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Black Knights announce 2014 Brass staff


Press release from Black Knights

The Black Knights Drum & Bugle Corps are pleased and very excited to announce their brass staff for the 2014 season.

Continuing his position as Caption Head is Steve Blakeley. Steve started playing with Didcot Diamonds in 1991 at the age of 8, back then it was quite traditional but in 93 had an influx of drum corps staff and that is when he found his love for drum corps. In 1998 Steve moved onto his first drum corps 'Guardsmen' they went on to win A class DCUK in 1999. In 2001 saw Steve with Southern Aurora and in 2002 becoming DCUK champions, this prepared Steve nicely for his venture across sea's to audition for the Blue Devils where he managed to gain a trumpet spot in 2003 and 2004. The corps won the world championship in 2003 and placed 2nd in 2004, both years winning High Brass and High Visual. Back in England Steve joined The Black Knights where he started his teaching role as a visual and brass tech. He then built himself up to become Visual Caption Head in 2005 where he wrote the visual book which placed 3rd in DCUK. In 2006 Steve remained Visual Caption Head and the corps won the DCUK Championship. In 2008 Steve moved on to become Brass Caption Head where he has remained since. He also took on the role as Senior Corps Co-ordinator from 2009-2013 and show/music coordinator from 2009-2012. In addition Steve has toured Europe with a big band playing in concert halls and has also played in function bands for party’s/weddings etc. he has also been in the recording studio playing tracks for an up and coming soul band. Steve has also held clinics in Thailand for schools all across Bankok. Steve adds, “Drum corps has played a massive part in who i am today, it has given me many opportunities and experiences and it has been a great honour to be able to pass on what I have learnt whilst sharing new experiences with the Members of Black knights. I'm looking forward to working alongside our 2014 brass staff and improving on our 2013 production”.

Supporting Steve and becoming Brass Sergeant is Dan Gannaway-Pitts Dan says “This is my second year with the Black Knights, and one which looks to be another step forward for the group. I am excited to be part of a corps with such a great history behind it” Dan has been fortunate enough to march both in the UK and USA. He started drumcorps with Guilford Phoenix and State Side Drum and Bugle Corps from Gloucester. He then joined 37th Kingswood, which prepared him for marching with The Colts from Dubuque, Iowa. Dan has also performed with the Vintage Percussion Ensemble, and is now a tech at Unik Star based in France.

New to the team this is season is Alex Fricker. Alex has been involved with drum corps since 1992 and was a full time marching member of 37th Kingswood until 2007, marching trumpet, mellophone and contra during this time. Other marching experiences include being a member of 2004 Glassmen as a soloist & mellophone player. He has had a wide range of teaching experience from time spent at 37th Kingswood Cadets, 37th Kingswood, The 6th and Vintage Percussion Ensemble. Other experience consists of performing in a 6 piece reggae / funk / ska band in which he is currently working on a 3rd album. Alex adds “I am excited to be a part of the 2014 season at Black Knights and I look forward to building on the success and foundations that are already in place.”

Taking the position of Music Coordinator is Craig Walker. Craig has been involved in drum corps since 1988 where he marched soprano with Dagenham Crusaders. He then moved to Blue Eagles where he marched in the brass line from 1989 to 92 and 1995 to 96. He also had the honour of marching at DCI with The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps in 1996 on mellophone. Craig began his teaching career in 2000 with The Senators, there he held the position of Brass Caption Supervisor until 2008 and during this time won DCUK High Brass on six occasions along with a DCE High Brass award. In 2009 and 2010 Craig took on the role as Brass Supervisor for Dagenham Crusaders and has also held a position on the brass staff with ten-time DCI World Champion The Cadets since 2007. Craig joined The Black Knights in 2011 and is looking forward to enhancing the brass line in 2014.

For more information regarding the Black Knights please contact Mark Jeffrey 07531 660184 or email

23rd October 2013



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