zTemplate Audition BKDBC

Blue

Knights

audition

A reformed educational experience and audition opportunity fit for today

Audition

the process

The Dot Book

1 A meticulously and artfully crafted combination of text, videos, illustrations, and exercises to introduce you to the Blue Knights’ approach. The Dot Book combines preparing for an audition, and the educational experience that comes from attending one of our camps. This is one of the most extensive and detailed collections of drum corps educational material to ever be put in one place.

Individual Session

2 All those who purchase access to the Dot Book will need to schedule for a virtual one on one session with a staff member, both as an opportunity to go through materials seen in the Dot Book, and to receive educational feedback on the provided exercises. This is not an audition, but an opportunity for individual feedback and discussion in a low pressure and personal environment.

Audition

3 After the one on one session, performers will be invited to audition if staff feels they are ready and very close to what we are looking for in new members. Because we have retained members from 2020, this ensures that only those with a serious chance of making a remaining spot will need to pay and prepare for a full audition.

Education

Experience

Each preseason, we seek to fulfill two goals: provide an excellent experience and educational opportunity to every individual who attends our camps, and audition performers for spots in the drum corps. The order of those two goals is important to us. The education and experience we provide are not just the byproducts of our audition process, they are our audition process. This has been incredibly important to us for many years, and that hasn’t changed this year. While being able to provide a great experience first and an audition opportunity second is markedly more difficult in the current circumstances, we are committed to our resolution to do so. This year’s reformed process takes into account safety, respect for time and resources, and realistic position availability, while providing a high quality experience through access to meticulously and artfully crafted educational materials and to exclusive time with our staff. This process is broken into three stages.

Each preseason, we seek to fulfill two goals: provide an excellent experience and educational opportunity to every individual who attends our camps, and audition performers for spots in the drum corps. The order of those two goals is important to us. The education and experience we provide are not just the byproducts of our audition process, they are our audition process. This has been incredibly important to us for many years, and that hasn’t changed this year. While being able to provide a great experience first and an audition opportunity second is markedly more difficult in the current circumstances, we are committed to our resolution to do so. This year’s reformed process takes into account safety, respect for time and resources, and realistic position availability, while providing a high quality experience through access to meticulously and artfully crafted educational materials and to exclusive time with our staff. This process is broken into three stages.

Audition FAQ

How many spots are left in the drum corps?
Will there be any in-person camps this year?

For now, at a minimum there will be no in person camps until the new year.

What will the final audition portion look like if I receive an invitation?
Are The Dot Book and the individual session with the staff two different fees?
Is it certain there will be a season this year?
What is tuition for 2021?
I am a returning member. Do I need to participate in this full process?

Yes, just with the start of every year we ask our returning members to be fully engaged in the educational process.

Scroll to Top

How do you want to support Ascend?

There are lots of ways to support Ascend.

Help us build our new Equipment Truck and Make Space for the Future

Support Ascend through Colorado Gives

Learn more about how to support Ascend

Want to Stay up to Date?

Sign up for our newsletter, the Knightly Newsbrief, to stay up to date with Ascend and all things Blue Knights. 

Email Address(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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