What are the age limits/rules/policies?
The short answer is: There are none. WGI has no limitations regarding age for the Wind classes and Minnesota Brass is an all-age organization. Having said that, we know that one of the core purposes of the WGI Winds activity is to create “a venue for young people … that can help them stay on their principal instrument.” We seek to support music education and the marching arts in Minnesota by adding an opportunity for wind players that percussionists and color guard members have enjoyed for years.
Any member under 18 will be required to have the permission of their parent/guardian in order to participate. Current high school students will also be required to have the permission of their music teacher/band director. If your school has a winter program for your primary instrument, you should be performing with your school’s unit and not auditioning for Minnesota Brass. Don’t worry . . . we’ll be around in years to come so we hope to see you at a later time.
What is the rehearsal schedule?
The schedule will be confirmed at our audition camp. Starting in December, the ensemble will rehearse on Wednesday evenings and every other Friday evening and Saturday. Beginning in January, the ensemble will rehearse most Wednesday evenings and nearly every Friday evening and Saturday. Most rehearsals will be held at Brooklyn Center High School.
What is the performance schedule?
We will perform in the greater Twin Cities area at several North Star Circuit shows and a few Minnesota Percussion Association shows. The full calendar for those circuits has not yet been finalized. Most shows will be on Saturday evenings after rehearsal. Members provide their own transportation to rehearsals and shows.
We will be competing in the WGI World Championships in Dayton Ohio, in April. Transportation and hotel accommodations in Dayton are included in your dues.
How much are dues?
Dues have not been finalized, but we anticipate they will be similar to the other Minnesota Brass winter ensembles in the $900- $1100 range. As noted above, this covers the cost of transportation and hotel accommodations at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio. It also covers the costs of instruction, uniforms, a few camp meals and most equipment. Members will be responsible for transportation to shows/rehearsals in Minnesota and most meals while traveling.
Can I participate in another Minnesota Brass ensemble and the winds ensemble?
Perhaps. It is not possible to participate in another Minnesota Brass winter ensemble (Minnesota Brass Indoor Drumline or MBI Winter Guard). However, it is possible to participate in both the winds ensemble and Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps. We are aligning all of our ensemble schedules in a way that facilitates membership in the drum corps and any other MBI winter ensemble.
What should I expect at the audition? Should I prepare something?
The purpose of the audition is for us to learn more about you and you to learn more about us. We do not expect any prepared pieces and you should not stress about audition day. What you should do is:
- Complete a member interest form if you haven’t already. We’ll then email you the audition packet to review.
- Practice. Come ready to play and prepared to do your best.
- Wear comfortable clothing. We’ll be moving, marching and marching–a lot. Bring tennis shoes and athletic clothes.
- Woodwind players bring your instrument; Brass players bring your mouthpiece. Minnesota Brass will provide horns for brass players and keyboard/sound system for percussionists.
- Come well rested and with a fantastic attitude to embark on a new venture!
Will there be a color guard as part of the winds ensemble?
Right now, we are focused on recruiting and developing the right instrumentation for the wind playing portion of the ensemble. If appropriate, we may include a small color guard made up of members who would not otherwise be eligible to perform with MBI Winter Guard (i.e. those older than 22.) Potential color guard members are strongly encouraged to audition for the MBI Winter Guard. If you are not eligible for the MBI winter guard and are interested in performing with the wind ensemble, please complete the winds member interest form and we will let you know about next steps.
What WGI class are we competing in?
Independent World Class. We’re ready to be among the best and you should be too.