Learn about some of our marching band staff members!


Bill Sucha, Director
BillBill 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 has been instructing bands, orchestras, or choirs with the Mounds View District music staff since 1996—his primary location has been at Irondale High School. He has been the Director of the Marching Knights since his arrival at Irondale and supervises all marching activities. He has been the recipient of several awards and honors including: marching band adjudicator for the Fiesta Bowl, the 2001 Minnesota representative for the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” feature in the School Band and Orchestra magazine, presenter for the Nebraska Band Directors Association Convention, and a 2000 WCCO Radio Good Neighbor. He has been on the North Star Color Guard Circuit, Minnesota Percussion Association, Royal Guard Drum and Bugle Corp, and Minnesota Brass Senior Drum and Bugle Corp executive boards in addition to many years of colorguard experience. He was corps director of the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps from 2003 to 2006.

Andy Combites, Visual
AC"AC” has been working with the marching band since the fall of 1998 and with the winter programs since 2001. He played trombone in the Iowa State University Cyclone Football “Varsity” Marching Band and spent three seasons in their winter drumline on cymbals and bass drum. AC played baritone with the Knights Drum & Bugle Corps from Geneseo, IL and euphonium with the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps. He was on the design team for the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in 2004 and 2005. AC is also a General Effect judge for Winter Guard International and serves as Chief Judge for the North Star Color Guard Circuit. He recently completed his MBA Degree from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. When he’s not working with Irondale or judging color guards, Andy works as a Principal eMarketing Strategist for Boston Scientific. AC and his very understanding wife, Diane, have a daughter, Taylor, and a son, Elliot.

Gary Swanson, Colorguard
GaryGary is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Apparel Design. He has been the director of Irondale's extensive colorguard programs since 1990. His credits include colorguard instruction not only at many scholastic levels but also with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps and Minnesota Brass, Inc. Drum and Bugle Corps. He is the Past President of the North Star Color Guard Circuit and is affiliated with WGI. Gary is also involved in adjudication, consulting, and special event choreography both locally and nationally for the pageantry arts. Gary was a one of seven choreographers for the 1992 Super Bowl Halftime. Gary marched with Minnesota Brass, Inc. Drum and Bugle Corps, Minnesota Brass Winter Guard, Crosstown Hwy Winter Guard, and the University of Minnesota Marching Band. Gary works at FamilyMeans, a nonprofit, family service organization in Stillwater, MN.

Paul Weber, Percussion
PaulPaul is a 1998 graduate of Irondale and has been on staff of the Marching Knights ever since. Paul marched with the Madison Scouts from 1998 to 2001, and was the Drum Corps Midwest multi-tenor champion in 2001. Paul served on the percussion staff of the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps from 2002 to 2006, the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007, and currently works with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from Denver, Colorado. Paul is the President of the Minnesota Percussion Association and a past member of the WGI Percussion Advisory Board.

Other Staff

Numerous other people volunteer their time to help with musical, marching, and visual instruction and support. These include techs (most are Irondale alumni or their friends) and guest instructors. We are eternally grateful for their untiring efforts.