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MBI Winterguard

Katy Bensen named managing director for Minnesota Brass

By | Drum & Bugle Corps, Indoor Drumline, MBI Winterguard | One Comment
Katy Bensen

Katy Bensen

Minnesota Brass is pleased to announce that Katy Bensen has been appointed to the new position of managing director for Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps, Indoor Winter Drumline and Winter Guard.

This new leadership position grew out of the organization’s reflections on how to best serve its many members while effectively managing multiple world-class organizations. In her new capacity, Katy will support each ensemble’s commitment to providing an unparalleled membership experience.

“We’re delighted Katy will be joining the admin team,” said Eric Molho, executive director of Minnesota Brass.  “She is a strong leader and great teacher.”

Katy joined the Minnesota Brass family in 1989, playing the French horn bugle for her first of two years marching with the corps.  She also performed with Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps in 1990 and 1991.  Two years ago Katy returned to Minnesota Brass as a member of the visual staff. She also served as membership coordinator in 2014.

This fall Katy began her teaching career as a band director at White Bear Lake Central Middle School and as a kindergarten music instructor at Otter Lake Elementary School, both part of White Bear Lake Area School District. Her career also includes many years in restaurant and event management.

Corps necklace establishes a new Minnesota Brass tradition

By | Drum & Bugle Corps, Indoor Drumline, MBI Winterguard | No Comments
Trumpet player Marissa Moeller's necklace shows that she has been with Minnesota Brass for one year.

Trumpet player Marissa Moeller’s corps necklace shows that she has finished one season with Minnesota Brass.

When Minnesota Brass takes the field this season, members are wearing more than new uniforms — they’re also proudly bearing a new tradition in the form of corps necklaces. The neckwear was presented for the first time to performers and staff members at last fall’s end-of-season banquet to denote how long each person has been with the drum and bugle corps. But for corps director Eric Molho, the necklaces mean much more than that. “It’s important for all of us to have tangible, meaningful reminders that we’re all part of one organization — and many of us refer to that organization as a family,” he said. “The necklace helps serve as a reminder across different ensembles, different seasons, different sections that we all share a common experience and common connection.” To create the necklaces, Molho enlisted the help of baritone/euphonium section leaders Jacob Welle and Sam Springer, and Linda Belcher of the support staff. The trio drew inspiration from similar efforts from DCI corps such as Spirit of Atlanta, the Madison Scouts and the Colts of Dubuque, Iowa — all of which count Minnesota Brass members among their alumni. “We looked at a few websites to find a ‘look,’ something that was meaningful to us,” Springer said. “But truth is our logo was what we valued most.” Their efforts resulted in necklaces that featured a large center bead with the Minnesota Brass logo on a black cord, along with a variety of beads with meanings depending on color and style:

A close-up of the MBI corps necklace.

A close-up of the Minnesota Brass corps necklace.

* Blue round bead: marching field member * Gray bead: staff member (field, support, administration, board) * White bead: one year with the corps * Black bead: five years * Silver bead: 10 years * Gold bead: 20 years * Red bead: 30 years * Wooden bead: winter drumline member * Light blue glass bead: winter color guard member (A small blue glass bead, available for 2014 only, honors the memory of Kayla Koranda, 18, a member of the winter drumline who was killed in January.) “The beads per section tied them together, and the years just held tight to the fact that we never age out of drum corps; we just age in to senior corps,” Springer said.

Trumpet player Kurt "Flash" Schiebel wears a necklace that shows he has been with MBI for years.

Trumpet player Kurt “Flash” Schiebel wears a necklace that shows he has been with the corps for 28  years.

Now, thanks to the corps necklaces, members can carry around a little part of Minnesota Brass wherever they go. “For each individual, the necklace is now something every member has to signify their experience,” Molho said. “While many of us have jackets and all of us have memories, the corps previously did not make sure that every member had a memento, a reminder of what it is they have accomplished as an individual performer. Hopefully, the necklace will be a source of pride as people recall their own hard work, commitment to excellence and positive experience with the corps.”

(Any Minnesota Brass alumni who are interested in getting a necklace representing their involvement with the corps should contact alumni@mnbrass.org.)

MBI Winter Guard Member wins WGI Scholarship

By | MBI Winterguard | No Comments

Bethany Hanson, a member of the MBI Winter Guard and Minnesota Brass drum and bugle corps was the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship at the 2014 WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio.  Congratulations to Bethany and the entire MBI Winter Guard on a fantastic 2014 season!  Information about participating in the 2015 edition of the MBI Winter Guard will be available in the Fall.