Audition Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the registration fee different for new and returning members?
The Blue Stars, like many drum corps, strive to provide the very best experience for its members, and the best way to provide that experience is for members to return year and year to strengthen and build the Blue Stars culture and performance abilities. As such, we offer small discounts on dues and fees to returning members.
Why do I have to pay the registration fee before receiving the audition materials?
It is very expensive to produce a drum and bugle corps and hold a large audition camp. As is the trend in drum corps, we are requiring prepayment for the registration fee for the 2018 audition camp. This allows us to more closely track registration numbers for food, housing and instruction preparations. Additionally, prepayment will relieve what has become an extremely long and time-consuming registration line at the start of the camp weekend.
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. We strongly suggest attending the audition camp weekend in Indianapolis on November 22-24 if you are flying, as that is the only weekend we will be providing transportation to and from the airport. You only need to attend one of the four audition camps.
Can I audition via video?
Yes, we do allow auditions via video. However, you must pay the audition fee before we will watch and evaluate your talent. To submit a video, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying your desire to audition in that manner. Note that if your video audition is successful, we will ask you to begin attending winter camps. We will not offer a contract for a position solely on a strong video audition. We strongly encourage audtioning in person as the audition camp is a great learning experience and it is the best way to have your skills evaluated by out staff.
Do I have to attend the remaining camps in Indiana if I get a call back from the audition camps?
All brass and percussion candidates offered membership or a "call back" must attend the rehearsal camp in Indianapolis, Indiana in January, and the rest of the winter schedule as specified for your section.
Should my parents come to the Audtion?
There will be a parents meeting on Friday night of the audition camp in Indianapolis. Please invite your parents to come and learn about the Blue Stars. Our continued operation is dependent upon the support and volunteerism of many parents, and this is a good opportunity for your parents to ask the many questions they have about the organization.
Parents who want to attend one of the audition camps in Florida, California, or Texas will have opportunities to talk to Blue Stars' staff members and administrators and have any questions answered on those days.
In past years, I was required to bring a plain white t-shirt to camp on which I wrote my name and section. Do I need to do that this year?
No, you will receive an official Blue Stars Audition T-Shirt when you arrive at your first camp. This T-shirt has a place for you to write your name and section. Make sure you indicate your shirt size when you fill out the camp RSVP.
Do you provide transportation to and from the airport?
We provide transportation to and from the airport in Indianapolis, IN. For the other audition locations, we may be able to help you secure a ride, but it is not guaranteed.
I want to RSVP, but don't know my flight information at this time. What do I do?
Simply fill out the RSVP with as much information as you have at this time. Fill out another RSVP when you know the flight details. It's easy for us to reconcile and delete the first RSVP.
Where is your membership from?
The Blue Stars membership comes from across the United States and from around the world.
How many members in each section will you march?
We will be marching the full 150 member limit allowed by Drum Corps International. The breakdown between sections will not be decided until all auditions have taken place. At that time we will decide how to use the 150 limit based on the talent auditioning for the various sections.
What will I have to do during the audition?
You will be evaluated based on your musical/performance ability, your marching ability, an administrative interview, and your attitude throughout the audition camp.
Do I need to bring my own equipment to the audition?
Due to the number of auditionees, we do ask brass players to bring their own horn to the audition camp (trumpet, marching mellophone, baritone, euphonium or tuba). There will be a limited number of instruments available for checkout from the corps, so please bring your horn if possible. Brass players should also bring a wire music stand and printed copies of all audition materials. Any candidate using a Blue Stars' horn will also need to wear white gloves (available for purchase at the camp).
Battery percussion candidates should bring a pair of marching snare or tenor sticks. We will also have snare and tenor sticks available for purchase at the camp. The Blue Stars use Vic Firth Sticks. Battery candidates should also bring a drum pad (snare or tenor, as appropriate). Both the battery and front ensemble candidates should bring a wire music stand and printed copies of all audition materials.
Guard candidates should bring a saber and/or rifle if you wish to audition on those pieces of equipment. There will be a limited amount available, but not enough for all. Flags will be provided.
Can I audition for Drum Major?
Drum Majors are chosen from within the organization, new members can audition at the end of their first season.
How many openings are there this year?
148 positions are available. Nobody, except the drum majors, is guaranteed a spot. Everyone is required to re-audition every year for membership in the Blue Stars.
What is the minimum age to be a member of the Blue Stars?
While most people who march for the Blue Stars are 16 or older, we recommend anyone interested under that age to come to our audition camps to learn a little more about what we expect and how we operate as well as letting us get to know you. It is really more than about age, but maturity and the ability to handle the activity.
What is the maximum age you can be and be a member of the Blue Stars?
According to DCI rules one must be 21 or younger on June 1, 2018 in order to be eligible to march the 2018 season.
Does the corps offer scholarships to march?
The Blue Stars only offer a very small number of scholarships. Many of our members, however, have had success in funding their corps experience through sponsorship. We do a workshop on sponsorships, and help you with putting together packages and letters to ask for sponsorships. Be advised that all members will be required to pay the full dues amount in order to participate in the 2018 Blue Stars. If you anticipate needing assistance with funds, it is best to get started as early as possible and discuss your situation with the corps director.
What if I march in winter guard?
This is not a problem. A majority of our color guard has marched in winter guard programs in past years. The guard is only required to come to the November and April camps.
What if I march in winter drum line?
Again, this is not an issue, as we have several of our members perform in winter percussion programs. We do, however, need to make sure it does not impact your winter camp attendance too much. This can be worked out with both our Percussion Caption Head and Corps Director, Russ Gavin.
I'm going to be a college freshman next year. What if the season conflicts with orientation at the school I decide to go to?
With over half of our members being of college age, we deal with issues like this all the time. Most colleges have more than one set of dates for orientation. With DCI finals being held in early August, it is usually early enough that you would be at an orientation prior to school. We will do whatver we have to do to make it work, as long as we can avoid you missing a major DCI event. Typically, the orientation is only 2-3 days. We deal with it on a case-by-case basis. Attend the audition camp in November, go through the process, and when you decide on your school, or maybe you have already, let us know the dates in question, and we will look at the tour schedule, and see what can be worked out. Last year, a lot of membership was in the exact situation and we were able to work this out in every case. Please understand that the more notice we have, the easier it is to work these type of conflicts out.
Does the corps provide housing for members for move in?
We will provide housing for you for the entire move in, as well as all meals. If you arrive in the spring training location earlier than our scheduled move in, you will be responsible.
Will marching with a drum corps negatively affect my embouchure or "concert approach"?
With more than 20 certified music educators on our faculty, we take great care to use the correct embouchure and performance techniques. You will find from both brass and percussion standpoints, we teach no different than a symphonic approach to the instruments. The only exception would be the actual marching percussion as there are some differences to the sticking on a marching instrument vs. concert percussion. There are quite a few of our members that are successful music education and music performance music majors.
What do I do if my school ends later than move in begins?
Go through the audition process, to give the Corps Director and Instructional Staff and understanding of your ability. Then, we will know how much absence your ability and talent will allow. In addition, we are happy to reach out to your school in regards to taking exams early, etc... We have had many members that have dealt with this type of conflict, and have made it work so that are able to fulfill all of their school responsibilities and and their corps membership.
What if I have a question not answered here?
Send an e-mail to email@example.com or call our office at (608) 782-3219.