NEWS & EVENTS

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR BOARD OF DIRECTOR POSITIONS

June 28, 2021

Press Release

Chops, Inc. is pleased to announce that we are accepting applications for our Board of Directors.

Chops, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit, provides programs to educate members of all ages in the art of music and performance. We offer our members and students a positive, fun environment that emphasizes teamwork, self-discipline, and the pursuit of personal growth and performance excellence.

 

Our current programs include a Drum Corps, Colorguard / Winterguard, a professional and an amateur steel-drum band, and an educational outreach program that provides free classroom steel-drum instruction to K-12 schools in the Greater Twin Cities.

 

Chops receives the majority of its revenues from our licensed charitable gambling operation, and also counts on financial and in-kind donations from local businesses and individual donors.

 

Chops’ Board of Directors seeks to add individuals with a broad range of skill sets, including: nonprofit governance, business management, finance, marketing & communications, music education, music performance, and DEI (diversity, equity, & inclusion). This is an exciting time to join Chops as we are launching a strategic planning process this summer.

Our board meets virtually the third Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 p.m., with occasional in-person meetings. On average, board members can expect to spend up to four hours per month on board service (including the two-hour monthly meeting).

If our mission speaks to you and you would like to be considered as we expand our Board, please contact our interim executive director, Megan O’Leary, at moleary@chopsinc.com.

Interested candidates should provide a resume and highlight the experiences and skills that you bring to the table to help Chops, Inc. advance our mission.

 

CHOPS ANNOUNCES NEW PAN COORDINATOR, JEREMY KUNKEL

Chops is pleased to announce that longtime staff member and founder of our steel drum programs, Jeremy Kunkel, has been promoted to the position of Pan Coordinator. In this new role, Jeremy directs our Pan Outreach program and provides strategic direction and oversight to Chops' steel-drum bands, the Pan-handlers and the Tin Cups.

 

The new position of Pan Coordinator was created in response to a growing regional interest in steel drum performance as well as the need for residency-style music education offerings in K-12 schools. "Students and music educators alike love our steel-drum curriculum, which combines history, movement and music pedagogy in a uniquely engaging way, all while meeting Minnesota's education standards. We are pleased to announce that, with the creation of this new position, our Pan programs are expanding in order to increase access to high-quality music and performance opportunities for students," said Chops' Interim Executive Director Megan O'Leary.

More information about Chops' Pan Outreach program and steel-drum bands can be found by clicking on the imbedded hyperlinks, or by emailing jkunkel@panoutreach.org.

June 23rd, 2021

 

NEW START DATE FOR 2021 WINTERGUARD

Dec. 16, 2020

Governor Walz's latest lockdown announcement states sports practices can resume beginning January 4, so we are moving our audition/rehearsal out one more week, to Saturday, January 9th.

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STANDING IN SOLIDARITY WITH PLYMOUTH MIDDLE SCHOOL

Chops’ members and instructors have rehearsed at Plymouth Middle School and other Robbinsdale School District locations for years. We have come to know and love these spaces and the wonderful staff and students who inhabit them.

 

On April 26th, 2021, the entire Robbinsdale Schools community experienced the shock and trauma of a shooting incident at Plymouth Middle. While we are grateful that no one was injured, our hearts go out to the families, students and staff of Plymouth Middle. Your community is part of Chops - as one of our staff put it, “It feels like our own home has been hurt.” Our thoughts and prayers are with Plymouth Middle School during this difficult time.

April 28th, 2021

WINTERGUARD AUDITIONS RESCHEDULED

Dec. 12, 2020

Due to the uncertainty surrounding whether or not Governor Walz will extend the pause that includes athletic activities, we have decided to move our CWG audition date to January 2nd. If there is an extension to the statewide restrictions past the first of the year, our audition date will be rescheduled and we will post updates.

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WINTERGUARD AUDITIONS ANNOUNCED

Nov. 20, 2020

Announcing 2021 Winterguard Season Auditions!

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CHOPS WELCOMES NEW INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

October 1, 2020

Press Release

CHOPS Inc, an all-age music education and performance nonprofit based in Minneapolis, is pleased to announce its new Interim Executive Director, Megan O’Leary.

 

Megan brings a proven track record of organizational development in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Her career journey has given her a broad range of expertise, from fundraising and marketing communications to operations and finance.

 

“I am thrilled at this opportunity to work with Chops Inc’s dedicated staff and board to further their mission to educate people of all ages in the marching arts. In this time of economic uncertainty for arts organizations and public-school music programs, it’s more important than ever to promote the many societal benefits of music education and performance, from character development and self-discipline to leadership and teamwork.”

 

Megan was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a B.A. in Zoology and Spanish. She currently lives in St. Paul with her husband Josh, two children, a 95-pound mutt, an 8-pound tripod Pomeranian, and three backyard chickens. Megan enjoys playing guitar and singing with her son, accompanying her daughter’s trumpet pieces on piano, and being walked by her dogs.

 

Chops is excited to welcome Megan and her unparalleled talent to our family of programs bringing outstanding music education to the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. Please visit our website at www.chopsinc.org for her full biography and see the exceptional skills she brings to Chops.

STANDING IN SOLIDARITY

June 1, 2020

Chops Inc., and Chops Drum and Bugle Corps, strongly condemns the events surrounding the killing of George Floyd, and stands in solidarity with people of color — especially African Americans — as they protest against long-standing inequality and oppression. We strongly condemn any and all acts of racism, discrimination, and violence. 

We vigorously stand behind our corps motto, "Be Yourself," and what it means in these times: that everyone should be free to live their lives, regardless of their race, skin color, ethnic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or socio-economic status. We are committed to supporting this by maintaining an organization that is tolerant, diverse, and inclusive. This has not changed throughout our nearly 30-year-long history as a fixture in the marching arts community of Minnesota.

We choose to make this statement today because we firmly believe that we must always stand on the side of freedom and solidarity, and that we must stand with the African American community of the Twin Cities, of Minnesota, and of the United States. To fail to do so would be against the founding beliefs that guide our organization. 

We strongly and unequivocally say that BLACK LIVES MATTER.

In Solidarity and Determination,

The Board of Chops Inc.

If you are in a position to help support organizations in the aid of the communities directly affected by the current events, or that are working to create a permanent change, both here in the Twin Cities and beyond, please consider the following: 

BLACK TABLE ARTS

DU NORD RIOT RECOVERY FUND

LOAVES AND FISHES

MIGIZI COMMUNICATIONS

NORTHSIDE BUSINESS SUPPORT

PIMENTO RELIEF FUND