Jonathan Morgan, 20 University of Georgia Carolina Crown Euphonium, 2006-2009 How did you choose your corps? Since I'm from Georgia, Carolina Crown and Spirit were the closest corps. One of my band directors was a Crown alum and suggested I try out for the corps. In your experience, what's the best way to prepare for an audition? The best way to prepare for an audition is to know what is expected of you. Most corps list their audition requirements online or distribute them through e-mail. Try to make sure you have the audition material memorized and that you are prepared to play it by yourself in front of the instructors as well as other people auditioning. Being able to play and march will also be to your advantage. Practice until you know without a doubt that you could not possibly know the audition materials any better. What can a prospective corps member expect when he/she shows up for an audition weekend? Expect things to start quickly! From the second you arrive at the audition location, chances are there is something you can be doing. Look for veteran members of the organization. They may need help unloading equipment, putting up signs or moving tables and chairs to get the facility ready for the camp. The weekend will fly by since the pace of rehearsals will likely be quick. There will be a lot of information thrown at you rapidly, so be prepared to think and act quickly. Before you know it, camp will be over and you'll be on your way home! The first time you auditioned, was the process different from what you expected it to be? When I first auditioned, I had no idea what I was getting into. It was unlike any other audition I had done for high school or college. First, they had wanted me to have all of my audition materials memorized which I was not prepared for. They also wanted me to move my feet, both marking time in place and playing while marching to simple drill exercises. Many corps do these things, and prospective members should keep this in mind when preparing for the audition. Were you nervous at your audition? I wasn't nervous until I actually got into the audition room. The most important thing a person can show in the audition room is confidence. Be aggressive and don't be afraid to play out! That's what drum corps is all about! If you come into an audition room and let your nerves get the best of you, the staff may pick up on it and it could hurt you in the end. When the staff has to choose between two players of equal ability, the one with the most passion often comes out on top! What do you think is most important for someone to take away from the audition experience? Keep an open mind. The audition process will open you up to all sorts of new information that you can apply to playing your instrument. While the approach may be different from what you were taught in high school or college, make sure you don't block it all out right away. It's useful information, so give it a chance, and you will find new ways of doing things that you may have never even considered. Listen to the staff members and try to apply the techniques they teach for playing your horn. It will help you with your audition and make you a better player. Any other advice? Remember that drum corps is also a physical activity. In many organizations the visual staff gets a say in who does and does not get a spot in a group. Often times that is forgotten by drum corps hopefuls. Make sure you spend time working on your music as well as your marching. Getting in shape early in the season will help. When it comes down to it, if there are two players of equal ability but one is in better shape and can march better than the other, chances are the more fit member gets the spot! Start working to get in shape now, and you'll be glad you did come spring training! Learn more about corps audition dates, locations and additional info.