Director: Bill Sucha
Winds: Andy Combites, Kathy Dorn, Rachel Iverson, Ross Jahnke, Billy Toepel, Garret Decker, Neils Knutson, Ben Firkus, Jordan Warfield & Ian Olson
Color Guard: Gary Swanson, Jen Piché, Alison Mullaney, Rebecca DeVries, Jessica Kracl, Shubhang Davé, Shannon Draper & Heather Amundsen
Percussion: Paul Weber, Matt Ferry, Tom Reimer, Eric Merriman, Mike Ferry, Susie Sundly & Nathan Hicks
Drill Design: Garret Decker
Drum Majors: Peter Mauro and Kevin Whalen
Webmaster: Andrea Armagost
Bill Sucha (pronounced sue-ha) is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, River Falls with a BME in Music Education. His primary instruments are saxophone and voice. He brings many years of experience in the marching band area to Irondale including five years with the Minnesota Brass and ten years of teaching color guard. Bill is currently serving as Vice President of the North Star Circuit Executive Board. The staff and students are very excited to have Mr. Sucha aboard.
Gary Swanson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Apparel Design and is the director of Irondale’s extensive color guard program. He works for VEE Entertainment Corporation in the Costume & Creatures division. VEE produces Sesame Street Live, so Gary works with Elmo, Cookie Monster, and the gang every day! His credits include color guard instruction at many levels, adjudication, consulting, and special event choreography. Gary has been working with Irondale since 1990.
Jennifer Piché has a BA in English and is teaching at St. Louis Park High School. Jen is a 1993 graduate of Irondale. She has marched with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, Royal Guard Performance Ensemble, and Minnesota Brass, Inc. Jen has taught with Irondale in several previous years and has also instructedFridley and Anoka High Schools.
Alison is a 1998 graduate of Irondale, and the 2001 season marks her second season as an instructor at Irondale. In the summers of 2000 and 2001 she competed with the Blue Knights from Denver, and spent the previous two summers with Minnesota Brass Inc. She has also performed with Royal Guard Winter Guard. In addition to her instruction at Irondale, she has instructed the color guard at Wadena-Deer Creek high school and the Regement Winter Guard of Elk River.
Rebecca DeVries is currently a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a 1999 graduate of Irondale. This is Becca’ssecond year on the Irondale guard staff. She has marched with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. Becca has also worked with St. MichaelAlbertville and Champlin Park High Schools.
Shannon “Drapes” Draper first worked with Irondale during the 2001 winter guard season and it is great to have her on staff this fall. Drapesis completing her education at Hamline University. She has marched with theColts Drum and Bugle Corps, Royal Guard Performance Ensemble, MinnesotaBrass, Inc. and Sartell High School.
This is Matt’s first year teaching the pit for the Marching Knights. Matt is a Music Education/Percussion Performance Major at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. As a marching percussion educator Matt has toured the 694/494 loop and various state roads of Stearns and Anoka Counties. Matt will be “marching” in his fifth and final summer of Drum Corps this year with the Cavaliers from Rosemont, Illinois.
Paul Weber is a 1998 graduate of Irondale, and has been on staff of the Marching Knights ever since. He is currently studying Political Science at St. Cloud State University. Paul was a member of the Madison Scouts multi-tenor line from 1998 through 2001 and will be on the percussion staff of the Southwind drum and bugle corps starting in the 2002 season.
“AC” has been working with Irondale since the fall of 1998. He playedtrombone in the Iowa State University “Varsity” Marching Band and spentthree seasons in their winter drumline on cymbals and bass drum. He playedbaritone with the Knights Drum & Bugle Corps from Geneseo, IL and euphoniumwith the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps from Rosemont, IL. Andy graduated fromISU in 1996 with degrees in Fine Arts and Advertising. He recently startedhis own design/consulting firm – Rightbrain Leftbrain, Inc.
Kathy “Katdogg” Dorn is a 1999 Irondale graduate. The 2001 season marks her third year on visual staff. She is a junior at UW- River Fallswhere she is currently studying Music Education (instrumental focus.)
Ben Firkus graduated from Irondale in 2001. He was part of the trumpet section in 1997 and 1998, and Drum Major of the band in 1999 and 2000. He currently marches with the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps. Ben is also a student at UW-River Falls as a Music Ed Major.
Brian Schutta graduated from Irondale High School with the class of 2001. He marched contra (tuba) in the marching band for four years and was the section leader for two of those four years. He is a performing member of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps contraline. Brian also attends Anoka-Ramsey Community College and still doesn’t know what his major is.
Andrea Armagost graduated from Irondale in 1998 and will graduate from the University of Minnesota this December with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Global Studies. Andrea designed the IHSMK web site in the summer of 1996 and has been maintaining it ever since. She welcomes your comments about the page.