Dan Eakin, 20 Glassmen Snare Drum, 2009-2010 How did you choose your corps? Choosing a corps seemed tough at first. I honestly feel now though that I may have over thought it. I started by researching. I went to my favorite corps' websites and read all the information there to try to get a 'feel' for the ensemble. Other than that it was solely based on getting myself out there and going to the auditions. Once you go to the audition camps and see these ensembles firsthand, a corps just seems to choose you. What was the experience like the first time you auditioned for a corps? My first audition with a corps was absolutely frightening! That's not to scare anyone, but that's just the truth. All your hard work and preparation evaluated in a few weekends is an intense feeling. Once you meet other people around you and talk to returning members in the corps, you realize that you are just like them. They will surely make you feel at home and like part of a family. While you may go in scared and nervous, you'll leave feeling a part of the corps no matter which one it is. It's an incredible experience, and trust me, the first audition is the toughest, but take the time to meet veteran members and they will help you through it and give you tips. Remember they were once in your shoes as well. What's the best way to prepare for an audition? In my opinion the best way to prepare for an audition is to make yourself completely open minded, teachable and moldable. Approach the audition as a blank slate. Tell yourself that you know nothing. Act like all the information you are getting is brand new. Be a sponge, take in all the information that you can, and apply it while you are there to truly get a feel for what the instructors want. Secondly, know the audition material forward and backward. A mistake many others and I have made is practicing everything by yourself in a quiet room. That'd be great if the whole audition process was done individually and in a quiet room. Unfortunately, none of the audition process will be like that. There will be many people around watching you, evaluating you, and throwing lots of information at you. Make sure you can play all of your warm-ups and excerpts with many distractions going on. Ask friends, family, teachers, etc., to listen to you play your audition material. Even play them while watching TV. Basically, just try to put yourself in situations that make it tough to concentrate. What would you say to someone who is unsure whether or not to audition for a drum corps? To anyone unsure about going to audition for a corps, my response is the stock answer everyone gives, but it's a good one. You just have to go and dive right in. Taking that first step is a tough and nerve-racking one, but I've never met anyone who has left a camp regretting they attended. However, if you don't go, you may regret not attending. Any other advice? I don't necessarily have any tricks when it comes to auditioning for a corps, but I do have some advice. Don't wear a shirt from another corps—that's awkward. Don't drink any pop—that won't help your nerves. And, if you are ever unsure about what to do, or where to go while at the audition, never be afraid to ask. Learn more about corps audition dates, locations and additional info.