We invite anyone highly motivated, 21 or younger, who is interested in becoming a part of the drum and bugle corps activity to come out and audition! We base our membership acceptance on work ethic, character, and ability level. We will be auditioning for performing positions in the brass section, color guard, and percussion section, and drum major.
Upon receiving your acceptance letter you will become an official member of the Columbians Drum and Bugle Corps. Acceptance letters will be offered at January camp.
Brass Section includes four types of instruments: Trumpets, Mellophone (similar to trumpet in method but sounds like a French Horn), Baritone, and Tuba.
Percussion Section includes: Snare Drum, Tenor Drums, Bass Drums, and possibly Cymbals. The mallet instruments for the Front Ensemble include: Marimba, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Orchestra Bells, Chimes, Synthesizer, Timpani, and other auxiliary percussion instruments (such as Concert Toms, Concert Bass Drum, Gong, and Latin Percussion).
Colorguard uses flags, rifles, sabres, props, and lots of dance choreography. This section of the corps visually interprets and enhances the music that the brass and percussion produce.
If you are interested in participating in the upcoming season, please complete our online Registration process. Once you register and pay the $40 audition fee, you will gain access to the audition materials.
November 16, 2019
Meadowdale High School-Lynwood, WA
- 9am – 5pm, Saturday
November 23, 2019
- 9am – 5pm, Saturday
December 7, 2019
Enterprise Middle School-West Richland, WA
- 9am – 5pm, Saturday
You must pre-register and pay the $40 single day audition prior to auditioning. You can following this link to Register.
Questions? Email us at [email protected]
2020 Camp Dates:
- January 17-19, Yakima, WA
- February 21-23
- March 27-29
- April 24-26
- May 22-25
- June 13 – All Days Begin
Registration starts at 5:00 PM on the Friday of each camp.
Members start full- corps installment payment of TBD at the February camp. All audition, camp and tuition payments should be made within your CampDoc account.
2020 Tour Dates:
*Note: All dates and locations are subject to change. DCI typically releases the official schedules late November.
Those wishing to audition may do so during the regular camps. Follow the steps below to make sure you have everything required before you audition.
- Register/create your new CampDoc profile using the following link.
- Pay the $40 single day audition fee to gain access to the audition materials.
- Complete the remainder of your online profile in CampDoc.
- Show up prepared for your audition.
All audition materials will be available as soon as you pay your $40 audition fee in CampDoc.
Please contact us with any questions: [email protected]
All audition, camp, and tuition payments will need to be made through CampDoc.
Please contact us with any questions: [email protected]
- be between ages of 14 to 21 years old (as per DCI rules* — no exceptions).
- live in the Tri-Cities, the Mid-Columbia Region, or have the ability to attend all camps/rehearsals/performances.
- be able to fulfill financial requirements.
- be able to get to and from rehearsals and events safely.
- fulfill all Columbians obligations from previous summer.
*Note: Make sure you check the DCI age rule for your own eligibility. We welcome all those performers who may want to attend the audition simply for the experience.
We begin our rehearsals in January, and meet one weekend per month through May including a required Memorial Day camp. “All Day” rehearsals begin at the beginning of June. These are 9 AM – 9 PM rehearsals.
We look for great communication skills and potential. We don’t expect anyone to be perfect at the audition, but we are looking for performers who can be a part of an ensemble. The group dynamic plays an important part in the choices we make when choosing performers. Try to communicate each part of the performance process. You may not feel totally comfortable with the style or technique, but if you communicate and perform, we can certainly spot your potential.
Come Prepared. Don’t decide as a last minute thing and have a terrible audition. Get your music/work/dance prepared.
- Come with an open mind. Unless you’re a vet, you’re gonna’ be exposed to some new things. New teachers, new techniques, new styles. Take on everything with a positive attitude.
- Bring Athletic Clothes. You may get strange looks from the vets if you show up and try to do your weekend camp in jeans, cargo shorts, or cargo pants. Athletic shorts or pants are a must. Guard needs to wear something flexible enough to dance in. Athletic shoes, too. No one needs to be marching in Converse, Sperry’s, etc. Rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t go running in them, don’t wear them.
- Bring Cotton gloves (white, no grip) if you are a brass player, unless told specifically otherwise. The finish on the horns lasts longer when you don’t get your bare hands on it. That’s why we all wear gloves.
The most important piece of information we can give ANYONE auditioning for the Columbians is to come prepared! Take the audition as seriously as you would a final exam (or at least the way you SHOULD prepare for a final), otherwise we’ll never know your true talent. Although you don’t have to be the best player in the world to be a part of our organization, you DO need to have pride and dedication to your instrument.
One of three things will happen at the end of the audition day:
- We will congratulate you and accept you into the Columbians.
- We will inform you that you have passed the first step and will be invited to our first full corps camp in January. It will be at this camp that we begin learning the technique program and show music within each section. We will also make ALL final decisions on your acceptance at this camp. In other words, you will know if you are accepted or not by the end of the January camp.
- We will inform you that we want to see you improve in certain areas and come back and see us next season. This is always the most difficult thing for us to do as we wish we could accept everyone that auditions. For most, there will be more audition years left and this one can be looked at as a learning experience to better prepare for future auditions.
In a nutshell, your playing audition will last around 5 to 10 minutes and be in a room with just you and one or two members of the Columbians Brass Staff. We will ask you a few simple questions such as your age and marching experience to “break the ice” and get things rolling. DON’T BE NERVOUS! Although you will have had time to warm-up on your own before the audition, we will give you another minute to re-warm and prepare for your audition.
From there we will ask to hear the “Audition Exercises” which will give us a good idea of your tone, flexibility, and articulation style. If you are interested in a lead spot, we will also ask you to demonstrate your range. Once the basic technique is out of the way, we will listen to you play about 2 minutes of prepared material which should consist of both technical and lyrical playing. A lot of potential members choose excerpts from one or two different pieces to demonstrate these contrasting styles. Finally, we will ask you a few more questions and that’s it! Completely painless!
First of all, BRING YOUR MUSIC! It sounds ridiculous, but you’d be surprised at how many people have forgotten their music! There is no need to bring a music stand, as we will provide one for you. We highly suggest that you bring your own mouthpiece. You will be able to borrow one of ours if needed, but our experience has shown us that it’s much more comfortable for you to audition on your own.
Now, let’s talk about specific instruments:
- Trumpet players: We suggest you bring your own horn and mouthpiece. You will of course be able to borrow one of ours if needed, but like the mouthpiece comment earlier, we’ve found it’s more comfortable to audition on your own instrument.
- French Horn/Mellophone players: If you plan on playing a French Horn during your audition, you NEED to bring your own horn. Because we perform on Mellophones during the season, we will also ask you to play a few notes on one of our Mellophones as we will need to check your tone and such on that instrument. IMPORTANT! We use Mellophone mouthpieces with our Mellophones and DO NOT allow French Horn mouthpieces with an adapter. If you play Mellophone, it’s up to you whether or not you bring your own horn. We will of course have enough instruments available for you to borrow.
- Baritone/Euphonium/Tuba/Trombone players: If you plan on playing a Trombone during your audition, you NEED to bring your own horn. Because we perform on Baritones, Euphoniums, and Tubas during the season, please be prepared to also play a few notes (mainly scales) on one of our instruments as we will need to check your finger control and dexterity. If you play Baritone, Euphonium, or Tuba, it’s up to you whether or not you bring your own horn. We will of course have enough instruments available for you to borrow. We suggest that you use ours (with YOUR mouthpiece) as these instruments are difficult to travel with.
- Woodwinds: If you are a woodwind player and have not yet learned a brass instrument, bring your primary instrument to your audition. We want to see your play a solo piece so we can see your musicianship.
We look for all of the basic things — tone quality, flexibility, finger dexterity and range, but also your ability to control articulation, intervallic control, overall awareness of your horn and MANY other things. Outside of your musical talents, we also look at your personality, work ethic, and ability to respond to constructive criticism (like you would have to during the season), as these are just as important when push comes to shove in the heat of the battle!
First off, please do not bring selections from your recent marching band show, wind ensemble concert or jazz band literature. We would like to hear pieces that are written for solo instrument. If you take private lessons, ask your teacher for some suggestions; they should have a plethora of pieces that would suit your individual talents and abilities. If you don’t take private lessons, we suggest contacting local music stores, high school band directors, or college music directors as they would also have several great suggestions.
Your playing audition will be largely based upon how well you are prepared on the audition packet, your technique, positive attitude, and ability to process feedback and make proper adjustments. The staff will be carefully watching and listening to each applicant to make sure they get an accurate assessment. In some cases, there may be times where the Caption Head and techs pull individuals out for further assessment. We really try to be fair and get a thorough examination of everyone’s skill level.
First of all, BRING YOUR AUDITION PACKET! This should be printed off of the website before camp. We highly suggest that you get a three-ring binder and put the audition music in the binder. This keeps everything organized and clean. Please also bring a practice pad. We will provide drums for everyone, but if there are more players than drums, people will take turns using pads.
- Snares and Tenors: please bring your own sticks, preferably Vic Firth Ralph Hardimon marching sticks, but any “marching” stick will be okay for the auditions.
- Tenors: plan on using sticks for the auditions. However, if you have tenor mallets, you may bring them.
- Basses: we will provide bass drum mallets only.
- Front Ensemble: bring four marimba/vibraphone mallets, drum sticks, and a practice pad.
Also, make sure you read and are aware of the general corps requirements listed above.
We look for all of the basic things — hand technique, roll interpretation, control over articulation and stick heights, sense of timing, how you gel with the other players, and MANY other things. Outside of your musical talents, we also look at your personality, work ethic, and ability to respond to constructive criticism (like you would have to during the season), as these are just as important when push comes to shove in the heat of the battle!
Wear clothing that allows you to move easily. Remember, this is an audition and you’ll want to present yourself in the best possible manner. Don’t cover yourself with excessive clothing or clothing that doesn’t allow you to move comfortably.
We will provide equipment for the audition although many people bring their own rifle if they’re interested in auditioning on weapon.
There is no requirement to spin rifle or sabre. We decide the number of people that will spin weapons in the show based on the talent at the audition. We’re always on the lookout for talent in all areas of color guard.
The standard by which we choose all performers is based on the general talent level of all the performers attending the audition. If the majority can perform a triple pirouette, then that becomes the standard. During the audition process we look for performers who can reach the standard (or have the potential) to work with the nucleus that could perform at that skill level. On rifle or sabre, you want to show as broad a range of skills as possible. Beyond that, the group sets the standard by which you are evaluated.
We begin the audition with some basic movement technique. This will get you warmed up and acquaint you with the particular style we are exploring. During the audition you will learn a movement combination. You will perform each of these combinations in small groups. Everyone goes through the same process on flag and learns a combination to perform in small groups. This is not required but does give us another chance to see you showcase additional skills. Even if you have little or no experience on weapon, this is a great introduction to rifle or sabre, and you might be surprised at your own potential!