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Randy Salas

Coach Purse Bingo is back!

By | Drum & Bugle Corps | 2 Comments

Coachlogo Coach Purse Bingo continues to be a  resounding success! Now you can have fun playing this exciting game on the first Tuesday of every month — and help Minnesota Brass at the same time. Your next opportunity awaits on Tuesday, January 6th, at Joe Senser’s Sports Theater in Roseville.

Coach Purse Bingo provides a unique twist on the classic game — bingo with highly sought-after Coach purses as prizes. That’s right: Individual winners of each game win an authentic Coach purse. The more people who play, the more expensive the prize.

The action starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 6th, at Senser’s (2350 Cleveland Ave. N., Roseville). There will be 10 games. Cards cost $20 for the first set of six cards and $4 for an additional set of three cards. (Must be 18 or older to play.)

Whether you’re trying to win a Coach purse for yourself or to give as an unforgettable gift to a loved one, you’ll have a blast playing bingo with other drum corps fans. No matter how your luck turns out, you’ll be happy knowing that all proceeds benefit Minnesota Brass.

We hope you can join us for this monthly party!

Blue Devils’ John Meehan joins Minnesota Brass — plus other 2015 staff additions

By | Drum & Bugle Corps | One Comment
John Meehan celebrates the Blue Devils' 2014 DCI championship and high brass award in August at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

John Meehan celebrates the Blue Devils’ 2014 DCI championship and high brass award in August at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Minnesota Brass is thrilled to announce the addition of Blue Devils luminary John Meehan as arranger and brass consultant. He joins a world-class staff made up of drum corps veterans who know how to build a champion and foster innovation in the marching arts.

John is most widely known as an instructor and arranger with the Blue Devils of Concord, Calif., helping to guide the corps to six DCI world championships (including 2014) and nine high brass awards since 1994. He also has been instrumental in establishing the Blue Devils B and C corps as musical forces, with Blue Devils B winning DCI’s Open Class championship this year. John has established himself as a highly sought-after arranger and show creator with a variety of musical ensembles around the globe, from the award-winning James Logan High School Marching Band of Union City, Calif., to Drum Corps Japan champion Yokohama Scouts.

As if making a major splash in the marching arts weren’t enough, John is an accomplished composer, too. His key writing credits include the album “The Music Of WYLAND,” the score for the film “Mind Games” and the commissioned concert-band piece “Circe’s Curse.” His performance achievements include playing in a world-champion Blue Devils hornline and soloing in Germany with his college jazz ensemble.

“We’re very excited to welcome John Meehan to our design team,” said Eric Molho, executive director of Minnesota Brass. “He will help push our creativity and strengthen the experience for our members, which makes him the perfect addition to Minnesota Brass.”

And John isn’t the only new member of the corps’ staff. Also coming aboard are alumni Joe Asleson as visual caption supervisor and Craig Myers as front-ensemble arranger and supervisor — along with Scott Palmer as brass caption supervisor, in his first full season in that role.

They join a veteran team — led by program coordinator Joel Matuzak — that has guided Minnesota Brass to the upper echelon of the marching arts, including the 2011 Drum Corps Associates Open Class championship. These proven staff members include Andy Classen as drill designer, Wil Furnstahl as color-guard caption supervisor and Paul Terry as assistant brass caption supervisor.

Here’s a little more about the 2015 Minnesota Brass staff:

Joel MatuzakJoel Matuzak (program coordinator and percussion caption supervisor/arranger): Joel has been the program coordinator for Minnesota Brass since 2002 and percussion caption head since 1998. Under his leadership, the corps has won the DCA Open Class Championship (2011) and been a silver medalist five times, as well as winning four DCA percussion titles. He is the design coordinator for the Minnesota Brass Indoor Drumline and has been the head instructor of the Sköl Line, a drumline for the Minnesota Vikings NFL franchise, since 2008. He is highly regarded as an arranger, drill writer, clinician and adjudicator. He has instructed and arranged for many marching ensembles throughout the United States, including the University of Arkansas, Governaires drum and bugle corps, Irondale High School, Waseca High School and Eden Prairie High School. He is an alumni of the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps, member of both the Minnesota Percussion Association and Minnesota Brass hall of fame,  and a 2012 inductee of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a degree in music education. He has been the director of instrumental music at Highland Park Senior High School in St. Paul since 1997.

Joe AslesonJoe Asleson (visual caption supervisor): Joe is the director and visual designer for Minnesota Brass Indoor Drumline and now takes on visual duties for the full field corps. In 2014, he was voted Instructor of the Year by the Minnesota Percussion Association. He serves as the percussion caption head and battery arranger for the Eden Prairie High School Marching Band, as well as battery arranger and visual designer for the Eden Prairie Indoor Drumline. For the 2012 and 2013 seasons, he served as snare technician as well as battery visual instructor and choreographer for the Colts drum and bugle corps of Dubuque, Iowa. He has instructed and designed at various high schools in Minnesota. In 2010 and 2014, he served as the snare section leader with Minnesota Brass, where he first performed in 2005. In 2008, he performed with the Madison Scouts, serving as snare section leader for his age-out season. He performed with Minnesota Brass Indoor in its inaugural season in 2008 and with Music City Mystique (bronze medalist) in 2009.

Andy ClassenAndy Classen (drill designer): Andy has been involved with Minnesota Brass since 1986, including arranging music and writing the drill for the corps’ 2011 DCA championship show, “Valhalla.” He has been involved with many drum corps, including the Colts, and marching bands from around the country. He is professor of trumpet and jazz studies at Drake University, a position he has held since 1992.  He is principal trumpet with Orchestra Iowa, leader of the Turner Center Jazz Orchestra and has performed with world renowned artists including T.S. Monk, Ray Charles and the Moody Blues. He has performed as a soloist at the International Trumpet Guild Conference and has given master classes around the world. He is a noted jazz composer, with works published through C.L. Barnehouse and Really Good Music, and is very active in the field of computers in music.

Wil FurnstahlWil Furnstahl (color-guard caption supervisor): Wil has led Minnesota Brass’ color guard for several years, including the 2011 DCA championship season, when his unit won top honors. He also is the director of MBI Winter Guard, which he has built into a consistent WGI Independent Open Class finalist. He has led several winter guard champions in the North Star Color Guard Circuit, including Park Center High School, Eclipse and Elk River.  He has performed with St. Cloud All-City Marching Band, the Royal Guard of the Twin Cities, Heritage Winter Guard of Madison, Wis., and Minnesota Brass. He has been teaching color guard since 1997 and is an adjudicator with the Tri-State Judges Association.

Craig MyersCraig Myers (front-ensemble arranger and supervisor): Craig is a percussion educator, clinician, composer and arranger who has worked with many programs throughout the Midwest, including Eden Prairie High School, the Colts and Waconia High School. He also is a staff composer/arranger for JKS Music, and serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Percussion Association. He started his performance career at Minnesota Brass in 2003 and also has performed as a World Class finalist with Rhythm X (2008 WGI PIW World Champions), the Cadets (Allentown, Pa.) and the Bluecoats (Canton, Ohio). At Eden Prairie High School, he is the front ensemble/sound design arranger in addition to the assistant director of the program’s percussion ensembles. He received his degree in percussion performance from St. Cloud State University.

Scott PalmerScott Palmer (brass caption supervisor): Scott returns to Minnesota Brass to lead its hornline, as well as spend a second season as an instructor on the horn staff of the Blue Devils, which won the DCI championship in his first year with the corps. He has performed with Minnesota Brass and the Madison Scouts. He is in his ninth year of teaching at Eden Prairie High School, where his many roles include directing the Eagle Marching Band and Winter Drumline. Under his direction, the marching band has been a Bands of America Super Regional finalist and Minnesota State Marching Band Championships runner-up. He is a graduate of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music with a degree in music education and is working on his master of music in conducting from the American Band College through Sam Houston State University. He is an active member of the music education community in Minnesota as an adjudicator, coach and clinician.

Paul TerryPaul Terry (assistant brass caption supervisor): Paul has been on the Minnesota Brass horn staff since 2007 and helped lead the corps to back-to-back high brass awards in 2010 and ’11, as well as the 2011 DCA Open Class Championship. He performed with Minnesota Brass in 2005-06. In 2014, he joined the Colts as a low-brass technician. He directs the bands and orchestras at Maple Grove Junior High School and teaches the Anoka High School Marching Tornadoes. He also has served as trombone coach for the Minnesota Music Educators Association’s All-State Jazz Band for several years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Minnesota and his master’s degree from Boston University.

“Our 2015 design team is a great mix of familiar and new faces who are each amazing teachers and writers,” Molho said. “I’m thrilled we have assembled such a talented group to make this season extraordinary.”

Brass to the Max celebrates Give to the Max, your chance to support Minnesota Brass

By | Drum & Bugle Corps | No Comments

You can schedule your gift right now to Minnesota Brass, and it will count on Give to the Max Day.

Minnesota Brass has an exciting new event to share with you on Thursday, Nov. 13.  It’s Give to the Max Day, and we’ve gone all out to create Brass to the Max 2014.

You are invited to join us at 7 p.m. Thursday at Joe Sensers Sports Theater in Roseville, where we will have a state-of-the-art audio/video presentation of Minnesota Brass performances powered by equipment generously provided by Bel Canto Design, one of the world’s most renowned high-end audio companies.  This equipment provides a powerful, clear sound that must be heard to be believed.  And what better way to try it out than with some drum corps!  Of course, there will be lots of opportunities to meet with friends old and new.

The evening is part of the state-wide fundraising drive to support Minnesota non-profits.  Give to the Max is a crucial day for Minnesota Brass, as it has become our largest fundraising event of the year.

During Brass to the Max 2014, we will feature an assortment of performances by all of our ensembles, including our 2014 DCA Championship full-corps performance. If you didn’t get the chance to see us live in Rochester, N.Y., this will be your best opportunity to experience it.

It’s not too early to make your Give to the Max gift in support of Minnesota Brass!  New this year, you can schedule your contribution right now!  Your support of Minnesota Brass helps a new generation of talented members make lifelong memories and amazing performances together.

Beat the rush and make your Give to the Max gift now!

GTMD Reversed Logo

Mark Santori wins 2014 Brassy lifetime achievement award

By | Drum & Bugle Corps | No Comments

Mark Santori

Minnesota Brass has honored Mark Santori, a longtime member of its brass staff, as this year’s recipient of the Brassy, the corps’ lifetime achievement award.

“It’s hard to put into words what winning the Brassy means to me,” Mark said about winning the corps’ highest honor. “The names on the trophy are the giants of Minnesota Brass, people who devoted much time and passion to the corps, and their contributions are quite extraordinary. I have certainly given a lot of time over my 21 seasons of involvement, but I have never considered my efforts to be extraordinary; I was just doing my job. I am humbly grateful that the past Brassy winners decided to invite me into their exclusive club, and I am truly honored.”

Mark joined Minnesota Brass as a baritone player in 1992, when he was studying music education at the University of Minnesota. He played in other sections of the hornline or taught on the horn staff in most of the following years, before joining the staff permanently in 2009. When he’s not with Minnesota Brass, Mark teaches elementary band in the Twin Cities’ south-suburban Independent School District 196.

Mark received his award Friday night at Minnesota Brass’ end-of-season banquet. Here are the other awards that were announced at the annual event:

Color guard caption awards
Rookie of the year: Carissa Phelps
Most improved: Kiersten Sloneker
Member of the year: Jonathan Su

Visual caption awards
Rookie of the year: Kevin Lindorfer
Most improved: Sam Dobs
Member of the year: Andy Campbell

Hornline caption awards
Rookie of the year: Jessa Hohnstein
Most improved: Mimmie Sjoberg
Member of the year: Eric Crawford

Percussion caption awards
Rookie of the year: James Schuster
Most improved: Emily Ruetz
Member of the year: Joe Asleson

Lou Raitch Spirit of MBI Award: Katy Bensen
Caliguiri Award: Dennis Tischhauser
Director’s Appreciation Award: Howie Mogil


This year’s Brassy winner, Mark Santori, center, is shown with some of the previous recipients of the corps’ lifetime achievement award, from left: Matt Kettelhut, Gavin Burnham, Joel Matuzak, Sherry Duggan, Eric Molho, Dick Maki, Kathy Burnham, Tom Jones, Rick Stephenson, Gwynne Byrne, Al Jensen, Susan Fisher, Paul Mordorski, Kurt Schiebel, Shirley Munz, Jodi Pawlenty and David Whitaker. (Photo: Gopher Photo)

Your chance to be amazing begins Oct. 25 & 26

By | Indoor Drumline, MBI Winterguard | No Comments

602910_684460584900012_509146246_nWant to be part of something special? Minnesota Brass Indoor Drumline and MBI Winter Guard will launch their 2015 seasons this weekend, Oct. 25 and 26. Talented percussionists and color-guard performers interested in joining — or just learning more about — these elite indoor ensembles should plan to attend a day of rehearsal and fun.

Minnesota Brass Indoor Drumline kicks off the weekend with its first audition on Saturday, Oct. 25, from noon to 8 p.m. Auditions will be held at Park Center High School in Brooklyn Park. Minnesota Brass Indoor Drumline competes in WGI World Class events across the Upper Midwest and the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio. Audition packets are available for the battery and front ensemble.

MBI Winter Guard begins its fifth season on Sunday, Oct. 26.  Join them from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the White Bear Lake Armory in 10406783_794639527244318_4301014674136767814_nWhite Bear Lake for a day of spinning and dancing as we set the cast for what promises to be an incredible 2015 season. Even if you’re just looking to try the MBI experience and learn some new twirls, you too are welcome.  MBI Winter Guard is open to performers aged 16 to 22 and competes on the North Star and WGI circuits.  All equipment will be provided on Sunday, but if you have something you prefer to spin, please feel free to bring it. Be sure to wear black rehearsal attire, too.

There is a $25 audition fee for each event.