In 2001, The Academy Brass & Percussion Ensemble was formed to give some of Arizona’s finest young musicians an introduction to the incredibly unique activity of drum and bugle corps. Over the course of three summers, the young group of 52-60 performed for several local events and had taken the opportunity to perform in exhibition at its home show, the Southwest Corps Connection. In 2004, the group added the final element of the color guard, was accepted as a DCI sanctioned unit, made the name change to The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps and began competing for the first time. In 2006, the corps had grown to 135 members and competed for the first time in Drum Corps International World Championships in Madison, Wisconsin where they earned the title of Division II World Champion. 2007 marked their first year competing in Division I, now called World Class, where they continue to compete today. In 2009, The Academy was named the official drum and bugle corps of the City of Tempe. 2016 marked an historic season for the corps with its first appearance in World Class Finals competition, placing 11th overall. The corps is well on its way to providing another amazing season to 150 young adults in 2017.
If you are a highly motivated individual, 21 or younger, who is interested in becoming a part of the drum and bugle corps activity, we invite you to audition for The Academy’s 2017 season. Membership acceptance is based on work ethic, character, ability level, and audition results. While the average age of the membership is typically over 19 years old, younger students have been accepted based on their exceptional performance quality and individual maturity. We recommend anyone 16 years and older that is interested in some day participating in our corps, or the drum & bugle corps activity to attend the weekend clinic/audition camp.
We will be auditioning for performing positions including up to 80 brass, 36 color guard, and 35 percussion students. Touring alternate members in the color guard and brass section will also be accepted. There will be at least one openings for the Drum Major position in 2017 as well.
In addition to the 150+ members and alternates, The Academy will be accepting brass members to train with corps throughout the winter and spring who are not necessarily able or interested in engaging in the rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule during the summer. These brass trainees selected will be able to rehearse and perform as a full corps participant throughout the pre-season until the all-day rehearsals begin in June. The trainee membership cost is around $450, which includes admittance to all of the training camps. It is a great option for those interested in marching with the corps in the future. In addition to improving performance skills, participants will become more familiar with of The Academy staff and their methods. Those interested in this opportunity should register and attend the audition camp to get more information and begin their experience with the corps.
The Academy will be selecting a group of individuals to participate in a series of Trainee Drumline Masterclasses as well. Those participants will be offered a series of masterclasses held in tandem with the monthly camp experiences in Arizona. More information will be made available at the auditions in December.
Open House Sessions (All prospective members, Parents, and Fans)
Once again, The Academy will be holding a series of Informational and instructional Open House events prior to the Audition camps. These sessions are an opportunity for prospective members, parents, and fans to learn about the plans for the upcoming season, meet a few of the staff, get to know some of our veteran members, and gain a better understanding of the expectations of membership for the corps. It is also an opportunity for performers to hone in on some of The Academy techniques and audition expectations with short instructional segments given by staff and veteran members. Each of these sessions are FREE to all who attend, however it is strongly encouraged for the participants to have registered online and received the audition materials prior to the sessions so that you can be prepared, and we can know that you are planning to attend. The Academy will be holding Three Open House & Early Audition Sessions on the following dates:
NEW! – Remote Evaluation Events
New this Fall, The Academy will be hosting four remote evaluation events in Southern California, Houston, Dallas, and South Florida. These sessions are designed to allow prospective members who reside a large distance away to “test drive” The Academy before investing in the expense of a plane flight to auditions. Here, students will be exposed to instructional sessions with members of The Academy staff, where they can learn more about the specifics of The Academy techniques and membership expectations. This offers the chance for prospective members to understand how to better prepare for the Audition Camps that follow just a few weeks later. During the session, individuals who are interested in auditioning for the 2017 corps will be interviewed one-on-one with a staff member and have the prospect of being elevated to “Callback” status prior to the first audition weekend in December. Participants in these Remote Evaluation Events will need to officially Register for the corps prior to attending, which will give the student access to the detailed audition materials and exercises to prepare. Once applied, a $25 experience fee that will include the instruction for the day and t-shirt covers the cost of attendance.
Official Audition Camps
The Audition camps will be held on the first weekends in December 2016. This audition weekend will be held at Casa Grande H.S. facility just south of the greater Phoenix area. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend the audition camp. The format of this move-in experience is intended to educate and inform all attendees while providing an opportunity for the staff to evaluate those who are vying for a position in the 2017 corps. Students who are not necessarily able to perform with the corps in 2017, but are hoping to join sometime in the future are STRONGLY encouraged to attend this audition camp. Understanding the physical requirements, technique programs, and work ethic required is the best way to ensure future acceptance into the corps. The more exposure the staff has to the performers, the better the chances are to gaining a future member spot. The cost for the Audition camp is $100, which includes the cost for housing, food, audition shirt, and materials for the weekend ($25 discount if paid by December 1).
Registration/move-in begins at 5:30pm, Orientation/Auditions begin at 7:30pm on Friday
Camp ends at 4:00pm Sunday.
$100 includes the cost for housing, food, and materials for the weekend. ($25 discount if paid by December 1)
To receive detailed information about the auditions and reserve an audition spot, students should submit an on-line application form. There will be a non-refundable, one-time $50 application fee that will be charged upon registering for the auditions (waived for returning members). Once you apply online, you will be on the contact list and be given access to the audition materials as soon as they are available.
If a prospective member would like to submit a preliminary audition video to the staff prior to booking travel arrangements for the audition camp, we encourage them to do so. The best way to do this is to upload a video online that will demonstrate the skills required by the staff. This process will offer our staff an opportunity to give the applicant feedback, but member spots are rarely offered based solely on a video audition. We will require all applicants to audition in person for the staff at some point prior to being accepted as a member. For more details on what to submit and how, go to the video audition guidelines page here.
Your school activities take priority over Academy rehearsals. Keeping this in mind, the staff is asking that each prospective member look over the camp dates and summer schedule (available with audition materials) and predict ANY scheduling conflicts with rehearsals & performances before making a commitment. Attendance at rehearsals is paramount in attempting to achieve the highest level of excellence. Every audition applicant of the corps must turn in a preliminary attendance contract form during auditions. This form will be made available to all who submit an online application. It is used to help determine an applicant’s eligibility as a member. Applicants will receive additional detailed rehearsal schedules as they become available.
2017 Overnight Training Camp Dates (tentative as of 8/1/16)
Audition Camps (see above)
Training Camp #1 (Callback Camp)- January 6-8 (Full Corps)
Training Camp #2 – February 3-5 (Brass & Percussion)
Training Camp #3 – March 3-5 (Brass)
Training Camp #4 – March 31-April 2 (Brass)
Training Camp #5 – April 28-April 30 (Full Corps)
Training Camp #6 – May 26-29 (Full Corps)
***probable full time move-in date for drumline is May 20, full corps May 26
Often called tour fees, the membership dues cover most of the costs associated with the summer experience including meals (other than some travel days and free days), over 10,000 miles of touring, dozens of performances, and hundreds of hours of world class education. The entire financial commitment for 2017 will be programmed with no increase over 2016. Including all camps, Spring Training housing & food, equipment fees, membership dues, and tour fees will be around $3,500. A minimum monthly payment schedule is required upon being accepted as a member of the corps. Discounts are also available for early payments and scholarship program for returning members. Details are available to audition applicants upon registering online and attending the audition camps.
Parents, have questions about drum corps? Why is your child interested in this? What is this all about? Let us explain, here.
Questions? Who do I contact?
Ask a member! Join the Facebook group 2017 Academy Interest Group and ask current member anything you need to know about the audition experience.
General questions about auditions or The Academy: firstname.lastname@example.org