Blue Knights to Perform in Bahrain 2017

UPDATE: Read about the Blue Knights-Bahrain ensemble’s latest update here.


DENVER, CO – Ascend Performing Arts has been commissioned to produce a major performance ensemble for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2017 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. The trip, scheduled from April 12th – 18th, will take place in Manama, Bahrain during the Formula 1 race week and is expected to showcase race car drivers from 42 nations, for over 50,000 on-site spectators with an estimated 500 million worldwide television viewers, and media and broadcast entourage of approximately 2,000 personnel.

“We are very honored to be invited to such a prestigious event in Bahrain,” said Mark Arnold, Executive Director of Ascend Performing Arts. “This is another amazing opportunity for our organization to perform on the global stage.”

Formula One (also known as F1) is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The FIA Formula One World Championship has been the premier form of racing since the inaugural season in 1950, although other Formula One races were regularly held until 1983. The “formula”, designated in the nhttps://ascendperformingarts.org/blue-knights-to-…-in-bahrain-2017/ame, refers to a set of rules, to which all participants’ cars must conform. The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix (from French, meaning grand prizes), held worldwide on purpose-built F1 circuits and public roads.

 

This will be the 3rd year for Ascend Performing Arts to perform for an international audience as part of their Ascend Entertainment division. A 50-person Blue Knights ensemble participated in a number of events including educational clinics, a parade and staged exhibition performances that culminated with a performance at the Taiwan Taoyuan Band Festival on May 24, 2014. Last year, the Blue Knights Performance Ensemble performed as the feature act in the Opening Ceremonies for the 2016 FIS Alpine World Ski Championship in Vail, Colorado. Ascend Entertainment ensembles consist of performers from the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps alumni, Blue Knights Indoor World Percussion Ensemble alumni, Opus X alumni and the Denver Broncos Stampede Drum Line and Brass.

For the upcoming trip to Bahrain, a larger performance ensemble is needed to fill the 100 performer positions. Ascend is seeking additional brass performers in the Denver-area for this opportunity. Brass performers interested in being considered should complete the online form below to receive additional information. Due to limited preparation time, interested brass performers should be at least 18 years old, be in good physical condition, have a strong marching background, and have a valid passport that expires no sooner than October 18, 2017. Open auditions and rehearsals are being finalized for the coming months to prepare for the international tour.Click to Apply for Bahrain Tour

Ascend Performing Arts would like to recognize the continued support of its industry partners: Jupiter Band Instruments, Mapex Percussion, Majestic Percussion, Remo, Vic Firth, Zildjian, Pickett Brass, Director’s Showcase International, The Band Hall, Treeworks, Award & Sign, Field & Floor FX and Creative Costume & Designs.

∴ Read the Frequently Asked Questions for this tour HERE (updated: February 1, 2017)


Join Ascend Entertainment!

Ascend Performing Arts can provide a soloist drummer, a small brass ensemble or full marching band for a grand opening or a convention center performance anywhere in the world. Our performers will arrive prepared to take the stage in any size production.

Musicians  who join are considered for a variety of paid performance opportunities in the Rocky Mountain Region and beyond.

Complete the form below to join our roster for periodic performance opportunities. Once your application is reviewed, you will be contacted to discuss your experience, desired roles and a possible audition in our performer cast.

Questions? Contact Entertainment@AscendPerformingArts.org

Join Ascend Entertainment!


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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