Welcome

Formed in the spring of 1989 under the Directorship of Pete Ellison and Assistant Director Russell Kingman, the Black Knights Drum Corps has delighted thousands of individuals throughout the Western United States each year.

During the spring of 1990, the Corps was accepted as an affiliate member of the Burbank Performing Arts Federation. In December 1990, the organization participated in its first Christmas concert with the Burbank Symphony Orchestra and other members of the Burbank Performing Arts Federation. The organization also performed in a special holiday program on the "Kevin & Bean" morning show on KROQ radio that same year.


In July 1991, the organization embarked on its first week long tour of parts of Northern California including the cities of San Francisco, Redwood City, Stockton, Sea Side and Santa Barbara. The organization ended its successful 1991 season with over 25 consecutive first place parade wins.

In 1992 the organization participated in the Southern California Drum Line Circuit, the Malibu Classic Drum Line Championships at Pepperdine University and provided command performances for the Special Olympic Games held at U.C.L.A. Stadium andfor "An Evening Under The Stars" concert series at the Burbank Starlight Bowl. The organization also performed on the set of the syndicated television show "The American Gladiators.

In 1993 the organization performed at the opening of the MCA/Universal Citywalk. 1993 also brought expansion of the groups popular concert repertoire which has allowed the organization to provide additional concert programming throughout the Southern California area. The Corps also performed a celebrate America concert at the San Fernando Valley Fair and special Magic Music Days concert at Disneyland. Black Knight Board Members David and Eileen James worked closely with City Park and Recreation officials to help redefine how the city would spend its money on performing arts groups. Guidelines for the new PerformArts Grant program had been drawn up and the Burbank Performing Arts Federation was disbanded.


In January 1994 the organization moved from it's founding rehearsal location at John Burroughs High School in Burbank California, to new Burbank facility allowing for greater flexibility and an increased amount of student participation in the program.

In March of '94, the organization was awarded a $7000.00 grant by the City Of Burbank's Park & Recreation Department and was one of the first grants issued by the newly formed PerformArts Grant program.

On April 26th, 1994, the Black Knights Drum Corps was proclaimed Burbank's "Official Musical Ambassadors" by then Mayor George Battey Jr.. The summer of that same year marked the first time the Corps left the Country when it performed at the Calgary Stampede in Alberta Canada.

In the Spring of 1995, the organization was approached by the Boy Scouts Of America to operate as an Explorer Post for their organization. The Corps accepted the offer and became Explorer Post 2-120 in the Verdugo Hills Council. During the Summer of 1995, the Corps toured locally. One of the highlights of Summer '95 was special performance at the Glen Helen Block Buster Pavilion in cooperation with Southland radio station KOLA.

In late 1995, the Corps expanded its staffing policy and brought Percussion Instructors Chris Burroughs and Tony Gentile on Board. The Corps enjoyed a successful Winter '96 program. On May 18th, 1996, the Corps hosted its first competitive show at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank.

The Summer of 1996 marked the first time the Corps has performed at DCW (Drum Corps West) sanctioned shows.

1997 brought yet another first for the Corps as it entered Winterguard International Percussion for the first time and we were hooked. We knew this was the direction we wanted to take the drumline.


In the summer of 1997 a new team of talented Staff was added to the award winning lineup to prepare and design the 1998 Season Show "Neverword:The Lost Realm". This included the addition of Stage/Set Designer Scott King (Designs by King & Solution Performance Ensemble Winterguard), Jeff Lee & Dave Glyde (Staff writers for Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps).

In April of 1998 the organization placed 5th at WGI Championships held in Dayton, Ohio.



In 1999 the Corps entered new ground when they partnered with local Burbank Entertainment company "Automated Entertainment" and developed the first HD Dichroic 3D stage show for WGI. The show included special Chroma-depth paint on the sets and floor and audience members were issued 3D glasses to view the presentation which allowed 2 dimensional objects to appear in 3D with the performers. The show was also performed under special black light conditions (including special effects such as smoke and a repositioning full pit stage!) The Corps also added the talents of Pit Instructor Ariel Campos and Batterie Tech. George Collins.


2000 Brought an instructional change when six time DCI Snare Champion and DCI Legend Rob Carson and his Assistant Mike Shaw brought a new flavor of playing style to the rank and file. Administrative Assistant Debbie Keith was also brought on board to help manage Corps functions. That year the Corps traveled across country to Dayton Ohio using ground transportation which turned out to be one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of the season!


The Corps returned to the dark side theme of "Umbra Creatura" (shadow creature) for it's 2001 Season.

2001 also launched the start of a new guard program. Under the instructional leadership of Christine Kerrigan and Matt Mize and Administrative Assistant Betty Ellison, our new Division "A" Guard finished the season as a finalist at Winter Guard Association of Southern California Championships!

2002 saw new faces in the instructional line-up with the addition of Mike Jackson, Mike Grogan, Steve Ridley, Mark Brown, Martha Villar and the return of Chris Burroughs. It was the objective of the corps to redefine the look and feel of the drumline and guard. We believe we accomplished this task as many new and old fans stood up to take notice of the changes in style and feel.

By 2003 a renewed energy had taken hold and the Corps went on to produce the most successful season's of it's long history. "X" has become a fan favorite even to this day and went on to inspire many future students to persue independent indoor drumlines long after leaving high school. In 2003 Black Knights tied for a silver medal with Riverside Community College at the Winter Guard International Drumline Championships in Dayton, Ohio.

In 2004 the Corps produced "Frequency", a show which featured 20 foot high sets, melody chimes and singing bowls. Although a change in Staff had taken place by the start of the season and Chris Burroughs was once again centered as the Caption Head, the Corps enjoyed a talented group of performers and went on to make finals at WGI Championships in San Diego.

2005 marked the release of "The Art of Control" which touched on the politics of that year and the topic of a girl's manipulation for money. The end of the program featured the drumline forming a dollar sign to puncuate the point.

In 2006 audiences were treated to a show titled "Confluence" which featured sets by Michael Bierke and working water-fall prop pieces (the first ever to be attempted for an indoor drumline show). A Staff change took place towards the end of the season and Kyrt Hensch assumed the role of Caption Head.

In 2007 the Corps would produce it's final show "11:11" and the syncronicities of that number in life.

From it's humble beginnings as a parade group, through the successes of World Class competition, one thing has remained the same...the Cast members of the Black Knights Drum Corps have always considered BK as part of their family. So this site remains as an active testimate to all those who have come through the rank & file and have subscribed to the mission statement of this special corps..."It is the continuing goal of the Black Knight organization to foster camaraderie, individual achievement, good sportsmanship and goodwill within and around our members and community."


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