Chops, Inc., an “all age” marching-arts corps, is a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We offer year-round co-educational performing arts programs. Our mission is improving lives through music education and performing arts.
Chops' core values are:
Integrity: We exercise good judgement, character, and habits; we are fair, responsible, accountable, and respectful.
Excellence: We strive for the best possible work product, both internally and externally, toward providing superior experiences for our members, audiences, and staff; it drives quality musicianship, performance etiquette, education, joy, and fun.
Personal development: We create and support leadership development, provide expert training, and lead a culture of action over inaction; all stakeholders are better for having been involved with Chops.
Community: We are equitable in our actions, inclusive, accessible, non-judgmental, and collaborative; communities are built when we truly engage with each other, work to achieve mutual understanding, and share experiences together.
Entertainment: We find our common humanity when we collectively experience the joy of performance art.
Chops was founded as Chopstix Percussion, a marching percussion unit, in 1991. The group was incorporated as a nonprofit organization and obtained 501(c)(3) status in 1997. Top Chops Brass Line was formed in 1994 with the same high energetic, crowd-pleasing philosophy that was the foundation of Chopstix Percussion. After a successful start for Top Chops, the groups took on the overarching identity of Chops, Inc.
Chops, Inc currently has a Drum Corps, Colorguard / Winterguard, and three Pan steel-drum programs. Our Pan programs include: a professional steel drum band (Pan-handlers); an amateur steel drum band (Tin Cups); and an educational outreach program that provides free classroom steel-drum instruction to K-12 schools in the Greater Twin Cities Metro area.
Currently, Chops, Inc. is one of four drum corps in the upper Midwest. Chops performs at approximately seven field shows and 15 parades/concerts throughout the summer and fall. The corps is comprised of more than 60 members whose ages range from 16 to 75+. Our membership encompasses many professional, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. Former members support Chops by volunteering their time and performing in an activity they love. For most members, Chops represents an important opportunity for artistic participation, as well as a positive environment for self-expression.
Chops, Inc receives revenues from its charitable gambling operation, and also counts on financial and in-kind donations from civic organizations, local businesses, and individual donors. Over the years, volunteers have contributed thousands of hours to provide the best experience possible for its members. Chops, Inc. strives to teach its members that lifelong friendships, leadership and fun are the essence of self-confidence and success.