Admin Team

 

Jeremy Semler

(Executive Director): Jeremy started with Minnesota Brass as a mellophone player during the 2008 season and was assistant drum major in 2009 and 2010, as well as performing with Minnesota Brass Indoor Percussion in 2009. In 2013, he joined the administrative team of Minneapolis-based Chops Drum and Bugle Corps, focusing on recruitment. He was named assistant director of the corps in 2016 and moved up to the directorship in 2018. During that season the corps achieved its first Drum Corps Associates Open Class finalist position. Outside of drum corps, Semler is a technical trainer for a smart-home software provider. He lives in Minneapolis.

 

 

Katy Bensen

(Operations Director): Katy will serve as operations director of the summer program and will continue as director of MBI Indoor Percussion in 2019. 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. She lives in Vadnais Heights, Minn.

 

Austin Murra

Operations Manager

 

Design Team

Joel Matuzak

(Program Coordinator and Percussion Arranger): Joel has been the program coordinator for Minnesota Brass since 2002 and percussion caption head since 1998. Under his leadership, the corps has won the DCA Open Class Championship (2011) and been a silver medalist five times, as well as winning four DCA percussion titles. He is the design coordinator for the Minnesota Brass Indoor Drumline and has been the head instructor of the Sköl Line, a drumline for the Minnesota Vikings NFL franchise, since 2008. He is highly regarded as an arranger, drill writer, clinician, and adjudicator. He is an alumni of the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps, member of both the Minnesota Percussion Association and Minnesota Brass hall of fame,  and a 2012 inductee of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.  He has been the director of instrumental music at Highland Park Senior High School in St. Paul since 1997.

 

Dr. Ward Miller

(Brass Consultant): Ward Miller hails from Loachapoka, a small farming community near the city of Auburn, Alabama. He earned his bachelors of music education from Auburn University in 2001, where he served as webmaster, arranger, and an undergraduate teaching assistant with the Auburn University Marching Band. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2003 with a masters in Trombone Performance. While in the Phoenix area, he served as a part-time assistant and clinician with the Paradise Valley High School bands, the Mesa Community College Wind Ensemble, and the Phoenix Symphony Guild Youth Orchestra. He taught public school in Alabama for three years, serving as Director of Bands at Andalusia High School and at Pleasant Grove High School. In 2006 he accepted a graduate teaching assistantship at The University of Iowa, where he studied with Dr. Myron Welch in Band Conducting. While at Iowa, he also worked as a teaching assistant with the Hawkeye Marching Band, where he wrote, taught, and conducted multiple arrangements and halftime drills. He also conducted the Iowa University Concert Band, and earned the 2008 outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant award for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Miller graduated in 2011 from the University of Iowa with his D.M.A. in Band Conducting. Since 2014, Dr. Miller has been the Brass Caption Head for the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps of La Crosse, WI. He currently resides in Minneapolis, MN where he spends his time arranging and composing, and working as a music education consultant.

 

John Devine

(Brass Caption Supervisor): John was a performing member in the Minnesota Brass tuba section for five seasons (2010-2014), receiving recognition for excellence in both visual performance and musicianship. In the summer of 2018, he was an instructor for the MBI SoundSport ensemble. John is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he was a member of the Pride of Minnesota, and earned his degree in Music Education. He has been teaching competitive parade and field marching bands since 2007. He previously taught at Andover High School and was the Head Director of the Marching Band. John is currently the Band Director at South St. Paul Secondary.

 

Wil Furnstahl

Wil Furnstahl

(Visual Consultant): Wil has led Minnesota Brass’ color guard for several years, including the 2011 DCA championship season, when his unit won top honors. He also is the director of MBI Winter Guard, which he has built into a consistent WGI Independent Open Class finalist. He has led several winter guard champions in the North Star Color Guard Circuit, including Park Center High School, Eclipse and Elk River.  He has performed with St. Cloud All-City Marching Band, the Royal Guard of the Twin Cities, Heritage Winter Guard of Madison, Wis., and Minnesota Brass. He has been teaching color guard since 1997 and is an adjudicator with the Tri-State Judges Association.

 

Gretchen Fuesz

Visual Caption Head

 

Joe Jaeger

Percussion Caption Head

 

Christopher Judd

Front Ensemble Design

 

 

Instructional Staff