It seemed like an appropriate beginning: Dropped flags and sabers, blats from the hornline, and a fire alarm. Minnesota Brass’ 2015 “Mad Circus” season is underway!
Minnesota Brass welcomed nearly 100 veterans and newcomers to a season-opening audition/open house Jan. 3 & 4 in suburban Minneapolis, at which the 2015 program was introduced by program coordinator Joel Matuzak. The show will feature music from Emerson, Lake and Palmer; Danny Elfman; Rufus Wainwright; Beats Antique, and Queen.
The two-day camp brought together would-be members of the 2015 summer program as well as members of both the color guard and drumline winter ensembles.
The weekend opened with prospective members meeting veterans and the instructional and administrative staffs before splitting off into sections. In addition to early drafts of the music, the corps was also presented with a brass arrangement of the corps song, “For All We Know.” The first day also featured a viewing of last year’s second-place DCA Championships performance as a reminder to vets and an introduction to newcomers of the possibilities the new season holds.
Keith Kezar, a 13-year tuba veteran, is especially looking forward to playing this season’s book: “The music should be fantastic,” he said, admitting the first description of the new show at last autumn’s corps awards banquet inspired him to purchase his first Emerson Lake and Palmer album.
Third-year color guard member Katy Hammond, who is majoring in therapeutic recreation and hoping to balance an internship with performing next summer, has noted a youth movement in the winter guard ensemble that she says already is experiencing steady progress as its season-opener looms. “Progress has been really great,” she said. “We’re pushing harder and that will bring us closer together as a group.”
That sentiment rings well with newcomer Jalyn Anderson, 17, who recently moved to Minnesota from Enterprise, Ala. She was introduced to Minnesota Brass through pals in her Farmington High School drum line and marching band who performed at last season’s Youth in Music marching band championships held at her school. A visit to the Minnesota Brass recruiting table won her over. She said she’s looking forward to the camaraderie between performers and instructors who “hold high expectations of you as a performer, and you want to meet them.”
The second day featured outdoor temperatures some 20 degrees colder than the day before and the not-always-unexpected charms of a Minnesota winter when a water pipe broke, interrupting the rehearsal of the corps’ winter drum line. A quick evacuation preceded the work of the local fire and police departments.
All in all, veterans of the group found the weekend to be the most positive first rehearsal in years. Everything from check-in to warm-ups to visuals and even lunch were well coordinated and organized.