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"What if.." Idea for corps auditions

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What if we auditioned for drum corps in the same way that college students rush sororities/fraternities?

Let me explain--many of the issues we are facing in our activity relate to overhype of the top 12-ish corps, and lower/non-DCI world corps struggling to survive with low membership. I personally know many individuals who go audition for one or two corps and get cut and do not pursue it further, either because of rankings or simply a lack of knowledge. I didn't know DCA was a thing until my first camp in it, to be honest. What if there was some sort of universal application/audition we could create, and there was a way to check out each corps without having to commit to it (and by commit I mean buying plane tickets, etc). What if there was a way that we could narrow down our range of possibilities based on our ability and willingness to work, rather than simply accepted or cut from each individual corps? This would allow more people to participate, thus growing the activity, and there would no longer be the imbalance of 1000 people trying out for 150 spots in BD and 50 trying out for XYZ corps in DCA.

This is just my random crazy idea, but if anyone wants to implement it into their drum corps competitive circuit...

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No, I like the concept, and mentioned the idea of a DCI-wide audition combine in another thread.

Some players won't know they won't make the cut with their corps-of-choice until January, and they quite possibly feel it's too late to start up with another corps only in February, or maybe they don't make the cut at their top-5 choice, and their top-15 second-choice is already filled up, and they don't think playing for a bottom-10 corps is worthwhile.

It would be great (but of course highly unlikely) if:

  • all corps would list their proposed camp/residency dates, locations, seasonal costs and desired player numbers
  • players would upload an audition video of music selections agreed upon and designated by DCI, along with sortable data entries for age, school, corps experience, band experience, etc.
  • the players, having reviewed corps' provided date/location/cost information, would also indicate their desired corps, by preference (with heavy emphasis on including fall-back selections)
  • the corps would then review audition videos, and can limit their choices by filtering based upon age, experience, etc.
  • the corps would then extend offers for players to attend their first camp, but would be limited to having no more than 150% of any proposed section (ie. - if they are going to march 12 tubas, then can not have more than 18 at camp)
  • All players attending a camp must be given an acceptance or rejection within one week following the camp
  • All players receiving an offer must accept or reject within one week following receipt of offer
  • Corps can then invite players to their second camp, but would be limited to having at the camp (a) any players who accepted offers, and (b) no more than 200% of the open and available spots remaining (i.e. if 9 tubas accepted, then can have up to 6 at the second camp to compete for the final 3 spots)
  • Repeat offer/acceptance procedure above

Tweak as needed.

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No, I like the concept, and mentioned the idea of a DCI-wide audition combine in another thread.

Some players won't know they won't make the cut with their corps-of-choice until January, and they quite possibly feel it's too late to start up with another corps only in February, or maybe they don't make the cut at their top-5 choice, and their top-15 second-choice is already filled up, and they don't think playing for a bottom-10 corps is worthwhile.

It would be great (but of course highly unlikely) if:

  • all corps would list their proposed camp/residency dates, locations, seasonal costs and desired player numbers
  • players would upload an audition video of music selections agreed upon and designated by DCI, along with sortable data entries for age, school, corps experience, band experience, etc.
  • the players, having reviewed corps' provided date/location/cost information, would also indicate their desired corps, by preference (with heavy emphasis on including fall-back selections)
  • the corps would then review audition videos, and can limit their choices by filtering based upon age, experience, etc.
  • the corps would then extend offers for players to attend their first camp, but would be limited to having no more than 150% of any proposed section (ie. - if they are going to march 12 tubas, then can not have more than 18 at camp)
  • All players attending a camp must be given an acceptance or rejection within one week following the camp
  • All players receiving an offer must accept or reject within one week following receipt of offer
  • Corps can then invite players to their second camp, but would be limited to having at the camp (a) any players who accepted offers, and (b) no more than 200% of the open and available spots remaining (i.e. if 9 tubas accepted, then can have up to 6 at the second camp to compete for the final 3 spots)
  • Repeat offer/acceptance procedure above

Tweak as needed.

I am and have been involved in more than 1 audition process ( have been asked to sit in on others time to time ) and the one thing that has made the activity unique is that the process is not just about the skill ( at any level ) it is very much about the FIT of a person to the specific corps.

I get it and we can surely go to an easier way to audition BUT the fit, finance commitment and several other things can sometimes only been seen face to face, if ya get me. This and interaction also tells a story. We take some of this out and IMO we truly can be changing the basis for the activity more than we realize.

JMO

PS: there are also many kids who go to some auditions knowing they may never make it but go for the experience. I see that alot and then see some shocked when they are asked to come back or get a spot.

Edited by GUARDLING
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I am and have been involved in more than 1 audition process ( have been asked to sit in on others time to time ) and the one thing that has made the activity unique is that the process is not just about the skill ( at any level ) it is very much about the FIT of a person to the specific corps.

I get it and we can surely go to an easier way to audition BUT the fit, finance commitment and several other things can sometimes only been seen face to face, if ya get me. This and interaction also tells a story. We take some of this out and IMO we truly can be changing the basis for the activity more than we realize.

JMO

PS: there are also many kids who go to some auditions knowing they may never make it but go for the experience. I see that alot and then see some shocked when they are asked to come back or get a spot.

This is true, and I've known members who've made a corps not based on talent, but 100% because they "fit" with the section they were auditioning for. The staff knew they would come along talent-wise, but more more hyped about the members' attitude + how they gelled with the other members.

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This is true, and I've known members who've made a corps not based on talent, but 100% because they "fit" with the section they were auditioning for. The staff knew they would come along talent-wise, but more more hyped about the members' attitude + how they gelled with the other members.

yep! it's so much more ( even in the best corps ) than most think. At least that's been my experience, SUMMER< FALL BAND <AND WINTER programs

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agreed, but my modest proposal didn't eliminate camps as a testing period for actual personality fit. However, I don't believe that corp's need to drag out the camp process as long as they do before issuing contracts, nor do I believe corps should accept people at repeated camps when they have no intention of giving them a spot, just because it's cool to post pictures of 300+ brass arcs, or because they like the income from the extra people.

Players need to be able (or need to be nudged/invited) to move along quicker to the appropriate level corps for their abilities, where they can actually land a spot, and learn and grow.

Edited by Eleran

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agreed, but my modest proposal didn't eliminate camps as a testing period for actual personality fit. However, I don't believe that corp's need to drag out the camp process as long as they do before issuing contracts, nor do I believe corps should accept people at repeated camps when they have no intention of giving them a spot, just because it's cool to post pictures of 300+ brass arcs, or because they like the income from the extra people.

Players need to be able (or need to be nudged/invited) to move along quicker to the appropriate level corps for their abilities, where they can actually land a spot, and learn and grow.

Unfortunately ( sometimes ) it's not the process, it's the person auditioning. Many do suggest other places that someone might be a better fit for whatever reason BUT there are also those who IF they don't make their dream corps they don't want to go any where else . YES this is wrong on their part but I will say after doing this a very long time in some cases it's just better off not getting the kid who really wants to be elsewhere and thinks they are to good for another. There is also the factor that they pay for this activity and yes they should not be strung along but they also need to understand that not everything is for everyone.

Now, another thing comes into play and that's the borderlines. I have seen many get a contract only to not make it to the season for many reasons including money or make it to everyday's in May and run for the nearest airport when they see how much work is involved and how Mommy and Dad aren't there to tuck them in. It's an eye opener for many and difficult. I myself have helped kids with the transition many times BUT there also comes a time when I have said it's best we fly them home. Borderliner's sometimes hold onto this in hope of a spot.

As I said earlier, sometimes it's also the kid who keeps wanting to come back for a number of reasons. I do agree IF it's pretty plain a kid is not going to make it then YES of course they should be told ASAP.

Not so cut and dry or easy a process.

Edited by GUARDLING

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Dear OP: Notice how you posted a reasonable issue and it was immediately criticized by several people. Welcome to DCP. (Their points, however are, #1 also reasonable, and #2 probably reflect corps directors/instructors views on this.)

While it's true that there are other reasons to go to camp, and also that factors other than skill level go into audition decisions (attitude, etc.), it's also the case that prospective corps members don't know how good they probably need to be in order to get into a particular corps, and that's a real problem.

Imagine an Audition forum on DCP dedicated to this, with threads for each corps, or kids could create their own threads if they wanted. People could describe their skills in the terms of their particular area (sometimes with video), others could comment, and eventually they could post which corps they were accepted or not. It wouldn't take long before anyone could get some idea of the approximate level necessary for a given corps.

Getting DCI/the corps to create a formal online audition process would be very challenging. Nothing's impossible, but DCI is politically slow and not known for internet technical prowess. Getting DCP to create a forum (or somebody else) would be much simpler, and should give kids some idea of what shape their chops should be in.

Such threads on this forum would technically be on topic, although I've never heard of it happening. There are already dedicated brass, percussion and guard forums on here too (under the DCP Features section), although they are not that well read. Still, it's something for this to evolve from.

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to help get the word out for kids who don't make corps, the corps need to share info with cuts about other corps, be it local to that corps, or local to the kids area.

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Dear OP: Notice how you posted a reasonable issue and it was immediately criticized by several people. Welcome to DCP. (Their points, however are, #1 also reasonable, and #2 probably reflect corps directors/instructors views on this.)

While it's true that there are other reasons to go to camp, and also that factors other than skill level go into audition decisions (attitude, etc.), it's also the case that prospective corps members don't know how good they probably need to be in order to get into a particular corps, and that's a real problem.

Imagine an Audition forum on DCP dedicated to this, with threads for each corps, or kids could create their own threads if they wanted. People could describe their skills in the terms of their particular area (sometimes with video), others could comment, and eventually they could post which corps they were accepted or not. It wouldn't take long before anyone could get some idea of the approximate level necessary for a given corps.

Getting DCI/the corps to create a formal online audition process would be very challenging. Nothing's impossible, but DCI is politically slow and not known for internet technical prowess. Getting DCP to create a forum (or somebody else) would be much simpler, and should give kids some idea of what shape their chops should be in.

Such threads on this forum would technically be on topic, although I've never heard of it happening. There are already dedicated brass, percussion and guard forums on here too (under the DCP Features section), although they are not that well read. Still, it's something for this to evolve from.

I dont think anyone was criticizing just suggesting OR stating how it actually might be.

Now with that said, corps have very different things they may be looking for. Posting on a public forum ( here ) may only confuse things for the potential member even more mainly because there will be posters for or against a process and debating, like with everything.

Seems the best and easiest way is just contact the corps themselves, past members, current members, staff. I believe that most put themselves out there for potential members and will provide as much info as needed. I myself have received videos from potential members, e mails, etc etc long before auditions for all programs summer, winter and fall.

I know not everyone has it in them to be pro active BUT how this activity has changed and grown over the years, as in many things in life today, people need to be proactive about their ambitions and ask if not demand ( politely..lol ) the tools to help get them there. or another place.

IF, one can't get this kind of help or info from a corps maybe that should tell you something and re- think what you might really want or if this is a place one wants to be......JMO

Edited by GUARDLING

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