TAIWAN – The Blue Knights recently performed in the Taoyuan Band Festival during their week international tour in Taiwan in May 2014. The Blue Knights’ trip, which was similar to one taken by the Blue Devils in 2013, was made possible by Motif Music, an Asian music organization that has been working with Drum Corps International over the last year to bring its DrumLine Battle and SoundSport programs to students in China. 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 Taoyuan Band Festival on May 24, 2014.
“With the drum and bugle corps engaged in preparations for their 2014 summer tour, we are able to draw the talent from our other ensembles to develop this program,” said Mark Arnold, the Blue Knights Executive Director.
The ensembles that made up BK-Taiwan were all part of the Blue Knights’ Ascend Performing Arts parent organization. Members came from Ascend’s longstanding Winter Guard International Sport of the Arts percussion program (BKPE), through a partnership with the Opus 10 winter color guard and through the Broncos Brass, an ensemble made up of Blue Knights alumni and others who perform at Denver Broncos NFL home games. “We are fortunate to have the ability to seize this opportunity,” Arnold said.
The BK-Taiwan performance ensemble produced an Americana-themed show for the trip titled “An American Journey,” which featured music from Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and “The Red Pony.” The production was designed and choreographed by Rob Billings, an influential part of the Blue Knights organization for many years. Ascend Performing Arts would like to thank the government of Taiwan, Motif Music, and everyone who supported BK-Taiwan for this amazing overseas opportunity to promote music arts education.