||Andy Combites is an active designer, instructor, and adjudicator for marching bands, drum corps, and color guards. For his "real" job, he works as a Digital Strategist for 3M, where he spends his day working on Social Media programs and websites (so yes, he technically gets paid to surf Facebook and YouTube at work!). He and his family live in New Brighton, Minnesota - a northern suburb of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Andy started his marching career in his high school band in Illinois, where he served as Drum Major his junior and senior years. 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. During the summers, Andy marched with the Knights Drum & Bugle Corps from Geneseo, Illinois for two seasons before joining the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps from Rosemont, Illinois.
Andy has designed programs, written drill, and taught several marching bands and color guards in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin since 1992. He is currently the program coordinator for the Irondale High School Marching Knights from New Brighton, Minnesota, where he has been working with their award-winning marching band and winter programs in a variety of roles since 1998. He was also on the design team for the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps from LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 2004 and 2005 as they began their rapid and successful rise back into the elite ranks of DCI World Class finalist corps.
Andy jumped into the world of judging marching bands and color guards in 2000. He is a General Effect judge for Winter Guard International and serves as Chief Judge for the North Star Circuit in Minnesota, where he also judges Design Analysis. In the summer, you can find him on the field judging Visual Proficiency or in the press box judging General Effect for DCI. He also judged a chili cook-off at work one time, which was the most delicious yet painful judging experience of his life.