Blue Knights Announce Color Guard Staff for 2018 Season

DENVER, CO – The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to present the Color Guard Educational Staff for the 2018 Drum Corps International season.

Brandy DuBose will be returning to the Blue Knights Drums & Bugle Corps for her 6th season as the Color Guard Caption Head for the 2018 season.

Brandy DuBose is the Instructional Specialist for the Sun Devil Marching Band and the director and choreographer for the Arizona State University Sun Devil Color Guard. Brandy was born and raised in Texas, where she attended Texas State University-San Marcos as a Dance Performance major, and also taught the Bobcat Marching Band Color Guard and Millennia Independent Open Winterguard for 11 years.

In Texas, she taught the Seguin High School Color Guard for 10 years, from 1995-2006. After moving to Arizona in May 2006, Brandy began working with ASU. She is currently the Director of Fenix Independent Winterguard, which is a five-time Independent World Class Finalist. Brandy has served as Caption Head for other organizations such as Tarheel Sun and The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as a member of the Color Guard staff for the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps.

She marched in the color guard at Phantom Regiment (1993-1995) as well as a member of the Nouveau (IA), Speakeasy (IA) and Ascension (IW) Winterguard programs. In addition to her involvement with ASU, she is currently the Director of Color Guard at Corona del Sol High School and Color Guard Liaison for the Winter Guard-Arizona (WGAZ) circuit. Brandy currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona with her family Wardell and Miles King.


Randi L. Miles is returning as color guard choreographer for her 6th year for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

Randi Miles graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas State University-San Marcos in December 2006 where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Dance and her Teacher’s Certification for the secondary level. May 2011 marked her graduation from Arizona State University with her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance. Randi has performed locally, nationally, and internationally.

She has made performance and choreographic appearances in Opening Door Dance Theatre, American College Dance Festival, 10 Minutes’ Max, the Promising Artists of the 21st Century (Costa Rica), Phoenix Fringe Fest, Breaking Ground, Eureka Dance Festival (D.C.), and most recently the Big Range Austin Dance Festival. Her hard work has earned her the Connie Webb Brown Scholarship for Performance & Choreography, the inaugural Karen Earl Memorial Scholarship, the Hope & Robert Heimann Scholarship, the Arizona State University School of Dance Outstanding Education Practice Award, among  any others. She was a performing member with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps (2001-2004) as well as the Blue Devils (2005) where she was awarded Rookie of the Year.

She has also taught with the Crossmen (2007-2008) and the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps (2010). Randi has worked with many color guards including Dripping Springs High School, Winston Churchill High School, Richland High School, Arizona State University, FeniX Independent, Cypress Independent from Houston, TX, and recently Axis Independent Open Class Winterguard.

She currently works full-time at the University of Texas at San Antonio as the Head of Auxiliary with the Spirit of San Antonio (SOSA) Marching Band. She is also dance faculty at UTSA where she continues to focus on developing her own technical style, unique choreography, and discovering her own personal choreographic process. This summer will mark Randi’s 6th summer to be working with the Blue Knights.

John “JJ” Joseph is returning as color guard choreographer for his 3rd year for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

John “JJ” Joseph graduated from Irondale High School (New Brighton, MN) in 2012 where he has been active in the color guard since 2009. The summer following graduation, JJ began his drum corps career as a member of the color guard with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps (La Crosse, WI) where he stayed through his age out in 2014.

His performance career also extends into the winter where he has marched with multiple groups. Most recently, JJ performed with the 3-time Winter Guard International World Champion color guard, Onyx, from Dayton, Ohio in 2015 and 2016.

JJ has taught numerous color guards throughout the country including Irondale High School, Carroll High School, Southgate High School, Lakota West High School, Beavercreek High School, Northmont High School, and Novi High School. He has also choreographed for Black Watch Independent and FeniX Independent. JJ currently serves as the color guard director at Lebanon High School (Lebanon, OH).

JJ has also choreographed for visual programs including Moon Area High School, Plymouth Canton High School, Beavercreek High School, and Capital City Percussion. He is pursuing a degree in Middle Childhood Education at Wright State University (Dayton, OH) where he hopes to earn his Bachelors.

Michael  Rosales will be joining the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps as a choreographer.

Michael Rosales was born in Manila, Philippines and moved to San Francisco at the age of 9 where he trained and danced with several local groups within the San Francisco Bay Area. His training in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop, Latin Jazz and Color Guard makes him one of the most sought after choreographers in the country. He has danced for recording artists such as Ricky Martin, Deborah Cox, Brooke Hogan, Wisin y Yandel, Ivy Queen, Gloria Trevy, and Macy Gray.

Michael was on a national and international tour of the Tony and Emmy award winning group BLAST! as a lead and was a feature performer in a new show called CYBERJAM in London where he was also the Choreographer Assistant. Michael has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and has appeared in the Blockbuster movie RENT, Latin Billboard Awards, Latin Grammy’s Celebration and the Latin Teen Choice Awards. He has taught classes at the San Francisco Dance Center, Miami City Ballet, University of Houston, North Carolina State University, Pepperdine University, University of Miami, UC Berkeley, Moving People Dance Company in Santa Fe and several different studios throughout the country.

Michael has produced and choreographed shows for Busch Gardens in Florida, Sea World in Texas, the FedEx Orange Bowl Halftime Show and was the head coach of the University of Miami Hurricanettes Dance Line. In Miami, Michael is a co-founder of TAE Talent Agency which cast dancers for the recent blockbuster films Step Up 4 and Rock of Ages. He is also on faculty with the MODAS Dance Workshop and Intensives based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico and was a Choreographer for the new show BLAST! Music of Disney which opened in Japan this past summer.

Michael was a former member of the Concord Blue Devils, Fantasia of Riverside and San Jose Raiders. He has worked with Carolina Crown, Bluecoats, Cadets Color Guard and the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum Corps and color guard. In the winter guard season, Michael has been involved with Braddock Independent World, Paramount World and West Broward High School World among a handful of other programs. Michael was also a Gold Medal recipient of the 1998 as well as the 2000 Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championships.

John Escalante is joining the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps as a color guard choreographer.

John Escalante is a world-class choreographer with a long history in the color guard and pageantry activity. He currently choreographs for programs such as Cypress Falls, Tarpon Springs and the Woodlands High School Marching Band as well as Paramount Independent Open and World Winter Guard. John spends his time working with Sea World Entertainment as a seasonal choreographer and director for one of the summer productions at Busch Gardens Theme Parks. John is also currently assisting in the choreographer’s workshop at Nevada Ballet and Cirque du Soleil.

John has choreographed for many WGI and DCI World Class programs in the past such as: Center Grove High School, Clovis West High School, Riverside Community College, Fantasia, Cadets of Bergen County, Phantom Regiment and Santa Clara Vanguard. In 2016, John was a choreographer for Blast: The Music of Disney. When he is not choreographing, John also teaches color guard clinics and dance workshops throughout the country.

John’s personal marching experience includes San Jose Raiders, Santa Clara Vanguard, Madison Scouts and Cadets of Bergen County. He holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Cornish College of the Arts and has performed on Carnival Cruise Lines as well as several productions on the stages of Las Vegas.

Kaysey Thompson will be joining the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps as a choreographer.

Kaysey Leigh Thompson is an active choreographer and color guard instructor from Boston, MA. She currently resides in Austin, TX, and is on the color guard staff for Northview High School, Lake Travis High School, and Cedar Ridge High School.

Kaysey began her dance and color guard training at 5 years old, performing with a local winterguard directed by her parents. In the years since, she has performed with several WGI and DCI groups including St. Ann’s World, Santa Clara Vanguard Winterguard, the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps, and The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Along with color guard, Kaysey has an extensive background in stage and film. Kaysey spent 12 years touring and performing with Blast!, Shockwave, and Blast: MIX, and has appeared in projects with Disney, NBC, and Fox Television.

Kaysey has been an instructor and choreographer for various organizations for the past 20 years, including the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, Michigan State University, and various successful scholastic programs nationwide. Kaysey currently holds a position on the creative and instructional team for Blast: The Music of Disney, and is thrilled to be joining the Blue Knights team this season.

Juan Artavia is returning as Lead Instructor for his 10th year for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

Juan Artavia has been involved in the color guard activity since 2005. His drum corps experience has included time at the GLASSMEN Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007 and 2008, along with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in 2009 and 2010 where he was the color guard captain for both programs and was also the 2010 Drum Corps International Dance I&E Champion.

During his winter guard career, Juan was a performer with Code Black Winter Guard from 2008–2009 and a Captain with Cypress Independent from 2010–2012. He has performed at the Winter Guard International Independent World Class Finals with both groups.

As an educator, Juan is a staff member for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps. He is also a clinician, choreographer, and designer for numerous programs throughout the Houston-area. He is in his ninth year as director of the Morton Ranch Color Guard program and recently the Co-Founder and Director of Axis Independent Open Class Winterguard. Juan has been involved in the color guard activity since 2005.

Lauryn Heller is returning to Blue Knights color guard staff as a Lead Instructor for the 3rd year in 2017.

Lauryn Heller has experienced the world of marching arts from a very young age, particularly because of her mother’s influence. She attributes much of her success to her 8 years performing with the WGI A Class Finalist Haddon Heights HS “High Voltage” Color Guard program and its exceptional staff. After high school, Lauryn marched indoor color guard with The Light Brigade (2010), Alter Ego (2011, 2012), and The Black Watch (2014, 2016). Additionally, Lauryn marched 6 years in The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps Color Guard (2008-2013).

Lauryn’s instructional experience includes Haddon Heights HS, Washington Township HS, Surge Independent, The Cadets (2014-2015), The Bushwackers (Caption Head 2016-present), Blue Knights (2016-present), Black Watch Independent World (2017-present), United Percussion (Choreographer 2017-present), and Blue Knights (2016-present).

In almost every aspect of her life, Lauryn chooses to dedicates her time and efforts to the growth and support of the youth around her. She has earned an Associate’s Degree in social services from Gloucester County College (2012) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Rowan University (2015).

By day, Lauryn is a kindergarten aftercare teacher at an elementary school in New Jersey. On nights and weekends, she is working with multiple marching arts organizations. Lauryn does hope to continue her education in psychology so that she may follow her passion of helping others. After an incredible experience with the members and staff of the 2016 and 2017 Blue Knights, Lauryn is eager to continue her journey with this organization.

Monica Chamberlain is returning as a color guard instructor for her 4th year for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

Monica Chamberlain grew up in Harrison Township, Michigan and moved to Texas to continue on her college education. She is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin in 2017 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Applied Learning and Development, focusing specifically in Special Education. Monica currently resides in Seattle, WA with her dog. She is a special education teacher for primary age students with Autism.

Monica’s performance career has spanned almost a decade. She has performed 5 seasons of drum corps; 2 years with The Glassmen and 3 years with the Bluecoats. Monica spent her age-out summer of 2014 as Captain of the Bluecoats Color Guard where the drum corps placed 2nd at the Drum Corps International World Championships.

Monica has been a staff member for 4 years with the Blue Knights and we are excited to have her back with us again.

Nick Vizza is returning as color guard equipment instructor for his 3rd year for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

A native of the Chicagoland area, Nick Vizza currently resides in Katy, Texas. As a marching music performer, Nick has been a member of The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (2009-2010, 2013), as well as the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps (2011). He was also a cast member in the 2012 and 2014 editions of Cypress Independent, from Houston, Texas.

Nick has been the Color Guard Director at Tompkins High School (Katy, Texas) since the program’s inception in 2013. During the drum corps season, Nick instructs and writes for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps Color Guard (Denver, CO). He is currently the Co-Founder and Artistic Director for Axis Color Guard in Katy, TX.

Additionally, Nick is a choreographer, designer, and clinician for drum corps and high school color guard programs, including: Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps (CO), Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps (Casper, WY), Cypress Independent (TX), Fenix Independent (AZ), Cypress Ranch High School (TX), Station Camp High School (TN), Allatonna High School (GA), George Walton Comprehensive High School (GA), Morton Ranch High School (TX), Southwest High School (TX), and has instructed the wind and visual programs at The Woodlands HS (TX), Alvin HS (TX), Langham Creek HS (TX), and Naperville Central (IL).

As a student of Music Composition and Business at The University of Houston, Nick also holds elaborate training in composing original works, arrangements, and produces/mixes various tracks for performance ensembles and winter guards.

Liza Noriega is returning as color guard dance instructor for her 3rd year for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps. 

Born in New York, Liza Noriega relocated to Arizona in 1982. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with K-12 Certification in Dance at Arizona State University and her Master’s  Degree in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.

She began her color guard career at Coronado High School in 1982 and is now celebrating 35 years as a choreographer, clinician, and performance coach throughout Arizona, CA and Colorado. In 1991, she began her drum corps teaching career with Arizona Sun and in 2004, continued with the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. She was also on design staff for the Academy Winter Guard who were the 2008 Bronze medalist at WGI in the Independent Open Class.

She is currently on the design team and is the Movement Specialist for the 5-time Independent World Class Finalist, Fenix Independent. She continues as the ASU Marching Band and color guard Movement Instructor. Liza has been the director of Dance and Color Guard at Desert Mountain High School since 1995 while serving as the Performing Arts Department Chair for 7 years. There, she manages an Arizona Chapter for National Honors Dance, Teachers Inter Baccalaureate Dance, Cultural Connections and is found and director of “Desert Dance Company.” She has earned numerous scholarships and Educators Awards through the National Dance Educators Association.

In 2010, she was selected as the Charros Educator of the Year by her peers. In 2012, she earned the nationally recognized, Bill Evans excellence in teaching award by NDEO and AZDEO. In 2013, she was inducted into the Winter Guard-Arizona (WGAZ) Hall of Fame.

Liza has been happily married to her husband Phillip for 28 years and has 3 beautiful children and a daughter-in-law. Her most satisfying accomplishment is that all her children can dance!

Mellanie Risch is returning as color guard equipment instructor for her 3rd year for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

Mellanie Risch attended Arizona State University as a Liberal Studies major, and marched with the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band. She marched in the color guard with the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, and in the winter season with the Academy Winter Guard. She also marched as a founding member of Fenix Independent Winterguard (IW, IO).

She is currently teaching color guard with the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band and Fenix Independent (IA), and the 5-time World Class Finalist Fenix Independent (IW).

Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Mellanie currently resides in Mesa, Arizona with her husband, Adam and will be adding a bundle of joy to their family this coming March. She is the color guard director and designer at Mountain View High School in Mesa, Arizona.

Victor Rosas is returning as color guard equipment instructor for his 2nd year with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

Victor Rosas, a Phoenix Native, marched four years of saxophone before joining the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps color guard in 2010. From that inaugural season, Victor has continued to be engaged in his local color guard community, marching the 2011-2012 seasons with the Academy and joining the WGI circuit for the first time with Fenix Independent in 2013-2017. Victor joined The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in 2013 and 2014 seasons.

In addition to his performance experience, Victor has designed and choreographed for several high schools in the Valley in Phoenix.

Currently, he is the Co-Director of the Highland High School Color Guard and is a color guard technician at Perry High School. Victor is in his 2nd season on staff for the Sun Devil Marching Band Color Guard as well as Fenix Independent A & World Class Winterguard programs.

Tanner Valles is a color guard equipment instructor for his 1st full year for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps. 

Tanner Valles was born in California but grew up in Indiana where he was first exposed to color guard. He graduated from Perry Meridian High School in 2013 and started guard in 2009.

Tanner knew he had to keep color guard in his life forever so his junior year he auditioned for the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps and marched for two seasons (2012 and 2013), and also marched with the Blue Knights in 2014. After gradation he resided to Tempe, AZ. He attended Arizona State University for his Bachelors in Dance Performance, and has been a part of the ASU Winter Guard program, Fenix Independent (2014-2018).

Tanner began his teaching career his senior year at Pike High School in Indiana. When he moved to Arizona he then branched out to teaching at several schools. He began with Highland High School, Mesa High School, Tempe High School, Perry High School and Gilbert High School. Currently he is Co-Caption Head with his partner Victor Rosas at Highland High School.

Tanner hopes for one day after his performing career to be able to give back to all the organizations that have blessed him with the love for this activity. 2018 will be Tanner’s first official year with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps Color Guard, and we are excited about what he has to offer our students.

Aubrey Marlar is joining as color guard equipment instructor for her 1st year for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

Aubrey Marlar graduated from Rancho Cucamonga High School and is currently attending Arizona State University for her Bachelors in English Education. Her color guard career began with the Rancho Cucamonga Winterguard program as a performer from 2011-2014. Aubrey is a performing member of the Sun Devil Marching Band Color Guard.

Aubrey has been active in the Drum Corps activity since 2012, starting off as a performer with Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps Color Guard (2012-2013), then continuing on to perform with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps Color Guard (2014-2017).

Aubrey is currently in her last year as ASU and will be performing with Fenix Independent (IW) and is the weapon choreographer for Corona del Sol High School Color Guard and Winter Guard programs. 2018 will be Aubrey’s first year joining the staff at Blue Knights and looks forward to giving back to the members her wealth of knowledge in the drum corps activity.

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