Minnesota Brass is proud to announce the lead designers for the 2019 return for the Drum and Bugle Corps. Joel Matuzak will return as creative director, Dr. Ward Miller will be arranging the brass music , Wil Furnstahl will be coordinating the visual presentation, and Christopher Judd will be creating front ensemble arrangements and sound design. Each of them bring a wealth of knowledge and dedication to the organization. See our Staff Bio page for more details.
Our launch event for potential new SoundSport AND DrumBattle ensembles will be this Friday, May 18 at 7 p.m. The event will be held at 2700 Winter Street in NE Minneapolis (the ‘Sears rehearsal site’ familiar to MBI alumni). Potential members in any section including brass, percussion and color guard should plan on attending. This will be a great opportunity to meet key members of the staff and prepare for a fun summer moving and playing. Please complete an information form as soon as possible to indicate your interest!
As previously announced, Minnesota Brass is excited to explore launching a new SoundSport ensemble to perform at regional events and the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis. If interest warrants, a DrumBattle ensemble may also be launched for percussionists!
Joel Matuzak will lead the program design for both ensembles. Brass instructors include Paul Terry, Mark Santori and John Devine. Jordan Warfield will provide leadership for the visual program. Trevor Alwan will serve as director of the ensembles coordinating staff and administrative needs.
The schedule for the SoundSport unit will require regular Friday night rehearsals and some weekend performances. The DrumBattle ensemble will rehearse on Saturday with weekend performances as well. The launch of both ensembles will be contingent on the interest-level and participation commitment of prospective members. Questions? E-mail Trevor!
Minnesota Brass has announced it is considering fielding a SoundSport (SoundSport.com) team for 2018.
SoundSport, a program of Drum Corps International (DCI), is designed to provide unique performance opportunities for instrumental music ensembles of all types, in a dynamic environment. The goal is to assist in the creation of—and provide performance opportunities to—local, low-cost and entertaining instrumental ensembles.
“We know many alumni and 2018 members are saddened by the decision not to field a competitive drum corps in 2018,” said Todd Tanji, executive director. “While SoundSport is not directly comparable to drum corps, it does provide for many great opportunities to perform together and create more flexible opportunities for potential members of all ages.” The Minnesota Brass SoundSport team would have a reduced rehearsal schedule and dues structure as compared to the traditional drum corps commitment. It is anticipated that such a unit would perform as part of the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., on Saturday, Aug. 11, creating more opportunities for those who participate in fall marching bands to join.
An informational meeting for interested parties—including current members and alumni—will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids. Potential members in all sections (brass, percussion, color guard and support staff) are invited to attend. Those interested in being a part of SoundSport but unable to attend Saturday should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A final announcement regarding the potential SoundSport ensemble will be made by June 1.
More information about SoundSport is available online.
The Minnesota Brass, Inc. leadership and its board of directors have decided not to field a competitive drum and bugle corps for the 2018 summer season. Despite the outstanding work of the artistic staff, marching members and the administrative team thus far this year, the corps has not been able to recruit a large enough base of brass members to field a summer program that meets the historically high performance standards audiences expect from Minnesota Brass.
The board has invited staff and existing members to explore the potential of creating a SoundSport ensemble that would perform at the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis on Saturday, August 11. An informational meeting regarding the potential SoundSport ensemble will be held on Saturday, April 28, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids, Minn.
“The decision to withdraw from the 2018 competitive drum corps season was a very difficult one,” said Todd Tanji, Minnesota Brass executive director. “Unfortunately, the competitive drum corps activity has experienced a decline in members and audiences over the past several seasons, and we’re feeling the pressure in Minnesota as well.”
The corps elaborated on some of the reasons for the decision:
- Minnesota Brass has had difficulty recruiting enough members for the brass section.
- The Drum Corps Associates (DCA) competitive schedule is both a recruiting and strategic challenge that puts the organization at odds with high-school and college music programs, particularly over the Labor Day weekend when DCA holds its championship competition. This has limited the corps’ ability to create beneficial partnerships with music educators at the high-school and college levels.
- Retention of multi-year veteran members has declined in recent years adding complications to our recruiting efforts
- It is expensive for potential members to participate in the ensemble despite significant subsidies the organization uses to keep member dues far below the actual costs of running the drum corps.
- It is increasingly challenging to recruit and retain talented, committed staff to lead all sections. We have been extremely fortunate to have stable, long-standing staff leadership in some aspects of the program, but other commitments of musical educators have become more prevalent in recent years.
Minnesota Brass Inc., a vibrant drum and bugle corps entity in Minnesota for more than 70 years, remains a healthy and viable performing-arts organization with stable finances and committed leadership. We anticipate no changes to our existing winter color guard and percussion ensembles. The board will be conducting a comprehensive review of the organization’s strategy in the coming months.
Minnesota Brass will continue to uphold its commitments to Drum Corps International as local partners for the 2018 summer events DCI Minnesota and March On! However, the organization will not sponsor the Sounds of Minnesota event this year.
For more information contact:
Chair, Board of Directors