It’s a digital world today, and we’re all just connected bits and bytes.
That somewhat dystopian view is the theme of MBI Winter Guard’s 2016 show, “Auto-Correcting Society,” that will see its debut performance Jan. 31 at the Scholarship Show at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, Minn.
“Our soundtrack this year surrounds a voice-over narrative that aims to define how our devices, apps and technology have changed human interaction and society as a whole,” explains Wil Furnstahl, MBI Winter Guard director. He adds the show was inspired by a spoken-word art performance. “We loved the message and felt it was so relevant to both our members and audiences alike.”
Furnstahl describes the visual aspect of the show as “a colorful world comprising squares and rectangles that are reminiscent of the device screens with which we surround ourselves every day. The shapes also appear within the costuming, along with digitized pixilation patterns in our flags. The show continuously presents a motif of individuals stopping to stare at their hand (which is in the shape of one holding a phone) as the chaotic world continues around them.”
The 16-member unit is co-directed by Furnstahl and Emily Merriman for their sixth consecutive season and a staff that includes returning members Jessi Foell, Jon Su and Mary Stennes. New staff members include Jared Peterson, Aaron Shaleen, Rachel Graack, Becci O’Kane and Dani Lovitz; all in all, it the largest staff ever to work with the guard, Furnstahl said.
“We are happy to have Mary, Rachel and Dani as program alums,” he added, “and feel it’s important to keep alumni actively engaged and involved.”
Furnstahl said the guard will appear in six local shows including its home show, “Sounds of Minnesota: Winter Edition,” on Feb 6 at South St. Paul High School. The guard will once again compete nationally as they travel to the WGI St. Louis Regional contest in March and the WGI Color Guard World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, in April.
For more information about the MBI Winter Guard’s 2016 show and performance schedule, go to https://mnbrass.org/winterguard.