Kelsey Adams, 20 Columbus State University, Music Education/Percussion Performance The Cadets Front Ensemble, 2010-2011 What do you think is important in choosing which corps to audition for? I would look at corps that have certain traditions or qualities you really respect. Each corps has its own personality, traditions, reputation, and ways of operating. Scores, placements, and previous productions ultimately sway some people, but those kinds of things aren't what make a great drum corps. Finding a place where you like the staff, the members, and ultimately the way things are run is what will give you a great drum corps experience. Also, as a Georgia girl who flew to Philadelphia for Cadets camps, I understand that location and cost of travel are a big factor when picking a corps. Trying out for a local corps or one that is close to you is very helpful financially, but in the end, don't let location deter you from auditioning for your ideal corps! How do you like to prepare for an audition? When preparing for an audition, I try to have all the material in my hands and ready to go. It was also extremely helpful for me to get in touch with current members of the front ensemble. E-mailing or calling and introducing yourself can never hurt. Getting veteran members' tips on rehearsal camps and auditions is always helpful! They know how camps work, where to go for certain information, who to contact with questions or issues, and basically what to expect from an audition camp weekend. Current members are your best resource! What was your experience like the first time you auditioned for a corps? I actually first auditioned for the Cadets' front ensemble in 2009 and did not make it. But the camp weekend was great. I loved meeting everyone and hearing all kinds of stories from their tour the previous summer, and I learned a lot from the staff. The audition process at Cadets is kind of unique in that they don't necessarily "cut" anyone, they just tell you what to improve upon and to come back next year, so I did! Leaving that audition camp in 2009, I knew everything I needed to work on and prepare for to come back in 2010, and I was given a spot in the front ensemble. What advice would you give to somebody who is nervous or unsure about auditioning? If you're unsure about auditioning, my advice would be to attend the first camp and see what things are like. So many people ask for information and even fill out applications for membership but never actually show up to a camp. If you really want to march, just find a way to get there and see what happens! See how the staff works, how the ensemble works, how the corps runs, and meet a bunch of great people. You're not committing to anything yet, and you get the experience of being with a drum corps for a weekend. If you're nervous about an upcoming audition, just make sure you're as prepared as you can be with the material, and go in there ready to play. As always, talk to some veteran members! They can tell you what things are really like and give a lot of helpful advice. Any other tips? One thing I've learned from doing drum corps is that there's no such thing as perfection. We like to present a show that's as close to perfection as we can get, but ultimately, being perfect just isn't possible! Going into audition camps, you have to realize that you cannot play everything perfectly, and the staff isn't necessarily looking for someone like that. In addition to your musical abilities, you need to be willing to learn and willing to work hard. The staff can teach you how to play, but you must put forth the hard work and learn all that you can from them! Learn more about corps audition dates, locations and additional info.