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Eric Molho

Minnesota Brass Returns to Soundsport in 2019

By | Drum & Bugle Corps, SoundSport | No Comments

On Tuesday May 21 the Minnesota Brass board of directors decided to compete in DCI’s Soundsport instead of DCA for the 2019 Season.

The reasons for this are:

To create a performance venue whereby smaller groups can sound fuller.
Increase the quality by having a shorter performance length.
Foster creativity for the design by incorporating more of a winter approach.
Increase and maintain membership by reducing the schedule and financial commitment.
To avoid Labor Day weekend to encourage less competition with College and High School bands.

Our goal is to include everyone that has expressed interest and hopefully a few more individuals who can now be a part of an ensemble with more reasonable demands. We would like to perform with a hornline, battery, front line and guard. Our goal is also to continue with the same show for this summer to utilize our winter learning. The corps will continue to perform in parades and other DCI/DCA shows this summer but we will end our season at the DCI championships in Indianapolis on the weekend of August 9-11. This is similar to what the corps did for many years where we ended at DCM rather than continuing to DCA.

We will produce an updated schedule and dues commitment this week and plan on having our next rehearsal at the next camp on June 7.   Katy Matuzak will serve as director of the organization and Joel Matuzak will lead the creative team.

Town Hall Meeting Saturday, April 27

By | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

To our Minnesota Brass Family and Friends:

You are invited to attend an important Town Hall meeting for all Minnesota Brass stakeholders on Saturday, April 27 at Northdale Middle School. Lunch at 12 p.m. with conversation to follow beginning at 12:45 p.m.

The 2019 summer drum corps season is fast approaching. These are exciting times for Minnesota Brass as we hope to return to the field this year. But they also are challenging times. And we need your help.

The winter ensembles – MBI Indoor Percussion and MBI Winter Guard have just ended successful seasons with exemplary performances at the WGI Championships in Ohio. The future of the larger organization looks healthy.

And while everyone is hopeful the summer program will be equally successful, we face considerable frustrations. Turnout of potential performers at winter rehearsals has been disappointingly limited. And the ranks of our hard-working volunteer and support staffs have continued to dwindle. Frankly, it is unclear just where the level of support for the summer program stands.

On Saturday, April 27, the MBI Board of Directors is meeting to discuss – among many important issues – the prospects for the 2019 summer program. This meeting will be held in conjunction with a daylong full-corps rehearsal camp at Northdale Middle School (11301 Dogwood St. NW, Coon Rapids, Minn.). You are invited to visit camp and participate in a Town Hall meeting to discuss plans for the summer. The board invites your attendance to provide input and offer possible action plans before making any decision about 2019. We hope to hear from you.

Please consider joining us for this important meeting. Your insight is valuable and needed, and your continued support is greatly appreciated. As an added incentive, you are invited to join the corps for lunch!

Minnesota Brass Town Hall
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Lunch at 12 p.m.
Town Hall to follow at 12:45 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Northdale Middle School, 11301 Dogwood St. NW, Coon Rapids, MN

If you can’t make the meeting, but wish to contribute your ideas to the discussion, please send them to eric @ mnbrass.org

Minnesota Brass Nominates Two for Board of Directors

By | Drum & Bugle Corps, Uncategorized | No Comments

At its December meeting, the Minnesota Brass Board of Directors nominated two candidates to become new members to the board. Brief introductions of Marissa Moeller and Tom Reimer are below.

As outlined in the bylaws of the organization, the board’s nomination needs to be ratified by a vote of the full membership. The ratification process will follow the following timeline and process:

January 22: Candidates will attend the January board meeting and be available to meet any members interested in speaking with the candidates.

January 25: The ratification process will be conducted online with details posted on the website and organizational facebook page. The online form will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight CST.


Marissa Moeller

Marissa Moeller has been a performing member of Minnesota Brass since 2013, after learning about the corps from a classmate at the University of Minnesota who took her to a rehearsal.

She was a member of the U of M Marching Band while in college, during which time she learned “valuable
interpersonal skills for a group of 320-plus.”

Moeller currently works as a dental hygienist, during which she spends a fair amount of her time educating patients as well as communicating with a variety of individuals on a daily basis. She served in 2017 and 2018 on the board of trustees for the Minnesota Dental Hygienists’ Association as the metro-area Trustee. Her work involved planning continuing-education events and networking with other hygienists around the state.

Marissa’s top priorities as a board member would revolve around membership growth and retention, a firm development of values and enhancing members’ experience, regardless of with which ensemble—winter guard, drum line, Minne-Brass or the summer corps—they choose to perform, experiencing a challenging, yet rewarding, program.

”Being a member for the past six years does make me emotionally invested in the corps, but I hope to approach a board position with what is best for the group as a whole, to ensure the longevity of Minnesota Brass.”

Tom Reimer

Tom Reimer’s 20-year association with Minnesota Brass began in 1998 when he joined as a performing member of the percussion section. He continued to perform with the corps in 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2012, and he was on the instructional staff from 2007 to 2010.

Formerly the Percussion Department manager for Dynasty USA, Reimer is now Judge Coordinator for the Minnesota Percussion Association and has served as a percussion judge for WGI, MPA and Youth in Music. He also currently serves on the educational staff of Shadow Drum & Bugle Corps of Oregon, Wis. He is married to Shadow Director Rebecca Compton Allen, also a former performer with MBI.

Tom’s goals while serving on the MBI board of directors include finding short- and long-term performance opportunities for the organization, as well as expanding both alumni and volunteer involvement with MBI. He values “tenacious” recruiting efforts and “steering the organizational culture toward positiveness.”

“The perspective I’m most excited to share with the organization is that I’ve seen the activity from several different vantage points. In addition to being on educational staff with Shadow, I also do some administration, recruiting, fundraising, etc. Working for a manufacturing company allowed me to see behind the curtain of drum-corps-as-business. And my role as MPA judge coordinator requires me to attend board meetings, where I have seen the organization evolve greatly over the last decade.”

Katy Matuzak Named MBI Executive Director

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The Minnesota Brass, Inc. board of directors hired Katy Matuzak (formerly Bensen) to serve as executive director of the organization at its meeting on Dec. 17. Her predecessor, Jeremy Semler, is no longer with the organization.

Matuzak has served in numerous leadership capacities over the past five years and has been a longtime performing member and leader in the organization. She currently is director of MBI Indoor Percussion and served as co-director of the drum and bugle corps in 2017. She can be reached at director@mnbrass.org.

The summer Drum Corps 2019 season launches on Wednesday, February 6th, with openings in brass, percussion and color guard.

Auditions Kick Off MBI Indoor Season

By | Indoor Drumline | No Comments

Minnesota Brass’ MBI Indoor Percussion will open its 2019 campaign with day 1 of auditions on Saturday, Oct. 27. Interested percussionists ages 16 to 22 are invited to attend the event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, Minn., north of Minneapolis. Register now!

According to director Katy Bensen, more than 85 individuals already have expressed interest in the ensemble’s 35-plus positions. The group will attend the Minnesota Percussion Association’s (MPA) Day of Percussion on Jan. 5, 2019, at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota. Its first contest is set for Feb. 2, 2019, at Eagan High School. The ensemble also plans to attend the WGI regional contest in Omaha, Neb., in February.

MBI Indoor Drumline prides itself on providing a premier member experience focusing on the development of its members as performers and people. As the only Independent World Class percussion ensemble in the region, they strive to create engaging and emotional programs that push performers’ abilities and provide an opportunity to perform with the best of the best.

MBI Indoor is an indoor percussion ensemble sponsored by Minnesota Brass Inc. It competes as a member of both MPA and WGI Percussion. They have been Independent Open silver medalists, as well as World Class finalists and have earned numerous other accolades locally and regionally. A second session of auditions is slated for Nov. 11, also at Totino-Grace.

The MBI Indoor staff also includes Joel Matuzak, program coordinator/arranger; Matt Ferry, front ensemble coordinator/arranger; Mike Ferry, ensemble coordinator; Joe Asleson, visual designer, and Angela Haugejorden, choreographer. Other staff members are Tiffany Kostuch (visual technician), Joe Pfau and Joe Jaeger (co-battery coordinators), Austin Murra, Nick “Taco” Edwards, Jordan Jergenson, Vlad Boz, Joey Wattenhofer and Jake Esterberg (battery technicians), Erin VanBurkleo (front ensemble supervisor), Mackenzie Steinberg, Alex St. Clair and Ellie Mehr (front ensemble technicians), Bridger Herman (audio engineer) and Alli Wilmes (front ensemble consultant). Visit our web page for more information.