Nancy Hooper, 19 Florida State University Glassmen Snare Line, 2008-2009 How did you choose your corps? I had heard that the Glassmen had a really good reputation with their members. Every year they held a mini-camp in Orlando, Fla., and it is pretty close to where I'm from. So that's how I ended up originally auditioning for them. When I got there, the vibe from all of the staff and management was really great, and I fell in love with the corps. In your experience, what's the best way to prepare for an audition? PLAY, PLAY, PLAY. I played the audition music constantly and watched videos of the corps I was trying out for. That'll help you get a feel for their technique if there isn't already a description about it included in the audition materials. I definitely pushed myself as a musician to go further than whatever I thought my limits were at that time. Also, I prepared physically by running every day and eating healthy because marching in a drum corps is basically impossible if you're not in good enough shape. What can a prospective corps member expect when he/she shows up for an audition weekend? Expect lots of information to be thrown at you the entire audition weekend. It can almost be overwhelming at times. The instructors do the best they can to let everyone know what it is they're looking for in a corps member, and the best thing an auditionee can do is to take that information and use it to his or her advantage. Staff members love it when you can apply their instruction to your playing immediately. The first time you auditioned, was the process different from what you expected it to be? It was a bit different than what I expected. There are a lot of good musicians out there, and when I first auditioned, I was a little intimidated by that. There were a lot of people fighting for just a few spots, so it was important to make myself stand out in any way I could. Were you nervous at your audition? I was definitely nervous. The way I got past it was by focusing very intently on my music and how I was playing so that I couldn't get distracted by nerves. Also, know that everyone around you is in the exact same boat and feels just like you do, so there's really no need to let it get to you. What do you think is most important for someone to take away from the audition experience? Information! You're bound to receive a lot of info about your playing and marching, and the best thing to do is take it all in and apply it when you get back home. The audition experience in general is great. You get the chance to see what a day in the life of drum corps is really like and that's a special opportunity. You get to see how instructors run rehearsal and what they really look for in a prospective member. It's like a backstage pass to being in a corps. Any other advice? One thing I always do in an audition is make eye contact with the instructors when they were speaking to me or to the entire room. By doing that, they know that you're absorbing the information they are presenting and that you are really eager to be there. Also, talking to the instructors one-on-one is great. They are always open to giving individuals extra advice and insight and I would definitely recommend taking advantage of that. After all, they are the ones with the final decision. Learn more about corps audition dates, locations and additional info.