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Our scholarships are designed to help make available funds for those individuals that possess the talent, desire, and commitment to be a member of any Blue Knights Ensembles, but lack the financial resources to make that dream a reality.
Keith Nygaard Memorial scholarship recipients Jamal Blassingale and Matt Boyle
This Blue Knights Alumni Scholarship was established by the Alumni Association in 2017, which includes alumni from the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble and Blue Knights Winds programs. The Association sponsors fundraisers so that future members in need of financial assistance would be able to have an education for life through the demands of experiencing drum corps, percussion, or winds ensembles.
This Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of long-time volunteers Del and Dinah Owens. Del and Dinah Owens spent over 20 years as volunteers. Del volunteered at drum corps camps doing airport shuttle runs; registration, shako fitting, food service, and merchandise preparation. Dinah managed merchandise and was instrumental in establishing souvenir sales as part of Ascend’s income. They both also volunteered to help out the Percussion Ensemble, volunteered at events and both served on the Booster Board.
By request of his parents, Rick and Cheryl Nygaard, the Keith Nygaard Memorial Scholarship was established in 2017 for the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble. Keith was a member of the Doherty High School Marching Band in Colorado Springs where he led young new musicians in the art of marching music. He continued his passion as a performer by joining the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble in 2012 and marched until he aged-out in 2015. Keith graduated from the Colorado School of Mines where he majored in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science.
His family wanted Keith’s legacy in music to continue by helping talented members, who indicated financial need, to be able to march and reap the benefits of being a member of the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble. According to his friends, Keith was “an incredible musician who brought so much joy to this world by inspiring hundreds of young marching musicians to follow their dreams.”
Music was a passion in Dan's life and he was involved with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps until he aged out. He started as a snare drummer in the Corps. After aging out, Dan assisted the Corps' Instructional staff and also served as percussion instructor for local high school bands.
Dan served as the first Director of the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, with three championship titles under his direction.
He served as Vice President of the Ascend Performing Arts Board of Directors from 2008-2012. He was inducted into the Blue Knights Hall of Fame in 2019.
As a devoted teacher and inspiring mentor, he helped young musicians develop their crafts and life skills. Funds from this scholarship help either Percussion Ensemble members or a member in the percussion section of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.