Minnesota Brass Inc. (MBI) has recently reaffirmed its commitment to a safe environment for all members and staff. MBI has since established a Conduct Review Committee (CRC) to review any and all allegations of inappropriate behavior. The CRC has an Open Door policy and is the watchdog for violations of MBI policy, The CRC has already begun review and investigations of various allegations of inappropriate behavior. In addition, the CRC has prepared an update that specifically addresses issues involved with reporting, whether anonymous or named, and now offers a new, confidential online reporting form. Because submitting a report can often be difficult, the CRC wants to reassure those contemplating making a report that they have a voice and a safe haven for reporting violations of MBI policy. Please feel free to review the CRC update and see the confidential online reporting form here.
The Minnesota Brass, Inc. leadership and its board of directors have decided not to field a competitive drum and bugle corps for the 2018 summer season. Despite the outstanding work of the artistic staff, marching members and the administrative team thus far this year, the corps has not been able to recruit a large enough base of brass members to field a summer program that meets the historically high performance standards audiences expect from Minnesota Brass.
The board has invited staff and existing members to explore the potential of creating a SoundSport ensemble that would perform at the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis on Saturday, August 11. An informational meeting regarding the potential SoundSport ensemble will be held on Saturday, April 28, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids, Minn.
“The decision to withdraw from the 2018 competitive drum corps season was a very difficult one,” said Todd Tanji, Minnesota Brass executive director. “Unfortunately, the competitive drum corps activity has experienced a decline in members and audiences over the past several seasons, and we’re feeling the pressure in Minnesota as well.”
The corps elaborated on some of the reasons for the decision:
- Minnesota Brass has had difficulty recruiting enough members for the brass section.
- The Drum Corps Associates (DCA) competitive schedule is both a recruiting and strategic challenge that puts the organization at odds with high-school and college music programs, particularly over the Labor Day weekend when DCA holds its championship competition. This has limited the corps’ ability to create beneficial partnerships with music educators at the high-school and college levels.
- Retention of multi-year veteran members has declined in recent years adding complications to our recruiting efforts
- It is expensive for potential members to participate in the ensemble despite significant subsidies the organization uses to keep member dues far below the actual costs of running the drum corps.
- It is increasingly challenging to recruit and retain talented, committed staff to lead all sections. We have been extremely fortunate to have stable, long-standing staff leadership in some aspects of the program, but other commitments of musical educators have become more prevalent in recent years.
Minnesota Brass Inc., a vibrant drum and bugle corps entity in Minnesota for more than 70 years, remains a healthy and viable performing-arts organization with stable finances and committed leadership. We anticipate no changes to our existing winter color guard and percussion ensembles. The board will be conducting a comprehensive review of the organization’s strategy in the coming months.
Minnesota Brass will continue to uphold its commitments to Drum Corps International as local partners for the 2018 summer events DCI Minnesota and March On! However, the organization will not sponsor the Sounds of Minnesota event this year.
For more information contact:
Chair, Board of Directors
Join Minnesota Brass on Sunday, April 8, as we present the winter finale featuring MBI Indoor Percussion and MBI Winter Guard as they present their 2018 programs prior to heading to Dayton, Ohio, for WGI championships.
Both the winter drumline and color guard are on incredible trajectories, poised to make an impact at WGI Finals. These are performances you simply need to experience. And if you haven’t seen them recently, you’ll be taken aback. Every performance unveils something new.
For a $5 donation, you will witness the best winter ensembles in Minnesota. Your donation helps pay facility fees and support Minnesota Brass ensembles. Kids under 10 are admitted free.
Location: Brooklyn Center High School (main gym)
Date: Sunday, April 8
Time: 2-3 p.m.
Admission: $5 (kids under 10 free)
After a break of nearly six months, Minnesota Brass bingo returns to action on Saturday, April 7, at Stout’s Pub and Grill in Falcon Heights.
With the 2018 season well underway, MBI’s favorite fund-raising event is taking place at a new time and place. Stout’s is located at 1611 Larpenteur Ave W., just west of the intersection with Snelling Avenue and north of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. We’re also moving the game to the first Saturday afternoon of each month, with games beginning at 3 and running till 5:30. Please arrive around 2:30 to purchase your packets.
Another change is coming with the introduction of cash prizes instead of the purses of the past. Again, the amount of an individual jackpot will be determined by the number of winners in each game, with the winners equally dividing each game’s bounty. The top prize for a single winner will be determined by the number of players.
In addition to bingo, MBI hosts a pull-tab machine at Stout’s. The machine is always available for play.
A long-time neighborhood institution, Stout’s offers a full bar offering a revolving selection of craft beers, your favorite cocktails and a menu featuring dinners, pizzas, sandwiches and appetizers.
Sam Khwice, who served two years as drum major for the Minnesota State University, Mankato “Marching Mavericks,” has been named drum major for Minnesota Brass for the 2018 season.
“I am thrilled to be a part of Minnesota Brass for the upcoming season,” Khwice, 24, who is new to the organization, said. “There were many qualified, outstanding candidates for the position, and I am honored to have been named drum major for the upcoming season.
“MBI is an organization I have wanted to be a part of for some time, but because of school and proximity, I couldn’t make it happen. I’m very excited to finally be a part of the group!”
Khwice of Chaska, Minn., grew up in nearby Victoria and played at and graduated from Chanhassen High School. He topped a field of 12 candidates who expressed interest in the position, according to Brent Turner, himself a former drum major of the corps who conducted the auditions. “Sam was chosen for his positive energy and dedication to MBI,” Turner added. “He is a leader in the true sense of the word: always prepared, comes to rehearsals early and stays late. He is going to be a great continuation of strong drum majors for MBI.”
Turner noted Khwice is a regular attendee at the annual Minnesota Music Educators Association conventions, and currently also assists the Eden Prairie (Minn.) Eagle Marching Band.
Khwice’s appointment was announced to the corps’ membership at the Feb. 24 weekend camp, where a looming winter storm curtailed attendance among brass players, while the guard and percussion sections were off preparing for winter competitions the same day. That didn’t keep a trio of brass rookies from showing up.
French-horn player Andrew Resch first encountered MBI at the Vikingland Marching Band Festival in Alexandria, Minn., at which the corps annually presents both a field performance and marches in the event’s huge parade.
Noah Koep first saw the corps perform at DCI Minnesota and, with the encouragement of his high-school band director – MBI alum Joe DeLisi – will be playing mellophone this summer.
And trumpeter Patrick Marrs, who is a Little League umpire and encountered Minnesota Brass at a performance in conjunction with Super Bowl LII held in Minneapolis earlier in the month, is also taking his band director’s encouragement onto the field.
All three expresses similar hopes for the coming season: to improve their playing chops, become better marchers and, universally, “have a great time this summer with some amazing people.”
Shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve that goal.