Blake Daughtrey, 21 Columbus State University Carolina Crown Mellophone, 2005-2008; Drum Major, 2009 How did you choose your corps? I live very close to Carolina Crown. Each summer before I started marching, I would go to Carolina Crown's "Nightbeat" show in Charlotte, N.C. I had decided I wanted to march with a corps somewhere, and after seeing Crown's 2004 show, I decided to go there. In your experience, what's the best way to prepare for an audition? When preparing for an audition, I have a quote I often turn to: "Amateurs will practice until they get something right, while professionals will practice until they CAN'T get it wrong." I work to be the "professional" so that when I go in for the audition I can be comfortable performing in front of anyone. What can a prospective corps member expect when he/she shows up for an audition weekend? Audition weekends are extremely exciting, and are packed with so much information. It really is one of my favorite times of the drum corps season. When you show up for the first audition there will be many prospective members, new and old, arriving to audition for a spot in your chosen corps. I would suggest finding some of the older members of the corps to learn about anything specific that is expected of the members. The best way to excel and to get the most out of your audition weekend is to ask questions. There are many people at every corps who will help you learn as much information as possible. Overall, I would say be ready to work hard, have fun and be ready to learn! Audition weekends are packed FULL of great information. I've been to five years of audition camps, and have learned something new at each of them. The first time you auditioned, was the process different from what you expected it to be? My first audition was a lot more comfortable than I expected. When I entered the audition room, the first few minutes were spent talking to the staff members about my experiences and school (mainly just to get relaxed). I felt really comfortable by the time they asked me to play. Were you nervous at your audition? I was nervous all the way through entering the audition room. Once I got in, the staff made it a point to talk to me and "break the ice." Another way to get rid of nerves is to be COMPLETELY prepared. The staff wants you to do well! They aren't looking for you to fail, and they want you to come in and demonstrate your skills to the best of your ability. What do you think is most important for someone to take away from the audition experience? No matter the result of your audition, I would suggest using all of the resources that are available at camp to learn everything you can. Ask questions, work hard and most of all have fun! Any other advice? I think my best piece of advice is that if you don't get offered a position with your top corps choice, go march somewhere! The drum corps activity is special, and participating in it will be a special experience. Learn more about corps audition dates, locations and additional info.