Spark! Ideas Conference Returns to Denver in 2018

DENVER, CO – The Spark! Ideas Conference is an exhilarating afternoon of creative inspiration designed for marching band directors, music instructors, college students; anyone who wants to refuel a passion for music performance and expand their professional network.

The conference–produced by Ascend Performing Arts–is entering its 3rd year as a part of Ascend Education efforts. This year’s Spark! is sponsored in part by KHS America “Academic Alliance”, Jupiter BrassMapex PercussionMajestic Percussion and the Utah Music Educators Association.

Topics presented by Blue Knights design team, Jay Bocook and Kevin Shah to include:
  • Show Program Design
  • Electronics & Sound Design
  • Music Ensemble Techniques
  • and more!
There will be a session held this year at the following location:
  1. Drums Along the Rockies: July 14, 2018 at Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO.

Detailed schedule will be emailed out to registered attendees. Here is the general timeline:

  • Check-in/Registration: 12:00pm
  • Conference: 1:00pm-5:00pm
The Spark! conference fee is $75 for general admission, $50 for university students includes:
  • Access to Spark! conference
  • A meal and refreshments

Conference Fee:

  • General Admission:
    • Early Bird (before June 1st): $75
    • At the Door: $85
  • Student Admission:
    • Early Bird (before June 1st): $50
    • At the Door: $60

Additional premium tickets for Drums Along the Rockies can be purchased for Spark! guests not attending the conference. Contact to order your tickets.

Conference Facilitators include:


  • Jay Bocook is the Brass Arranger for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps. 

Jay is a native of Clearwater, FL, a Furman University graduate and an internationally-recognized composer, arranger, conductor and educator. Jay’s work has been heard during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. In the summer of 2003, his music transcriptions of noted film composer John Williams were premiered by the U.S. Marine Band in a concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and conducted by Williams himself. An encore performance featuring Mr. Williams and the “President’s Own” took place in the summer of 2008.In addition, Jay was a contributing arranger to a new musical, CyberJam, which opened at the Queen’s Theater in London to rave reviews in the fall of 2003. His arrangements were also featured in “Mix,” which opened in the fall of 2008 in Japan. In 1982, Jay was appointed Director of Bands at Furman University where remained until 1989. He rejoined the Furman faculty in 2000 as Director of Athletic Bands. He has served as Assistant Conductor of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and remains a principal composer and arranger for the Hal Leonard Corporation, where he has published over 600 compositions and arrangements.In 2009, Jay was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the American Bandmasters Association and a 2010 inductee to the South Carolina Band Directors Hall of Fame.


  • Kevin Shah is the Music Coordinator, Percussion Composer & Arranger for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

Kevin Shah is an active designer and educator in the the world of the marching arts. As a composer for winds and percussion, Kevin owns and operates, which features many of his works for marching band and percussion ensemble. Kevin is very involved in winter percussion and is the music designer for Arcadia High School and  Broken City Percussion. Kevin also serves on both the WGI Board of Directors and Percussion Steering Committee. As a longtime fan of drum corps, Kevin marched bass drum with Pacific Crest in 1999 and 2000 and aged out with the Santa Clara Vanguard in 2002. Kevin served as the Sound Designer for the Bluecoats from 2010 – 2013, and was the Front Ensemble Arranger for the Mandarins in 2013 and 2014. Kevin joined the Blue Knights in 2014 and serves as Music Coordinator and as a Composer/Arranger. Kevin also serves on the DCI Rules and Systems Task Force (RSTF). Kevin holds a B.M. in percussion performance from UCLA where he studied with Mitchell Peters, and an M.M. in percussion performance from the Juilliard School of Music where he studied with Greg Zuber, Daniel Druckman, Gordon Gottlieb, Joseph Pereira, and Roland Kohloff. Kevin is a Yamaha Performing Artist and also endorses ProMark Drumsticks, Evans Drumheads and Sabian Cymbals.

Register Now!