Michael Unsworth
Michael Unsworth, 21 Western Michigan University, Music Education Legends Baritone/Euphonium, 6 years What do you think is important in choosing which corps to audition for? The only real way to find out is to go to the audition camps, meet the members and talk to them. Everyone will have different goals and aspirations when auditioning for a drum corps. It's important that you find a corps that suits your interests. Experience the camps yourself to find the best fit! How do you like to prepare for an audition? Besides the normal practice routines we all go through as musicians, I like to add the physical side (marching, working out, etc.) to that as well. Drum corps is a physically demanding activity that requires finesse not only with the instrument, but also with the body. You'll find that physical preparation helps you to sound and look better to the people who will be evaluating you. What was your experience like the first time you auditioned for a corps? My first audition was in 2008 when Legends became a competitive member of DCI in the Open Class. I remember a four-hour marching basics block, distinctly, during our first camp. We had just stepped up our visual program since we were fielding our first "full length" show that year. It was a wake up call for me and why I emphasize exercise as an invaluable way to prepare for drum corps. Overall though, the feeling of accomplishment—even after a camp—was and is something that I carry with me to this day. The best word for me to describe it would definitely be "rewarding." What advice would you give to somebody who is nervous or unsure about auditioning? For someone who is nervous, I would say that it's just part of the process. There will always be that little bit of uneasiness when you try something new in any aspect of life, but part of what I believe the drum corps activity provides is a place for individuals to become more confident and outgoing with their endeavors. If you're nervous, that's normal. Don't think you're the only one who will be, but show up as prepared as possible. That in itself will bring more confidence. Any other tips? In all six years of my marching experience in DCI I've found that the greatest and most powerful way of showing the corps you're auditioning for that you deserve a spot on the field is your attitude. Educational philosophy and general requirements may vary in the audition process from corps to corps, but I guarantee that your attitude will always be noticed wherever you decide to go. Don't shy away from drum corps if you think you don't have the talent. If you go to audition for a corps prepared, and with a great attitude, I promise the experience from that camp alone and beyond will leave you wanting summer to get here that much faster. Learn more about corps audition dates, locations and additional info.