2015 News

2015 Banquet Awards And Recap

December 1, 2015

What a great weekend for the Colts family! Our annual banquet allowed us to recognize members from both corps, and our return to the Five Flags Center in downtown Dubuque was a great setting for the event. Special thanks to Poor Man's Catering for a delicious meal. If you were unable to be here with us, we wish you could have been to share the experience!

The banquet allowed us to recognize our achievements as well as the outstanding contributions of both members and volunteers. Awards presented for the Colts and the Colt Cadets members were:


Outstanding First Year Members:
Brass - Motonori Tsunoda
Guard - Heather Dremel
Percussion - Noah Cole

Most Improved Members:
Brass - Justin Ahn
Guard - Bobby Curtis & McKenzie Wolfe
Percussion - Kyler Boss

Outstanding Section Members:
Brass - Jessen Smith
Guard - Kelly Voegele & Becca Swick
Percussion - Matt Myers & Stephanie Schoeph

Robert M. Buelow Award (Colts Member of the Year): Kara Metzger


Outstanding First Year Members:
Brass - Teddy Van Winkle
Guard - Katie Andreasen
Percussion - Micky Graff

Most Improved Members:
Brass - Joseph Delaney
Guard - Patty Avercamp
Percussion - Spencer Geers & Ben Litterer

Outstanding Section Members:
Brass - Eli Gregorich
Guard - Paige Murphy
Percussion - Micky Graff

Michael J. Wolfe Award (Colt Cadets Member of the Year): Abby Beacom

Age out awards were presented to 29 members of the Colts. These individuals and marching years were:
Justin Ahn - 1
James Arita - 1
Heather Dremel - 1
Megan Hobbs - 1
Tiffany Kostuch - 1
Amber McCausland - 1
Shane McFall - 1
Spencer Potts - 1
Alex Taylor - 1
Jonathan White - 1
Brittany Bryant - 2
Erin Funk - 2
Caleb Goodness - 2
Jake Kaplan - 2
Aaron Martin - 2
Kelsey Murphy - 2
Kristine Pye - 2
TJ Slasberg - 2
Sarah Shields - 2
Ashley Holada - 3
Matthew Kurecki - 3
Carl Mathwig - 3
Will Norton - 3
Dustin Jindracek - 4
Jon Fuller - 5
Cole Hanton - 5
Kara Metzger - 5
Erwin De Jong - 6
Liz Naprstek - 6
We will miss their 71 years of combined experience. Congratulations to all age outs!

The Sunday Colts performance was an exciting kick off for the 2016 season. Colt Cadets met on Saturday and the staff gave an overview of the direction of the program for the coming year.

Please send your RSVP for December camp today! Our next rehearsal is December 18-20 at Roosevelt Middle School in Dubuque.

Still haven't decided what to do next summer? Contact a couple veteran members who were at the November camp to hear about what's new at the Colts and get their take on the coming season. Please let us know your plans or call if you have questions or concerns.

Colt Cadets will begin rehearsals in February 2016.

Thank you to all the parents, volunteers and supporters who make it all happen!

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Colts Name Noah Perkins Drum Major For 2016 Season

November 19, 2015

A fifth-year member from the brass section, Noah Perkins will gain a new perspective on the drum corps activity from the perch of the Colts podium. Colts Director Vicki MacFarlane and Program Coordinator Howard Weinstein are confident Noah's character and leadership qualities are a perfect fit for the job left vacant by recent age outs Kara Metzger and Cole Hanton.

To gain a better understanding of the 2016 Colts leader, we recently asked Noah to share a little bit about himself, his love of music, and his belief in the Colts.

My name is Noah Perkins. I'm 19 years old studying trombone performance at the University of Iowa, and a four-year member of the Colts baritone section. I also marched four seasons in high school, and one season in college with the Hawkeye Marching Band. I am incredibly honored to be named drum major, and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for the Colts.

As a senior in high school, I saw Wycliffe Gordon and his combo live at a jazz club in Iowa City. The raw energy and passion he performed with changed my outlook on music entirely. I had heard repeatedly in drum corps and elsewhere that music is about "making the audience feel something," and seeing Wycliffe was when I truly realized what that meant.

I was taken to drum corps shows at a very young age although I have no memory of them. My dad marched six years with the Troopers. In 2011, I went to a drum corps show in Davenport, Iowa, and knew then I had to give it a try. My parents have always been supportive. I share the drum corps experience with my sister who has been a member of the Colt Cadets color guard since the time I joined Colts. It's a connection we share that a lot of siblings don't get to. We have definitely grown closer as a result.

My outlook on the activity has changed notably with every passing summer. In the first and even second summers, everything was incredibly exciting and a bit overwhelming. To be honest, I struggled during those years and it's helped me become who I am today. During my third season I learned to relax and enjoy the ride while still working desperately to be excellent. Last summer taught me a lot about what I want in life, and how to push myself even when I think I've hit my limit.

I can't wait to work with the group of educators and designers on Colts staff in 2016, especially those with such excellent track records. The brief time I've spent with Howard has already changed my perspective on drum corps and what it can do for us as individuals. I'm also looking forward to the change from marching member to drum major, and facing a new set of challenges and experiences. I am truly honored to be part of the legacy of Colts drum majors, and I cannot wait to see how excellent the corps can be this season.

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Colts Hand Program Reins To DCI Veteran Howard Weinstein

September 7, 2015

The Colts Youth Organization announced today that Howard Weinstein will lead the Colts design team in 2016. Howard has a long history in the drum corps activity as both program coordinator and corps director. His two most recent DCI stops have been with the Boston Crusaders (1999-2007) and the Blue Stars (2009-2011).

Colts Director Vicki MacFarlane is thrilled by the hire. "Howard and I first got to know each other when we served together on the DCI Board of Directors," said Vicki. "I've always been impressed with the leadership qualities he instills in the groups he works with. We just became a better organization today  and a better drum corps  with Howard on our staff."

Howard has been a music educator for the past 28 years. He works with many high school programs in Florida and Georgia including Tarpon Springs, the 2014 Bands of America Grand National Champions. He is excited to begin building on the recent momentum of the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps.

"The Colts are wonderfully positioned to make a strong statement in 2016," said Howard. "They have a growing popularity throughout DCI, and a great reputation in the activity for providing a terrific member experience. Vicki and I are assembling a solid team of designers and educators, and we're ready to get down to business."

Watch for additional announcements on the Colts design and caption heads coming soon. The organization's annual Awards & Recognition Banquet is scheduled for Friday, November 27th at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque, Iowa, followed immediately by the first audition weekend of the 2016 season.

CLICK HERE to request information on becoming a member of the 2016 Colts or Colt Cadets.

For a brief bio of Howard Weinstein, CLICK HERE.

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Colts Receive $30,000 Operating Grant From City Of Dubuque

September 7, 2015

The Colts Youth Organization is pleased to announce it has received a $30,000 grant from the City of Dubuque as part of the City Council's Arts & Culture Grant Program for Operating Support. A total of $210,000 was appropriated to 15 area nonprofit organizations. This is the 11th year of the program.

The Dubuque City Council approved the creation of this funding program in 2005 to play an important role in supporting the artistic and cultural development of the community. The intent of the program is to sustain and insure long-term viability for existing arts and culture organizations in our community.

The Colts $30,000 grant from the City of Dubuque was approved by the Dubuque City Council for the fiscal year 2016 budget, which began July 1.

The Colts are proud of their contribution to the quality of life in Dubuque and of their support of the goals and objectives of the City Council.

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A Great Trumpeter, Colts Fan, And Father Leaves The Stage At 83

July 28, 2015

On Sunday, July 26, 2015, the Colts were left with a trumpet hole and this time around there would be no replacement. Bud MacFarlane was a wonderful man. He entertained thousands through the years with his musicianship, and I would like to use this opportunity to tell the world a little bit more about him.

Bud had a subtle delivery on the trumpet. From Dixieland to big band to the families' holiday favorites, his syncopated style was smooth as butter on a warm day. His tone was pure unless slightly bent to add a bit of style. He also sang the likes of Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin with a mellow sound that pulled you onto the dance floor. He rarely took center stage although he had all the skills if asked to do so. For more than two decades he was part of The Country Kings, although the group played little country. Instead, they had a big band sound with all the instrumentation and were among the most popular acts at dance halls throughout the Midwest in the '60s and '70s. I was always proud to watch him perform.

My oldest sister, Jane, joined the Colt .45 Drum & Bugle Corps in 1969 at the urging of her friends at Wahlert High School. There she would one day meet her husband of 42 years, Jim Kohl. My Dad would soon be driving the family all over the country to watch the group compete. Shortly after, my older siblings joined her as I waited anxiously to reach the required age of 11 to join the Colt Cadets. By 1973, all four of my older siblings were members of the Colt .45 and I was a Colt Cadet. We were a drum corps family. Somehow my Dad managed to see many shows between his regular job and the band gigs he played most every Saturday night. He remained a drum corps fan through the years although he preferred the older style with songs covered more closely to their original arrangement. He loved the patriotic tunes. Watching the San Antonio regional on Pay Per View, he told me his idea for the greatest drum corps show of all time. I'm not sure it had everything the judges look for these days but I'm pretty sure he was right that audiences everywhere would rise to their feet in appreciation. And for that, Bud, we rise to our feet to salute you.

My Dad was creative, a problem solver, an artist in many sorts of ways, and a diligent worker. He was meticulous is every endeavor whether fine-tuning his golf game or shaving a sliver off his wood working project to get everything just so.

He was a quiet man who preferred to lead by example rather than with words. He treated those around him with respect, and he lived with a level of integrity that will always be the standard I aspire to. He shared love in the simplest ways....often with a subtle wink of an eye that let you know he was with you in mind, body and spirit. He was absolutely best friends with his wife, Ruth ("Cookie"), with whom he celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in May.

There was a television advertisement some time ago that said, "Like Mike...if I could be like Mike," after the great NBA star Michael Jordan. As I continue my journey through life, I can only hope to wake each day and pursue my goal to be "Like Bud....if I could be like Bud."

Thank you for taking a minute of your time to learn about my Dad.

Arrangements for Gerald J. "Bud" MacFarlane are being made at the Miller Funeral Home in East Dubuque, Illinois. More information is available HERE.

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Colts Receive $10,000 Grant From Dubuque Racing Association

July 10, 2015

When the Dubuque Racing Association announced their grant awards to local nonprofit organizations just before summer, the Colts Youth Organization was pleased to learn it received $10,000 for the rebranding of the Colts Merchandise Marketplace -- a transformation of our souvenir operation from a concessions-style trailer to a pop up tent with display racks.

The new configuration allows customers to have a more interactive buying experience thereby boosting sales. This was the 19th consecutive year that the Colts received a grant of $5,000 or more from the DRA.

The Red Zone made its debut at the Colts Summer Premiere at the University of Dubuque's Chalmers Field on Thursday, June 18th.

While it's hard to project the exact impact on sales, the upgraded marketplace will do a better job of positioning the Colts brand in the crowded corps merchandise areas. The corps also sees the Red Zone as an opportunity to increase recruiting as well among musicians and performers who will be looking to join a drum corps in 2016.

The Dubuque Racing Association (DRA) is the nonprofit license holder for the Mystique and Diamond Jo casinos. Grants have been offered to area nonprofit organizations through a competitive submission process since 1985.

Last year, the Colts received a $12,500 grant from the DRA for the purchase of percussion equipment for the Colts Cadets.

The two years prior, the DRA awarded the Colts the maximum amount offered with $40,000 in 2012 to purchase all-new uniforms for both the Colts and Colt Cadets, and $25,000 in 2013 for the completion of a new roof on the Colts Center at 11th & Central in downtown Dubuque.

Since 1987, the Colts have received grants from the DRA totaling over $350,000 for new instruments, uniforms, vehicles and trailers, computers and other equipment, and building improvements.

Thank you to the DRA for continuing to support the vision of the Colts Youth Organization and our mission to "use music & excellence to teach other about success in life."

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Colts Summer Band Concert

July 9, 2015

The Colts Summer Band will conclude their summer lesson series with a concert at the Alliant Energy Amphitheater on Thursday, July 9 at 7:00 pm. The Colts Summer Band will be joined by our Pandemonium Steel Drum Ensemble and the Colt Cadets.

Directors of the summer band are Brian Enabnit and Dan Norman. The four week program includes ensemble rehearsals and sectional lessons, and has grown to 55-60 students for each of the past few summers.

The Colt Cadets are thrilled to rejoin the summer band after last year's scheduling conflict. The drum corps will perform their 2015 program, "Fire & Ice."

Pandemonium will begin the evening with their blend of calypso and pop hits. They are the older of the two steel drum ensembles sponsored by the Colts Youth Organization.

The event is FREE and open to the public!

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Colts Announce 2015 Hall Of Fame

June 24, 2015

The Colts Youth Organization is proud to announce its 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees:

Jeff Bridges
Bob and Mary Deschepper
Mark and Cheryl Falb
Frank Nelson

These honorees join 31 previous inductees in the Colts Hall of Fame, which was established in 1993 to recognize and honor alumni members, design and instructional staff, administrators, board members, contributors, or volunteers whose history of outstanding contributions to the Colts has played a significant and long-term role in our organization and in the marching arts.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the contributions of our 2015 inductees.

View a list of all Colts Hall of Fame members HERE.

Please join us in congratulating these honored inductees for the time, love and contributions they have made to the Colts!

We will celebrate this milestone at an induction ceremony held at Music On The March on Tuesday July 7th, at Dalzell Field in Dubuque. Additional details about the show, including how to get tickets, can be found HERE.

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Great Give Day THANK YOU!

May 6, 2015

Thanks to all who sent gifts for the Great Give Day fundraising challenge sponsored by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.

The Colts Youth Organization received 13 gifts totaling $2,760. PLUS, we were selected at random to receive one of Theisen's $500 Golden Ticket grants.

All together, 100 tri-state area organizations participated. Over 2,500 gifts totaling $319,308 were raised for local nonprofits, including $28,000 in local corporate sponsorships.

Thank you to all who supported the Colts or any other the other deserving organizations!

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Colt Cadets Announce 2015 Program...

May 6, 2015

The 2015 Colt Cadets present "Fire & Ice."

CLICK HERE for a detailed description of the show, musical repertoire, and a list of Cadets staff during the summer of 2015.

The Colt Cadets are comprised of approximately 90 middle and high-school students from the United States and the Netherlands. The corps maintains a two-thirds local base of members from Dubuque, Iowa and the surrounding tri-state area. The Colt Cadets will appear in 17 competitive performances throughout the summer, as well as a number of parades and exhibitions in the Dubuque area. CLICK HERE to view the Colt Cadets full summer schedule.

The Colt Cadets were founded in 1967 and are one of only three corps with a World Class "sibling" in Drum Corps International...the others being in Santa Clara and Concord, California.

For more information on the Colt Cadets, contact Matt Mulvanny, Colt Cadets Director.

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Great Give Day! 5.5.15

May 4, 2015

Great Give Day is an online giving event designed to bring people together to raise much-needed support for nonprofits in our area. Gifts made online to the Colts (actually the Legion-Aires on the Great Gift Day web page) will be doubled by a local matching gift. Every dollar you donate will go directly to the Colts, AND be matched in our goal to raise $60,000 by Memorial Day!

CLICK HERE to go online and make your 100% tax-deductible contribution to the Colts Youth Organization.

If you are considering a larger gift and would like to avoid the processing fees necessary with online giving, feel free to send a check directly to the Colts Youth Organization, P.O. Box 515, Dubuque, IA 52004-0515. Your donation will be matched as part of our current fundraising effort.

Thank you to all who donate to the Colts through this special day and throughout the year. Your belief in our mission allows us to continue to serve students who desire high levels of challenge and achievement, in programs that carry an expectation of hard work and dedication.

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Now Accepting Nominations For Colts Hall Of Fame

April 8, 2015

The Colts are now accepting nominations for their Hall of Fame class of 2015! Any member of the public may nominate an individual for induction into the Colts Hall of Fame by submitting a letter describing the reasons their nominee should be considered, along with a brief description of the role and history of contributions that person has made to the Colts organization. CLICK HERE for a description of the nomination process.

The Hall of Fame was established in 1993 during the 30th anniversary celebration of the Colts. The award is the highest level of recognition given by the organization, and many of our founding fathers were the first to be enshrined. The Hall of Fame went dormant following our 40th anniversary but the time is long overdue to reenergize this proud tradition, and continue to honor those who have provided distinguished service.

In the days ahead, we will expand the recognition of the individuals currently included in the Hall of Fame by adding a brief biography and photograph for each. If you have photographs, anecdotes, or other information to add to Hall of Fame member biographies, please send them to: hof@colts.org. You can view a full listing of all Colts Hall of Fame members HERE.

Act now as 2015 nominations are due by May 15th!

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Grand Opening Of The Colts Mall

March 22, 2015

The Colts Youth Organization has launched a new online store to coincide with the start of ticket sales for our 2015 DCI summer tour events. In addition to tickets, you can find a variety of corps merchandise, dozens of used flags and guard uniforms, and an online payment method for student fees, member sponsorships, and donations.

Here is a link to the new Colts Mall.

Click HERE for additional show information and to purchase tickets:

BRASS IMPACT | Wednesday, July 1, 2015 College Boulevard Activity Center, Olathe, Kansas

CELEBRATION IN BRASS | Thursday, July 2, 2015 Waukee High School Stadium, Waukee, Iowa

MUSIC ON THE MARCH | Tuesday, July 7, 2015 Dalzell Field, Senior High School, Dubuque, Iowa

TOURNAMENT OF DRUMS | Monday, July 27, 2015 Kingston Stadium, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Detailed show pages on the Colts website will be posted soon. If you have a question about shows or group ticket discounts, please send an email to Colts Events Manager Melissa Lyon.

Thank you for shopping with the Colts!

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Colts Announce 2015 Program

March 20, 2015

The Colts Drum & Bugle Corps follows up its innovative 2014 production with another adventure into the conceptual blend of drum corps and theatrical arts. Their 2015 program titled, "...And A Shot Rings Out: A Johnny Staccato Murder Mystery," features music from Elmer Bernstein (Man with the Golden Arm), Michael Daugherty (Lex from "Metropolis Symphony"), Christian McBride (Science Fiction), Charles Mingus (Moanin'), original music by Chuck Naffier and David Nelson, and a stunning ballad based on Grammy-sensation Sam Smith's Lay Me Down.

"We took an unusual path with last year's show," said Storyteller Wayne Harris. "It took some time for fans to embrace the journey with us but once they did, we had a magical walk together into the Emerald City."

"We're gonna continue to define who the Colts are, while we look at new ways to deliver a drum corps performance," said Program Coordinator Marc Sylvester. "It's film noir. It's fresh. It's something nobody's done. But in the end, our plan is just to be a really good drum corps."

The Colts debut their 2015 program along with the Colt Cadets at their Summer Premiere on June 18th at the University of Dubuque's Chalmers Field. The competitive season begins on June 20th in Grandville, Michigan, and concludes at the Drum Corps International World Championships in Indianapolis in early August.

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