Audition Tips: Take every experience as an opportunity to better yourself
Audition advice for prospective drum corps members from current members
Anna Foster, 18
Wright State University
Glassmen Trumpet, 2007-2009
How did you choose your corps?
When I was in high school, my private instructor was a 2001 Glassmen alum and recommended I try out for the corps to challenge myself.
In your experience, what’s the best way to prepare for an audition?
The best way to prepare for an audition is to know the required materials frontward and backward. That might sound self-explanatory, but you'd be surprised how many people just walk in without being at least that prepared. Play in front of people to try to rid yourself of nerves. Play for your parents, friends, directors or instructors and ask for honest feedback. It really helps you feel as confident as you can possibly be.
What can a prospective corps member expect when he/she shows up for an audition weekend?
Expect to be a little overwhelmed. There are so many people at the first audition camp and it's normal to feel like a fish out of water. Don't get discouraged! During the audition process, get to know veteran members of the corps as well as new people. The vets know exactly what you're going through and will not hesitate to help you out. Fellow prospective members are just as nervous and anxious as you are so you can support each other. Be sure to thank the volunteers and soak in any and all information given out by instructors. You're going to have a great time!
The first time you auditioned, was the process different from what you expected it to be?
The audition process was a little different than I thought it was going to be. I was expecting something along the lines of a college audition where everyone and their mom has a clipboard and sits there, not saying anything, and writing novels on their comment sheets. When I stepped into the room it was just the brass caption head and the section technician, and they made me feel at ease by asking me questions about myself and reminding me to breathe. After I finished the selection, they gave me immediate feedback. It's really a positive experience if you allow it to be.
Were you nervous at your audition?
I was VERY, VERY nervous during my audition. Lucky for me, I auditioned with a friend who was a returning member, and he and I kept each other sane. He also introduced me to other vets who talked me through my nerves.
What do you think is most important for someone to take away from the audition experience?
I think that the most important thing you can take away from the audition is the information you receive from staff members. Even if you don't make the corps, you can take those comments, improve yourself, and try your luck again next year or at another corps. Take every experience you have as an opportunity to better yourself.
Any other advice?
Pack layers! One season that I auditioned, the girls' sleeping area was pretty cold! You can always take layers off but it's impossible to put on clothes you don't have with you. Also, put down your phone, laptop, book, etc. and take time to talk to someone. It'll make you feel better, improve your social skills, and you might just make a life-long friend.
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