Ascend Family Mourns Passing Of Ray Route
The Ascend Performing Arts family is saddened by the loss of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps’ first director and long-time supporter, Ray Route. Ray served as the director of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from its inception in 1958 until his retirement in 1972.
During the years Ray was the director, the drum corps went from marching in local parades to competing on a national level. In 1963, they took their only trip to the VFW Nationals, held in Seattle, Washington, hoping to stake claim to national attention. In addition to placing 10th in their debut at that prestigious competition, the Blue Knights won the separate color guard championships, besting the likes of the powerhouse Cavaliers and Troopers. This first taste of national success would encourage and exhilarate the young group to accomplish greatness that continues today after more than 55 years.
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