BK Drum Majors: L-R, Katherine Beasley, Bekah Blanchard, Ethan Masters, and Stephen Scassera

By Tony Villalobos-May, Ascend Performing Arts | The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps is excited to announce the Drum Major Team for the 2020 Drum Corps International season!

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Katherine Beasley is from New Jersey and is a 3rd-year student at West Chester University studying Music Education. Her major instrument is flute and currently is performing in the Chester University Wind Symphony on piccolo. This season she is a drum major for the West Chester University Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band after having marched flute and piccolo the past two years. Katherine was also a four-year member of the DCI Open Class Raiders Drum & Bugle Corps marching baritone for 2 years and drum major for 2 years.

“I am excited to join the Blue Knights family for the 2020 season! I already feel apart of this family and can’t wait to see what this season brings,” said Katherine. “Since my first camp, everyone has been so welcoming and quick to bring me into the BK family. I can’t wait to be a part of this season.”

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Bekah Blanchard is from Richland, Washington and is currently a sophomore at Whitworth University where she is studying Nursing and English.

This is Bekah’s fifth year of drum corps and first with the Blue Knights, having spent the previous seasons as a drum major with the Columbians Drum and Bugle Corps. She graduated from Hanford High School in 2018 and participated in marching band all four years, two of them as a drum major, and she helps teach marching band at Chiawana High School.

“Being a part of an organization that I’ve admired for years is incredibly humbling and I’m so excited to serve this talented group of people this season!” said Bekah. “I’m honored to be on this team and I’m so ready to be a part of the incredible journey that the 2020 Blue Knights will take.”

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Ethan Masters is from Missouri City, Texas and is currently a sophomore at Texas A&M University where is he studying Aerospace Engineering. Ethan graduated from Ridge Point High School where he played saxophone and was a drum major for three years. This will be his second year of drum corps and his first season with the Blue Knights. He spent his previous season as a drum major for the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps.

“I am so excited to be apart of this team and work with such great people in this corps,” said Ethan. “I am looking forward to starting to serve this group and can’t wait to be a part of the Blue Knight family!”

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Stephen Scassera is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is 20 years old. This is his third year of drum corps and his third season with the Blue Knights as a drum major. Stephen graduated from Kiski Area High School in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania in 2018 where he participated in marching band for all four years, three of those as a drum major. Outside of drum corps, Stephen is a sophomore at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he is currently studying Safety, Health and Environmental Applied Sciences.

“I am so thankful for every day I have with the Blue Knights and for every connection I have made during my time here,” Stephen said. “This organization has become more meaningful to me than ever before. I am beyond excited to see what this season has in store for everyone!”

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Oscar Nominations 2020: The Short List – Music

By Lisa Respers France, CNN | Nominations for 92nd Academy Awards were announced Monday morning. The dark comic drama “Joker” led among nominated films with 11. “Ford v Ferrari,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Little Women,” “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” “Marriage Story,” “Parasite” and “1917” are vying for best picture this year.

Despite efforts in recent years to diversify the Academy’s membership, women were shut out of the best director category.

The directing category snub of women led actress Issa Rae, who announced the categories with actor John Cho, to quip “Congratulations to those men.”

Scarlett Johansson scored a rare double acting nomination for best actress and best supporting actress for her work in “Marriage Story” and “JoJo Rabbit” respectively.

Cynthia Erivo was also nominated for two awards: best actress and original song for “Stand Up” both for the film “Harriet.”

This year’s awards ceremony will air February 9 on ABC.

“I’m Standing With You,” “Breakthrough”
“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen II”
“Stand Up,” “Harriet”
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4”

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”

“1917,” Thomas Newman
“Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir
“Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat
“Marriage Story,” Randy Newman
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” John Williams

See the full list of nominees:

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Critics’ Choice Awards 2020 – The Music Part

USA Today | The 25th annual Critics’ Choice Awards, recognizing achievements in film and television, were held Sunday [January 12, 2020] at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.

Eddie Murphy was honored with a lifetime achievement award, and Kristen Bell received the fourth annual #SeeHer Award.

Here are the night’s musical winners:


Best picture: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” [Put this in because the score was nominated!]

Actress: Renée Zellweger, “Judy” [The music, of course, was fabulous!]

Song (tie): “Glasgow (No Place Like Home)” (from “Wild Rose”), and “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (“Rocketman”)

Musical Score: Ms. Hildur Guðnadóttir, “Joker”

Read the full story here:

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