Celebrating a Tradition of Excellence
The Marching Knights of Irondale High School are one of Minnesota’s premier marching bands. They pride themselves on being recognized as a progressive and innovative organization. Irondale has established a tradition of excellence through quality performance and diverse educational goals. The group involves more than 140 members and represents Mounds View Independent School District #621. Irondale High School serves the communities of Mounds View, Shoreview, Arden Hills, and New Brighton, Minnesota. These communities are northern suburbs of the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The marching band is part of a comprehensive instrumental music education program at Irondale High School that also includes concert band, jazz ensemble, small ensembles, winter color guard, winter percussion, and pep band. It is supported by a devoted band booster organization and school administration, and taught and encouraged by an accomplished staff. In recent years the band program has toured Florida, Chicago, Germany, Austria, Italy, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii. Irondale presented concert, jazz, and marching performances at many of these destinations.
The Marching Knights begin practicing in May and continue until the end of the school year in June. After a short break, rehearsals resume in mid-July and go through the end of the field show season in November. Included in the rehearsal schedule are a Saturday day camp in May, two off-site weekend mini-camps, and a week long evening camp at Irondale. In early August the members of the Marching Knights attend a week long field show preparation camp. It is at this camp that the band prepares much of the music and movement for its competitive field show. Since winter often arrives unexpectedly in Minnesota, this camp makes quality field show marching a possibility for the Marching Knights.
During the fall, generally September and October, the band marches for home football games and competes in several local field show festivals. In late September, Irondale hosts its own competition, Music of the Knight. The marching band also makes an annual appearance on the national competitive front with a performance at a Bands of America competition. This circuit features many outstanding bands from all over the United States. Irondale band members are very proud of their successes at these prestigious events. At the season’s end the marching band concludes its performance schedule with two indoor standstill concerts and a banquet in November.
Since its inception in the fall of 1987, the band has risen to many new challenges. Irondale has accumulated hundreds of awards from parades and field show competitions. These include Grand Champion honors at the Vikingland Band Festival in Alexandria, Minnesota for six consecutive years (1991-1996) and advancing to finals at BOA regional competitions. In addition, the Winter Colorguard and Drumline programs have earned top honors at both regional and national competitions. In 2002 the Winter Color Guard was named WGI Scholastic Open World Champions. The marching program at Irondale is recognized as one of Minnesota’s elite.
The Irondale Marching Knights strive to learn about music and marching through hard work, dedication, and the pursuit of quality performance. This outstanding, competitive performance group also provides many opportunities for its members to personally develop and strengthen themselves in areas including leadership, teamwork, interpersonal growth, goal setting, time management, and self-discipline. A strong work ethic, commitment to the program and a positive approach to teamwork are the foundation of the Marching Knights’ philosophy, which is: “Work hard, perform well, grow musically and have fun.” If you are new to our district, contemplating a move, or simply passing through, we invite you to come and see the Knights in practice or performance.