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Blue Knights Announce New Visual Designer

Ascend Performing Arts is excited to announce that Noe Gomez has joined the Blue Knights family as our new Visual Designer! Noe is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, California, and a prolific educator and designer within the marching arts. 

Noe Gomez is immersed in the upper echelons of the marching arts community, serving as a full-time visual designer, judge, and clinician for high school bands and independent programs. His dedication to the activity led him to roles on the visual staff and as Assistant Visual Caption Head of the Santa Clara Vanguard. He is also a member of the design teams at Pulse Percussion, POW Percussion, Flux Indoor Percussion, Arcadia High School, and more. Currently, Noe holds the position of Visual Caption Manager at Arcadia High School and recently served as the Visual Design Assistant for the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps in 2023. In addition, he is an advisor to the Color Guard Alliance of the Philippines and Impulso Marching Latino America. Noe has over seven years of performance experience, including with Impulse, Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets, and half of a decade with the Santa Clara Vanguard, where he served as drum major from 2012 to 2015.

As a designer, Noe takes pride in creating a cohesive visual package that is not only musically reflective but also exciting, achievable, and fresh. His passion lies in cultivating a musical landscape that allows performers to sound their best while highlighting the color guard positively. Noe places professionalism and communication at the core of his work with all programs he’s involved with.

Noe shared his excitement about joining the Blue Knights, saying, “The Blue Knights has always been an organization that pushes themselves creatively. I’m excited to continue building on Blue Knights’ recent success and help craft the voice of the organization in 2024. I hope to create opportunities for the members to be individualistic, expressive, and connected with their audience. I’m grateful to join a drum corps with such a rich artistic history and bright future.”

Daniel, Executive Director the Blue Knights, expressed his enthusiasm for Noe’s addition to the team: “We are thrilled to welcome Noe Gomez to the Blue Knights family as our new Visual Designer. Noe’s top-level experience, holistic approach to visual design, and chemistry with the rest of the design team make him a perfect addition to the team. His passion for fostering individual expression and his dedication to excellence align perfectly with the Blue Knights’ core values. With Noe at the helm of our visual program, we are confident that we will not only achieve great things in 2024, but also pave the way for an exciting and vibrant future. Noe’s creative vision and fresh perspective will be huge strengths for the team as we aim to continue pushing the boundaries of artistic excellence. We’re looking forward to crafting a memorable and impactful experience for our members and audiences alike with Noe on the team!”

Join us in welcoming Noe Gomez to the Blue Knights family!

Visual Instructor
Noe Gomez – Visual Designer
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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