Blue Knights Winds Leadership Staff Announced

DENVER, CO – The Blue Knights Winds are excited to announce the leadership team for the 2020 season!

Please welcome the return of Thomas Kober as Music Caption Head, Jeff DesMarteau as Visual Caption Head, and Ethan Goddard as Ensemble Manager. The Blue Knights Winds were recipients of the silver medal in Winter Guard International Winds Independent Open Class last year for their 2019 inaugural season.

“Last year’s success was due in no small part to the hard work and expertise of Thomas, Jeff, and Ethan. We are very excited to have them working with the group again this year” said Abe Eng, Blue Knights Winds Director.

Thomas Kober will be returning to the Blue Knights as Music Caption Head for the 2020 season.

Thomas Kober is director of bands at William J. Brennan High School in San Antonio, Texas and his wind ensemble and marching band regularly receives superior or sweepstakes ratings at state and national festivals and contests. He is an active adjudicator and clinician in many circuits around the United States.

Thomas is a proud alumni of both the Crossmen and the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. Thomas has taught brass with the Boston Crusaders 2013-2014, and the Santa Clara Vanguard 2015-2016, and has also worked winter camps with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps 2018-2019. This is Thomas’s second season as music caption head for Blue Knights Winds.

Jeff DesMarteau will be returning as Visual Caption Head for the 2020 season.

Jeff DesMarteau has been involved in the pageantry arts for more than 20 years as a performer, instructor, designer, and adjudicator. An alumnus of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, Jeff was a member of the Blue Knights visual staff from 2004 through 2009 and also in 2014.

He has worked with numerous high school marching band and winter percussion programs in the Denver area and also led the visual program for the now inactive Blue Knights Winter Brass ensemble. Jeff is an assistant professor of nursing at Regis University. This will be Jeff’s second season as visual caption head of Blue Knights Winds and he will also serve in the role of staff coordinator.

Ethan Goddard will return as Ensemble Manager for the 2020 season.

Ethan Goddard has been an Assistant Tour Manager for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps admin team since 2013 and Operations Director since 2018. He also supports various events for Ascend Performing Arts throughout the year to include Drums Along the Rockies, Corps Encore, and the Friendship Cup High School Marching Band Competition. 

He holds an associate of math from Arapahoe Community College and is currently pursuing a bachelors in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado Denver.

Ethan is a Blue Knights alumni and was a recipient of the “Blue Knight of the Year” award in 2013. This is Ethan’s second year as Ensemble Manager for Blue Knights Winds.

∴ Blue Knights Winds will be holding their second pre-audition camp on Sunday, Sept 22nd at Englewood High School. Go to to learn more!

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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


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


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


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


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


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


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