FAQs ABOUT JOINING THE CORPS

 

How can I best prepare to audition for the Bluecoats?

We have compiled many of our techniques, warm-up materials, etudes, and information about our audition process in THE BLUE WAY Techniques & Materials packets available for purchase at bluecoats.com/downloads.


When and where are the Bloo20 Audition Experience Camps?

THE BLUE WAY Audition Experience camps are headed to Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and California. The cities and dates are:

  • 23-24 November, 2019 - Dallas / Fort Worth, TX Area

  • 30 Nov - 1 Dec, 2019 - Canton, OH, OH (Cleveland Area)

  • 7-8 December, 2019 - Atlanta, GA Area

  • 14 December, 2019 - Southern California Area

More information, included event site addresses will be found at bluecoats.com/join.


Which camp should I attend?

You should attend the camp closest to where you live, closest to an easily-accessible airport, or whichever camp is most convenient for you! All of the camps are treated the same, so attend the one that you can most easily travel to. If you cannot make any of the camps, you may submit a video audition. You only need to attend one of the four Audition Experience Camps.


If I audition in TX, CA, GA, or by video, do I have to travel to Ohio to attend all of the remaining camps?

Everyone offered a position in the brass or percussion sections, or a call-back from one of the remote audition camps or videos is required to attend the January Call Back Camp in Canton, OH on January 3-5. Our attendance policy for the camps that follow the January camp will be explained in detail at your initial Audition Experience Camp. Everyone offered a position or a call-back for color guard must attend the full corps rehearsal camp on April 24-26, 2020 in Canton, OH.


Is there a community online where I can meet other people auditioning and prepare for auditions with?

Yes! Many. We have several Facebook Groups set-up where you can meet other prospective Bluecoats, ask questions, submit video for feedback, and even exercise together!


Are your camps open to all people auditioning?

Yes! We call them the Audition Experience Camps for a reason. The camps held in November and December are open to all people auditioning on a DCI-eligible instrument - brass, battery and front-ensemble percussion, and colorguard. All positions in the Bluecoats are open each year, and all eligible returning participants must re-audition each year.


What is the age range to participate in the Audition Experience camps and the Bluecoats?

To attend an Audition Experience Camp you must be at least 14 years old at the time of registering, and you must be young enough to participate in Drum Corps International competition this summer. In order to march the drum corps this summer you must be at least 16 years old on May 1st. It is rare for a 16-year-old student to earn a position in the drum corps, but it has happened! We encourage students that are 14-16 to audition whenever they feel ready. The best way to learn about the audition process, and where you stand, is to attend!


How do I submit a video audition?

Auditioning via video submission is only to be used if you absolutely cannot, under any circumstance, attend one of our Audition Experience Camps. Attending a camp and auditioning in person is always the best way to accurately demonstrate your skills and your ability to rehearse and perform within the ensemble environment.

If you would like to submit a video, please visit acceptd.com/bluecoats. The submission period will be opened in mid-September.


Can I audition for drum major? What about a conductor position?

The Bluecoats drum major is always selected from within the veterans of the drum corps. We do not hold open auditions for drum major. We do - however - sometimes hold auditions for conductor positions.

We are not currently accepting applications for conductor. Please check the website for information about potential conductor auditions in late-December or early January.


What should I expect at my first Audition Experience Camp?

  • 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 California) learning from our world-class instructional staff and rehearsing side-by-side with other auditionees from around the world, including returning members of the Bluecoats.

  • A complete orientation session with a member of the Bluecoats corps administration. You will learn all about what it takes to be a part of the Bluecoats: the time commitment, costs, tour schedule, and the audition process and summer participation will be explained. Ample time will be allotted throughout the weekend for you to ask questions. We always encourage great questions!

  • A complete orientation by the instructional staff. Staff who instruct your position will give you all of the technical expectations. Please feel free to ask questions about the technique, your ability levels, where need improvement, and where you are achieving. We love being candid and helping you on your way to becoming a member of the corps, and/or growing as a performer!

  • The entire weekend is part of your audition. There will be several opportunities for you to perform for the staff in both group and one-on-one settings. We are also looking for well-organized, enterprising individuals who demonstrate their ability to contribute to the Bluecoats well-run and well-mannered operations.

  • A relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, surrounded by dedicated professional educators who love drum corps, music, performance, and the Bluecoats!

  • At the conclusion of camp, you will be informed of one of these results from your audition:

    • You are being offered a position in the corps (to be signed at the January Call Back Camp, or electronically for color guard).

    • You are being offered a “call-back audition,” and the opportunity to attend the January Call Back Camp (April for color guard) and continue your audition process. You will likely be given certain areas or technical skills to improve on.

    • You will be given information about where you can improve in order to return and audition again next year!

 
 

How much does participation in the Bluecoats cost?

The operation of a world-class drum corps is a very expensive project. The equipment, set, and fleet of vehicles are just a few of the more expensive costs. There’s also the food, instruction, housing, fuel, costumes, and medical costs. Program fees for participation in the corps vary each year and cover only a small portion of the cost of a Bluecoat’s summer tour. At each Audition Experience Camp we will carefully outline the program fees for the summer with both the participating students, and any interested parents.


Are there opportunities for me to earn money towards this summer’s program fees?

Yes. The Bluecoats organization offers a season sponsorship program in which members can have friends, family, and local businesses send money directly to Bluecoats in support of your program fees. Paperwork for this program will be distributed following your signing of a participation agreement. It is the corps member’s responsibility to execute a sponsorship campaign, and ultimately to fulfill all financial obligations for participation.

In addition to the sponsorship program, Bluecoats also creates a March-a-Thon campaign each year where participants can provide to Bluecoats a list of people that might be willing to support their summer tour. Bluecoats will send a letter to these individuals explaining just how incredible their participation in the corps is. All corps members will earn a commission on all donations made to Bluecoats from this campaign.


Can my parents or guardians attend an Audition Experience Camp?

Yes! We love parents!

If parents or guardians want to come and watch the Audition Experience Camps they’re more than welcome. We do ask that they not attend individual auditions as it can make students unduly nervous.

We also offer a parents/guardians question-an-answer session at the start of each Audition Experience Camp following the welcome meeting and orientation. Please plan on attending!

Lastly - we always need help operating our Audition Experience Camps. Parents are more than welcome to stick around and assist with meal preparation and other tasks at these events. It’s a great way to get a taste of the drum corps volunteering experience. We always need volunteers in the summer!


Can I join the corps if I am in a winter guard, percussion, or winds ensemble?

In short, yes. Bluecoats supports in the indoor activity. For guard and percussion students - we do not typically have a winter camp for you to attend until after the WGI World Championships in April.

For performers participating in the WGI Winds activity - you will have a conflict in March for the brass-only rehearsal camp. These conflicts will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the caption head and brass team. If you are a brass performer and are aware of a March camp conflict, please discuss it immediately with the brass team when you arrive to an Audition Experience Camp.


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

Yes, but please consult with your band director! If your band camp is in July, or early August - it will conflict with the Drum Corps International World Championships. In most cases, this means getting permission to arrive late - or to miss - band camp. We always require that you have permission to miss any school-related activities. Your academic success is paramount.

It is also very important that high school students know the date of your last day of school, and - if you’re graduating - your commencement ceremony date. If there are conflicts with your arrival to Spring Training in mid-May, you must tell us immediately - preferably at your Audition Experience Camp or the January Call Back Camp.


What if you haven’t answered my question?

Then email us! We’re happy to help.