Member Spotlight: Adora Choquette

Photo by Domani Barkley
Photo by Domani Barkley

She is small in stature, but big in heart. Texas-native Adora Choquette (pronounced Sho-Ket, despite what some announcers may proclaim) is one of the Blue Knights’ drum majors and big fan of cute puppies.

No stranger to Drum Corps International, Adora was a conductor for the Blue Knights in 2014, as well as a drum major for the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps in their 2013 inaugural season. In her senior year of high school at Pflugerville High School, she was drum major under a band program directed by current Blue Knights brass caption head Brad Toth.

Currently, Adora is attending Baylor University in Waco, Texas, majoring in psychology. She says that she wants to work in child psychology when she ventures out into the work field. Adora feels that her drum corps experience will help her in her professional career, stating that her experiences help her interact with people on a very personal level, and that her position in the corps allows her to help others cope with their problems as well as deal with personal situations in a way she has never been able to before

Photo by Rebecca Hedges Lyon
Photo by Rebecca Hedges Lyon

Amongst DCI fans on social media, Adora is very well known, named on many occasions “the cutest drum major in DCI”. Photos and posts of her are always met positively with comments like “She’s ADORAble!” and numerous hearts and smiley faces. In real life as well, Adora is a very down to earth person. She is always there to give a smile or hug and can brighten up anyone’s day just by being in the same room.

Not to forget about Adora’s love for dogs, a fact that was shared with great enthusiasm, she says her favorite breed is Corgis. She also has two dogs of her own named Ace and Dixie, and they are both Blue Heelers.

Should you ever get the chance to meet Adora, take it. You’ll find that she is a very genuine soul that you’ll only find once in a lifetime, and it’s no question that her personality exemplifies what it means to be a Blue Knight, and everyone who knows her should emulate her world-class work ethic and attitude.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

StephenBatesStephen Bates’ involvement with Ascend Performing Arts includes membership in the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble in 2014 and 2015. He is pursuing a Communications degree in Digital Film-making at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he also works as a graphic designer/marketing coordinator for the office of Student Life and Leadership.

Stephen co-founded Tomahawk Percussion in 2014 with fellow Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble member, Tom Griess. Tomahawk Percussion was founded to provide resources, support, and a community for those involved in the marching arts. Outside of school and music, Stephen was TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2006, is a shareholder/part owner for of the Green Bay Packers, and has had his name engraved into NASA hardware that has flown into space.

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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