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Drum & Bugle Corps

Free and Fun? You Betcha

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Thursday, February 15, at Brooklyn Center High School (Brooklyn Center High School, 6500 Humboldt Ave N, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430), Band Director, Michael Reed, and in partnership with Minnesota Brass, invites everyone to come out for FREE to hear Lulu’s Playground. Lulu’s Playground will be the first ensemble of various guest artists throughout the school year promoting the Free Access to Music Education Arts Learning Program established by Minnesota Brass last fall. The concert will begin at 3:15 pm in the auditorium.

Ah one . . . two . . . here we go!

This performance is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.  The grant, secured by Minnesota Brass, supports instrumental music education at Brooklyn Center High School.

Lulu’s Playground 
Lulu’s Playground consists of a unique instrumentation including trumpet, cello, accordion, and guitar. The band was started by four old friends who go back to their school days at Lawrence University Music Conservatory. They’ve played together in jazz groups, salsa bands, orchestras, improvisation classes, and hallway jam sessions, and now they’ve joined forces in a new city to bring you an old chemistry.

About the Artists:

Adam Meckler (Trumpet):
Adam Meckler is a trumpet player, composer, and educator living in Minneapolis, MN. He is an Edwards Instrument Co. Performing Artist and Clinician, and leads The Adam Meckler Orchestra (AMO), an 18 piece big band that plays his original compositions. The AMO’s debut album ‘When the Clouds Look Like This’ was listed among 2014’s Best Jazz Releases by iTunes. Adam holds faculty positions in trumpet and Jazz at McNally Smith College of Music, and MacPhail Center for Music. He tours and records with Youngblood Brass Band and Nooky Jones, and plays regularly with a host of bands around the Twin Cities including Lulu’s Playground, The Jana Nyberg Group, Jack Brass Band, The Graydon Peterson Quartet, and The Pete Whitman X-Tet. His latest release ‘Improvisations’, an improvised duets album with cellist Cory Grossman, is now available at www.adammeckler.com.

Steven Hobert (accordion):
Steven Hobert describes himself as a soul who plays, sings and dances while exploring life’s mysteries. His genre-blending piano, accordion and vocal music has been described as “delightful, innovative and viscerally inspiring” that “dazzles audiences with sincerity and playfulness to open up hearts and fire imaginations.” Based out of Minneapolis, he plays in Oudyano with renowned Syrian oud player Issam Rafea, tours as a soloist, leads the world beat-driven ensemble FireFlyForest, leads the Steven Hobert (jazz) Quartet and works as a free-lance producer, composer and instrumentalist for countless shows with vocalists & ensembles in jazz, classical, world music fusion, sacred music and American roots music.

Cory Grossman (Cello):
Cory Grossman, cellist/composer/teacher, has a degree in performance from Lawrence University and regularly plays with the Laurels String quartet. Cory has performed/recorded with artists such as Macklemore, Dan Wilson, Father John Misty, Belle and Sebastian, Jeremy Messersmith, and Haley Bonar.

Ben Abrahamson:
Ben Abrahamson is a dynamic and original voice on the acoustic guitar. His original compositions and fingerstyle approach blend the improvisation of jazz, and the dexterity of flamenco. His passion for flamenco guitar drove him to Taller de Músics School of Music in Barcelona, where he studied under Juan Ramón Caro. He has composed works for theMinneapolis Guitar Quartet, Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, Mac Jazz big band, and Muhlenberg College Theatre and Dance Dept. Ben has shared the stage with mentors like Michael and Tony Hauser, Susana diPalma, La Conja, Chuscales, Pedro Cortes Jr., Joan Griffith, and Gary Lee Joyner. Ben performs regularly with groups such as Lulu’s Playground, the Tom Nordlund Quintet, Zorongo Flamenco, and the Ben Abrahamson Trio.

 

MBI kicks off 2018 with open house, auditions

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And we’re off! Minnesota Brass headed “Between the Lines” on Feb. 11 as some 50 prospective performers – both rookies and returning vets – showed up at Brooklyn Center High School for auditions and the first rehearsals of the 2018 season.

The day’s events included introductions, a first glance at the new music, an early marching workout and a presentation of the MBI Winter Guard’s 2018 program, “Oh, the Places You’ll REALLY go!”

“It’s a great turnout,” said Eric Molho, former corps director and current board chairman, said. “There’s some real positive energy here, and I think people are excited for 2018. All of the new staff members are energetic and enthusiastic. I think we’re off to a strong start.”

Among the veteran performers returning for 2018 is trumpeter Jon Karels, who first joined MBI in 2014. A Mankato resident, Karels, 20, is majoring in music education at Minnesota State University Mankato. He marched with the Bluecoats in 2017, and is hoping to hone his skills this summer for a successful audition with the Blue Devils in 2019. After the 2017 DCI tour wrapped, he filled a hole for Minnesota Brass for the DCA weekend.

“I knew they needed players and remembered how much fun it was,” he said. “It was also a chance to reconnect with people I’d known for a couple of years and just have fun.”

As to expectations for this season, he said, “For me, I’ll be able to dial in on my technique playing and marching, and to be a self-critic for next year’s auditions (with the Blue Devils). As for the corps, it’s a chance to see new faces and be part of a pretty neat experience.”

The audition process for both horns and drums continues in the week ahead and there is still time for potential members to join the organization.  Horn auditions resume at Brooklyn Center High School on Saturday, February 24 at 9 a.m.  Percussion auditions continue at Brooklyn Center High school on Wednesday, February 28 at 6 p.m.

Editor’s note:  An earlier version of this story included quotes from an additional prospective member.  That individual has determined they won’t be able to march in 2018 and we have removed that portion of this story.

Color Guard and Visual Caption Heads Named

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As it continues to build its 2018 educational team, Minnesota Brass is pleased to announce the hiring of Jordan Warfield and Teran Keith as visual caption and color-guard caption heads, respectively.

Warfield, a school-services sales representative at Groth Music in Bloomington, Minn., began his teaching career in 2002 at Irondale High School in New Brighton, Minn., as a horn-line technician with the Marching Knights Band. While with the Marching Knights, the band appeared regularly as a BOA St. Louis Super Regional Finalist and won numerous area contest championships and caption awards. Currently, Warfield is the low-brass music instructor and a visual staff member for the Eastview High School Marching Band in Apple Valley, Minn. His drum-corps experience includes marching with the Cavaliers from 2001 to 2004 and working with the corps’ visual staff from 2010 to 2015. He also has worked with the Blue Stars, Minnesota Brass, Govenaires and various high-school marching programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Keith began his color-guard career in 2009 with the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, with whom he marched three seasons; he then performed for two seasons with the Cavaliers. He relocated to Minneapolis in 2015 and works as a software developer for Process Displays in Golden Valley, Minn. He also serves as a board member of the St. Paul-based North Star Circuit.

MBI will hold its 2018 open house and Corps Audition Day Feb. 11 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) at Brooklyn Center High School Brooklyn.

Minnesota Brass to join Super Bowl festivities

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Minnesota Brass, Minnesota’s premiere all-age marching-arts group and former world champion drum and bugle corps, will perform at festivities leading up to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.

“We’re excited to provide entertainment for the biggest event to hit Minnesota in years,” said Todd Tanji, executive director of the group. “This will be great exposure for us and the state, and we’re thrilled to support the performing arts in Minnesota.”

Minnesota Brass ensembles will perform at a pair of pre-game events, including the arrival of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, which is presented to the Super Bowl champions. The trophy will be on display during the week leading up to the big game at the Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis to be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center (1301 Second Ave. S.) Jan. 27-Feb. 3. The corps’ brass ensemble will perform the “Lombardi Super Bowl Theme” for the trophy’s arrival about 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 27 as well as other sets to entertain the audience.

MBI will also participate in the Vitamin D: A Pep Rally for Spring event between 4 and 6 p.m. on Feb. 3, the night before the Super Bowl. The rally is part of the three-day Illuminate South Loop celebration at Bloomington’s Central Park (8100 33rd Ave. S.) in Bloomington’s South Loop District Feb.1–3. This event, a unique addition to the lineup of activities leading up to Super Bowl LII, will showcase a variety of interactive art installations and performances designed and produced by Minnesota and international artists.

 

In 2018 Minnesota Brass Will Perform ‘Between the Lines’

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Why do two colors, one put next to the other, sing? ~ Pablo Picasso

Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps is excited to announce our 2018 production, BETWEEN THE LINES, featuring the following musical selections:

Green (Michael Torke)
Mural (Randy Newman)
Paint It Black (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards)
Pure Imagination (Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley)

The 2018 design team, have chosen music sure to engage audiences and showcase the talent of Minnesota Brass performers.  The corps will also add “What is Hip?” (Emilio Castillo, Stephen “Doc” Kupka) to its repertoire as a parade/encore tune.

Make drum corps part of your life story. Brass, percussion, and conductor auditions are Sunday, February 11th, 9AM-4PM at Brooklyn Center High School. More information at www.mnbrass.org/join.