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Drum & Bugle Corps

Corps necklace establishes a new Minnesota Brass tradition

By | Drum & Bugle Corps, Indoor Drumline, MBI Winterguard | No Comments
Trumpet player Marissa Moeller's necklace shows that she has been with Minnesota Brass for one year.

Trumpet player Marissa Moeller’s corps necklace shows that she has finished one season with Minnesota Brass.

When Minnesota Brass takes the field this season, members are wearing more than new uniforms — they’re also proudly bearing a new tradition in the form of corps necklaces. The neckwear was presented for the first time to performers and staff members at last fall’s end-of-season banquet to denote how long each person has been with the drum and bugle corps. But for corps director Eric Molho, the necklaces mean much more than that. “It’s important for all of us to have tangible, meaningful reminders that we’re all part of one organization — and many of us refer to that organization as a family,” he said. “The necklace helps serve as a reminder across different ensembles, different seasons, different sections that we all share a common experience and common connection.” To create the necklaces, Molho enlisted the help of baritone/euphonium section leaders Jacob Welle and Sam Springer, and Linda Belcher of the support staff. The trio drew inspiration from similar efforts from DCI corps such as Spirit of Atlanta, the Madison Scouts and the Colts of Dubuque, Iowa — all of which count Minnesota Brass members among their alumni. “We looked at a few websites to find a ‘look,’ something that was meaningful to us,” Springer said. “But truth is our logo was what we valued most.” Their efforts resulted in necklaces that featured a large center bead with the Minnesota Brass logo on a black cord, along with a variety of beads with meanings depending on color and style:

A close-up of the MBI corps necklace.

A close-up of the Minnesota Brass corps necklace.

* Blue round bead: marching field member * Gray bead: staff member (field, support, administration, board) * White bead: one year with the corps * Black bead: five years * Silver bead: 10 years * Gold bead: 20 years * Red bead: 30 years * Wooden bead: winter drumline member * Light blue glass bead: winter color guard member (A small blue glass bead, available for 2014 only, honors the memory of Kayla Koranda, 18, a member of the winter drumline who was killed in January.) “The beads per section tied them together, and the years just held tight to the fact that we never age out of drum corps; we just age in to senior corps,” Springer said.

Trumpet player Kurt "Flash" Schiebel wears a necklace that shows he has been with MBI for years.

Trumpet player Kurt “Flash” Schiebel wears a necklace that shows he has been with the corps for 28  years.

Now, thanks to the corps necklaces, members can carry around a little part of Minnesota Brass wherever they go. “For each individual, the necklace is now something every member has to signify their experience,” Molho said. “While many of us have jackets and all of us have memories, the corps previously did not make sure that every member had a memento, a reminder of what it is they have accomplished as an individual performer. Hopefully, the necklace will be a source of pride as people recall their own hard work, commitment to excellence and positive experience with the corps.”

(Any Minnesota Brass alumni who are interested in getting a necklace representing their involvement with the corps should contact alumni@mnbrass.org.)

Happy Independence Day!

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Minnesota Brass would like to wish everyone a fun and safe 4th of July.

The corps will be marching in the Delano 4th of July Parade which starts at 10:30AM Friday. Come out and see the snazzy new parade uniforms.

If Apple Valley is closer to your home, you’re in luck, as the corps is pulling double duty and will also be marching in the Apple Valley Freedom Days Parade, which starts at 1:00PM.

Hope to see you out on the parade route!

Madison Scouts feature Minnesota Brass alums Greene, DeHerder

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Madison Scouts trumpet players Bryan DeHerder, left, and Keegan Greene meet up with Minnesota Brass caption head Paul Terry at the Thunder of Drums show in Mankato on June 30.

Madison Scouts trumpet players Bryan DeHerder, left, and Keegan Greene meet up with Minnesota Brass caption head Paul Terry at the Thunder of Drums show in Mankato on June 30.

Monday night’s Thunder of Drums show in Mankato offered Minnesota Brass a chance to check out some of DCI’s top drum and bugle corps and even spot a few familiar faces. Brass caption head Paul Terry met up with Keegan Greene and Bryan DeHerder, two trumpeters with the Madison Scouts who started their drum corps careers with Minnesota Brass.

“Very proud to see two Minnesota Brass alums with Madison this year!” Terry said.

A few days later, while en route back to Madison, Greene and DeHerder took time to reflect on how their time with Minnesota Brass prepared them for the rigors of a summer tour with a DCI World Class finalist like the Scouts.

“Without Minnesota Brass I never would have even heard of the Scouts and definitely wouldn’t have auditioned without so many people supporting me,” Greene said. “Minnesota Brass gave me a confidence in myself and in people I didn’t have before.”

DeHerder echoed that sentiment.

“Minnesota Brass helped me get into a World Class DCI corps by teaching me how to play my horn in a way that’s best for a drum corps setting, both in technique and musicality,” he said. “It also prepared me for the difficulty of the drill and choreography. I think Minnesota Brass is the main reason I am one of the better marchers in the corps.”

DeHerder added, “The biggest thing I’ve gained from Minnesota Brass is the support of a family that can help me when I’m in a bind and someone to talk to when I’m unsure of what to do. It feels amazing having that kind of support.”

Fellow trumpeters united by Minnesota Brass: Bryan DeHerder, center left, and Keegan Greene of the Madison Scouts; and, from left, Mimmie Sjöberg, Marissa Moeller, Karissa Olson and Libby Witte of MBI.

Fellow trumpeters united by Minnesota Brass: Bryan DeHerder, center left, and Keegan Greene of the Madison Scouts; and, from left, Mimmie Sjöberg, Marissa Moeller, Karissa Olson and Libby Witte of Minnesota Brass.

Brass members welcome Alex Cary of the Troopers

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Photo Jun 30, 9 19 43 PM

Left to right: Tony Peterson, Alex Cary, Jess Belcher

2014 Minnesota Brass members welcomed past member Alex Cary back to Minnesota at the Thunder of Drums drum and bugle corps show on June 30 in Mankato.

Alex “Care Bear” Cary is a 2013 Anoka High School graduate who played snare in the Minnesota Brass 2013 production, “Primal.” For 2014 he’s marching with the Troopers of Casper, Wyoming, a DCI World Class corps. After the Troopers’ performance, Minnesota Brass members Tony Peterson (baritone) and Jess Belcher (euphonium) met up with Alex to wish him well on tour because this was the Troopers’ last Minnesota stop on the corps’ summer schedule.

Alex said he was excited to be part of the Troopers organization, laying down beats from percussion writer Paul Rennick. We wish him luck on tour, knowing he will always be a part of the Minnesota Brass family.


Minnesota Brass Explodes Into 2014!

By | Drum & Bugle Corps

Summer has finally arrived and we will debut our 2014 production of Supernova on June 29th when we return to Alexandria, MN for the Vikingland Band Festival. There we will be the Honor Unit and perform our show for 2,000+ marching band students! We can’t wait to go back and be part of this long-standing Minnesota marching arts tradition.

We then head to Mankato, MN on June 30th for Thunder of Drums at Blakeslee Field which features the following line-up:

  • Madison Scouts – Madison, WI
  • Blue Stars – Lacrosse, WI
  • Troopers – Casper, WY
  • Pioneer – Milwaukee, WI
  • Racine Scouts – Racine, WI
  • Govenaires – St. Peter, MN
  • Minnesota Brass

On Friday, July 11th, in partnership with Drum Corps International, we will producing a brand new show – DCI Eden Prairie – at Eden Prairie High School! This show replaces DCI Minnesota for one year due to events surrounding the MLB All Star Game. This show will feature the following great line up:

  • Blue Devils – Concord, CA
  • Bluecoats – Canton, OH
  • Boston Crusaders – Boston, MA
  • Jersey Serf – Camden County, NJ
  • Legends – Kalamazoo, MI
  • Blue Saints – Sudbury, Ontario, CA
  • Minnesota Brass
  • Minne-Brass (exhibition)

In conjunction with DCI Eden Prairie, the 15-time DCI champion Blue Devils will once again host the Midwest System Blue Drumline and Leadership Camps from July 10th through 12th. These are fun and unique educational opportunities for students of the marching arts to learn from the very best!

On July 30th we perform at yet another new local show, A Knight of Music and Motion at Harding High School in St. Paul. This is a DCI Open Class show and if you have never seen one we highly recommend attending for sheer entertainment value. This show will have the following line up:

  • Blue Devils B – Concord, CA
  • Blue Saints – Sudbury, ON
  • Colt Cadets – Dubuque, IA
  • Gold – San Diego, CA
  • Music City – Nashville, TN
  • Racine Scouts – Racine, WI
  • Spartans – Nashua, NH
  • Thunder – Spokane, WA
  • Govenaires – St. Peter, MN
  • Minnesota Brass

On August 1st we head to Forest City, IA for another DCI Open Class show, North Iowa Festival of Brass which features the same line up as A Knight of Music and Motion. Trust us, they are so fun you’ll want to see them twice! Road trip, anyone?

We then will make a beeline across Wisconsin to Racine for the Kilties Klassic which will feature:

  • Chops, Inc. – Minneapolis, MN
  • Cincinnati Tradition – Cincinnati, OH
  • Govenaires – St. Peter, MN
  • Kilties – Racine, WI
  • Minnesota Brass

The DCA competitive season kicks into high gear on Friday, August 15th for Sounds of Minnesota, which will be held at St. Thomas Academy High School in Mendota Heights. The following day, August 16th, we will head to St. Peter for Drum Corps Expo. Both shows will feature the this line up of all-age performers:

  • Brio Brass – Minneapolis, MN
  • Chops, Inc. – Minneapolis, MN
  • Govenaires – St. Peter, MN
  • Kilties – Racine, WI
  • Minne-Brass
  • Minnesota Brass

Then finally we make the big trek to Rochester, NY for the Drum Corps Associates World Championships, held from August 28th through 31st. This year, DCA hosts their 50th Anniversary Celebration which will feature a parade and other special events. We highly recommend that you make a trip to DCA this year as this will be a particularly fun year to attend the festivities!

And of course, we will also be marching in local parades including:

  • Fridley – June 26th
  • Delano & Apple Valley – July 4th
  • Hinckley – July 12th
  • Red Wing – August 3rd

 Wow, that’s a busy summer! To order tickets to these events click on the links provided. We hope to see all of you many times throughout the season, including at our rehearsals. For the complete summer calendar, click here.