WGI Mourns the loss of Ken Giese

WGI Mourns the loss of Ken Giese

Today, WGI is mourning the loss of Ken Giese, 62, a fixture in the marching arts for over four decades, after a courageous battle with ALS.

Born to Kenneth and Judith Giese in Racine, Wisconsin, Ken’s journey into the world of drum corps began as a member of the Racine Kilties. There, he met Lynn and George Lindstrom, who would become the most influential figures in his life. They enlisted Ken as one of the first volunteers for a fledgling organization called Winter Guard International. His passion for judging first began in the Color Guard division and, most recently, as a valued WGI Percussion division team member. His dedication to the marching arts was a lifelong commitment.

Ken’s impact as a nationally recognized visual caption adjudicator is without question, generously sharing his talents with Drum Corps International, Music for All/Bands of America, and local circuits and organizations throughout the United States and abroad. His role as a visual designer and instructor for numerous high school bands, winter guards, drum and bugle corps, and marching percussion groups has left a lasting impression.

Chief Executive Officer Ron Nankervis said, “Ken was unapologetically honest with the groups he adjudicated, even when that information wasn’t the easiest to hear. Even with his most recent challenges, he did so with integrity, humor, grace, and courage. It is hard to picture our world without Ken Giese in it.”

Outside of the marching arts, Ken held a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education, Mathematics, and Computer Science and a master’s degree in educational leadership. A Las Vegas, Nevada resident, he most recently taught Math, Color Guard, and Band at Ed W. Clark High School.

“Ken’s contributions to the marching arts are unmeasurable. He was not only a great educator, designer, and judge but a great friend to so many. Ken’s passion, commitment, and innovative spirit have left an indelible mark on WGI,” said Mark Thurston, Director of Percussion. “Ken’s legacy of inspiration will always continue to guide us. He will be missed.”