Ascend Performing Arts

Ascend Performing Arts is a non-profit youth performing arts organization dedicated to transforming young people into incredible, high performance adults using marching music as its vehicle. Emphasis is on Education, Performing Ensembles, Events and Entertainment.

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General Information

Official Name
Ascend Performing Arts Inc​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
(2010)Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
3538 Peoria Street, Suite 500
Aurora, CO 80010
Colorado Location
3538 Peoria Street, Suite 500
Aurora, CO 80110
Mailing Address
3538 Peoria Street
Suite 500
Aurora, CO 80010
Other Address
3538 Peoria St
Suite 500
Aurora, CO 80010
Main Phone Number
Fax Number
Other Phone Number
Social Media Links

Mission Statement

The mission of Ascend Performing Arts is to further the education and growth of young people through participation in high-caliber performing arts programs that promote teamwork and discipline, develop leadership skills, and enhance self-esteem.

Organization History

Vanishing extracurricular activities become an increasing reality in our schools today. Ascend Performing Arts programs provide a much needed outlet for those interested in music and dance performance.

Ascend Performing Arts provides the opportunity to experience music performance at its highest level and has developed into a multi-faceted youth performing arts organization each year, since its inception in 1958 as a drum and bugle corps. Performing arts programs, educational outreach, multiple performance events, and groups developed to entertain all speak to an organization that has evolved through time, meeting the needs of the Blue Knights and the community it serves.

In 2009, the Board of Directors of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps began the process of reorganizing to create a framework which would more accurately express the scope and impact of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, better positioning the organization for future growth and funding. In 2010, after a thorough re-branding process, the Board of Directors announced Ascend Performing Arts as the name of their umbrella organization. Currently Ascend offers two dynamic performance programs, two premier competitive events in 2 states, a high school band competition, and educational hands-on clinics. Members and participants expand their level of technical skills while becoming more proficient performers. Members in the Broncos Stampede, Broncos Brass, and Ascend Entertainment perform for the enjoyment of their audiences, whether at a Broncos game or at an all-expense paid International trip.
Ascend Performing Arts uses its unique programs, educational outreach, events, and its entertainment groups to completely teach youth to develop independence, responsibility, leadership and teamwork by influencing and nurturing the skills needed to become responsible contributing members of their communities.


Statement from Ken Adams
2019 Drum Corps International Volunteer of the Year
Ascend Corporate Board Member (2018-2021)
Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, Volunteer Brass Line Recruiter

The mission of Ascend Performing Arts is to further the education and growth of young people through participation in high-caliber performing arts programs that promote teamwork and discipline, develop leadership skills, and enhance self-esteem.

We are proud of our accomplishments, and our longevity is a testament to the important role Ascend Performing Arts plays within our community. Through the past 61 years, thousands of young people have benefited from our programs, and we look forward to including a far greater number of youth. Ascend Performance Arts uniquely provides a transformational life experience for kids that make a positive difference for all of us. We are positioned to develop youth through high quality personalized instruction in our ensembles as well as creating unique performance venues and events for our audiences to hear and see things they may have never witnessed before...experiencing a visual and audio extravaganza!

Our personality is optimistic, creative, driven, inspired and experimental...but always respectful. We are passionate about our mission and proud of our heritage and success. We have carefully selected a tagline, "Elevating Life Performance", which we believe supports our mission and commitment to youth.
Statement from Mark Arnold, Ascend Performing Arts, CEO
2019 Blue Knights Hall of Fame Inductee

Ascend Performing Arts is a Colorado based organization dedicated to transforming hard working kids into high performance adults through the lessons that only competitive musical performance provides. Today, what was formerly called Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps is now Ascend Performing Arts. The Ascend programs have grown into a multi-faceted, internationally recognized youth performance and event organization directly impacting thousands of young people each year.
We can look to the achievements of our past with great pride and sense of accomplishment, but we also remain aware of the ongoing struggles the organization faces in maintaining this tradition of service to youth. The success of all the programs relies on competent staff, dedicated volunteers whether coming from parents, alumni or members of the community and of course, our many donors who support what we do.
Ascend Performing Arts has continued to display amazing resilience in dealing with the realities of today. The Board of Directors has been hard at work. Groundwork has been laid through a strategic planning process to strengthen the base of the organization. Key to this effort was the name change made in February, 2010, which will assist with clearly communicating internally and externally the impact Ascend Performing Arts has upon our community and the youth we serve.
Young people are coming to us in record numbers to audition for our groups. These young performers desire to be a part of something special and to perform with others who are passionate about their craft. They come to join each other in a common pursuit... a pursuit of perfection in performance... a pursuit of greatness. In the process, they are transformed into incredible human beings.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.