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MBI Exploring SoundSport participation

By | Drum & Bugle Corps | No Comments

Minnesota Brass has announced it is considering fielding a SoundSport (SoundSport.com) team for 2018.

SoundSport, a program of Drum Corps International (DCI), is designed to provide unique performance opportunities for instrumental music ensembles of all types, in a dynamic environment. The goal is to assist in the creation of—and provide performance opportunities to—local, low-cost and entertaining instrumental ensembles.

“We know many alumni and 2018 members are saddened by the decision not to field a competitive drum corps in 2018,” said Todd Tanji, executive director.  “While SoundSport is not directly comparable to drum corps, it does provide for many great opportunities to perform together and create more flexible opportunities for potential members of all ages.”  The Minnesota Brass SoundSport team would have a reduced rehearsal schedule and dues structure as compared to the traditional drum corps commitment.  It is anticipated that such a unit would perform as part of the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., on Saturday, Aug. 11, creating more opportunities for those who participate in fall marching bands to join.

An informational meeting for interested parties—including current members and alumni—will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids. Potential members in all sections (brass, percussion, color guard and support staff) are invited to attend. Those interested in being a part of SoundSport but unable to attend Saturday should send an email to director@mnbrass.org.

A final announcement regarding the potential SoundSport ensemble will be made by June 1.

More information about SoundSport is available online.

Winter Guard Brings Home Silver

By | Drum & Bugle Corps, MBI Winterguard | No Comments

MBI Winter Guard capped its 2017 competition season with sterling second-place finish at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, on April 7. It was the second time a unit from Minnesota has won a medal at the national event.

“When we think about the performances of MBI Winter Guard [in Dayton], the word that comes to mind is ‘pride’,” said Jonathan Su, a guard technician for the unit; “pride in the dedication of the members and staff to create an environment of learning and growth, pride in the incredible product put on the floor by the design team, and pride in carrying on Minnesota Brass’ rich legacy of excellence.

“We’ve always emphasized with the members that placement and winning are never the goal, and that improving every day and focusing on making sure every performance was stronger than the last—never regressing—was the definition of success.

“In this regard, we blew success out of the water,” he said.

Under the direction of Wil Furnstahl and Emily Merriman, MBI Winter Guard placed second in Division IA, the second group in the winter guard activity of Minnesota to ever medal at the championships. The guard’s show was titled, “The Bee,” and featured the unit in yellow and black costumes depicting a spelling bee while performing to a soundtrack featuring Eclectica’s “Flight of the Bumblebee/Adagio”.

Describing the collective weekend performances in Dayton, Su said, “After a tentative prelims, the group rose to the challenge and gave the performance of the season in semis, only to top it once more in finals. While this alone is enough to define success, being acknowledged externally is also rewarding.”

He added, “While hardware may rust and fade, the memories and lessons learned from the 2017 winter season of MBI will live on in the hearts of its staff, its members, and the countless amounts of spectators it inspired.”