Become a Part of the DCI Community

Mike Lawson • Percussion • November 1, 2019

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It’s time for one of the most exciting things in DCI – auditions!

Every year, thousands of young people all over the country set their sights on becoming part the musical excellence that is Drum Corps International. Now is the perfect time to get involved, and auditions are the first step. So, how can you make the most of your audition experience?

Preparation is Key

Every corps has unique processes and requirements for membership, but directors and staff all agree on the basic skills and personal qualities needed for success on the most important element – preparation. And there’s no such thing as too much of it! It starts with knowing about the expectations of the corps where you are auditioning. The information is all available, and it’s critical that you learn as much as possible in advance. The best place to start is at You’ll find resources to get your drum corps search and audition preparations underway with a comprehensive list of dates, dates, locations, and other information for World and Open Class drum corps auditions. When exploring the possibilities, remember that one of your very best resource are your school’s directors. They can help you on multiple fronts – music, color guard, movement, and the audition process itself. Since they’ve been through countless types of auditions, they can share unique insights about what to expect.

Ps and Cs

DCI directors and staff tell prospective members to focus showing a complete marching music performance skill set with these fundamentals.

• Proficiency – Demonstrate aptitude on your instrument/ equipment through strong fundamental skills

• Precision – Perform with accurate timing and proper form

• Physical Conditioning – Show that you are dedicated to becoming the strongest musician athlete possible from top (upper body musician) to bottom (lower body athlete)

• Competence – Know your audition materials well

• Commitment – Demonstrate strong personal work ethic

• Cooperation – Show your willingness to accept constructive feedback

• Stay focused on these, and you will be well on your way!

Be Thorough

Once you’ve decided where you want to audition, it’s very important to follow through on finding out exactly your chosen corps wants to see through the audition process. Get to know their audition packet forward and backwards, then stay in touch to make sure you have registered properly and that everything is set for your scheduled audition.

Sharing valuable insight, DCI 2019 World Champion Blue Devils program director Pat Seidling said, “We encourage candidates to familiarize themselves fully with our performance styles. Our drum staff, for example. encourages drummers to watch YouTube videos of the Blue Devils drumline in action to be really familiar with our technique and program.”

He called it “advance scouting” on what the organizations they are seeking to join. In addition to demonstrating command of skills and technique and having audition materials expertly prepared, he said they look for even more.

Seidling continued, “Our staff seek to learn about the uniqueness of each auditionee. What special skills do they have? Are they adept at something that might not be readily apparent in a typical audition room? We strongly encourage each person to be themselves and show their personality, and we always give time at our auditions to showcase those skills.”

A Place for You

Certainly not everyone who auditions makes the “first-choice” corps on the first try. The good news is that there are many World Class and Open Class corps and SoundSport ensembles throughout the country that provide excellent educational opportunities. So, keep looking and find the right place for you this year. It’s about excellence – you will be a part of the fastest growing activity in the country. It’s about experience – just going through the audition process makes you better. It’s about education – you will learn new things and improve your skills no matter what.

Do your research, be prepared, and get out there! Be a part of Drum Corps International in 2020!

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