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All Posts By

Eric Molho

Stakeholder Engagement Report Available

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This summer the Minnesota Brass Board of Directors contracted with Red House Consulting to gather an independent, objective overview of our stakeholder’s perspectives. They have concluded their work and we are pleased to share their final report with anyone interested in reading their input gathered from focus groups and surveys.

We will host a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday Sept. 26, 2018 at 6:30 p.m., for all those interested in the future of Minnesota Brass. At the meeting, we will review the report and discuss the critical need for alumni and members to step forward in volunteer and leadership roles. The Town Hall meeting will be held at the offices of Olsen-Thielen & Co., 2675 Long Lake Road, Roseville, Minn., 55113.

The stakeholder engagement report outlines many issues facing Minnesota Brass. For some of these, there is clear consensus among our alumni and supporters. For other issues, we do not all agree.

One of the organization’s pressing issues is new leadership. As the report articulates, “MBI’s impending board and administrative leadership transition is a source of concern (where will the leaders come from? Will they have what they need to succeed?) and of opportunity (this is a chance to recruit individuals with the skills, ideas, and energy MBI needs to thrive and survive).” The board has announced plans to hire three new administrative leaders to move the work forward. Applications for these positions are due October 5, 2018. Detailed job descriptions are now available online. (Click the highlighted text to access the job descriptions.)

This new team will ultimately be responsible for creating a shared vision for Minnesota Brass’s next chapter. They have an opportunity to leverage our many strengths as an organization and chart the course for the future. I hope you will consider stepping up to take on one of these roles or encourage talented individuals in your network to do so. Previous experience with Minnesota Brass is not required. For the organization to thrive in 2019 and beyond, we need an energetic, passionate group of leaders who are ready to build the future.

In addition to the new administrative team, we will also be adding new members to the board of directors in the coming months. At the Town Hall meeting, there will be details about how to be considered for membership on the board. The board will have many large issues on its plate in the future and will require strategic thinkers who are able to see the long-term view. We especially need age, gender and racial diversity on our board to better reflect our community.

The opportunity now exists to bring this amazing organization back to the field in 2019. But it will not be accomplished by a small group. Everyone who cares about MBI and its future can take part in a great 2019 season. THIS WON’T WORK WITHOUT YOU!

Minnesota Brass Announces Plan to Return to Field Competition in 2019; Town Hall Meeting Set for Sept. 26

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At its August 2018 meeting, the board of directors of Minnesota Brass (MBI) voted to pursue an all-age drum and bugle corps to compete during the 2019 summer season.

After many months of refocusing and listening to stakeholders, the board determined there is sufficient interest to pursue a competitive drum corps in 2019. The organization is committed to returning a combination of performance excellence, a manageable schedule and reasonable dues to the upper Midwest. MBI will offer great design, excellent teaching, more alumni outreach, transparent communication and improved logistics to its 2019 membership.

The creative and educational program will be led by long-time Minnesota Brass program coordinator Joel Matuzak.  Additional details will be coming regarding staff, structure, the competitive arena and schedule.

The organization will host a Town Hall meeting on Sept. 26, 2018, for all those interested in the future of Minnesota Brass. At the meeting, results of a recent stakeholder-engagement project will be shared. In addition, there will be an opportunity for alumni and volunteers to learn about the critical need for their active participation in the organization for its successful return to the field. The Town Hall meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the offices of Olsen-Thielen & Co., 2675 Long Lake Road, Roseville, Minn., 55113.

Essential to the success of the 2019 summer program is for all people who are passionate about the organization to be a part of it. MBI has needs in the areas of management, recruiting, teaching, performing and fund-raising.

To that end, MBI is also immediately announcing the launch of a search process to fill the following leadership positions (with stipends): Executive Director, Operations Director and Membership Director. A search committee comprising board members, lead staff and alumni will make recommendations to the board regarding the filling of these positions. Applications are due October 5, 2018. Detailed job descriptions are now available online.

The current executive team of Gavin Burnham (President/CEO), Todd Tanji (Executive Director), Dave Whitaker (Chief Financial Officer) and Eric Molho (Board Chair) plan to transition responsibilities for the day-to-day management of the organization to the new administrative team as it is formed. All of these leaders are committed to the success of Minnesota Brass and will serve as mentors and resources to the new administrative team as it develops a new vision for Minnesota Brass.

The opportunity now exists to bring this amazing organization back to the field in 2019. But it will not be accomplished by a small group. Everyone who cares about MBI and its future can take part in a great 2019 season. THIS WON’T WORK WITHOUT YOU!

March On! to Farmington July 31

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The 2018 edition of March On! is just around the corner. Join us Tuesday, July 31 at Farmington High School (20655 Flagstaff Ave, Farmington, Minn.) for the very best of DCI Open Class drum corps competition. Perennial World Champion contenders the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets will be joined by a full slate of great corps including four Minnesota ensembles! Help cheer on River City Rhythm, the Govenaires and Chops as they take the field joined by our own MBI Soundsport.
7:00 Welcome & National Anthem
7:10 Chops – Minneapolis, MN
7:26 Govenaires – St. Peter, MN
7:42 MBI Soundspor – St. Paul, MN
8:12 Colt Cadets – Dubuque, IA
8:28 River City Rhythm – Anoka, MN
8:44 Gold – Oceanside, CA
9:00 Louisiana Stars – Lafayette, LA
9:16 Vanguard Cadets – Santa Clara, CA
9:42 Scores Announced
VIP/Center Section $17 in advance ($20 day-of)
General Admission $12 in advance ($15 day-of)
Family pack of four general admission $36 (ONLY available online)

Minnesota Brass Seeks Stakeholder Engagement Consultant

By | Drum & Bugle Corps, Uncategorized | No Comments

Minnesota Brass seeks a consultant or consultants to assist in gathering input from stakeholders and experts regarding the future of our performing ensembles.  The consultant will be required to complete the following tasks outlined in the request for proposal.

  1. Conduct focus groups
  2. Write and administer two online surveys
  3. Conduct individual interviews
  4. Write a summary report based on the data gathered in tasks 1-3

Work will be conducted in June-August, 2018.

We are committed to listening to and learning from key stakeholders including alumni, staff and music educators.  To assure consistent, unbiased data-gathering, the consultant will be responsible for gathering feedback and summarizing input.  The full RFP is available online and proposals are due June 8, 2018.

Check it out! May 18 Launch Event for SoundSport/Drumline Battle

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Our launch event for potential new SoundSport AND DrumBattle ensembles will be this Friday, May 18 at 7 p.m.  The event will be held at 2700 Winter Street in NE Minneapolis (the ‘Sears rehearsal site’ familiar to MBI alumni).  Potential members in any section including brass, percussion and color guard should plan on attending.  This will be a great opportunity to meet key members of the staff and prepare for a fun summer moving and playing.  Please complete an information form as soon as possible to indicate your interest!

As previously announced, Minnesota Brass is excited to explore launching a new SoundSport ensemble to perform at regional events and the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis.  If interest warrants, a DrumBattle ensemble may also be launched for percussionists!

Joel Matuzak will lead the program design for both ensembles.  Brass instructors include Paul Terry, Mark Santori and John Devine.  Jordan Warfield will provide leadership for the visual program.  Trevor Alwan will serve as director of the ensembles coordinating staff and administrative needs.

The schedule for the SoundSport unit will require regular Friday night rehearsals and some weekend performances.  The DrumBattle ensemble will rehearse on Saturday with weekend performances as well.  The launch of both ensembles will be contingent on the interest-level and participation commitment of prospective members.  Questions?  E-mail Trevor!