Blue Knights

Denver, CO United States
Founded: 1958

Active Junior
World Class
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Results from final championship competition of the year
  • Position: 9
  • Score: 88.925
Repertoire for 2018
The Fall and Rise
Sun King by John Lennon | Paul McCartney Abbey Road
The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky
Exit Music (for a Film) by Thom Yorke | Jonny Greenwood | Colin Greenwood | Ed O'Brien | Phil Selway
Welcome to the Machine by Roger Waters
Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper | Rob Hyman
The Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps is a World Class DCI member corps sponsored by Ascend Performing Arts of Denver, Colorado.

Celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2018, the corps was founded in 1958 by Fred and Fae Taylor, who hosted local television shows for teens and taught music in their Fred and Fae Talent School..Fred was also a drummer in the Denver Grenadiers (American Legion) Senior Drum and Bugle Corps.who saw that a junior drum and bugle corps would provide performing opportunities to their students.

The corps was officially established in 1958 with Fred Taylor, George Young, and Ray Route as both the board of directors and the instructional staff. Plan A had been for the corps to be only a parade corps. Plan B saw them enter their first field competition in the corps' inaugural season and travel to VFW Nationals the following year. 

Although not very competitively successful in its early years, the corps kept plugging away, while many of its contemporaries fell by the wayside and became defunct. They attended their first DCI Championships in 1975, finishing in 11th place in Class A prelims. They returned to DCI as the hometown hosts at Mile High Stadium in 1977, but they finished 41st of the 45 corps in Open Class prelims in Boulder, Colorado. (Blue Knights also hosted the DCI Championships in 1978 and 2004--- in '78, the corps was only a parade corps, but in 2003, they finished in 10th place,)

The corps marched as only a parade corps in 1978 thru 1980, but in 1979, they renamed their home show "Drums Along the Rockies" (DATR) which became and remains a major national show and is one of the corps' primary fundraisers. The corps' bingo fundraiser, started in 1983, was wiped out when Colorado legalized casino gambling in the early 1990s.

1986 was a crucial year in the corps' history when, not only was recruting low, but some members were injured by a lightning strike on the practice field. Mark Arnold was brought in to stabilize the situation, and he helped the corps rebuild, as he brought in noted instructors and designers like George Zingali, Jim Prime, and Ralph Hardimon. Under Arnold's leadership, the corps improved to 22nd place in '87, 17th in '88, 16th in '89, 13th in '90, and gained its first DCI Finals slot with a 9th place finish in 1991. The corps was a DCI Finalist 1991-94, 1996-2000, and 2004-2017, and Arnold was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame in 2014.

In addition to the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, Ascend Performing Arts sponsors the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, which has competed in Winter Guard International (WGI) since 1994 (longer than any other unit) and won the WGI Independent World Championship in 1994, 1999, 2000, and 2003. Ascend also co-sponsors the BKXperience-Perform! clinics held for middle school through college band students in conjunction with both DATR and the Corps Encore show that the organization also hosts in Ogden, Utah.

The Blue Knights also developed and produces The Broncos Stampede, consisting of the Broncos Stampede Drum Line (formed 2003) and the Broncos Brass (formed 2009), the official percussion line and brass ensemble of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. 

[Ascend Performing Arts; Drum Corps World (multiple issues); Dave Strickler; A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vol. 2; Steve Vickers;Drum Corps International]

Members (87)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Andersen, Brooks Hornline 2002
Anderson, Greg Snare 1999 to 2000
Anderson, Samuel Contra/Tuba 2013 to 2015
Aumann, Jonette Color Guard 1992 to 1995
Barto, Lance Contra Bass 1999 to 2004
Bertram, Mark Visual Staff 1995
Bigley, Ryan Trumpet 2004 to 2005
Brown, Marianne Guard (rifle) 1968 to 1974
Bruyere, Marc bass drum 1994 to 1998
Caballero, David "JEFE" Snare 2000 to 2001
Carmichael, Stacey Baritone 2000 to 2002
Carte, Jennifer color guard 2001
Carter, Jon Contra 2001 to 2004
Chernow, Alexis Colorguard 2002 to 2004
Cooper, Brent Pit 1994
Cornell, Tanner Bari/Euph 2008 to 2010
Delohery, Amy Mellophone 1978 to 1979
Donelson, Al Contrabass 1983
Dronberger, Matthew Euphonium 2005 to 2006
Elhart, David Baritone 1985
Eshbach, Stephanie Mellophone 1999
Factor, Alex Tuba 2011 to 2014
Feuerborn, Mark Tuba 2006
Gagaza, J.P. Tenors 2008
Gipson, Derek brass tech/consultant 2011
Habel, Doug Hornline 1995 to 1996
Haffner, Arnold Drumline( Bass ) 2003
Hall, Christie colorguard 1995
Hebda, Martin Soprano 1992 to 1993
Hernandez, Matthew Trumpet 2010 to 2011
Hipke, Steve Drumline (Cyms) 1991 to 1993
Hodges, Jason Mellophone 2007
Hubbard, Scott Drumline - Tenors 1992 to 1994
James, Melissa Soprano/Trumpet 2004
Jimenez, Shannon Contrabass 2002 to 2006
Knudson, Todd rifle line 1982
Kuzma, GM Alto 1994
Kuzma, GM Administrative Staff 2004
Laubhan, Keith Front Ensemble 2001
Leary, Daniel Brass (bari) 2000
Leversedge, Mark Drumline 1993
Low- Underwood, Amanda Front Ensemble 1999
Martin, Phil Pit 1993 to 1995
Martinez, Jose Soprano 2003 to 2004
Matthews, II, John Sopranos 2003
McKinnon, Margaret Front Ensemble 1997
Mondragon, Chris Baritone (05) Contra (06-07) 2005 to 2007
Neimeyer, Daniel Percussion/Quad assist 2006 to 2007
Nelson, Duane Baritone 1976 to 1977
Nelson, Josh Bass Drum 2000 to 2002
Newton, Jeffrey Drumline (Snare) 1981
O'Toole, Heather Cymbal Line 1992 to 1993
Oppegard, Jillian Color Guard 2000 to 2001; 2003
Poling, Laura G bugle 2001
Predaina, Christy Color Guard 2002
Pressley, David soprano 1984
Reid, Jason Front Ensemble 2003 to 2006
Reiff, Lee Contrabass/Drum Major 1996 to 1998
Rickels, David Hornline - Mellophone 2000
Romero, James Lead Baritone 2003 to 2004
Rule, Gary Tex Euph 2005
Sabonis, Kate color guard 1992
Sanchez, Matthew snareline (auditioning) 2005
Sanders, Issac Contrabass 1999 to 2002
Seltzer, Matthew Euphonium 2005
Shane, Larry Brass Staff 1994 to 2003
Shields, Laura Front Ensemble 2000 to 2002
Skinner, Erik Soprano 2001 to 2003
Smith, Brian Front Emsemble 1997 to 1998
Smith, Frances mellophone 2005
Stegall, Floyd Management 1984
Steinbruegge, John Bass Line 1998
Sundleaf, Viktor Contra 2010
Takeda, Steven Tenor 2012 to 2013
Trevino, Marissa colorguard 2000; 2003
Ulmer, Sharla Colorguard 2004
W, R colorguard 1993 to 1994
Warren, Kasey Trumpet 2011 to 2013
Watson, Scott Front Ensemble 2006 to 2007
Wiener, Catherine Colorguard 1995
Wiener, Catherine Front Ensemble 1996
Wilson, Shauna Mae Colorguard 2002
Wiselogel, Dieter Euphonium 2006
Wood, Jim Guard Staff 1995
Worley, Tyler Front Ensemble 2003 to 2004
Young, Jennifer colorguard 2002
shao, sonya hornline 2002

CORPS 10 items

Blue Knights

Blue Knights from the Bill Ives Collection
Blue Knights

Blue Knights Hat from the Bill Ives Collection
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Blue Knights Jacket from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Cathy Bonnadonna
Blue Knights

Blue Knights Jacket from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Cathy Bonnadonna
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Blue Knights Denver CO-2 from the Bill Ives Collection
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Blue Knights Denver CO-3 from the Bill Ives Collection
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Blue Knights Denver CO-4 from the Bill Ives Collection
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Blue Knights Denver CO-6 from the Bill Ives Collection
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Blue Knights Denver CO-7 from the Bill Ives Collection
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PDF Document
174-177, Blue Knights from the Steve Vickers Collection