From a Blue Stars press release: Last weekend more than 100 young people from across the nation attended the Blue Stars audition camp, held in West St. Paul, Minn., making it the best attended camp the corps has hosted since 1981.

A shot of the Blue Stars' biggest audition camp in 23 years.
The corps is holding several winter camps in the Twin Cities area because a large number of recruits and returnees hail from there. The corps will continue to be based in La Crosse, and its spring and summer operations will originate from that Mississippi Valley town. Nearly half of those in attendance auditioned for the brass line. With more horn players planning to audition in December, the Blue Stars can be counted on to field 45 horns. Percussion and color guard numbers were very gratifying for last year's Division III champions. Many more than expected tried out for the planned 22 guard positions, and the talent level is very high. Some 20 players auditioned for the one opening in the snare line. "We were delighted by the turnout this weekend," said executive director Greg Struve. "We'll be accepting auditions for the few remaining brass and color guard spots in December, and we expect to have no trouble fielding a 90-member corps in 2004."   Those interested in auditioning in December should download an audition packet from the corps Web site. Corps Director Bill Sucha said he is "extremely encouraged," and that the success of winter recruiting efforts have "exceeded everyone's expectations." The 2004 version of the Blue Stars will surprise many, even those who remember the larger top-12 Blue Stars corps of the past. Sucha was particularly pleased with the recruits' talent and commitment level, as well as the number of leaders who already seem to be stepping forward. Sucha added that he wanted to thank the many parents, friends, volunteers and staff who contributed to making the weekend camp such a great success. The music is being written, and the full show is very close to being finalized. Corps members are very excited about the show concept chosen and the music they heard on Sunday at the close of camp. Look for a show announcement before the holidays.