After a number of years in service to the Corps, Simon Barrett stood down from his position as Corps Director. His replacement was Dennis Rogers. When he took over, Dennis had been involved with youth performance activities for 25 years, filling several roles from fund raiser, humper and supporter to treasurer and trustee. With the return of some ex members, the staff was strengthened to help provide support and development for the corps members. Phil Ramsay returned to teach the percussion and Rus Rogers returned to aid with the Brass as well as writing the Brass Charts. Steve Muzio once again helped with the Brass before and after his second DCI trip. Jon Bilby took on the role of visual show co-ordinator.
2001 saw the introduction of Jon Bilby to the Staff. Jon brought with him a wealth of knowledge, not just of his chosen caption, visual, but of rehearsal technique and teaching techniques. Once onboard, Jon rose to the challenge of his instructor’s role and designed the visual package with great enthusiasm.
Black Knights took the decision to re-enter the BYBA circuit to try and reintroduce a sense of achievement to the summer season.
The corps took another step forward, moving up to A Class in DCUK and competing in Championship Class in BYBA.
The week before the first show, one of the five battery members decided to leave. Immediate decisions were made, and the percussion were taken from the field and placed in the pit. The members handled the situation well. None of the battery wanted to be in the pit, however they understood that no other option was available. One member had wanted to march in the drumline since starting in the corps 9 years previously, however no complaints were made and Phil and the percussion section worked hard to produce something for the first show.
They continued to work hard through the season to develop the various colours of sound they eventually produced by finals. The corps came away with some fantastic results through the season, taking several 1st places and caption awards home with them. They ended up with Third place in both disciplines, and gained a lot of respect and encouraging comments from many people across the drum corps and marching band community. In the words of many in the audience at A Class finals, Black Knights’ performance was one that will long be remembered and reminded people why they do the activity. The percussion section that had so many problems had many of the crowd up dancing and clapping along to the Samba that finished the show and got the crowd response of the day.
The show wasn’t the cleanest, it wasn’t the most technical, however it did exactly what it was designed to do and that was to entertain the audience as well as the members.