Audition BKPE

More info will be posted soon

Want to stay in the loop? Fill out the Audition Interest Form below and you’ll be the first to know as soon as audition info goes live.

Audition Registration is live!

September 17th & 24th, 2023
9am – 9pm

The audition process is across both audition weekends. Expect to attend both dates to audition for BKPE. Check-in begins at 9am on both days

Audition for BKPE

Want to stay in the loop? Fill out the Audition Interest Form below and you’ll be the first to know as soon as audition info for next season goes live.

BKPE Auditions Timeline

Register and Purchase Audition

Purchase the BKPE Audition and download the packet.
Get to practicing!

Register Here

Come Audition

Attend the Auditions on September 18th and 25th.

If you get a Contract…

You will be sent an electronic contract to sign and you will need to make your acceptance payment towards your member tuition.

Complete required documentation and forms.

Welcome to BKPE!

BKPE Auditions FAQ

Who can audition for BKPE?

The Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble is open to anyone under the age of 23 years on April 1 of the competitive season. Most members are between 16 and 22 years old.

I don't know if I'll make the group. Should I still come to auditions?

You should absolutely still come to auditions! Participating in the audition process is a fantastic learning experience, regardless of your likelihood to become a member. You’ll also never know unless you try!

Do I need to attend both the 9/17 and 9/24 auditions?

All auditionees are expected to attend both weekends. If you are from out of state or you absolutely can not make one of the audition days, please email us at

Are BKPE auditions and the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps auditions the same?

No, these are independent auditions. Both ensembles are operated under Ascend Performing Arts: BKPE competes within RMPA & WGI, the BKDBC competes within DCI. You do not need to audition for one ensemble to be a part of the other.

How much is member tuition?

The member tuition for 2024 is being finalized, however it will be approx. $2,300 – $2,600. This covers the cost of instruction, design, uniforms, show production needs, circuit registration fees, Dayton travel & housing, and more. Ascend Performing Arts has scholarships to apply for and fundraising resources for those who need financial support to be able to march.

Have a plan before you come to auditions.
Being able to pay your member tuition is a necessary part of being a member of this ensemble.

Can I participate if I have not been vaccinated for COVID-19?

Being vaccinated is not a requirement to audition, however, if offered a spot, all members will be required to show proof of vaccination as a part of their member contracting. We take the safety of our ensemble, its members, and its staff very seriously. Requiring vaccinations is core to our policies regarding COVID-19 and our ability to protect our ensemble and the time investment our members and staff make to be a part of this activity.

What will the rehearsal schedule be?

After auditions, we will have sub-sectionals in October. Regular season rehearsals are each weekend on Saturday & Sunday from November through mid-April, picking up Friday evening rehearsals during show season.

We also have a winter camp as well after Christmas and before New Years. Specific dates TBA.

Why don't full rehearsals start up right after auditions?

We recognize that many of our members participate in drum corps and strongly encourage them to do so. In this regard, we realize that many of our members need down time between the DCI and WGI seasons, for both their mental and physical health. Having our audition dates in September and regular rehearsals picking up in November allows us to solidify plans for the finalized membership, while also giving our members time before rushing right into the next marching season.

Can I audition for another ensemble?

We believe it is in everybody’s best interest that you march with your dream ensemble if you are able, even if that is not us. Although we believe you will have an amazing and unparalleled experience being a part of BKPE, it does not serve us or you if you are still wondering “What if…”.
If you are wanting to make sure you march this season and are auditioning for multiple groups we ask that you are upfront and forthright during the audition process so we can discuss with you your options if you are offered a contract at BKPE while still finalizing auditions with another group.

My family and friends want to help, what do you need?

There are many volunteer opportunities within the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, primarily truck driving (CDL required), volunteering to provide meals, helping serve, etc! Email to inquire for more information regarding volunteering.

Who do I contact if I have other questions?

If you have any further questions, please contact Keenan, BKPE Director, at

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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