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Drum & Bugle Corps

Winter Finale & Spring Preview

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

Join us this Sunday, April 2nd for our winter finale featuring MBI Indoor Percussion and MBI Winter Guard.

Our winter drumline and winter guard are both on incredible trajectories, poised to make an impact at WGI Finals. If you haven’t seen them yet, you need to. If you haven’t seen them recently, you’ll be taken aback. Every performance uncovers something new.

We’ll also introduce the 2017 summer hornline & drumline with our spring preview of the music from our program: Pins & Needles. You’ll hear Hall of the Mountain King, Trent Reznor’s Hurt, Medea, and Death Hunt from On Dangerous Ground all cleverly mixed with that Minnesota Brass sound.

For a $5 donation, you can see the best winter guard and winter drumline in the state of Minnesota, and get a preview of our 2017 summer program music. Your donation helps pay for our facility fees and keeps Minnesota Brass going strong through it’s 71st season and for future generations. Kids under 10 are free.

Location: Brooklyn Center High School (main gym)
Date: Sunday, April 2
Time: 2pm
Cost: $5 (kids under 10 free)

Open Hornline Positions

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We currently have openings for you to play in the 2017 Minnesota Brass hornline. If you or someone you know is interested in performing in the hornline, listen up!

It’s super easy to sign up, apply at mnbrass.org/join

Even if you’re just curious about what we do, join our Hornline Interest Group on Facebook. There you can find out what we’re doing next, talk to the staff and other members, get music and other information about fundraising, etc.
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2017 – Let’s Do This

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Minnesota Brass is kicking off the 2017 season with an audition and clinic event.

Join us Saturday, January 14th, 2017 from 9am-4pm at Brooklyn Center High School. Prospective hornline and drumline members are invited for the day, to learn and play music from some of the top instructors in the region and nation. There’s also a colorguard clinic event from 9am-1pm for those who are interested in the summer drum corps and do not have a winterguard conflict that day. This event is open to anyone interested in auditioning for a spot in the 2017 Minnesota Brass Drum & Bugle Corps as well as anyone looking to gain new experience.

RSVP to receive detailed information about the event.

Entry Fee: $25

2017 marks the 71st anniversary of Minnesota Brass, and we’re looking for performers to help leave audiences numb with our summer program “Pins & Needles”:

Black magic swirls ’round our 2017 production, entitled “Pins & Needles.” A voodoo doll’s existence is one of pain and servitude, the pawn of another’s will, a surrogate to another’s whim …

Or perhaps not?

We are excited to present a patchwork of sounds and visions that will tantalize the soul and capture the mystery of “Pins and Needles”

RSVP to receive your audition packet and more information at mnbrass.org/join

MBI Announces New Leadership Team

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Minnesota Brass (MBI), the premiere drum and bugle corps in the Midwest and former world champion, is pleased to announce the creation of a new leadership team as it embarks on its 71st season in 2017.

Based in St. Paul, Minn., the new management structure will comprise an Executive Committee made up of three longtime members of the organization and a split directorship divided between strategic and tactical responsibilities.

The new executive committee will consist of former corps director Gavin Burnham, longtime financial officer Dave Whitaker and board chairman Todd Tanji. All are former performing members with the corps and share longstanding experience with the activity in administrative capacities. The day-to-day operations will be handled by new corps directors Justin Foell and Katy Bensen, both also former performing members.

The new officers include:

burnham

Gavin Burnham – Executive Director, President and CEO (gavin@mnbrass.org)

Burnham has been involved with Minnesota Brass since 1985, as a marching member from 1985 to 1989. He also served as financial officer and assistant corps director from 1988 to 1994, and corps director from 1995 to 2002. Since 2003, Burnham has served as president and Chief Executive Officer of the organization.

 

 

 

whitaker

David Whitaker – Chief Financial Officer (dave@mnbrass.org)

Whitaker has been involved with MBI since 1990, as a marching member for six years and also serving as a visual tech and administrator. He joined the Board of Directors in 1992 and served until 2001 when we was elected board chairman, a position he held until 2007.

 

 

 

tanji

Todd Tanji – Chair, Board of Directors (ttanji@mnbrass.org)

Tanji has served on the Board of Directors since 2009 and as board chairman since 2012. He was a performing member from 1978 to 1980, and served as brass caption head in 1984. He has been artistic director of Minne-Brass, a small ensemble that performs under the MBI umbrella, since 2005. Tanji also performed with the world champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps of Concorde, Calif., from 1981 to 1982, and has served on the BD Performing Arts Board of Directors/Advisory Board since 2003.

 

 

 

foell

Justin Foell – Corps Director (justin@mnbrass.org)

Foell will manage the educational and volunteer staffs of Minnesota Brass. He was a marching member of world champion Rockford, Ill., Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from 1995 to 1998. He performed in the Minnesota Brass horn line in 1999 and 2012, and served on the brass staff from 2013 to 2016. He also currently serves as webmaster for the organization. He is an alumnus of the Irondale High School Marching Knights of New Brighton, Minn.

 

 

 

bensen

Katy Bensen – Managing Director (katy@mnbrass.org)

Bensen will manage corps operations and member relations for MBI. She performed with the Minnesota Brass horn line in 1989 and 1992 and with Phantom Regiment in 1990 and 1991. She has served on the MBI visual staff since 2013 and has been the corps’ managing director since 2014, also providing member support for the corps’ winter ensembles. She currently teaches music in the White Bear Lake School District in suburban St. Paul, and teaches private lessons, summer band and high-school marching band.

 

 

 

Minnesota Brass is a 100-plus member drum and bugle corps based in St. Paul, Minn., that provides performance opportunities for adults age 17 and up. It also hosts a winter color guard, winter drum line and Minne-Brass, a small ensemble that performs throughout the year in parades and at corporate and private events.

 

A Dream 13 Years in the Making

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Who says “13” can’t be a lucky number? That’s exactly how many years it took for MBI euphonium player Elkin Navarro to realize his dream of marching in a drum and bugle corps in the United States.

Navarro, 31, is a long-time band director from Bucaramanga, Colombia, located some 250 miles north of the capital city of Bogotá … and nearly 3,000 miles south of St. Paul. The city of around half a million hosts a large clothing industry as well as a growing technological research effort specializing in energy, gas, oil, asphalt, leather and agro-industrial development tools, among other concerns. Located in the Colombian Andes, it is also a popular destination for tourists.

After some 15 years of teaching band, Elkin said he thought he’d better get on with trying to fulfill his drum corps dream. Looking for online videos of U.S. marching bands in the pre-YouTube days was a daunting effort, but he eventually stumbled upon videos of DCI corps. And watching videos of the Cavaliers only fueled his desire to participate. His first visit to the United States came two years ago when he played mellophone with the Medellin Gran Banda on a Sound Sport tour. That was his first experience playing a horn in an ensemble, he says; previously he’d played timbales with Latin orchestras in his hometown.

Suspecting in April it was too late into the season to get a marching spot with a DCA corps, Elkin wrote to several corps seeking a volunteer position, “and Colts director Vicki (Schaffer MacFarlane) was the first to answer with the beautiful YES!” he recalled. While with the Colts, from June 13 through July 29, Elkin was part of the props crew. “Vicki talked to one of the MBI staff members about my situation, and here I am! Just a month before DCA finals – I still can’t believe it!”

Back home in Colombia, Elkin receives support from brother Christian and sister Nathalia, his parents (Fernando and Mildred), and his “beautiful and wonderful” daughter Mariana, who celebrated her sixth birthday on July 29, the same day he left the Colts in Atlanta for the Twin Cities. “That wasn’t easy,” he says.

Even though he’s getting to play for only part of this season with MBI, Elkin says he wouldn’t dismiss an opportunity to spend an entire summer with the corps.

So how might he parlay his drum corps experience when he gets back home?

“I think that I should help instructor friends, members and marching bands in my city when I go back to my country,” he said. “Being with Colts and Minnesota Brass has given me a lot of information and a wonderful experience that I would love to help people [have] who want to live the same adventure.”