Blue Knights Announce 2023 Percussion Arranger

DENVER, CO – The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps is excited to announce the return of Jeff Ausdemore as the Percussion Arranger for the 2023 season!

Jeff Ausdemore serves as President and Co-Founder of Stryvemind.com, a revolutionary online music education platform that impacts students and educators around the world. This venture serves student musicians, music educators and administrators in many capacities, including a world class private lesson faculty, educational consulting, as well as the Stryve Academy. Prior, Mr. Ausdemore was the Director of Music at Grapevine-Colleyville’s iUniversity Prep. In this expanded role, Mr. Ausdemore oversaw all music curricula, including music theory, music history, music composition/arranging, as well as applied music for all primary and secondary level students. In addition, Mr. Ausdemore created the iMusic Club, a club dedicated to enriching the lives of all students enrolled at iUniversity Prep.

“Jeff comes back to the Blue Knights with a wealth of knowledge and a years of experience within both the marching arts and the greater music world,” said Daniel Belcher, Director of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps. “ We are so excited to have his unique artistry, experience, and educational prowess as we continue working to build the Blue Knights.”

Prior to this post, Mr. Ausdemore served eleven years as the Director of Percussion Studies at Colleyville Heritage High School. In this role, Mr. Ausdemore served as the percussion coordinator, head of jazz studies, and co-director/composer/arranger of the Colleyville Heritage marching band.

Under Ausdemore’s direction, the Colleyville Heritage High School percussion program flourished, gaining national notoriety through chamber music, guest artist concerts of all genres, recitals, and ensemble competitions. The percussion program has enjoyed competitive success at many levels, including the 2013 and 2014 gold medal for the North Texas Color Guard Association, as well as capturing the 2008 Percussive Arts Society Marching Percussion title. Other accolades include the Percussive Arts Society’s “Call for Tapes” winners, the Percussive Arts Society’s Small Ensemble Champions, the Plano Drum Line Competition marching percussion champions, as well as the Lone Star Drum Line Competition champions.

In Mr. Ausdemore’s first year at CHHS, he launched the GCISD Percussion Club, expanding the students’ musical education and enriching the lives of GCISD middle and high school percussion students throughout the district. The GCISD Percussion Club presented master classes, clinics, solo and ensemble performances by local and regional professionals throughout the north Texas area. The GCISD Percussion Club has produced a record number of students selected for the GCISD “Select Band”, the Region 24 “All-region Band”, the Region 24 “All Region Jazz Band”, and the Texas “All-State Band”. CHHS is proud to have produced several percussion students who have earned the national title for the Percussive Arts Society’s solo champion on several different percussion instruments as well.

Mr. Ausdemore has featured this unique pedagogical model at many state music conventions throughout the United States, including several Texas Music Educators Association Conventions.

In addition to his teaching duties at Colleyville Heritage High School, Mr. Ausdemore served as the percussion arranger and caption head for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from 2006 through 2010. During Ausdemore’s tenure at the Blue Knights, the percussion program produced several individual solo championships, ensemble championships, and a strong reputation for excellence, placing in the elite “top 12” in the Drum Corps International Championships consistently. 

Prior to his appointment to CHHS, Mr. Ausdemore taught at the University of Texas Arlington, as adjunct professor of percussion. In this role, Ausdemore served as the percussion arranger/assistant director of the UTA Marching Band, taught percussion pedagogy/techniques classes, assisted the UTA percussion ensemble, and maintained a full private studio as well. 

Mr. Ausdemore’s performance background includes section and solo performances with several orchestras, wind ensembles, and percussion ensembles throughout the midwest and southwest United States, including the principal percussionist with the Texas Wind Symphony, and principal percussionist/assistant principal timpanist with the Las Cruces Symphony. 

In 1995, Ausdemore recorded/toured with Benson Records recording artists Nouveaux, compiling three #1 singles on the CCM music charts between 1995 and 1999. While living in Nashville, Ausdemore participated in many recording sessions, both commercial and proprietary albums. 

As a clinician, Mr. Ausdemore has given performances, clinics and workshops throughout the U.S. at several Percussive Arts Society’s “Days of Percussion”, including Arizona, Tennessee, New Mexico, California, Arkansas, Utah, Colorado, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (Columbus, Ohio 2002, Indianapolis Indiana 2009, 2011) and the International Horn Society Convention (Beijing, China 2000). Ausdemore has served as a featured clinician at the 2009 and 2011 Texas Music Educator’s Association Conference as well. 

In addition to teaching/performing, Mr. Ausdemore has composed/arranged, instructed and consulted with numerous Drum Corps International drum and bugle corps, college marching bands, and high school marching bands throughout the United States, including the Blue Knights, Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment, Limited Edition, Northern Aurora, and Southwind. 

Ausdemore has served as music director/composer for the Insignia Independent Percussion Ensemble. The Insignia Independent Percussion Ensemble participated in the Winter Guard International circuit locally and regionally, winning the 2004 NTCA gold medal in their inaugural season. 

As a composer, Mr. Ausdemore has contributed original works for piano, instrumental guitar, contemporary multimedia, percussion and choir, percussion solo instruments, percussion ensemble, as well as wind ensemble and marching band. Several ensembles have commissioned and premiered Mr. Ausdemore’s works on recordings, concerts, the Music for All national festival, the Interlochen Fine Arts Academy summer camp, the 2021 Midwest Clinic. In addition, Mr. Ausdemore will have two new commissions performed at the 2022 Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention.

Jeff Ausdemore is proud to endorse and serve as a clinician for Dynasty/Bergerault Musical Instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads, and Pro Mark sticks and mallets. The D’Addario/Pro Mark corporation released the Jeff Ausdemore “signature series” snare drum sticks in early fall of 2009. 

Mr. Ausdemore’s professional affiliations include adjudication roles for Drum Corps International, Winter Guard International, Bands of America, a percussion committee member for the Percussive Arts Society, the Texas Music Educator’s Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, and currently serves as the current Vice President of Percussion and Winds on the executive board of the North Texas Color Guard Association.

Mr. Ausdemore holds a Master of Music degree with distinction from New Mexico State University (2002), as well as Bachelor of Music degree with high honors from Belmont University (1999).

Jeff was recently inducted into the North Texas Colorguard Association’s Hall of Fame in 2017 for his role as VP of Percussion and Winds, and his work and contributions to the circuit at large.

Jeff Ausdemore lives in Bedford, TX with his wife, Pam Davis Ausdemore. In addition to Pam’s pageantry background with the Bluecoats, Phantom Regiment, Blue Knights, Glassmen, and Southwind drum and bugle corps, she has also performed with the Pride of Cincinnati and instructed many performing groups, including Cypress Independent winterguard, Beechwood, Dixie Heights, Seguin, Colleyville Heritage, Keller, William Mason and Prosper High School. Pam is a gifted artist and teacher at Sendera Ranch Elementary School in Northwest ISD.

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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