FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

1) What is drum corps?
2) What's should parents know about drum corps?
3) How old do I have to be to join The Battalion?
4) How do I audition for The Battalion?
5) How do auditions work?
6) Do I need to register to audition?
7) Where do I register for a BEX Event?
8) What can I do to improve my chances of making the corps?
9) What if I participate in a WGI percussion/guard/winds group?
10) Can I audition for a drum major position?
11) What should I bring to a BEX event?
12) May my parents come to a BEX event?
13) How much will it cost if I make the corps?
14) When do I pay my tuition?
15) Will we be staying overnight during BEX events?
16) What time do the events end?
17) What do I do about high school graduation, concerts, and other events that conflict with BEX events, rehearsals and spring training?
 
1) What is drum corps?

A drum and bugle corps, also known as a drum corps, is a musical marching unit (similar to a marching band) that consists of brass, percussion, and color guard. Often referred to as "marching music's major league," Drum Corps International (DCI) is the non-profit governing body for junior drum and bugle corps. DCI is responsible for developing and enforcing the rules of competition and is the sanctioning body for junior corps competitions. The Battalion Drum & Bugle Corps currently competes in DCI's Open Class.

 

Each year, more than 8,000 students ages 13-22 audition for DCI member corps hoping to earn the chance to compete and perform for the more than 400,000 fans that attend live DCI events throughout the summer.

 
2) What's should parents know about drum corps?

When your child decides to be part of a drum corps, he/she is making a choice that requires a deep personal commitment that will require strength and focus. Facing new levels of responsibility, discipline and self-knowledge, they will gain values that will help them succeed in life. Every student has personal reasons for wanting to be part of a drum corps. Your son or daughter is no different. It may simply be to become a better performer or meet new people. Students often view membership in a drum corps as a key rung in their climb to be professional performers or arts educators. For many students, it is a way to challenge themselves to become the best they can be. 

 
3) How old do I have to be to join The Battalion?

Members of the corps will generally be between 14 and 21 years old, but we recommend anyone interested at any age come to our BEX (Battalion Experience) Events to meet and learn from our world-class staff.  Drum Corps International's age limit is 21 years of age with one exception - corps members who turn 22 on or after June 1 are eligible to march during that year.

 

4) How do I audition for The Battalion?

Click here for more info on our audition events.

 

5) How do auditions work?

Auditioning for The Battalion is a process.  Each BEX audition event is an opportunity for you to show our staff how well you take feedback and instruction and apply it over time.  Our staff will evaluate potential members individually and in group rehearsal settings.  Selection of our membership is based upon an individual’s attitude, work ethic, attendance, physical health, ability to pay tuition, and skills. 

 

6) Do I need to register to audition?

Yes!  We highly recommend you register online and pay your fees well in advance of your arrival at our audition event.  This will give you the maximum amount of time to go through the audition packet and prepare. However, we are prepared to accept your fees and paperwork when you arrive. There will be a check-in table for preregistered students as well as one to pay fees upon arrival.

 

7) Where do I register for a BEX Event?

Click here. 

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

Show up!  The best way to earn a spot in the corps is to show up prepared for every BEX event with a great attitude.  Many students who would otherwise make the corps cut themselves by not showing up.  One of the most important things we look for when selecting membership for the corps is the progress you make between events, so take the instruction, apply it, work your tail off and keep coming.

 

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.  Keep showing up!

 

9) What if I participate in a WGI percussion/guard/winds group?

Guard and percussion members chosen for the corps will not be required to attend the Feburary and March camps to encourage and allow them to participate in a WGI guard, percussion, or winds ensemble.  Your caption head may require you to submit occasional videos to him/her in place of attending one of these events to ensure your progress. 

 

For current high school students: your membership in The Battalion is conditional upon your participation in your high school music program. Students who discontinue their involvement in their high school music program will not be allowed to continue participating with the corps. We support music education wherever it is happening, but especially in the school system.  This is meant to be a supplemental performance outlet for you, not a replacement for your school program.

 
10) Can I audition for a drum major position?

Yes. We will have open auditions for assistant drum majors. Any student who intends to audition for an assistant drum major position is encourage to attend a clinic and attend an audition on their primary instrument as well. Audition information will be posted on the BEX event page.

 

11) What should I bring to BEX events?

Everyone should bring a water bottle, modest athletic clothes and shoes, any music that has been distributed in a 3-ring binder with page protectors, a pencil, the signed liability and waiver form, and money for event and audition fees if they haven’t already been paid online.  Additional things to bring based on your section are listed below:

  • Brass: Instrument, mouthpiece(s), metronome, tuner, a towel to place your horn on, and cloth gloves

  • Battery: Instrument, sticks and a drum pad

  • Front Ensemble: Mallets, sticks and a drum pad

  • Guard: Equipment (flag/rifle/sabre), leather fingerless gloves

 

During in-person Utah events, we will provide a limited number of instruments and equipment, but students are still expected to bring their own. Front ensemble students don't need to bring an instrument. If you have concerns about instruments or equipment for virtual events, please email info@battalioncorps.org.

 

12) May my parents come to a BEX event?

Rehearsals are open to parents and the public to observe at any time as long as it does not interfere with the rehearsal.  We will usually hold a meeting for interested parents near the end of the first few events to answer any questions they may have and give them an opportunity to meet some members of our administration team. Details on the parent meetings will be sent out leading up to the each event. We will occasionally have a show-and-tell performance on Saturday evenings for parents to see what has been rehearsed during the weekend.

 
13) How much will it cost if I make the corps?

The tuition for Battalion members in 2021 will be set once the details of the tour schedule are determined. Tuition covers the full cost of participation in the corps during tour, including meals, housing, transportation, instruction, equipment, and uniforms. It also covers the cost of instruction, housing, facilities, and equipment for spring training, but does not cover transportation and meals. There will be at least 2 fundraising opportunities to help bring down the cost. Information will be shared about those events as we get closer to them.

 

The Battalion is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and we do everything we can to keep tuition and other costs at a minimum.

 

14) When do I pay my tuition?

Monthly tuition payments will start as soon as you are contracted to be paid in full by the start of tour. It is always good to plan your payments as you get call-backs so you are prepared to pay tuition when you receive your contract.

 

15) Will we be staying overnight during BEX events?

The corps will not stay overnight at rehearsal facilities during in-person BEX events, so students will be expected to secure their own housing.  Students from out of state or that live too far away to commute each day usually stay with a friend or family member in the area, or find a cheap hotel room to share with a friend or two.  Because we don’t stay overnight during events, you’ll also need to make sure you have transportation to and from the rehearsal facility, or to and from the airport if you’re flying in from out of state.  Services like Uber or public transportation are helpful if you don’t have someone you know locally that can assist in transportation.  After coming to an event or two, you’ll make dozens of friends that live around SLC, most of whom would love to host you during an event. Start getting to know people now by joining our interest page on Facebook.

 

16) What time do the events end?

Virtual BEX events will begin at 9:30 am MST and end by 5:00 pm.

 

In- person BEX events will typically conclude at 10:00 pm on Saturday. Detailed information on the event schedule will be distributed in the month leading up to the event.

 

17) What do I do about high school graduation, concerts, and other events that conflict with BEX events, rehearsals and spring training?

We expect you to go to your graduation ceremonies and formal school events, such as required concerts or performances. However, as soon as those are completed we expect you to fulfill your commitment to the corps. Taking days away from rehearsal to attend senior graduation parties with friends and family is not acceptable. We ask that you limit the time away from rehearsal as much as absolutely possible.  Your caption heads can help guide you through this.

The Battalion Drum & Bugle Corps, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts education organization.