Photo by Mike Wille
The Denver-based Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps recently returned from an international tour in Taiwan. This trip was part of the Taoyuan Band Festival, for which Drum Corps International (DCI) was asked to provide an exhibition ensemble.
Past festivals have featured DCI groups before, but the corps were only able to send their drum lines. This year, a full performance ensemble was requested from DCI. The Blue Knights were able to piece together and send a 50-person ensemble.
“We had an amazing trip,” says Mike Wille, cast manager of the Blue Knights-Taiwan experience. “It was very well-organized. All of our members had a really fun time.”
The Blue Knights’ experience included more than just performing in the festival. The corps members also visited and performed with one of the top high school marching bands in Taiwan and participated in a master class. The morning of the music festival, the Blue Knights were able to march in a unique parade. “There were no floats or cars, just marching bands,” Wille says.
At the festival, the Blue Knights performed a program entitled “An American Journey,” which featured music from Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and “The Red Pony.”
“I think that performing in this festival proves that the Blue Knights is among the top-tier, world-class drum and bugle corps,” Wille says.
The Blue Knights hope that this experience will encourage future membership and lead to more opportunities for similar festivals in future seasons.