Ascend Performing Arts

A nonprofit organization

$83,471 raised by 517 donors

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.


Mark Arnold
Ascend Performing Arts, Chief Executive Officer

Ascend Performing Arts is dedicated to transforming hard working kids into high performance adults through the lessons that only musical performance provides. The Ascend programs have grown into a multi-faceted, internationally recognized youth performance and event organization directly impacting thousands of young people each year.

Through the years, our greatest strength as an organization has always been in our mission, focused upon the development of the young people we serve. Their desire is 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.

Becky Paschke
Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps member
Assistant Principal & Activities Director, Conifer High School, CO

Deciding to audition for the Blue Knights when I was 15 years old was one of the best decisions in my life. 

The Blue Knights instantly became my family and the lessons I learned from the Blue Knights are invaluable in my life today.

BJ Brooks
Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps Member ‘94, ’95 
Tour Director ‘97, ’98 
Professor of Music Theory & Composition 
Director of the Sound of West Texas Marching Band West Texas A&M University

As a member of the Blue Knights, the work ethic, attention to detail, love for teaching and community engagement I witnessed was a life changing experience.

The Blue Knights are bonded by a common passion for growth that will continue to impact thousands of young people.

Giving Activity


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.

Background Statement

Vanishing extracurricular activities are a growing concern in schools today. Ascend Performing Arts offers a vital outlet for music and dance enthusiasts, evolving since its 1958 inception as a drum and bugle corps. With diverse performing arts programs, educational outreach, multiple events, and entertaining groups, Ascend has adapted to meet the Blue Knights' and the community's needs.

In 2009, the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, Inc. Board of Directors initiated a restructuring process to better reflect the organization's scope and impact. In 2010, they unveiled Ascend Performing Arts as the umbrella organization's new name. Today, Ascend offers two dynamic performance programs, hosts premier competitive events in two states, sponsors high school band competitions, and conducts hands-on educational clinics. Members gain technical skills, become proficient performers, and even enjoy all-expense-paid international trips as part of the Ascend Entertainment Team.

Ascend Performing Arts uses its unique programs, educational outreach, events, and entertainment groups to teach youth independence, responsibility, leadership, and teamwork, nurturing them into responsible contributors to their communities.

Organization Data


Organization name

Ascend Performing Arts

other names

APA, Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Arts, Culture & Humanities

Organization Size

Large Organization


3538 Peoria Street, Suite 500
Aurora, CO 80110


3538 Peoria Street Suite 500
Aurora, CO 80010


3538 Peoria Street, Suite 500
Aurora, CO 80010


3538 Peoria St Suite 500
Aurora, CO 80010

Service areas

Arapahoe County, CO, US





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