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Joel Matuzak

Rick Stephenson

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Rick Stephenson  07/23/1944-03/19/2021

In a drum corps career touching six decades, Rick marched and instructed drum corps from the late 1950’s to the early 2000’s. He started in his hometown of Austin, MN with the Austin Lancers and the Spamtown Lancers in the 1950’s. While attending the University of Minnesota, he marched with the St. Paul Scouts from 1964-1966. After a tour of duty in the Navy in Vietnam and then work in Texas, Rick returned to Minnesota. He began marching with MBI in the early 1970’s, playing to the end of the 1990’s. During that time he played soprano, mellophone, and finally baritone. He was a well-respected player by those who played alongside him.

Rick’s contributions to MBI went far beyond performing: he was Corps Director in 1977, and a visual instructor and Show Coordinator in the early 1980’s. Rick’s teaching contributions extended beyond MBI, writing and teaching visual to the St. Croix Rivermen in their most successful period (1979-80), and also the Zuhrah Shrine Drum Corps into the early 2000’s.

A spirited, very well-liked individual with a quick wit, Rick was one of several who helped to usher in the transformation MBI experienced in the mid-1980’s, which set in motion a 30 year period of success for MBI on and off the field. 

For All We Know

Tribute written by MBI Alum Henry Wadsworth

Minnesota Brass Education Academy

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The MBI Educational Academy will begin this April!  

The Educational Academy is a community and marching arts outreach initiative from Minnesota Brass designed to foster involvement in music, benefit music teachers, and provide free lessons for students of all ages.  Through the Educational Academy, MBI is offering a limited number of lessons and educational experiences for potential future members and alumni of Minnesota Brass.  These lessons will be held virtually over the course of the next couple of months.  Whether you spin, dance or play, we’ve got you covered!  The lessons will be given by MBI staff members, alumni, and other talented lesson teachers. We will connect students with a teacher for one-on-one or small group virtual instruction.  Each lesson will be thirty minutes and there will be no cost to the students.   

The MBI Educational Academy is under the direction of Educational and Creative Director Joel Matuzak, who will also arrange the percussion lessons.  MBI Director of Color Guards Wil Furnstahl will coordinate the visual instruction. Joining the MBI family and leading the wind instrument caption is celebrated Minnesota band director Amy Powers.  Bios of all three coordinators may be found here. The teaching staff will be formalized in the coming weeks, but if you’re an educator interested in providing paid lessons, please contact Joel directly at joelmatuzak@me.com. 


MBI is extremely proud of this opportunity to give back to the Minnesota Music community.  If you are interested in this experience, please carefully complete this form so that all interested participants are included in the MBI 2021 Educational Academy.   


We look forward to seeing you soon!
mnbrass.org

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

History Academy Event Link Special Guests Announced

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March Topic: The Early Years from 1946-1970
Evolution of the corps from 1946-1970, definition of our style and how it developed.
When:    Saturday, March 6th
Where:   https://zoom.us/j/99495375896
Time:      3:00 p.m. – 4:00/4:30 p.m.
Guests:  Jeff and Zora Burnham and Roger Grupp

Join us for this fun series of conversations about the colorful history of Minnesota Brass and other regional drum corps activity. Our co-hosts will be Jim Tarbox and Kurt Schiebel.

See you Saturday!
mnbrass.org

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

History Academy Events

By | Academy | One Comment

Time to mark your calendars…

Minnesota Brass is pleased to announce a series of online conversations about our history as a premier drum and bugle corps in the Midwest. We are inviting you to be a part of this fun opportunity to learn and reminisce about our history as we grew from a small local organization into a Midwest powerhouse drum and bugle corps.

We invite you to join us for this fun series of conversations about the colorful history of Minnesota Brass and other regional drum corps activity. We’ll kick off this series in our March online gathering. Our hosts will be Jim Tarbox with guest Kurt Schiebel. We invite you to join in, listen, and have the opportunity to chat with others about this time in our history.


March Topic: The Early Years from 1946-1970
Evolution of the corps from 1946-1970, definition of our style and how it developed.
When: Saturday, March 6th
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00/4:30 p.m.
Guest: Look for a special guest to join us from this era of our history.

April Topic: The 1970’s to the 1990’s
We will focus on an era of time where the corps experienced strong growth in membership and our performance accomplishments.
When: Saturday, April 3rd
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00/4:30 p.m.
Guest: We’ll have guests join with us to recall and share our organization’s accomplishments.

May Topic: 1990 and beyond
Our organization made great strides under new leadership.
When: Saturday, May 1st
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00/4:30 p.m.
Guest: We’ll visit with some of our past corps directors and remember all that was accomplished.

For All We Know
Stay tuned for more information!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Announcing the Minnesota Brass Academy

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Minnesota Brass is pleased to announce a series of educational programs for the 2021 winter and spring seasons. We invite you to be a part of a variety of fun opportunities to socialize, learn, teach, or be entertained with us. It’s our goal to remain connected and continue to grow and learn during the 2021 winter quarantine experience.

These opportunities are sure to keep you interested and looking forward to the return of the marching arts activity. The 2021 programs will run from March-May. Here’s what we are offering:

We’re offering lessons for current and potential members who would like to increase their musical and/or performance skills. We are offering 30-minute virtual lessons at no cost to the student. Classes will be taught by talented MBI staff or alumni.
Join us to just chat, learn what’s new, and get current on what your MBI peeps have been up to. We’ll have a monthly chat group on any number of topics.
We invite you to join us for this fun series of conversations about the colorful history of Minnesota Brass and other regional drum corps activity. Our first event will be hosted by Jim Tarbox with guest Kurt Schiebel. Look for other MBI guests to join in upcoming conversations.

Stay tuned for more information!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.