Blue Knights Announce 2023 Visual Staff

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DENVER, CO - The Blue knights drum & Bugle Corps is thrilled to announce our visual staff for the 2023 season!

Visual Instructor

Randil Jeffreys

visual CAPTION HEAD

Randil Jeffreys studied Music Education at the University of Houston, Euphonium Performance at Idaho State University, and completed a Masters of Arts in Brass Performance at the University of Iowa where he served as the Tuba/Euphonium Studio Teaching Assistant. Randil was a performing member of The Cavaliers from 2003 until aging out in 2008.
 
Since 2015, Randil has been working in the DFW area, teaching a large private lesson studio, assisting performing ensembles across the country, and working as a drill designer. This includes helping design for marching bands, indoor drumline, and collegiate marching bands. In addition, he has taught drum corps with the Colt Cadets as the Brass/Visual Caption Head, as a visual instructor and Assistant Caption Head with The Cavaliers, and as Visual Caption Head at Music City Drum and Bugle Corps.
 
Randil is extremely excited to be working with the Blue Knights for the 2023 season. In his leisure time, Randil loves spending time with his beautiful wife, Emily, and his baby boy, Adam! He is also an avid obstacle course racer and trail runner.
Drill Designer
Jeremy Seneca

Drill Designer

Jeremy Seneca is an experienced drill designer and marching band educator based in Plano, TX. Over the past 12 years he has designed and taught for many bands across the southwestern United States. Most notably, the Plano East Senior High School cluster bands from Plano, TX and the Colleyville Heritage High School Band from Colleyville, TX where he coordinates visual design and instruction curriculums.
 

As a performer, Mr. Seneca was a member of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugles Corps from Rosemont, IL from 2006 – 2008. From 2009 – 2014, Mr. Seneca joined the Cavaliers staff where he was a member of the visual staff under visual designers Michael Gaines and Andy Toth. After a brief hiatus from teaching drum corps, Mr. Seneca joined the visual staff of the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugles Corps from Diamond Bar, CA from 2018 – 2019 under visual designer Steven Estudillo. Most recently, Mr. Seneca was a member of the visual staff for the Music City Drum Corps from Nashville, TN from 2020 – 2022. 

 

Mr. Seneca is a native of Lafayette, LA having graduated from Acadiana High School under the direction of band directors Dr. Gerald Waguespack and Dr. Jody Besse. Upon graduating high school, he then attended the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS studying both music education and exercise science. Since 2011 Mr. Seneca has lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with his wife Ashton Seneca. Ashton is the Associate Director of Bands at Irving High School in Irving, TX. Aside from his enthusiasm as a designer and educator, Mr. Seneca’s hobbies include bodybuilding, eating at new restaurants, and watching New Orleans Saints football.

Visual Instructor
Nick Hansberry

Visual staff

Nick Hansberry is currently the Director of Bands at Waconia High School in Waconia, MN. Nick is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he earned his Bachelor of Music Education-Instrumental (2015) and is currently pursuing his Master of Music in Music Education at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN. Upon graduation from UW-Eau Claire, Nick accepted the Associate Director of Bands position at La Crosse Central High School in La Crosse, WI from 2016-2019 and served as the director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the La Crosse Area Youth Symphony Orchestra during this time. After this, Nick relocated to Colorado and served as the Director of Instrumental Music at Arvada West High School in Arvada, CO from 2019-2021.

A strong advocate for the marching arts, Nick has served on various marching band and drum corps staffs throughout the year most recently on the visual staff of the Music City Drum and Bugle corps based out of Nashville, TN. In addition to his teaching of marching bands, Nick has also served as an adjudicator, designer, and consultant throughout Wisconsin and the Twin Cities area.

Nick is very excited to return to Colorado and be a part of the amazing team assembled at Ascend Performing Arts and the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps.

 

Visual Instructor

Alan Chrzanowski

visual staff

Alan Chrzanowski received his bachelors in Music Education from The University of Texas at Arlington. He is currently a high school band director in Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas.

As a performer, Alan was a member of The Cavaliers in 2007 and 2008. From 2009-2018 he was a member of The Cavaliers Visual Staff, serving as an Assistant Visual Caption head in both 2016 and 2017. In 2018 Alan was named the Visual Caption Head. Most recently, he had the opportunity to assist Pacific Crest in their history-making 2019 program and Music City for their 2022 production.

Aside from teaching, Alan is an active drill designer and consultant for programs across Texas. His work has been performed at Bands of America, NTCA, WGI Winds, US Bands, and at Texas State Marching contests.
Visual Instructor

Nicholas Gasemy

visual staff

Nicholas Gasemy was born and raised in Frederick, Maryland. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. While attending WVU, he was a member of various ensembles including The Pride of West Virginia Mountaineer Marching Band, Wind Symphony, and Symphonic Orchestra. He studied Horn with Dr. Virginia Thompson, Jennifer Presar, and Robert Lauver.

 

Nicholas has a strong Drum Corps background in both performance and education. He performed with the Jersey Surf (2010-2013) and The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (2014-2016) on Mellophone and has taught the Visual Programs of The Cavaliers (2017-2018) and Music City Drum and Bugle Corps (2020-2022). He also serves as the Visual Caption Head for Old Line Independent Percussion (2021-present).

 

Nicholas is currently the Band Director at Governor Thomas Johnson High School. Under his direction, the Marching Band has received many awards and recognitions including being the only group from the state of Maryland to become a Bands of America Regional Finalist in 2018 and being named State Champions at the 2022 Maryland Marching Band Association’s State Championships while receiving awards for Best Visual, Best Color Guard, and Best Percussion. The school’s Indoor Percussion and Color Guard programs have also competed at the WGI Richmond Regional, where they were both finalists in 2019 and in 2020 the Percussion was titled Scholastic Open Champions. The school’s concert band also regularly appears at the Maryland State Adjudication Festival.

 

 
Visual Instructor
Bryan Palos

visual staff

Bryan Palos is a current student at The University of North Texas and is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Business Computer Information Systems. As a performer, Bryan was a member of the University of Texas at Arlington marching band (2017), The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Rosemont, IL (2017), and the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps from Santa Clara, CA (2018 – 2019). Bryan’s educational background includes being in the instructional staff at Music City Drum and Bugle Corps from Nashville, TN where he served from (2021 – 2022) as a visual instructor.
 
He has served four years as an instructor for multiple marching programs across the state of Texas. Recently, Bryan served as a visual instructor for the L.D. Bell high school marching band from Hurst, Texas for their 2022 season. Bryan currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas with his dog Vader. In his off time, he enjoys playing recreational and competitive Disc Golf with friends. Bryan is really looking forward to joining the Blue Knights visual instructional staff this summer.
 
Visual Instructor

Alejandro Cruz

VISUAL STAFF

Alejandro Cruz is in his second year as the Associate Director of Bands at C.E. King High School in Houston, TX. He most recently taught Music City Drum Corps as a Visual Technician from 2019-2022 and is a Visual Consultant with Vortex Indoor Winds for their 2023 season. Alejandro currently resides in Houston with his two cats; Amelia & Calypso.
Visual Instructor

Rachel Trentham

visual STAFF

Rachel Trentham is an elementary music educator based in Frisco, TX. Recently, Rachel graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s in Music Education and concentration in horn. During college, she participated in the UNT Wind Orchestra, UNT Horn Choir, and the Green Brigade Marching band as a member of the flagline and mellophone section. Rachel was a member of the inaugural Orion Winds Indoor season in 2019 and the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in 2019 and 2020.

 

She most recently taught marching band at Grapevine HS and Music City Drum and Bugle Corps in Nashville, TN. In her free time, Rachel loves exercising and spending time with her puppy, Rosie.

 

Visual Instructor

Ally Lyons

Visual STAFF

Ally Lyons is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas and is the Assistant Band Director at Wester Middle School. During her time at UNT, she participated in a variety of ensembles on clarinet, bass clarinet, euphonium, and steel pan. Lyons was the Woodwind Specialist for the Boswell High School Band during their marching season in 2020 and 2021.

 

She marched with Spirit of Atlanta on baritone in 2019 and joined the visual team at Music City Drum and Bugle Corps after aging out. Lyons is looking forward to working with the great team of educators at Blue Knights and seeing performers grow in the 2023 production. In her free time, she enjoys biking, spending time with friends, and consuming caffeine.

Visual Instructor

Savanna Hutcherson

Visual staff

Savanna is an active marching arts instructor in the DFW area. She first entered the drum corps community in 2020 when she became a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard (Santa Clara, CA), marching mellophone there until she aged out in 2022. Savanna has been on the visual instructional staff for the Plano East Senior High School Marching Band (Plano, TX) since 2021.

 

She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. Savanna is excited to be joining the 2023 Blue Knights visual team!

Visual Instructor

Julianna Pinero

Visual STAFF

 

Julianna Pinero is an alumnus of the Music City Drum and Bugle Corps’ trumpet section. She has recently served as a winds technician for the Cambridge High School Marching Band in Milton, Georgia.

 

She is also an experienced violinist who coaches strings for Drew Charter School. Julianna currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where she is completing a Bachelor of Music in Education at Georgia State University.

Visual Instructor

Clark Schlachter

 

Visual staff

Clark Schlachter is entering his first year of teaching drum corps and is thrilled to be doing so at the Blue Knights. Previously, Clark was a member at the Carolina Crown drum and bugle corps from 2018 until he aged out in the 2022 season. Outside of drum corps, Clark is finishing his studies at the University of North Texas.

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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