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#growmndrumcorps Archives - Minnesota Brass

Minnesota Brass, Bands Form Bonds at Vikingland Festival

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Minnesota Brass will join six other units in the inaugural Minnesota Drum Corps Premiere on June 25 as part of the 32nd Annual Vikingland Band Festival Parade Marching Championship in Alexandria, Minn.

The show will be held at the Alexandria Area High School’s Viking Savings Bank Field at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25. MBI will be joined by the Govenaires of St. Peter and Minneapolis’ Chops Inc. in presenting their 2016 field shows for the first time. Also appearing will be the Calgary Stampede Showband, Calgary Stetson Show Band and Calgary Round-Up Band, all from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The host Alexandria Marching Band will also perform.  Tickets to the show are $6 in advance; $9 at the door.Vikingland Band Festival

Show co-founder Ken Martinson, an Alexandria native who now lives in Nashville, Tenn., said the unjudged show will feature the presentation of a “fan favorite” award, noting the show will be “nice for the corps to participate in a supportive and relaxed dress rehearsal for everybody to debut their shows.”

The following day will feature the annual Vikingland Band Festival Parade Marching Championship, a bands-only event that will feature more than 2,000 performers representing 24 units, including 19 in competition and the units appearing Saturday night.

Martinson, whose drum corps experience was playing with the Hutchinson (Kansas) Sky Ryders, is also a judge, instructor and founder of the popular marching.com website. For him, the highlight of the weekend is “the camaraderie that exists between MBI and all the high-school bands that compete. Most of MBI’s staff has either marched with or are on staff with the high-school bands appearing at Vikingland. Plus, the audience gets to see both the field-show and street sides of the marching activity during the weekend.

“We tend to forget there is always a new audience among the kids,” he said. “A good number of people here have never seen a drum corps show. This event introduces a whole new generation to the drum corps activity, and lets them know that after graduation the all-age corps offer an opportunity to continue to perform.”

Color Guard and Front Line Auditions April 20 (no rehearsal April 13)

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Attention all passengers!  Minnesota Brass’s 2016 production, Now Boarding is preparing for take off and we’re looking to fill our last few seats.

Wednesday evening, April 20 auditions for the color guard and front line ensemble will take place at Brooklyn Center High School starting at 6:30 p.m.  RSVP today and let us know you’re planning to soar this summer.

There is NO REHEARSAL for any section on April 13.

Rehearsal starts at 6:30 but plan to arrive between 6 and 6:30 to get registered and get equipment. (If you haven’t already paid a 2016 audition fee to any Minnesota Brass ensemble, you will also pay your $25 audition fee when you register.) Check out these important details about Wednesday’s rehearsal and audition schedule:
  • Brooklyn Center High School is located at 6500 Humbold Ave. North in Brooklyn Center
  • Registration opens at 6 and rehearsal starts promptly at 6:30.  Rehearsal ends at 10 p.m.
  • Please enter through Door 23–the door closest to the large parking lots.
  • Bring a friend!  We will welcome walk-ins so feel free to invite others or forward this note.
  • Color Guard auditionees:  You’ll be moving and spinning so dress ready to move!
  • Positions in the horn line and battery are currently full.  However, we are accepting a select group of individuals to serve as alternates this season if a spot opens up.  Please email us (or simply stop by a Wednesday rehearsal) if you’d like to be considered for an alternate role.
Still not sure?  Check out our quick guide for more information!

MBI Winter Guard ‘virtually’ ready for 2016 season

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It’s a digital world today, and we’re all just connected bits and bytes.

That somewhat dystopian view is the theme of MBI Winter Guard’s 2016 show, “Auto-Correcting Society,” that will see its debut performance Jan. 31 at the Scholarship Show at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, Minn.

“Our soundtrack this year surrounds a voice-over narrative that aims to define how our devices, apps and technology have changed human interaction and society as a whole,” explains Wil Furnstahl, MBI Winter Guard director. He adds the show was inspired by a spoken-word art performance. “We loved the message and felt it was so relevant to both our members and audiences alike.”

Furnstahl describes the visual aspect of the show as “a colorful world comprising squares and rectangles that are reminiscent of the device screens with which we surround ourselves every day. The shapes also appear within the costuming, along with digitized pixilation patterns in our flags. The show continuously presents a motif of individuals stopping to stare at their hand (which is in the shape of one holding a phone) as the chaotic world continues around them.”

The 16-member unit is co-directed by Furnstahl and Emily Merriman for their sixth consecutive season and a staff that includes returning members Jessi Foell, Jon Su and Mary Stennes. New staff members include Jared Peterson, Aaron Shaleen, Rachel Graack, Becci O’Kane and Dani Lovitz; all in all, it the largest staff ever to work with the guard, Furnstahl said.

“We are happy to have Mary, Rachel and Dani as program alums,” he added, “and feel it’s important to keep alumni actively engaged and involved.”

Furnstahl said the guard will appear in six local shows including its home show, “Sounds of Minnesota: Winter Edition,” on Feb 6 at South St. Paul High School. The guard will once again compete nationally as they travel to the WGI St. Louis Regional contest in March and the WGI Color Guard World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, in April.

For more information about the MBI Winter Guard’s 2016 show and performance schedule, go to https://mnbrass.org/winterguard.

Come Soar With Minnesota Brass

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“Now Boarding,” the 2016 production from Minnesota Brass began its journey on Saturday, January 2 during our audition camp in Brooklyn Center.  Even if you missed takeoff on Saturday, you can still print your boarding pass at home to join us on the next leg of our trip.  Horn and percussion auditions continue on Wednesday evening, February 10 at Brooklyn Center High School.  Our departure time is 6:30 p.m.  Bring a friend and pack comfortably for an evening rehearsal including music and movement.

Ready for Take Off

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Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for take off as Minnesota Brass presents “Now Boarding” in 2016.  Inspired by the golden age of air travel, we’ll be heading into the clear blue skies of flight this year.  We’ve secured boarding passes for music by David Holsinger, “To Tame the Perilous Skies”, Julie Giroux, “Speed of Heat”, Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn, “Come Fly with Me”, Michael Giacchino, “Married Life” from Up, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, “Girl from Ipanema”.

 

2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the corps founding and promises to be a terrific season for new members, returning performers and fans alike. Book your seat at our upcoming horn and percussion auditions, January 2!  (We’ll make a brief stopover in April to welcome our Color Guard members on board.)