Set Your Sights NOW on Becoming a Part of the 2018 Drum Corps International Tour! Marching Band Season is time to Prepare for Drum Corps Audition Season

Mike Lawson • • August 11, 2017

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Now that 2017 DCI Summer Tour is in the history books, it’s already time to get ready to take your turn on marching music’s biggest stage.

Students can start getting ready for 2018 by using their high school marching seasons to help their bands achieve remarkable things while also preparing to become a part of Marching Music’s Major League™.

Fall marching programs provide the perfect opportunity to work on developing personal leadership skills within the section and in the entire band. The most successful leaders are those who lead by example – on and off the field.

Any band member can be a leader by focusing on their own improvement while sharing successful rehearsal practices with others. It’s all about having the right attitude combined with determination to improve and contribute to the success of the team.

Help keep the section focused on the task at hand by maintaining personal concentration and encouraging others to do the same.

Put the hustle in the bustle! “Running It Back” after each rep increases productivity the added advantage of improving physical conditioning, one rep at a time. Others will follow a good example and the whole band will reap the benefits.

To add a little variety, be creative when rehearsing the basics. Hold an online video horn holding party with the brass and woodwind sections or backyard spin parties for color guard – improving technique while having fun. Create private videos of challenging measures of the percussion score and share with the members of your section. Be the one who takes the initiative to get it going – lead the way to achieving more as a team!

The fall months are also the perfect time to prepare for the extreme athletic challenges of 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), and focus on establishing new levels of fitness to improve personal health.

DCI can help. Through the Marching Music Health and Wellness Project (MMHWP), DCI emphasizes important health and wellness practices for marching musicians and performers. Find out the latest trends by staying connected all year through the MMHWP Facebook page –

Perhaps 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, your practice only makes perfect if your practice IS perfect.

Maximize all available resources to improve – directors, private instructors, online videos, and more. Be a champion in practice… because that is where champions are made.

Be a leader, get fit, get better, and GET READY. DCI is waiting! With drum corps auditions just around the corner, now is the time to prepare. Learn more at

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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