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History Academy – Upcoming Event Link

By | Academy | No Comments

Minnesota Brass is pleased to announce a continuation of our series of online conversations about our colorful 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.  

You are invited to another fun online conversation to be held on April 3rd.  This second event will feature the 1980’s and 1990’s.  Our host again will be Jim Tarbox with guest Kurt Schiebel.    

We invite you to join in to listen and have the opportunity to chat with others!  

April Topic 1980’s to 1990’s
When Saturday, April 3rd  
Time 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where Online – Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/91823220706
Guests Paul Chaffee, former corps director and others to be announced.  

For All We Know

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.

Minnesota Brass 2020 Annual Meeting Announcement

By | Drum & Bugle Corps | No Comments

Although later than years past, Minnesota Brass will host our annual meeting on December 3rd, 2020.  We would like to thank all our membership for your patience as we handle the current climate of the marching arts world during this pandemic.

The meeting will be virtual this year, hosted via Zoom, and all Membership is welcome to attend. We hope many of you are able to join us with this new format!

Please see the attached meeting information.

Topic: Minnesota Brass 2020 Annual Meeting

Time: Dec 3, 2020 06:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Click on link below to Join Zoom Meeting, or dial in for audio only on any of the listed phone numbers.


Meeting ID: 932 3166 9323

Passcode: 924154

Dial by your location

        +1 651 372 8299 US (St. Paul)

        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

        +1 646 518 9805 US (New York)

        888 788 0099 US Toll-free

        +44 330 088 5830 United Kingdom

        0 800 031 5717 United Kingdom Toll-free

Meeting ID: 932 3166 9323

Passcode: 924154

Find your local number: https://datasite.zoom.us/u/adlsVzbyvL

MBI Board of Directors Candidate Announcement

By | Drum & Bugle Corps | No Comments

At its recent meeting, Minnesota Brass’ Board of Directors nominated four candidates; Becci O’Kane, Chris Judd, Emily Ruetz, and Kaitlyn Barrett to become new members to the board. 

As outlined in the bylaws of the organization, the boards’ nominations need to be ratified by a vote of the full membership.

Here is the timeline and process to be followed:

October 28 – The candidates will attend the board meeting and be available to any members interested in interacting with them.

November 1-8 – The ratification process will be conducted online, with details posted on the website and organization’s Facebook page. The online form will be open from 6:00am CST November 1st – 11:59pm CST November 8th for members to cast their vote.

Click below to vote!


Here is a little bit about each candidate

Becci O’Kane

 Becci O’Kane has been involved with the Minnesota Brass since the early 2000’s. She was a part of the colorguard for 15 consecutive years, where she was captain from 2010 – 2017 . She was a part of the MBI Wintergaurd staff & on staff for MN Brass SoundSport. While her educational background is in Accounting, Finance, and Project & Business Management, being involved in the Arts is her passion. Becci is also involved in another arts non-profit called the Haunted Basement. She also is the Director of a high colorguard program. In her free time she loves to sleep and curl up on the couch with her dogs.

Chris Judd

Originally from San Antonio TX Chris Judd made his way to Minnesota to further his education by receiving a degree in Music Business and Composition from McNally Smith College of Music. Chris has been involved with drum corps and indoor percussion ensembles for over 15 + years. He is an alumni of Minnesota Brass Indoor and Jersey Surf. He spends his time educating and consulting music ensembles throughout the state of Minnesota such as River Valley Percussion Theater and Eastview High School. Chris spends his days in Sales working with Albrecht Sign, writing music and traveling. He drives to bring motivation, passion and innovative elements that contribute to the building blocks of music and performance.

Emily Ruetz

Emily has been involved with Minnesota Brass since 2014. She performed with the summer drum corps, SoundSport group, and the winter drumline from 2014-2016, and 2018-2019. She has taught the front ensemble at Irondale HS and MBI Indoor. Emily is the Programs Associate for the National States Geographic Information Council. She looks forward to learning more about and getting involved with the Board.

Kaitlyn Barrett

Kaitlyn Barrett began her career in the marching arts after joining the Osseo High School marching band in 2007. She competed with Osseo in both the summer marching band and winter color guard programs from 2007-2012. After graduating she performed with the Govenaires Drum and Bugle Corps from 2012-2014, as well as Eclipse Winter Guard in 2013. She has taught various places including Synergy Winter guard and Champlin Park High School. She became a member of the Minnesota Brass family after earning a spot In the MBI Winter Guard 2014 cast. She marched four seasons culminating as a captain of the 2017 MBIWG team as they became WGI Independent A Silver Medalists. She also marched 2015-2017 with the summer Drum Corps. She is currently the color guard director at Minnetonka high school. Minnetonka was awarded the AA class title of Best Color Guard in 2019. Kaitlyn is also a full time student triple majoring in Vocal Performance, Theatre, and Business Management. She brings with her a passion for excellence, a dedication to membership, and a heart for all things MBI.

Minnesota Brass Presents ‘Wings 4 Things’

By | Drum & Bugle Corps | No Comments

You now have a new way to help support Minnesota Brass AND enjoy delicious wings! Visit participating Buffalo Wild Wings, and 10% of your tab will come back to our organization! Just mention you are there to support MBI, and your server will take care of the rest.  Be sure to keep checking back as we partner with more locations.


  • B-Dubs Express: 7529 France Ave S, Edina, MN 55435 (Team A)
  • Buffalo Wild Wings – Savage: 7551 Egan Drive, Savage, MN 55378 (Team A)
  • Buffalo Wild Wings – Coon Rapids: 3395 River Rapids Dr, Coon Rapids, MN 55448
  • Buffalo Wild Wings – Plymouth: 3505 Vicksburg Ln N, Plymouth, MN 55447 (Team M)
  • Buffalo Wild Wings – Crystal: 5590 West Broadway Ave, Crystal, MN 55429 (Team A)

MBI Announces New Leadership Team

By | Drum & Bugle Corps | No Comments

Minnesota Brass (MBI), the premiere drum and bugle corps in the Midwest and former world champion, is pleased to announce the creation of a new leadership team as it embarks on its 71st season in 2017.

Based in St. Paul, Minn., the new management structure will comprise an Executive Committee made up of three longtime members of the organization and a split directorship divided between strategic and tactical responsibilities.

The new executive committee will consist of former corps director Gavin Burnham, longtime financial officer Dave Whitaker and board chairman Todd Tanji. All are former performing members with the corps and share longstanding experience with the activity in administrative capacities. The day-to-day operations will be handled by new corps directors Justin Foell and Katy Bensen, both also former performing members.

The new officers include:


Gavin Burnham – Executive Director, President and CEO (gavin@mnbrass.org)

Burnham has been involved with Minnesota Brass since 1985, as a marching member from 1985 to 1989. He also served as financial officer and assistant corps director from 1988 to 1994, and corps director from 1995 to 2002. Since 2003, Burnham has served as president and Chief Executive Officer of the organization.





David Whitaker – Chief Financial Officer (dave@mnbrass.org)

Whitaker has been involved with MBI since 1990, as a marching member for six years and also serving as a visual tech and administrator. He joined the Board of Directors in 1992 and served until 2001 when we was elected board chairman, a position he held until 2007.





Todd Tanji – Chair, Board of Directors (ttanji@mnbrass.org)

Tanji has served on the Board of Directors since 2009 and as board chairman since 2012. He was a performing member from 1978 to 1980, and served as brass caption head in 1984. He has been artistic director of Minne-Brass, a small ensemble that performs under the MBI umbrella, since 2005. Tanji also performed with the world champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps of Concorde, Calif., from 1981 to 1982, and has served on the BD Performing Arts Board of Directors/Advisory Board since 2003.





Justin Foell – Corps Director (justin@mnbrass.org)

Foell will manage the educational and volunteer staffs of Minnesota Brass. He was a marching member of world champion Rockford, Ill., Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from 1995 to 1998. He performed in the Minnesota Brass horn line in 1999 and 2012, and served on the brass staff from 2013 to 2016. He also currently serves as webmaster for the organization. He is an alumnus of the Irondale High School Marching Knights of New Brighton, Minn.





Katy Bensen – Managing Director (katy@mnbrass.org)

Bensen will manage corps operations and member relations for MBI. She performed with the Minnesota Brass horn line in 1989 and 1992 and with Phantom Regiment in 1990 and 1991. She has served on the MBI visual staff since 2013 and has been the corps’ managing director since 2014, also providing member support for the corps’ winter ensembles. She currently teaches music in the White Bear Lake School District in suburban St. Paul, and teaches private lessons, summer band and high-school marching band.




Minnesota Brass is a 100-plus member drum and bugle corps based in St. Paul, Minn., that provides performance opportunities for adults age 17 and up. It also hosts a winter color guard, winter drum line and Minne-Brass, a small ensemble that performs throughout the year in parades and at corporate and private events.