Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble
For over 25 years the Blue Knights Percussion Ensembles have proven to be among the most innovative and successful groups in the indoor percussion activity. With 4 WGI World Percussion Championships to their credit, the Blue Knights Percussion Ensembles have solidified themselves as a perennial favorite of both the fans and the judges, wowing audiences with amazing music and spectacular visual programs.
Combining music, marching, and elements of theater, competitive indoor percussion ensembles compete regionally throughout the winter and spring, prior to attending the World Championships in April. The indoor percussion activity has experienced exponential growth since the early 1990s, and the number of ensembles increases every year. The Blue Knights are the longest continually operating Independent Class percussion ensemble in the world, established in 1993.
Thank you for your interest in Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble! We are honored that you are considering auditioning with us as we embark into the 2019 Winter Guard International and Rocky Mountain Percussion Association season. Auditions for this season are coming this Fall, please submit a form if you are interested in getting information about next season:
Keenan Evans – Ensemble Director (bio)
Peter Lucero – Program Coordinator
Colin Spear – Front Ensemble Arranger (bio)
Jeff Bickford – Battery Arranger (bio)
Peter Lucero – Visual Designer
Danny Sibley – Sound Designer (bio)
Steve Turney – Graphic Designer (bio)
Andrew Brickman – Bass Tech
Danny Sibley – Front Ensemble Instructor
Colin Spear – Front Ensemble Instructor
The Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble schedule for the 2020 season is subject to change and will be updated here. NOTE: We will have rehearsals on Friday nights and most Saturday mornings prior to our Saturday shows, which will be confirmed once that schedule is finalized. Current as of June 23, 2019.
2020 Audition dates for next season will be:
– Sep 8: BKXperience Open Clinic with BKW @ Englewood 9am-6pm
– Sep 15: BKPE Audition Clinic @ Englewood 9am-9pm
– Sep 22: BKPE Audition Clinic @ Englewood 9am-9pm
George Lindstrom was the director of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in 1984. His wife Lynn was one of the founders of Winter Guard International, and the director from 1978 to 2001. In 1992, thanks to the efforts of George and Lynn, WGI expanded to include percussion as a part of the “Sport of the Arts”.
Then in September 1993, the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble was founded to give local talent a means to perform during the winter season and to train them for possible future membership into the drum corps. The group competes in Percussion Independent World class in both WGI and the Rocky Mountain Percussion Association, which is the highest level of competition.
Early programs consisted of field-style drill on a gymnasium floor, and members in the ensemble wore the classic 21 dot corps uniform. In 1994, the ensemble’s first year of competition, the Blue Knights won the inaugural WGI Independent World Championship.
Throughout the next few years, the Blue Knights performed shows with complex movement, staging, and costumes, continuing to innovate and leave a mark on the indoor percussion activity.
With high-profile staff and designers including Mike Nevin, Ralph Hardimon, Jim Crouch, and Dave Marvin, the percussion ensemble maintained a top three finish from 1994-2003, and won an additional three world championships in 1999, 2000, and 2003.
The Blue Knights also operated an Independent Open Class ensemble that made WGI finals in 2005 and 2006.
As the longest continually running Independent ensemble in WGI, the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble has been home to members who have gone on to make great strides in the world of marching arts including alumni who have recently started their own Independent World groups in the state of Colorado including Rise Percussion, Black Diamond and Altitude Percussion.
Because of the hard work that members, staff, and volunteers put in year after year, the ensemble continues to thrive and innovate and is looking to once again make waves in the world of indoor percussion.
- For 26 years, the Blue Knights are the longest running Percussion Independent World (PIW) class ensemble in WGI and 1 of only 5 world champions.
- They were the 1st WGI group affiliated with a Drum Corps International (DCI) unit; the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.
- The Blue Knights have won 11 WGI medals, which is the second most of all groups (behind Music City Mystique) and also have the second most appearances in WGI finals (again, behind Music City Mystique).
- In 1999, the ensemble scored 97.1. This remained the highest WGI Independent World score until 2009.
- The Blue Knights have won 4 WGI World Championships and 24 RMPA State Championships in the Percussion Independent World class.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble is open to anyone under the age of 23 years on April 1 of each competitive season. We are not affiliated with any particular school or district, so anyone is eligible to join. Membership is determined at auditions. It is required for all members to be part of a placement assessment in order to be a part of our ensembles. Auditions in all ensembles occur before each respective season begins. It is best to check our recent news for any and all updates on when each audition is scheduled.
There are three important components to the complete audition process:
1. A musical assessment will be held at the very beginning of each season to determine which part you should play. This is executed first, with an individual audition, and second, in an open-teaching environment where each performer will play and learn the music in an ensemble setting. Individual auditions will occur as part of the pre-season BKXperience Audition clinics and will look at skill levels already presented within the musical assessment.
2. A visual assessment on marching (for battery members) and electronic knowledge basis (for front ensemble).
3. An on-going evaluation of your overall attitude and previous experience takes place during each session to determine someone’s potential within their placement in the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble.
Please note that the procedure described above applies to potential basis on each person selected. It is best understand that everyone will learn a great deal during a season and students who are not offered up position on the instrumentation desired can be put on a plan that will guide that performer into the preferred instrument in future marching seasons.
The Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble rehearses on weekends starting after auditions in November. All rehearsals are mandatory.
The Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble performs in the Independent World class at RMPA competitions and the WGI Regional held in Denver. These competitions are typically held on Saturdays. The ensemble will also travel to Dayton, Ohio to compete in the WGI Percussion World Championships, which are held mid-April.
Membership Tuition fees cover nearly half of the operational cost for the ensemble. Tuition will be determined before auditions and briefed to prospective members prior to receiving a Member Contract.
Although attending one of our September or October BKXperience-Audition! Clinics for the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble certainly gives us the best opportunity to evaluate your talents (and you the best opportunity to show us your talents), you may submit a video audition under certain circumstances.
Contact your caption head instructor to determine if a Video Audition is appropriate:
FRONT ENSEMBLE: Colin.Spear@AscendPerformingArts.org
If it is determined that a Video Audition is appropriate, your caption head will email you a link with instructions on how to submit your video. Audition material will be e-mailed in your transaction receipt as download links. Follow the instructions and email a video link (such as an UNLISTED YOUTUBE VIDEO) to your caption head below after you pay your fee.
Deadline for Video Auditions: October 20th
Want More Info?
While the Blue Knights audition experience camp registration is now open, we are interested in learning more about you. Click on the Interest Form button below to be notified of upcoming opportunities with the Blue Knights!