Minnesota Brass

Other Names:Cecil Kyle American Legion, Laidlaw Toreadors, Grain Belt Diamonds, Minnesota Brass Inc.

St. Paul, MN United States
Founded: 1946

Inactive Senior
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Repertoire for 1960
Granada by Agustín Lara Frankie Laine - Greatest Hits
Donkey Serenade by Rudolph Frimel Anchors Aweigh - Soundtrack
April in Portugal by James B Kennedy The Best Of Vic Damone
Brazil (from The Gang's All Here) by Ary Barroso | Bob Russell The Gang's All Here - Movie Soundtrack
South American by Merle Isaac
Malaguena by Ernesto Lecuona The Best of Stan Kenton - Capitol Jazz
El Relicario by José Padilla Montovani - Latino Vaya Con Dios
The Breeze and I by Ernesto Lecuona A Tribute To Tommy And Jimmy Dorsey
Vaya Con Dios by Larry Russell
Today’s Minnesota Brass Senior Drum and Bugle Corps has operated under a number of names through the years. It began life as the Cecil Kyle American Legion Corps in 1946 when a few Minneapolis World War II vets who had played instruments in the armed services created it and became its first members. The group first performed in 1947.

In 1948 members moved the corps to the Laidlaw American Legion Post in Minneapolis, starting an association with the Legion that would last a quarter century. The group was called the Laidlaw Drum & Bugles Corps until 1955.

In 1956, the corps decided to focus on a Spanish musical style and visual theme, choosing the name Laidlaw Toreadors. This corps became very successful, winning many state and regional Legion championships. The Toreadors name lasted until 1964.

For one season, 1965, the Minneapolis’ Grain Belt Brewery sponsored the corps, renamed the Grain Belt Diamonds. The “diamond-clear, smoother beer” had a diamond-shaped logo. Can you guess what shapes were used in their drill? The Diamonds were dressed in tuxedos; audiences said they looked like funeral directors.

When Grain Belt dropped its sponsorship, the corps went back to its Minneapolis American Legion home and was called the Men of Laidlaw. An association with Laidlaw continued well into the 1970s. The corps dressed itself in the blue windbreakers they would wear through 1975.

In 1969 the corps modernized its image and musical style. Going into its first performance of 1969, the corps still hadn't decided on a name. On a whim, they decided on “Twin Cities’ Amalgamated Brassworks, Inc.” They eventually streamlined the name (just a bit) to Brass, Inc. That same year, they began recruiting women into the corps, and many St. Paul Scouts and Hamm’s Indians alumni joined. And about this time, the corps began its tradition of jazz-oriented entertainment.

As an audition for the Red Carpet Association in 1972, the corps submitted a tape of a pro football halftime performance at which the temperature was so cold (minus 15 degrees) that actual playing was impossible. The corps had to march to a recording of the previous season's show broadcast over the stadium PA broadcast. The Red Carpet Association was so impressed with the sound of the corps under such adverse conditions that they promptly accepted the Brassmen into their ranks.

In 1978, the corps had the distinction of appearing in the movie "A Christmas to Remember."

In 1980 the corps finally answered its most frequently asked question - “Where are you from?” - by adding the “Minnesota” to its name. The new name also reflected the diversity of locations from which the corps drew its membership. It was no longer just a Twin Cities organization. The name came in handy as the corps began regular senior world championship competition.

In addition to parade revenues and members dues, corps funding moved from sponsorships to raising money through charitable gambling: bingo at first, and then pull-tabs. The corps also gets a significant portion of its revenue through corporate matching gifts and foundation grants. In the 1990s, musical repertoires became theme oriented, and MBI earned membership in the top ranks of senior drum corps. In 2002 and 2003, the Brass finished fourth in DCA Championship competition. Brent Turner was appointed corps director in late 2003.

The 2004 show was called 'Moon Dancing,' featuring tunes with the word "moon" in the title. It carried the corps to a fifth-place finish in DCA Championships.

The corps’ theme song is “For All We Know.”

Minnesota Brass Inc. boasts members with more than fifty years of drum corps experience such as Frank Lazar and Larry Wogensen.

[http://mnbrassinc.org/mbihistoryplus.html; DCW, 10/03, p.14; DCW, 1/04, p.3; DCW, 2/04, p.3]

Members (47)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Albert-Gorr, Joy Color Guard 1976 to 1979
Anderson, David Baritone 1998
Ashton, Justin Tenors 2000
Babay, Joey visual design 2001
Baretich, Steve baritone 1994
Bold, Fritz contra 1982; 1988; 1998 to 2000
Bonfig, Mike Soprano 2000
Byrnes, Patrick Drum Major 1994 to 2001
Compton-Allen, Rebecca front line 2002 to 2004
Davies, Brad soprano 1973 to 1977
Duesterbeck, Wayne Drum Instructor 1970
Flash, Anoka Horn 1978 to 2002
Garrett (Warren), Becky Mello 2007 to 2008; 2010 to 2012
Glewwe, Judy color guard 1989 to 1997
Helland, Scott Baritone 1996 to 1999
Helland, Scott Visual Staff 2000 to 2002
Holmen, Julie color guard, asst. drum major 1996 to 2002
Huberty/Jakubowski/Dooley, Rhonda Color Guard 1992 to 1994
Jakubowski (Johnson), Brenda guard 1992
Jensen, Terry Drum 1973 to 1978
Kaszas, Cameron Mellophone 1997 to 1999
Kilanowski, Matthew Mellophone 2012
Meyer, Nick Soprano 1998 to 2002
Novak, Heather Frontline 2002 to 2003
O'Connell, Edward Percussion 1986
O'Connell, Matt Baritone 1995
Oldemeyer, Michael Baritone/Euphonium 2000 to 2002
Patterson, Jim Contra 2002
Reed, Lea Hornline 2003
Reed, Lea Trumpet 2006
Reed, Michael Drum Major 2002
Santori, Katie Contra 2001 to 2004
Saunders, Von Drum Major 2003
Schunk, Carter Trumpet 2016
Smith, Linda Color Guard 1986 to 1994
Smith, Linda Color Guard 1986 to 1994
Steffen, Zachary Drumline 2015
Stout, Jeff Colorguard 1999; 2002
Traczyk, Rachel Color Guard 2003
Vasquez, Ramon Trumpet/Brass Staff 2004 to 2007
Wilde, Catherine French Horn 1987
Zabler, Robert Colorguard 1986 to 1989
Zabler, Robert (Bobby) colorguard (rifle) 1986 to 1987; 1989
diarrea, terrence soprano 1976 to 1987
swenson, fred snare line 1979
von Behren, David Euphonium 2008
von Behren, David Cymbal instructor 2009 to 2011

CORPS 6 items

Minnesota Brass

Minnesota Brass from the Bill Ives Collection
Minnesota Brass

Minnesota Brass from the Bill Ives Collection
Minnesota Brass

MinnesotaBrass StPaul MN-1 from the Bill Ives Collection
Minnesota Brass

MinnesotaBrass StPaul MN-3 from the Bill Ives Collection
Minnesota Brass
PDF Document
292-293, Minnesota Brass from the Steve Vickers Collection
Minnesota Brass

Rochester Crusaders 2 from the Wayne Hiller Collection