Audition FAQs

How do I become a member?

Start by checking out of all the information on the JOIN page under the section you are interested in.  These are updated in advance of each season.  You can normally expect to see details on auditions, and information about audition materials beginning in late August or early September.  Actual Audition Events typically begin in November. 

What are Audition Events?

They are one-day or three-day tryouts.  You will be evaluated first as part of a group, and at some point individually.  It is normal that more than one audition events are required, as we “call-back” some from each as we reduce the pool down to the 150 members who will be selected.

What’s the show going to be this year?

Our production is typically announced sometime in May of each season. 

What is the practice schedule like?

Between January – April we will hold several weekend camps.  These usually run Friday evening through early Sunday afternoon.  Attendance is mandatory.  Beginning sometime in May, we will begin Spring Training. (Aka All-Days or Move-Ins).  During this intense 4-week period we will be rehearsing 7 days a week for an average of 10-14 hours per day.  This is the intense level that separates World Class drum and bugle corps from all other types of marching ensembles. 

Do you have to live in the Atlanta area to be a member?

No!  In recent seasons we have had members from as far away as Belgium and Japan.  However, all travel to and from rehearsal camps is at your own expense.  You should factor this in when planning your drum corps finances.  We do not excuse absences from rehearsals simply for travel issues. 

How many members in each section will you march?

Spirit of Atlanta will be at the DCI maximum number of 150 members.  How that number is broken down by section will be determined as the season progresses by the design and instructional teams.

What will I have to do to audition?

Each section of the corps has somewhat different guidelines and they will be outlined on each appropriate Audition Info tab on the website.  Generally, you will be evaluated on your musical/performance ability, physical conditioning, marching and body movement abilities, an interview, and your general attitude during the audition process.

Is there any music I should prepare for the audition?

All audition requirements will be outlined in each specific section’s audition packet.  When packets are released each fall, you will have the ability to purchase your packet and download information for the auditions.

Can I audition on more than one instrument?

If you choose, yes.  However, consider that your best effort will be required to earn your place in the corps.  Attempting multiple instruments means you would likely miss key instructional time with one section while you were in another, which could hurt your chances in both.  It is strongly encouraged that you perform on the instrument and in the section that you are the best qualified.

What if I can’t make it to any of the audition events?

You may submit a video audition.  Details about that process will be found on each section’s registration info page.  However, please note that priority is given to those who audition in person.  Attending auditions in person will greatly increase your chances of becoming a member.  

Do I need to bring my own equipment to the audition?

Yes, if at all possible.  There will be far more people auditioning than the number of instruments we own.  The more time you can perform in rehearsal camps the better.  If auditioning for Guard, bring a 6’ pole with silk, and weapons if possible.  Brass, snares, and tenors should plan to bring your own instruments. (Bass drums and front ensemble equipment will be provided.)  We will not have instruments available to borrow during the first rounds of auditions, except as indicated. 

Can I audition on my band instrument?

Yes.  It’s encouraged, in fact.  For example, if your school uses sousaphones instead of marching tubas, or you play trombone but do not have a baritone, bring what you have available. 

What else do I need to bring to the auditions?

A wire music stand for musicians, 1-gallon water jug, 3 ring binder, sheet protectors, mouthpiece(s) for brass, sticks/mallets for percussion, your instrument or equipment, cloth gloves for brass, leather/fingerless gloves for guard, good sneakers, sleeping bag/air mattress/bedding/pillow/toiletry items, (Full weekend/overnight camps only), audition and/or camp fee. 

Can I leave the campus during the three-day overnight camps?

No.  For everyone’s safety and protection, once checked you are to remain on campus at all times during the camp until officially dismissed.  All meals and housing needs are provided by the corps.  Some of our audition events will be one-day only, and you will be allowed to leave campus for lunch.

What forms do I need to fill out and bring to audition events?

Along with online camp registrations, you will be e-mailed electronic forms that require a signature.  If you are under 18 years of age, these must be signed by a parent or guardian.  These are sent out within a few weeks of the audition dates. 

What is a Membership Contract and how do I get one?

Contracts are awarded once it’s been determined by all staff and administration that you are ready to be a member of Spirit of Atlanta.  This is a legal binding document that outlines in detail all of your commitments to the corps, our ours to our members.  It contains a financial agreement that you will meet all financial obligations including tuition, fees, etc. 

Can I audition for Drum Major?

Drum Major candidates always come from currently active, veteran members of the corps.  New members are welcome to go through the audition and training process to gain experience, but would not be eligible for the position your first year.  We may, however have Conductor positions that become available and those could be filled by any qualified member.

Will you have any ‘alternates’?

Yes.  We typically contract more members than we have actual positions and designate some of those as alternates.  More information about that process will be discussed when you become a contracted member.

What can I do to improve my chances of making the corps?

There are many things that will improve your chances. Rehearse like you never have before.  Prepare your body for the intense physical test it will be put through.  Be positive and energetic, and always reflect the ideals and values that we stand for.  Listen to other members and staff and pay attention to the smallest details.  These are all important, but one is more important than all others: BE HERE. A surprising number of people cut themselves every season by not attending rehearsals or deciding not to come back.  If you want to be a part of the Spirit of Atlanta family, it should show in everything you do.

What specifically can I do to prepare and raise my ability to the level you need?

Practice.  Workout.  Practice.  Workout.  Practice.  Workout.  And practice some more.  

Is it possible to learn quickly enough even with no experience?

With no marching or musical experience, it would be very difficult.  People improve greatly as performers in their time with Spirit of Atlanta, but you need a foundation upon which to build.

What is the minimum age you accept?

The vast majority of Spirit of Atlanta members are 16 or older.  It’s not impossible for those younger, but much less likely.  We strongly encourage any members who are under 16 to attend one of our Audition events to gain more knowledge and learn what it takes.  You will become better just by attending.  Ultimately, earning your spot in Spirit of Atlanta is based on performance talent, physical ability, maturity in all ways, and ATTITUDE.

What is the maximum age you accept?

DCI sets this rule.  You must be 21 or younger on June 1 to be eligible to participate in DCI.

How much does it cost to march?

The cost for membership includes annual Tuition, registration fees, audition materials, plus camp and other selected fees.  The exact fee structure varies from year to year, though as an estimate we can tell you it’s reasonable to budget at least $4000 to cover all corps costs plus travel money, a corps jacket, unexpected personal expense money, etc. Complete details and exact costs will be made available to you at the audition camps and fully explained in the Membership Contract if you become a member of Spirit of Atlanta.  

When are membership fees due?

Monthly installments are due beginning in January.  All fees must be 100% paid by the first day of Spring Training.  Failure to meet financial obligations on time will, unfortunately, result in loss of your contracted member status.

What other money will I need?

For single-day audition events, you will need to be prepared to purchase lunch off site.  For audition and winter rehearsal camps, you will be responsible for your transportation to and from the camps.  Beginning at Spring Training and on tour the corps will provide the vast majority of your meals.  The only money you would need to budget for is meals on your off days, occasional meals en route, and laundry and toiletry supplies as needed. 

Are there ways to reduce the fees?

We do offer fundraising opportunities from time to time, as well as occasional credits for doing specific volunteer work for the corps.  We strongly suggest you seek out sponsorship and scholarship opportunities from friends, family, alumni, local businesses and other sources.  You will be given more information during the camps.

Are my tuition and fees tax-deductible?

Although Spirit of Atlanta is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, your tuition and fees do not qualify as tax-deductible donations under current tax laws.

Does the corps award any scholarships to members?

At this time the corps does not offer any scholarships for member tuition.

When and where should I arrive for the Atlanta-area rehearsals if I’m flying?

All flights should be booked into Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  You should plan your arrival to allow plenty of time to navigate the world’s busiest airport and quite possibly the world’s worst traffic. 

How will I get from the airport to the camp location?

For three-day audition camps we normally provide a shuttle service to get prospective members to and from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.  For all other auditions and rehearsals, Spirit of Atlanta will utilize a carpool system, where members and prospective members work together on their own to secure rides to and from the airport. 

Do your weekend rehearsals conflict with winter percussion or guard competitions?

It is possible.  We always encourage you to keep commitments to your high school and college programs.  However, if contract you will have an important commitment to Spirit of Atlanta as well.  While we will accommodate when we can, keep in mind that we expect you to attend as much as possible on every scheduled rehearsal weekend.

Will this interfere with winter guard?

No. After the audition camps, the guard does not typically rehearse again until April – after the WGI season is complete.  If you cannot attend any audition events because of winter guard conflicts, you could arrange a video audition or other arrangement.  Contact the Guard Caption Supervisor if this is something you wish to discuss.

I’m going to be a college freshman next year. What if the season conflicts with orientation at the school I decide to go to?

This is an increasingly difficult questions, since a large percentage of our members attend college.  There is no simple answer other than – be prepared and plan in advance.  Each individual situation will be addressed as needed, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.  Be proactive with your teachers and advisers, but know that you will completely unavailable until DCI Championships is complete.

I am in high school.  Will I have to miss any/much school to join?

There is a wide variety of times that school years begin and end.  It’s possible that your school could be starting before tour is complete, or that your school year isn’t over when Spring Training begins and you have final exams.   Be very proactive and compare your schedules to the DCI and Spirit of Atlanta schedule as soon as they are available.  If you find a conflict, make sure you communicate to both Spirit of Atlanta staff and your school administrators right away.  We will do all we can to reasonably accommodate you for the end of school requirements, and many schools will allow you to take exams early if you request well in advance.  Also remember that you will not be home until DCI Championships are over in mid-August, so you will need to plan to be excused from school during any conflicts then as well.  We can help out in dealing with either of these situations by contacting your school principal and providing letters as needed.

How strict are you about attendance over the winter?

Our winter rehearsal time is very limited and we need to provide as much instruction as possible.  Attendance at all rehearsals is critical. Unexcused absences can result in being moved to alternate status or being removed from the corps roster.  It’s crucial that you address any conflicts as soon as possible with both your Caption Supervisor and the Corps Director.  Posting on Facebook that “I can’t be there” is not a substitute for speaking directly with the staff.

When are the Spring Training move-ins?

Actual date for move-in changes from year to year, however it is typically at the middle or end of May. 

Does the corps provide housing for members over the summer?

Yes.  Beginning at the first date of spring training you will be housed with the corps full time.  If you choose to arrive sooner, you will need to make your own arrangements for housing.

Can I get in touch with my section’s caption head?

Each caption has a master email address.  You may reach them via email at:

brass@spiritdrumcorps.org

percussion@spiritdrumcorps.org

guard@spiritdrumcorps.org

visual@spiritdrumcorps.org