Ward has been a steady force and reliable staff member for over 34 years. While working for the Jefferson County School District driving a school bus, he applied to be a tractor trailer driver for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in 1989.

After an interview with then Blue Knights executive director, Mark Arnold, Kenny was hired to drive the bus for the horn line. He then transitioned to driving one of several semi-trucks that traveled with the Blue Knights convoy. Kenny was someone the Blue Knights could always count on to ensure that the Blue Knights transportation convoy always traveled safely and followed federal guidelines. In addition to his outstanding service record, Kenny recruited more drivers for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps and Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble.

Kenny also served in the United States Army as a Master Sergeant where he was in charge of the National Guard staffing at Regional Airports in Colorado. He served during 9/11 and was one of 14 that completed guerrilla warfare training in Panama.

Kenny’s steady leadership in the area of transportation, concern for the safety of all, and devotion to the organization, especially for the members, has been a prime example of what the Blue Knights are all about.

Nominated by: Blue Knights Hall of Famer, Thelma Fung


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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