FL graduate Cole will join Colts Drum & Bugle Corps

Benjamin Lunn will ‘live on the road’ the entire summer

Benjamin Lunn of Forest Lake has been selected to perform as a member of the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps of Dubuque, IA. Approximately 350 young people audition for one of the 150 positions in the group.

This is Lunn’s first year with the Colts where he will be a member of the percussion section. Members are selected through a competitive audition process. Young people from as many as 25 states and overseas have auditioned this year.

According to Lunn, “The audition camp process has been a tremendous learning experience. I’ve had the opportunity to learn a large volume of music in a short period of time. I’ve seen how to run a rehearsal and get the most out of an ensemble within a tight time-frame. The teaching staff are exceptional musicians; I’m looking forward to learning from them this summer.”

The Colts are named “Iowa’s Ambassadors of Music” by the governor of Iowa and are an elite nationally ranked world-class competitive drum and bugle corps, and they performed in the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C.

Lunn is the son of David Lunn and Susan Edseth of Forest Lake. A 2011 graduate of FLHS, Lunn was a member of the Forest Lake Ranger Drumline from 2008-11. As a student at FLHS, Lunn performed with the Concert, Symphonic Winds and Jazz Bands. He was Student Percussion Director of the Ranger Pep Band and an integral member of the student musician group that worked to bring the program back to the school community.

Lunn volunteered as percussion tech for the 2011 Forest Lake Junior High Marching Band and the Ranger Drumline Parade Unit. He is committed to giving back to the Forest Lake music program and he hopes to be able to spend a few weeks instructing the lines before moving to the Colts.

Lunn was also a member of Washington County 4-H for eight years where he benefited from numerous performance opportunities in both the county and state Arts-In programs.

Lunn is majoring in music at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has performed with the college symphony and jazz bands, as well as both the percussion and new music ensembles. This spring he will also perform with the university band and the commissioned composer program.

Lunn is currently a member of the snare section of the Minnesota Brass Winter Indoor Drumline. Last summer he marched tenors in the Minnesota Brass Drum & Bugle Corp during their successful quest to become Open Class Champions at the 2011 Drum Corp Associates World Championship, Rochester, NY. Lunn credits Minnesota Brass for building and sustaining an organization where he could grow his percussion skills and confidence to earn a spot in a world-class junior drum corps.

The Colts membership experience is an intensive, challenging and high achievement environment where life and leadership skills are taught. Members of the Colts are between the ages of 16 and 21 years old, and the average age is approximately 19.

The Colts travel and perform throughout the summer, beginning Memorial Day weekend, and concluding the second weekend of August. The group will be in session 70 days and perform over 30 times for an audience estimated to number over 200,000 people while traveling through 22 states.

The Drum Corps International Finals will be  at  Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN, Aug. 9-11. The Colts will compete in major shows in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Allentown, PA, among many other locations on the road to Indianapolis. The Colts have ranked in the top 25 of all drum corps for the past 30 years, including top-12 international finalists status 8 of the past 17 years. There are approximately 60 competitive corps in the country.

The group lives ‘on the road’ the entire summer, sleeping and showering in school gymnasiums and eating meals prepared in a semi-turned kitchen truck staffed by volunteers. The Colts travel with approximately 200 people, including 150 members. A teaching staff, a parent volunteer staff and support people such as drivers and seamstresses accompany the members. Anyone age 22 and over may volunteer to help the Colts in any number of ways.

Each member of the corps is asked to contribute up to $2,850, about 30 percent of the actual cost of transportation, lodging, meals, instruction, equipment and uniforms. In addition to his on-campus job, Lunn is responsible for launching his own fundraising campaign and is seeking community support to cover the majority of the expenses.

Individuals, groups or organizations able to support Lunn are assured that 100 percent of their donation will be credited towards his marching experience. For donation instructions, contact Ben Lunn at 651-464-6220 or e-mail [email protected]