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It’s hard to believe, but with the highly competitive 2018 DCI Summer Tour barely over, it’s already time to start getting ready for next year on marching music’s biggest stage.

Design teams are already hard at work putting together ideas for 2019, and auditions will be here before you know it. Students can make the most of their high school marching seasons, work to help their bands achieve remarkable things, and prepare for becoming a part of Marching Music’s Major League.

Band members can focus on improving their own leadership and technical skills throughout the season while sharing successful practices with others.

On the leadership side, it’s all about having the right attitude and helping others to improve.

In the technical area, get back to the basics – both in music and in marching. Continually improving personal proficiency is the name of the game, and the more practice, the better. Setting personal achievement goals and then following through makes good performers great and great performers even better.

The fall months are also the perfect time to prepare for the extreme athletic challenges of participating in a drum corps. While raising the overall level of performance within the marching band, get a jump start on being in the best possible shape for corps auditions.

• Practice personal physical training techniques for breathing and endurance.

• Develop good habits for staying hydrated (even in cooler weather).

• Focus on establishing new levels of fitness to improve personal health.

The DCI Marching Music Health and Wellness Project (MMHWP) can help. This growing and successful program emphasizes important health and wellness practices for marching music’s performers. There are tips and trends available on the MMHWP Facebook page – facebook.com/mmhwp. Get connected and get fit!

• Most importantly, use the time during the fall to improve individual practice techniques. There is simply no substitute for individual practice time to increase proficiency and overall performance ability.

• Invest the hours it takes to perfect the craft and make the most of the time. Whether it’s instrumental or with color guard equipment, practice only makes perfect if the practice IS perfect.

• Maximize all available resources to improve – directors, private instructors, online videos, and more.

• Use every tool available to improve proficiency and take it to the next level.

With drum corps auditions just around the corner, now is the time to prepare. Learn more at DCI.org/audition. Get fit, get better, and GET READY. The corps are waiting!

Barbara Nash, APR is president of Barbara Nash & Associates, LLC and supports Drum Corps International through fully integrated strategic communications and market engagement services. She has a broad background in music and performance, and has two sons who each marched with DCI.



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