Camp questions:

How can I prepare to audition for the Bluecoats?

2018 THE BLUE WAY audition packets for brass and percussion will be available soon.  In the meantime, you can purchase & download 2017 packets.

When and where are the Audition camps?

In 2018, we plan to host THE BLUE WAY Audition Experience Camps in Texas, Ohio, California, Georgia, and the UK.  Our (tentative) 2018 Audition Dates are as follows:

November 12, 2017:  UK – Brass Only
November 18-19, 2017:  Dallas, TX – All Sections
November 24-26, 2017: Canton, OH – All Sections
December 3, 2017: Mission Viejo, CA – All Sections
December 9-10, 2017: Atlanta, GA – All Sections

Which camp should I attend?

You should attend the camp closest to where you live. If you cannot attend the camp closest to your home, you should make plans to attend one of the additional audition camps or submit an audition video. You only need to attend one of the four audition camps.

If I audition in Texas, California, Georgia, or by video, do I have to travel to Ohio to attend all of the remaining winter camps?

Everyone offered a position or “call back” from one of the audition camps or an audition video is required to attend the January camp in Canton, Ohio. Our expectations for your camp attendance beyond January will be explained in detail at your first audition camp.

Are your camps open to all people auditioning?

The first audition camps of the season are open to all people auditioning – brass, percussion and color guard. All positions for the 2018 Bluecoats are open, and any eligible veterans who wish to return in 2018 should be prepared to re-audition.

How do I submit an audition video?

Auditioning via video is only to be used if you cannot, under any circumstance, attend one of our live audition camps. Attending a camp and auditioning in person is always the best way to accurately demonstrate your skills.  Details coming soon! 

Can I audition for Drum Major?

Drum Majors are selected from within the previous season’s corps – we do not hold open auditions for this position(s).

What should I expect at my first camp?

  1. The opportunity to experience and learn the skills necessary to perform at the highest levels of the drum & bugle corps activity. You will spend two full days (or one day in the UK and California) learning from the corps’ world-class instructional staff and rehearsing side by side with returning members of the Bluecoats.
  2. A complete orientation session with the Bluecoats Management Team. You will learn all about what it takes to be part of DCI and the Bluecoats: the time commitment, costs, tour schedule, and your participation will be fully explained. Ample time will be allotted throughout the weekend for you to ask any questions.
  3. A complete orientation by the Bluecoats primary instructional staff. Staff specifically directed to your position (guard, brass, or percussion) will give you all the technical information about performing as a Bluecoat. You will have one on one time with your primary instructor, so any questions can be answered at that time.
  4. The entire weekend is part of your audition. There will be ample opportunities for you to perform for the instructional staff in both group and one-on-one settings.
  5. A relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere surrounded by dedicated professional educators who love drum corps and the Bluecoats!
  6. At the conclusion of camp, you will be informed of one of these results from your audition:
    • You will be offered a position.
    • You will be given a tentative offer (call-back) based upon your improvement in certain areas, and will be asked to attend the January camp in Canton, Ohio.
    • You will be given exact and detailed information concerning how you may improve for an audition next year.

Do I have to attend all of the camps?

Yes, if you are offered a position, you will be required to attend all camps your section is required to attend during the winter and spring months. However, we understand that conflicts arise and those are dealt with on an individual basis. Please talk with your caption head to inform the corps of any anticipated camp absences. When you fail to attend a camp and haven’t told us why in advance, we assume that you do not wish to be a part of the corps.

Who do I contact with attendance conflicts?

To discuss any extraordinary attendance issues involving the first few camps, please contact our Corps Manager Bill Hamilton at bhamilton@bluecoats.com. After you have been selected for a position, contact your caption head. Further details regarding attendance will be explained at your first audition camp.

How much does membership in the Bluecoats cost?

The operation of a world-class drum corps is a very expensive project. The equipment (horns, drums and guard) and the fleet of vehicles are just a few of the most expensive items. The cost of housing, instruction, food, touring and uniforms also increase expenses.  Our 2016 Membership fees will be announced at each audition camp.  The amount that the Bluecoats charge our members covers a very small portion of the actual cost of running a touring drum corps.

Are there opportunities for me to earn money towards my financial obligations?

YES! The corps offers a season sponsorship program in which members can have friends, family, local businesses, etc. send money directly to the Bluecoats that is applied to the member’s account. We provide all necessary sponsorship materials for the member to do the work of finding sponsors. However, the member is the one who ultimately has to put forth the effort to raise the funds.

If you feel you may have difficulty meeting your financial obligations to the corps, please talk in confidence with a member of the administrative staff. The corps can only help you if we know about your situation. However, please keep in mind that all members will be required to meet the required financial commitment.

Time-commitment questions:

The Bluecoats are looking for a full-time commitment from mid-May to mid-August.

Can I join the Bluecoats if I’m in a Winter Guard or Indoor Percussion?

Yes. The Bluecoats support the indoor activity and after the January call-back camp most likely will not require guard and percussion members to attend another winter camp until after the WGI season is complete. More details on camp attendance requirements will be provided at your first audition camp.

Can I join the Bluecoats if I’m in my high school or college band?

Yes, but check your schedule with your band director. If your band camp is in early August, it may conflict with DCI Championship Week, and if you’re a member of the Bluecoats, you may need to arrive late at band camp. It is important that High School students know the date of graduation or your last day of school before you attend your first audition camp. If there are any conflicts with our move-in date, this information will help us assess each situation on a case-by-case basis.

Can I still do band camp? Will I be back in time for school?

Yes, but only if your band camp begins after DCI Championships. As a member of a world class drum and bugle corps, you are asked to make a financial and personal commitment to the corps. As the corps tours, so will you. High school band directors usually have a policy on this and it’s best if you check with your director before committing. Most schools do not start until after DCI World Championships and you will have time to make it back to your respective school. However, please check with your school.

Other questions:

What instruments are in the corps?

Brass

All of our brass instruments are bell-front, three-valve instruments—trumpets, mellophones, baritones, euphoniums, and tubas—keyed in B-flat (mellophones are keyed in F.)

Percussion

Battery (marching percussion) consists of snares, tenors (quads), and bass drums. The Bluecoats do not field a cymbal line.

The front ensemble generally consists of, but is not limited to: wooden keyboards (xylophones, marimba), metallic keyboards (vibraphones, bells, etc), Afro-Cuban drums (congas, timbales), rack (drum set), cymbals, gongs, and various concert percussion instruments. We will also have a position available for a synthesizer player.

Color Guard

The Bluecoats color guard will audition both male and female candidates for 2017. The color guard utilizes flags, rifles, sabres, and dance in their choreography.

Can my parents get involved?

Definitely! The Bluecoats rely on parent volunteers to assist cooking, driving support vehicles, sewing, uniforms, and other needs. The Bluecoats tour with anywhere from 8-12 volunteers. Volunteers are also needed during the winter camps to assist with meal preparation, uniform alterations, and errands.

I didn’t see my question here. Who can I ask?

Please don’t hesitate to call the Bluecoats Office at (330) 433-9115 or email us at bluecoats@bluecoats.com if you have any additional questions.