DENVER, CO – Ascend Performing Arts mourns the passing of George Lindstrom, a Blue Knights Hall of Famer and long-time supporter of the pageantry arts. He passed after a prolonged battle with cancer on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, surrounded by his daughter, Shelley and son, Ryan and their respective spouses and children. His beloved wife, Lynn, preceded his death in January 2016.
“This is such a loss for all of us,” stated Mark Arnold, CEO of Ascend Performing Arts. “George’s contributions positively impacted so many as his focus was always upon the young people we serve. On this Thanksgiving Day, our hearts go out to the entire Lindstrom family and all who were touched by his life as we mourn together, reflect upon a life well-lived, and give thanks to George, someone who truly made this world a better place.”
George was the Corps Director of the Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps from Racine, WI (1975), and with Lynn formed the Memphis Blues Brass Band Drum and Bugle Corps in 1979. George first became involved with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in 1983 when he served as the Executive Director. He has remained an ardent supporter of the organization and served on the Corporate Board of Directors and as a non-voting Board Advisory Member.
George and his wife Lynn managed Ascend Events for over 30 years, overseeing plans for Drums Along the Rockies and Corps Encore. In 2007, Drums Along the Rockies was recognized by Drum Corps International as the “Tour Event of the Year.”
George’s vision to involve more youth was instrumental in the formation of the Friendship Cup High School Marching Band Competition for Ascend, which now involves over 1,000 high school band participants annually.
In 1992, thanks to the efforts of George and Lynn, WGI expanded to include percussion as a part of the “Sport of the Arts” which enabled the creation of the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble (BKPE); the longest-running Percussion Independent World group in WGI with 4-WGI Championships and 22 Rocky Mountain Percussion Ensemble State Championship titles. BKPE was also the first WGI group affiliated with a DCI drum corps. The expansion and growth of WGI is directly due to the vision of George who is responsible for the creation of both the WGI Percussion and Marching Band divisions. George served as Contest Manager for the World Championships, strategic planning consultant and tireless volunteer.
George’s presence, vision and unflinching, passionate drive will be sorely missed. Ascend Performing Arts and the Blue Knights programs have been made possible largely because of George’s leadership, passion for the activity and vision of the future. Our organization is stronger and serves more youth than ever before thanks to his efforts and dedication.
A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.