Renee Carlton, 19 Air Academy High School graduate Blue Knights Front Ensemble, 2009 How did you choose your corps? I got lucky living in Colorado and having a drum corps based out of the capitol city. It's close and convenient, and I've always loved the Blue Knights ever since I first discovered DCI a few years ago. In your experience, what's the best way to prepare for an audition? Practice, practice, practice. Practice any material that is given by a drum corps, and practice anything else you can get your hands on. Learn a few solos, know your scales, and practice good technique. It helps in the long run, by far. In your experience, what's the best way to prepare for an audition? Expect to play all day. Expect it to be hard work, even for just an audition weekend. Expect lots of people and plenty of competition, but keep your head up and be confident. You'll also have the chance to meet cool people, learn new things, eat, play music, and all that stuff! The first time you auditioned, was the process different from what you expected it to be? I didn't really know what to expect, so it couldn't have been too different, right? I knew there would be lots of people around, and indeed there were, and we were all striving for the same goal. That made it a fun experience considering everyone there has the same passion as you do. Were you nervous at your audition? I was nervous because it was somewhat intimidating to see previous corps members there auditioning again. I wondered if I'd ever get to be that good, thinking that I completely sucked and didn't deserve to be there. I didn't really get past it until I knew for sure I was offered a spot a few months later. But those nerves are what motivated me to keep practicing to prove that I could be just as good as anyone else. What do you think is most important for someone to take away from the audition experience? Take everything you learn over the weekend of an audition and actually use it. Even if you don't make the corps of your choice, you are still given plenty of information to help better yourself for the future. Go there to learn and take it to heart. Any other advice? Don't be shy, be confident, and make some friends while you're learning and having fun auditioning. Be confident, but don't be cocky. Don't think that you'll automatically make a drum corps just because you've been to one audition camp. Keep in mind that you may not even be offered a spot. Just be confident to the point where you feel you have a chance to make it. There's no need to get in people's faces about it. Learn more about corps audition dates, locations and more.