Katy Bensen will serve as Director for MBI Indoor Percussion 2018. 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.
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 program 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 has instructed and arranged for many marching ensembles throughout the United States, including the University of Arkansas, Governaires Drum and Bugle Corps, Irondale High School, Waseca High School and Eden Prairie High School. 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 is a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a degree in music education. He has been the director of instrumental music at Highland Park Senior High School in St. Paul since 1997.
Joe is an educator and designer in the marching arts from Minneapolis, MN. He has been on staff with MBI Indoor since the 2010 season serving as snare tech (2010-2013), visual designer (2014-present) and most recently as director (2015-2017). This year he will be moving into the Ensemble Coordinator role. This summer Joe completed his 3rd season as Visual Caption Head for the Minnesota Brass Drum & Bugle Corps. Hecurrently serves as the Percussion Caption Head and Battery Arranger at Eden Prairie High School for the group’s marching band (BOA St. Louis Super Regional Finalist in 2012, 2014 & 2015) as well as Battery Arranger and Visual Designer for their indoor drumline. In just their 2nd year of existence in 2013, the Eden Prairie HS indoor drumline was promoted to World Class and had the honor of performing among the best in the country at WGI Finals for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. For the 2012 and 2013 seasons he served as snare technician as well as battery visual instructor and choreographer for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps. In 2014 he was voted Instructor of the Year by the Minnesota Percussion Association, and in 2015 he joined the MPA board of directors where he currently serves as 2nd Vice President. He has instructed and designed at various high schools in Minnesota and offers private lessons to several students in the Twin Cities area.
In 2008 Joe performed with the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps, serving as snare section leader for his age-out season. He also performed with Minnesota Brass Indoor in their inaugural season in 2008, and Music City Mystique (2009 bronze medalist) as a member of the snareline. His performing career started with Minnesota Brass Drum & Bugle Corps (2005-2006, 2009-2010, 2014) where he was section leader for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, earning high percussion honors in 2010. Joe has had the privilege of learning from great instructors such as Roger Carter, Casey Brohard, Tim Maynard, Carl Eppler, Joe Hobbs, Shane Gwaltney, Mike Ferry and Joel Matuzak. Joe lives in Minneapolis with his fiance April, and in his spare time enjoys running around the lakes of South Minneapolis.
Craig Myers is an active percussion educator, clinician, composer, and arranger from Minneapolis, MN. He currently serves as the Front Ensemble Arranger and Sound Designer for Minnesota Brass Inc., Eden Prairie High School, and Jubal Drum and Bugle Corps. Craig has also worked with The Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, Waconia High School and educates a studio of twenty young percussionists through private lessons. He is a staff composer/arranger for JKS Music, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Percussion Association. Craig has performed as a World Class finalist with Rhythm X (2008 WGI PIW World Champions), the Cadets (Allentown, Pa.) and the Bluecoats (Canton, Ohio). He received his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from St. Cloud State University and will be entering his 9th season on staff with Minnesota Brass Indoor.
Since aging out of junior corps in 2003, Mike has found a home within the Minnesota Brass organization. He played snare drum in the 2004 DCA champion percussion section, and joined the education staff in 2005. In 2008, Mike became a charter member of MBI Indoor Percussion staff, and has experienced the rise through WGI’s Independent Open class circuit, leading to an Open Class silver medal in 2012, as well as MBI’s first World Class finals appearance in 2013. Outside of MBI, Mike has also designed, written, and taught for numerous high schools in the area, including Irondale, Forest Lake, and Eagan. He maintains a strong passion for personal mastery and deliberate practice, and is very excited to be working with MBI's world class organization again in 2018.
During the day Mike is the Education Sales Manager at MakeMusic Inc., the creator of industry leading music software Finale and SmartMusic. He currently resides in the Battle Creek neighborhood of St. Paul with his wife Shelby, sons Joseph and Nathan, and dog Liza.
Angela Haugejorden is a native of Anoka, Minnesota where she studied at American School of Russian Classical Ballet. While studying Music and Dance Performance at St. Cloud State University (SCSU), she toured with SCSU’s African Repertory Dance Company, Tapestry Folk Arts Dance Company, and Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps.
In 2003, Haugejorden moved to Portland Oregon to tour with Northern Lights Independent World Guard while obtaining her Bachelors of Science in Dance with a Music Performance Minor from Western Oregon University. In 2008 she founded the Gratis Dans Company while touring with Minh Tran and Company and continued to hold the position of Director of Dance Ensembles at Southridge High School (SHS). It was at SHS she was awarded the “Favorite Color guard Coach of the Year” by the Beaverton Arts Commission and the “Favorite Arts Teacher of the Year” from the Beaverton School District. Congruently she taught numerous color guards at all levels throughout the country.
In 2013 Haugejorden obtained her Masters of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM). During this time, Haugejorden performed with Convergence Dance Theater and taught at Wailee Fine Arts High School. Tandemly, she contributed to UHM’s dance program as a teaching assistant for Improvisation, Pre-20th Century Dance History, Beginning Modern Technique, Dance Composition 1, Weight-Sharing Internship, Dance and Visual Media, and was a graduate assistant for Modern Dance 1. Haugejorden’s piece Tranquil Purification was adjudicated at American College Dance Festival Association along with A day in the life of Meghen, dance for film entry. On completion of her degree in 2013 she was also awarded the Yasuki Sasa Award for Excellence in Choreography and Performance from UHM, became an Arts Bridge of America Scholar in weight-sharing education, presented written research on Evolution of Pedagogy in Higher Education: Modern Dance Technique Courses Through Laban Movement Analysis and published her performance thesis entitled Movement Dimensions which utilized Isadora live capture software and projection.
Haugejorden performed with Alternative Motion Dance Project and choreographed for Zenon’s Zone Choreography series in Minneapolis of 2013 before her move to Austin, Texas where she was the director for East View High School Color Guard and taught at several other programs of different competitive levels. Upon her return to Saint Paul, Minnesota Haugejorden is co-authoring a book and design company A&R Studios in Canada. In her second year with Invictus Independent World Guard from Austin, Texas she holds an at large board member position as well as directing the movement technique and choreography programs. 2017 marks Haugejorden’s first year with Western Kentucky University teaching Dance Appreciation and Dance in World Cultures as adjunct faculty. Haugejorden is excited to join Minnesota Brass Incorporated (MBI) for her second winter to learn, become inspired, and be part of the MBI family.
Matt Ferry is a Minneapolis native who has been active in the marching arts since he began performing with the front ensembles at the Blue Stars (1998) and The Cavaliers (1999-2002). While completing his BA in Music Education at the University of Minnesota, Matt became the Front Ensemble Coordinator and Arranger for Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps. During his time as the Front Ensemble Coordinator the drum corps received four DCA percussion titles and won the DCA World Championship in 2011. After graduating college, Matt went to work for MakeMusic Inc. where he helped develop the SmartMusic program into a teacher driven, long-distance learning tool. Matt introduced SmartMusic into International Markets, developed partnerships with DCI and BOA, and assisted with the implementation of music assessment tools into over 300 school districts across the United States.
From 2014 - 2017 Matt moved to Austin, TX where he helped develop the music assessment software ‘Music Prodigy‘ with partnerships at TMEA and public school systems in Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Additionally, Matt supervised the Front Ensembles at Dripping Springs High School, Claudia Taylor Johnson High School and 5points Percussion. Matt has also been an active Adjudicator and Clinician in AZ, IA, MN, SD, TX and WI for bands, indoor percussion, percussion ensembles and large group contests. Matt currently works for Edmentum Inc. from his home office in St. Paul, MN where he supports digital learning outcomes for over 350 school systems in New England and New Jersey.
Matt Ferry has been an Innovative Percussion Artist since 2003.
Joe Pfau is entering his 2nd year as Battery Coordinator for MBI Indoor Percussion. He began his percussion career at Bloomington Jefferson High School where he played tenor drums from 2006-2009. Joe has marched quads for Minnesota Brass drum corps from 2009-2010; Bluecoats drum and bugle corps 2011-2013; Minnesota Brass Indoor 2012 and 2014 and RCC Indoor Percussion in 2015. Pfau has worked with the drumlines at Bloomington Jefferson High School in 2014 and Henry Sibley High School from 2013-2014. He has also taught for the Blue Knights as a tenor technician from 2015-2016 and has been teaching private lessons on tenor drums since 2010. Joe graduated Normandale Community College in 2013 with his ASsociate of Arts degree and is currently attending Metropolitan State University. Joe’s accomplishments include receiving four I&E medals include a DCA 2009 Ensemble Champion; 2010 Individual Champion; DCI 2013 third place individual; and receiving a perfect score in the MPA 2014 Individual competition. In 2015, Joe was a WGI World Champion and now holds a world record with RCC Indoor Percussion.
Joe has been an active percussion educator and performer in the Twin Cities area since 2009. He has instructed and arranged for marching band and indoor percussion at Rosemount HS, Eden Prairie HS, 728 Cadets, River Valley Percussion Theatre, Blaine HS, Armstrong HS, among many more. At the independent level he has been a snare drum technician with Minnesota Brass Indoor, percussion caption head/arranger for Chops Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as battery coordinator for Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps. Joe holds an Associate in Fine Arts/Music degree from Normandale Community College and is currently studying at the University of Minnesota to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.
Joe’s marching experience includes 5 years of drum corps and 4 years of indoor percussion: Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps (2009, 2010, 2013, 2016), Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps (2011, 2012), and Minnesota Brass Indoor (2010-2013). Other performance experiences include: Minnesota Vikings Skol Line, UMN Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, and various rock, funk, hip hop and jazz groups around the area.
Austin began his percussive career with Groove Inc. from Sioux Falls, SD where he was a member from 2007-2012. Austin used his experience from Groove Inc. and Lincoln High School to march Drum Corp International with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011,13, and 14. After high school, Austin moved to Minneapolis and became a member of Minnesota Brass Indoor for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and also the summer Corps in 2015. Austin is currently a student at the University of Minnesota where he is studying Recreation Administration. He continues his passion for percussion by teaching the Forest Lake Indoor drumline along with private lessons.
Vlad has been teaching percussion in Minnesota since 2003, having worked with the Champlin Park High School Marching Band and Indoor Drumline (2003–2008) and the Eden Prairie High School Marching Band (2008–2010). He currently works with the Rosemount High School Marching Band, where he started in 2011; the Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps and Indoor Drumline, where he started in 2010; and the South St. Paul High School Drumline, where he started in 2009. Vlad has served on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Percussion Association since 2010 and is the current president of the board.
He is a proud alumnus of South St. Paul High School, where he participated in the marching band and indoor drumline from 1997–2002. He also marched with the Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps (2001–2002), the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps (2004–2006), and the Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps (2003, 2007–2008). Vlad has a degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota and works in editing and Web site communications. In his spare time, he enjoys petting strangers' dogs and writing his bio.
Kirk began his marching career at Sartell High School in 1985. After graduating, he started to march drum corps with Minnesota Brass from 1992 through 1996 and from 2003 till 2005. Since 2008, Kirk has performed with the Minnesota Vikings Sköl drumline. Kirk has been a bass technician for the Eagan winter drumline in 2006; Eden Prairie drumline from 2006 till 2007; Irondale drumline from 2007 through 2013; Eastview drumline in 2015 and has taught at Minnesota Brass since 2013. Kirk’s accomplishments include being a part of the Minnesota Brass DCA Percussion Champions in 2003 and 2004.
Jack Donovan is a percussionist, performer, and educator located in the Twin Cities. He is currently perusing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Minnesota. Before attending the U of M, Jack earned his BM from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and his MM from Kansas State University where he was a graduate teaching assistant with the bands and percussion studio, and the coordinator for the Pride of Wildcat Land Drumline.
Jack Has a very diverse background of performing experiences. He has performed at large events such as the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and he has performed around the world in places like South Africa and Costa Rica. Jack has also performed extensively throughout the marching arts with groups such as the Madison Scouts, Minnesota Brass, and the Minnesota Vikings Skol Line. Jack also teaches private lessons in the Twin Cities area.
Excited and eager, Jordan enters his 2nd winter teaching cymbals with Minnesota Brass Indoor. In addition to MBI, Jordan also teaches at Irondale HS, Rosemount HS and Minnesota Brass Drum & Bugle Corps. He also does consultation work with various high schools. Jordan has been teaching marching percussion since 2010. He has taught clinics and various groups in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Some of those groups include: Buffalo HS, Osseo HS, Baldwin-Woodville HS, Park Center HS, Champlain Park HS, Phoenix, River City Rhythm Indoor and River City Rhythm Drum & Bugle Corps.
Aside from teaching marching percussion, Jordan works for the Minneapolis Park Board. Jordan graduated from Park Center and studied Political Science and Behavior Analysis at the University of Minnesota.
Tiffany Kostuch is excited to return to the impressive organization that is Minnesota Brass. Having graduated from Menomonie High School in 2012, where she marched in the Menomonie Winter Drumline for four years, she is now in the process of obtaining degrees in Biology and Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she marched trumpet and bass drum for the Blugold Marching Band. Tiffany's other marching experience includes the Colts (Dubuque, Iowa) where she marched trumpet for the 2015 season, as well as Minnesota Brass Indoor Drumline where she marched cymbals for the 2016 season. After aging out, Tiffany continued on through the marching arts by returning to Menomonie High School and becoming director of the indoor marching program. She also works with River City Rhythm as a music instructor in the DCI Open Class Drum and Bugle Corps. This will be Tiffany's second year with Minnesota Brass as a cymbal instructor.
Joey started his percussion career at Champlin Park High School in 2009. After graduating, he performed with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013 and 2014. Joey also marched with River City Rhythm from 2011-2015. Joey has been a cymbal technician for the 728 Cadets since 2015 and is looking forward to his first year teaching at River Valley Percussion Theatre this winter.
He graduated from Saint John’s University in 2017 with a degree in communications and currently works as a specialist at the City of Brooklyn Park. Joey is happy to be back in the MPA scene and excited to be part of the 2018 MBI staff.
Erin VanBurkleo started her percussion career with the Eagan High School winter drumline in the front ensemble in 2001. After graduating from Eagan, she performed with The Academy drum and bugle corps in the front ensemble in 2007. Starting in 2005, Erin performed with the Minnesota Brass drum corps and continued in 2006, and from 2008-2014. Erin has taught as a front ensemble instructor at Eagan High School’s winter drumline from 2004-2013; River City Rhythm 2011-2012; Eden Prairie High School winter drumline since 2013; Rosemount High School marching band since 2005 and Minnesota Brass Indoor since 2013. Erin offers private lessons for keyboard percussion and is a graduate of St. Olaf college with a B.A. in History and Classics.
Alli Wilmes is a Music Education graduate from UW-Eau Claire, originally from Stillwater, Minnesota. She was the principal percussionist in the UWEC Wind Symphony, where she was the spring 2016 recipient of the Donald George Outstanding Musician Award. Alli also played vibraphone in Jazz Ensemble I and II, played bass drum for four years in the Blugold Marching Band, and played in many percussion ensembles in her time at UWEC. In the summer of 2015, she was the vibraphone section leader for the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2016 and 2017, she played marimba and xylophone/glockenspiel for the Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps. She also taught the Menomonie High School Front Ensemble for four seasons.
Alli completed her student teaching placement at Cumberland Middle/High School, where she worked with all four bands daily for the entire fall semester. Post graduation, she had the amazing opportunity to intern for Mr. Chris Gleason, the 2017 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year Finalist for the entire spring semester. During this internship, she worked with Mr. Gleason’s 7th grade band students in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and conducted a world premiere at their spring concert.
Alli recently became one of the band directors in the Waconia school district, where she teaches the 8th and 9th grade bands and small group lessons for grades 6-12. This will be her first year on staff with Minnesota Brass Indoor.
Michelle Johnson first joined Minnesota Brass as a marching member in the front ensemble for the 2012 Indoor season and has performed several season since, including 2013, 2014, 2016, and the summer seasons of 2012, 2013, and most recently, 2017. Throughout the past few years she has taught several front ensembles, including Minnetonka Fall Marching Band, Forest Lake Drumline, Grove Area Percussion, and Chops Drum & Bugle Corps. Aside from her debut instructing the Indoor front ensemble, Michelle is also the Frontline Coordinator at Grove Area Percussion for the 2018 season.
Alex St. Clair
Bio coming soon!