FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Drum Corps Info
What is a Drum and Bugle Corps (Drum Corps)?
What is the age limitation to participate in a Drum Corps International (DCI) organization?
What is drum corps international (DCI)?
Information Regarding Participating in the Guardians
Are the Guardians a DCI drum corps?
The Guardians are a World Class organization competiting within the Open Class Circuit of Drum Corps International.
Are the Guardians a 501(c)(3) organization?
The Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. As such, it has a Board of Directors, directors, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission.
What does it cost to join the Guardians?
More information about the costs of the Guardians can be found at the following link.
How much time will I need to commit to Guardians? What if I have a conflict?
What does it mean if I am offered a contract? What about callbacks?
When you are offered a "contract" you are offered a position as a Guardians member for the given season. If you are offered a callback, we request that you come to our next camp so we can evaluate your improvement from camp to camp.
What if I have a conflict with an ACT/SAT test or college orientation?
We ask that you focus first on dates that do not conflict with Guardians. We understand that there may be conflicts with taking the ACT or attending your college orientation and we will do everything we can to try and work through these scenarios. Planning accordingly and communicating is the key if no options exist.
Is there financial aid for Guardians tuition?
If I owe money to another DCI/DCA/WGI group, can I still join?
No, your outstanding debts must be paid before you can become eligible to join Guardians.
What are the requirements to join Guardians?
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?
With a quarter of our members being of college age, we deal with issues like this all the time. Most colleges have more than one set of dates for orientation. With our season ending in July, it is usually early enough that you would be at an orientation prior to school. We will do whatver we have to do to make it work, as long as we can avoid you missing a major DCI event. Typically, the orientation is only 2-3 days. We deal with it on a case-by-case basis. Attend the audition camp in November, go through the process, and when you decide on your school, or maybe you have already, let us know the dates in question, and we will look at the tour schedule, and see what can be worked out. Last year, a lot of membership was in the exact situation and we were able to work this out in every case. Please understand that the more notice we have, the easier it is to work these type of conflicts out.
Will you have any 'alternates' this year?
Yes. Just like last year, we will bring a couple alternates on tour this summer. Over the past several years, the majority of alternates have ended up performing with the corps by the end of the season.
Do you stay for DCI world class finals? Do I have to travel back with the corps to Texas?
We do NOT stay for world class finals on Saturday. We leave to return on Friday night after semi-finals. You are required to ride the bus back to Texas if you are a Texas student. If you are an out of state student, you may fly out from Indianapolis. Do not plan to buy a ticket for finals, as there are clean up responsibilities in Texas when we arrive home.
How strict are you about attendance over the winter?
Since we only see you once a month, it is critical that you be at all required camps for their entire duration. Unexcused absence can cause you to be moved to alternate status, or to be removed from the roster all together. Be sure to address all conflicts with your Caption Head and the Corps Director as soon as you are aware of them.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes we do. In some situations we allow payments to go into July, but your payment plan should end by June (when we move in).
Information Regarding Camps and Summer Activities
What is the schedule for Guardians in 2020?
You can read more about our schedule here.
What will the 2020 Guardians tour be comprised of?
What should I bring to camp?
The event page will have a list of things to bring. You can find the event pages by clicking on the event on our calendar page.
What if I can't make the preliminary audition camp dates?
Am I required to stay at camps overnight?
Yes. All participants will be required to stay on site during the duration of the camp unless a conflict is communicated to the administration.
Are meals provided?
If you have any food allergies/specifications, please note these on your application and medical form.
What are benefits of auditioning for the corps?
Even if you choose to not march with the Guardians, by auditioning, you will receive a form with precise feedback from some of the best educators in the state regarding your audition and how you can improve as a musician and marcher. You will improve as a musician and marcher whether or not you commit to the Guardians for the complete season.
Should I bring my instrument/equipment?
Where are these camps and move ins?
You can find more information about the camps on our calendar page. Click the event you are interested in.
How can I register for a camp/audition?
Are the Guardians going to DCI World Championship in August?
Yes, we are a consistent finalist.
Is housing provided at camps?
We will provide housing for you for the entire time, as well as all meals. If you arrive earlier than our scheduled move in, you will be responsible.
What if I have band camp during move-ins?
You will need to speak with your director regarding missing a portion of band camp. Most directors are okay with this, as you will come back better prepared for band.
What if I am in winter guard/winter drumline?
How many people try out each year?
It has varied, and over the past years the numbers have consistently increased. We're very excited that this year looks like it will surpass last year. We've gotten hundreds and hundreds of applications! It's likely that several hundred will attend the first camps. If that excites you as much as it does us, great! If it intimidates you, please don't let it. The most important factors in making the corps are showing up to try and your desire to march.
What about my parents involvement?
We STRONGLY encourage your parents to volunteer at our camps and during the summer. There are scholarship opportunities for students of parents that volunteer their time to the organization. This ranges from truck driving, food service, souvie booth, prop building, truck outiffting, uniform alterations, and much more. They do NOT have to spend your entire summer with us either!
Information Regarding Audition Protocol
What should I expect at camp and during the audition?
Are veteran members automatically offered a spot?
All positions for Guardians are open and any veteran members that are eligible to march are required to audition for a position before receiving a contract.
Can I audition for Drum Major as well as an instrument?
Can a non-veteran member audition for drum major?
Can I submit a video audition?
All performers of the Guardians Drum & Bugle Corps are required to be in attendance at an audition camp before receiving a contract. Guardians will accept a video in the event that there is no way that you are able to attend the December or January Audition Camps.
What should I prepare for my audition?
I am a non-brass player, can I do my playing audition on a non-brass horn?
Yes, but you will need to practice and improve on your brass instrument.
I don't play a brass instrument. Can I still audition?
YES! It is our mission to turn you into the best performer you can be. Pick up a brass instrument, percussion instrument, or guard equipment and start learning! That will not effect your audition. It is your attitude and willingness to learn that will put you in a good position to earn a position as a marching member at Guardians.
Do you accept female members?
Do you accept trans students?
Absolutely. We supply a private shower for your conveince.
I am a mello auditionee but I do not have access to an F mello, is this a problem?
No. You can also audition on a concert horn.
How many members in each section will you march?
4 drum majors
Will marching with a drum corps negatively affect my embouchure or "concert approach"?
With more than 20 certified music educators on our faculty, we take great care to use the correct embouchure and performance techniques. You will find from both brass and percussion standpoints, we teach no different than a symphonic approach to the instruments. The only exception would be the actual marching percussion as there are some differences to the sticking on a marching instrument vs. concert percussion. There are quite a few of our members that are successful music education and music performance music majors.
I'm not good enough to audition...
Can I audition on more than one instrument? Do I have to pay for each multiple audition?
Yes, you can audition on multiple instruments within a particular section. On the other hand, if the two instruments you have in mind are in different sections (brass/percussion/guard) you would have a very hard time making an impression on both staffs seeing as you'd have to choose one to work with during the course of the weekend. No, you wouldn't need to pay double.
What can I do to improve my chances of making the corps?
Most importantly, show up and pay! Each year many potential members who could have made the corps cut themselves by giving up after just one camp or even before the first camp. Work hard, practice, have a positive attitude and have fun.
Is there anything I can do to prepare and raise my ability to the level you need?
Practice, practice, practice! When you attend camp, soak up all of the information and feedback you are given. Apply what you learn, and come to the next camp better!
Is it possible to learn quickly enough even with no experience?
Having no experience on brass is not a large problem, and you can still earn a spot in the corps. Having no experience marching is a lot harder to overcome, BUT with enough practice... anything is possible!