These dedicated musicians have stopped in Oskaloosa for two days of practice between competitions.
The Blue Knights, of Denver, Colo., arrived in Oskaloosa Monday and began practicing at Oskaloosa High School. They will continue to practice at OHS today before leaving for the Davenport area. They made a previous stop in Omaha, Neb., before coming to Oskaloosa.
The Blue Knights have a history dating back to the late 1950s. Arnold said their organization also includes a winter percussion ensemble. He also noted that the Blue Knights provide game day entertainment for the Bronco’s NFL football team.
“We were the first drum line for the NFL in Denver,” said Director Mark Arnold. “And now every single NFL team in the league has one.”
Arnold said a lot of the young people involved in drum corps such as the Blue Knights will go on to be music educators later in life. Arnold noted that there are 150 young people, most of whom are aged 16 to 21, along with instructors and support staff involved with the Blue Knights.
“Although we are based in Denver, we have students from all over the world,” said Arnold. “We have kids from the Netherlands, from Japan, from Taiwan (and) Canada. This is the major league of marching music.”
Arnold said the members of the Blue Knights are being prepared for life through discipline and the development of a strong work ethic.
Over the course of the summer, the Blue Knights will be involved in 33 drum corps competitions, said Arnold.
Arnold said he was pleased with the fact that the Blue Knights are able to use the OHS grounds to practice.
“The facilities here are good,” Arnold said.