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BRASS

THE BLUE DEVILS


Brought to you by

2017 AUDITION PACKET


A CORPS

CONGRATULATIONS
If youre reading this, then youve made the big
decision to audition for the 2017 Blue Devils
Brass section. For that, we say THANK YOU and
congratulations!
We have put together this audition packet to try and
make the audition process as simple and straight
forward as possible. As long as you go through the
entire packet and let the information digest a bit, you
should have a very clear idea of what you need to do
to prepare for your Blue Devils Brass audition. As Ill
say a few times in this packet, we want you to be as
prepared and relaxed as possible during your audition.
That way, we are getting the REAL YOU!

CONTENTS
2 Your Audition
3 List of Audition Excerpts
4 Visual Guidelines
5 Media Auditions
7 Trumpet Audition Exercises
12 Mellophone Audition Exercises
16 Euphonium Audition Exercises
21 Tuba Audition Exercises
26 FAQs
30 Additional Testimonials
33 Blue Devils Staff

John M. Meehan
Brass Caption Head
The Blue Devils

6/13/2016

2017 BLUE DEVILS BRASS AUDITION PACKET

YOUR AUDITION
For your audition, you will simply prepare and play the provided
audition exercises and excerpts. You will NOT need to select your
own solo material. Everything is selected for you. On the day of your
audition, make sure you dont play too much before coming into
the actual audition room. Many people over warm-up and come in
sounding (and feeling) a bit tired. If youre not prepared the day of the
audition, you wont be ready with 15 extra minutes of practice time in
the warm-up room. All you should do before your audition is get your
chops ready to play. Remember, you will have time to play a few notes
when you get into the audition room, then you will play the audition
exercises and selected excerpts.
We also suggest you bring a bottle of water to the audition room
with you. Many people forget this then get a little dry while in their
audition. Remember, set yourself up for ultimate success!
General note: The tempos stated on each of the audition exercises
and selected excerpts are just a guide, but PLEASE do not go too fast.
If you come in and perform the exercises at the tempos listed on the
page, youll be fine. You will NOT impress us by going faster, trust me.
Too many people have come in playing an exercise at a tempo of 160
bpm and just sound, well, not good. Dont do this. Even if you CAN
play the exercises faster, thats not what we are interested in. Were
interested in your tone and true abilities.
As far as volume goes, its important that you dont underplay during
your audition. Play like you would in your practice room when no one
is listening. Also, dont face directly at the staff. Face slightly off center
so the staff can hear your true sound, but also have a good view of
your embouchure and finger dexterity.
For the selected excerpts, we suggest you familiarize yourself with
these by searching YouTube and listening to several recordings. This
will help you with style interpretation and tempo.
After your playing audition, we will also have you do the short
marching and playing exercise while doing a simple box drill.

6/13/2016

The first time I auditioned for The


Blue Devils in 2007 I was unprepared and
extremely nervous, but things changed
when I came back to audition in 2008. This
time I was focused and wouldnt settle to
hear anything else other than the words,
Welcome to the 2008 horn line. The audition process for The Blue Devils was amazing, especially with the new audition packet
that lets you know exactly whats going to
happen. The staff wants you to make it, they
want you to have a good experience. They
provide you with all of the correct information to become a member, but its up to you
to take it to the next level. Its always good
to have confidence and to stand out. Let
them see how bad you want it and show
them that this is where you belong. Being
a member of The Blue Devils has definitely
changed my life for the better. Everything
was worth it in the end, and I would do it
again in a heartbeat. Just believe in yourself
and KNOW that you can do it.

Anthony
When I auditioned for The Blue Devils
I couldnt have been more nervous. Of
course I was worried that I might not play
well, but mainly I just didnt know what to
expect. But as soon as I began my music
audition, my nerves were immediately
calmed. I could tell that John Meehan wanted me to play as well as I possibly could.
Once I had calmed down a bit, I was able to
play confidently and remember all of the
work I had done in the practice room. This
is all an auditionee can ask for, and it helped
me secure my spot in the 2008 horn line.
If you have any doubts about your ability
to the corps, at least come out to audition.
It never hurts to try, and you may end up
having the best summer of your life, just like
I did.
Trey

2017 BLUE DEVILS BRASS AUDITION PACKET

LIST OF AUDITION EXCERPTS


TRUMPET AUDITION
All of the 2017 audition exercises
Arutunian Trumpet Concerto, indicated sections only
Charlier Etude #2, indicated sections only
If you would like to be considered for a lead Trumpet spot,
please also play the provided Gordon Goodwin Lead Excerpt.

MELLOPHONE AUDITION
All of the 2017 audition exercises
Mozart Horn Concerto #3, 3rd Movement,
indicated sections only
Till Eulenspiegel, indicated sections only

EUPHONIUM AUDITION
All of the 2017 audition exercises
Toccata Marziale, indicated sections only
Rochut Melodius Etudes, Book 1, #9,
indicated sections only
Commando March (this excerpt is OPTIONAL),
indicated sections only

TUBA AUDITION

In my experience, auditioning for


The Blue Devils is a very straightforward
process handled very professionally by
both the visual and musical staffs. Both
parts of the audition are structured so that
each potential member can give the best
possible showing of themselves. Naturally,
being evaluated by the staff can be seen
as stressful, but in BDs audition environment, all that you are asked to do is the
best you know how. You dont have to worry
(yet) about jumping in and immediately
conforming to new techniques or methods
of moving or playingall that is required
is that you show off your skills and your
level of preparation, and if the staff asks
you to try something differently, that you
do your best to make the change. If youve
put the time in to solidify your grasp on
your marching and musicianship, if youve
worked with people who can help identify
areas that you can improve on and youve
made correctionsbasically if youve done
your homework and came preparedBDs
audition process gives you a great opportunity to show off what you know how to do.
Theres no reason to get worked up about
auditioning for The Blue Devils. Just put the
time in to feel confident in yourself; if youre
prepared, you will have a good experience.
Above all, dont cut yourself, give yourself
the chance to succeed by showing up.

Matt

All of the 2017 audition exercises


Die Meistersinger, indicated sections only
Blazhevich #21, indicated sections only

THERE WILL BE NO SIGHT-READING. GOOD LUCK!

6/13/2016

A BD audition is more of a rehearsal


than an actual audition. The staff WANTS
you to make it and will be absolutely helpful
all weekend (at least thats how I felt). When
I auditioned, the only thing I expected were
some encouraging words and a hope to
see you next fall. My point is... youll never
know unless you try.
Shane

2017 BLUE DEVILS BRASS AUDITION PACKET

VISUAL GUIDELINES
The key elements we look for are timing, attitude and
fitness. We can teach technique, but we cannot teach
timing (inner pulse and foot timing).
One of the most important fundamentals to success is
to be physically fit. You should be able to comfortably
run for a mile. Being fit is essential to be able to march
AND play in The Blue Devils. You need to be able to
march at a variety of tempos, from 60 up to 200 bpm.
You should be able to maintain proper body control and
technique at all tempos.
It is NOT essential you know The Blue Devil technique
to audition. You should use whatever technique you
feel most comfortable with. If you know The Blue Devil
technique, it is to your advantage, but is not required.
Having a positive attitude is vital. You should be a good
student with the ability to receive, react and respond to
information. Your ability to learn carries equal weight to
your current skill level.
We look for an understanding of body alignment. You
should know the key elements to a good body line. Its
to your advantage if you have tried jazz running. We will
teach specifics, but its good to at least have tried it.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT


ON THE DAY OF TRY-OUTS
Introductions and a good long stretch-out with focus
on body awareness and alignment.
Go for a run (about a mile). It is important you have
spent some time running beforehand so that you can
still perform a day of try-outs following this.
A series of basic exercises consisting of front and
back strides, move 12-halt 4, as well as upper body
slides.
Introduction of jazz runs.
Variety of step size and tempo exercises.
There may be an introductory body movement class.
You will be better prepared if you can tondu, and plie,
as well as jazz run and jazz walk.

PHYSICAL FITNESS
Drum corps is pretty much a professional sport. The
physical exertion and overall demands put on the
performers these days in drum corps are equal to
professional athletes. So like a professional athlete, a
drum corps member needs to stay in great physical
shape in AND OUT of the season. Knowing this, you
should begin to prepare physically for your Blue Devil
audition around the same time you begin musically.
The better physical shape you are in for your audition,
the more successful your prospective summer will be.

It is important you wear athletic fitness


clothes and cross-training athletic shoes
for all Blue Devil auditions!

6/13/2016

2017 BLUE DEVILS BRASS AUDITION PACKET

MEDIA AUDITIONS
When I first auditioned at The Blue Devils,
I was nervous beyond reason. This showed
through to the judges and they could tell I was
weak. The comment I received from them was
quite simple, you could be good if only you
had practiced. At first I took this as an insult,
a poor choice on my behalf. Then, as the year
passed and auditions re-approached, I realized
the true meaning of what I had been told. I
practiced not only my Baritone, but my professionalism and confidence in performance as
well. At the 2008 auditions, I stood tall and
played the same exact piece as the year before.
Thanks to the risks I took, and the confidence
at which I took them, I was welcomed to the
family and spent the summer traveling with
friends.
Sean
When I went to Concord, CA to audition
for The Blue Devils in November of 2007, I had
to fly in from Florida. Many of my friends and
fellow band members back at my high school
couldnt believe that I thought I could make
The Blue Devils. But I never doubted myself, in
fact I was certain that I was right for The Blue
Devils and that I had the skills to make it. When
I arrived that Saturday morning for auditions, I
found a line had already been formed in front
of the brass audition door. After waiting at the
end for a few minutes, I noticed a list on the
door, so I walked up and found that no one had
signed up for slots #1 through #10 (I guess they
all wanted someone else to go first!) Well, I just
put my name down on the #1 slot and went in!
There, staring at me, were two legends in brass,
John Meehan and Wayne Downey. Talk about
being first in the barrel! Interestingly, I wasnt
nervous and felt like this is where I was meant
to be. I played, then we talked for a while and I
just knew that I was in this wonderful family.
My advice: listen to your heart, trust in yourself,
play like (and because) you love it, and that will
be what comes through your instrument.

Colin

6/13/2016

This method of auditioning is ONLY to be used if an


individual cannot attend one of our live auditions.
Media auditions will ONLY be accepted from
October 1 through December 1, 2016.
Once we have received and viewed your musical and
visual media auditions, we will inform you of your
status. It will either be a) you are invited to the first full
corps camp in January to continue and complete your
audition (meaning we think you have the talent and
ability to make the corps, but need to see you live and in
a full ensemble setting before making a final decision),
or b) unfortunately we cannot offer you a spot at this
time. No outright acceptance will be made via media
auditions.

MUSICAL MEDIA AUDITION


Create an unlisted (not public or private) YouTube video
(or multiple videos) for us to review. This video (or
videos) should include all of the audition exercises
and selected excerpts listed in this audition packet.
Once you have your musical media audition video
prepared and uploaded, please send an e-mail to John
Meehan (jmeehan@bluedevils.org) with the following
information:
Link to your music audition video(s)
Your full name
Birthdate and current age
Mailing address
Phone number
Active e-mail address
Section for which you are auditioning for
Previous drum corps and/or marching band
experience
continued on the next page...

2017 BLUE DEVILS BRASS AUDITION PACKET

MEDIA AUDITIONS
VISUAL MEDIA AUDITION
Create an unlisted (not public or private) YouTube
video (or multiple videos) for us to review. This video
(or videos) should include all of the required material
listed below. Please feel free to contact Todd Ryan with
any visual questiotns.
Once you have your visual media audition video
prepared and uploaded, please send an e-mail to
Todd Ryan (jack2pack@aol.com) and John Meehan
(jmeehan@bluedevils.org) with the following
information:
Link to your visual audition video(s)
Your full name
Birthdate and current age
Mailing address

continued...

For your visual media audition, please demonstrate the


following:
T
 empo changes: Set a metronome to 180 BPM, then
march forward at 8 to 5, switching foot speed every
8 counts (8 @ 180 BPM, 8 @ 90 BPM, and so on for 4
reps). Do this a second time, moving backwards.
S
 tep size changes: Set a metronome to 180 BPM,
then march forward 12 steps at 12 to 5, then 6 steps
at 6 to 5. Do this 4 times, the 1st and 3rd time at 180
BPM, the 2nd and 4th time at 90 BPM.
D
 irection Changes: Do 4 reps of a zig zag drill
(forward 8, left slide 8, forward 8, right slide 8). First
rep - 90 BPM, all front slides; Second rep - 180 BPM,
all front slides; Third rep - 90 BPM, all backslides;
Fourth rep - 180 BPM all backslides.

Active e-mail address

E
 ffort changes: Moving only at 180 BPM, move
forward 8 to 5 for 8 counts, then jazz run 4 to 5 for 8
counts, then 8 to 5 for 8 counts, then jazz run 4 to 5
for 8 counts.

Section for which you are auditioning for

Backward motion: Run backwards for 20 yards.

Phone number

Previous drum corps and/or marching band


experience

6/13/2016

If you have ANY questions about the music or visual


aspects of a media audition, please read the FAQ
section of this packet, or contact John Meehan
(john@jksmusic.com).

2017 BLUE DEVILS BRASS AUDITION PACKET

TRUMPET
The Blue Devils audition process
is no different than any other world class
audition you may experience. The staff is
very professional and the auditions are run
in a comfortable, organized manner. The
key to having a successful audition at The
Blue Devils is to understand that the staff is
not looking for who may or may not mess
up. They want you to do well and they want
you to succeed. Be smart in your musical
preparation; do not choose material that
is above your current musicianship level,
and do not try and change your marching
technique prior to the audition. Remember,
you need to feel comfortable, so do what
feels comfortable for you.
Two things:
VisualKeep your feet in time, and stay tall!
MusicPlay with a consistent, centered
tone. Do not try and impress through
technique only, YOU HAVE to display good
control of tone and pitch. (A good, centered
tone matters in technical passages as well).
Do not throw this opportunity away if you
feel youre not good enough. Half the battle
is networking and getting your face in front
of the staff so they know who you are in
case you have to audition again. Plus, you
will never know unless you try. Its the truth!
Remember, the staff is excited for everyone
who comes to audition, so relax and do not
be afraid to introduce yourself to others and
have fun!
Bill

6/13/2016

2017 Trumpet Audition Exercises


Arutunian Trumpet Concerto,
indicated sections only
Charlier Etude #2,
indicated sections only
Gordon Goodwin Lead Excerpt,
if you would like to be considered
for a lead Trumpet spot

2017 BLUE DEVILS BRASS AUDITION PACKET

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Excerpts used for educational purposes only

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Excerpts used for educational purposes only

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MELLOPHONE
I marched The Blue Devils from 2004
through 2007. The day of my audition was
incredibly nerve racking, but all of that went
away when I stepped into the warm-up
room. Just during the warm-up time for my
audition, I had already met five different
people that were from all over the country.
When it was my turn to audition, I played in
front of John Meehan and Wayne Downey.
It was a very stress free environment. I just
went in there and played my music excerpt
and a range exercises, that was pretty much
it. Next, Jaime Holly checked out how I
moved by having me do some basic marching exercises and some jazz running. Even
during the audition he was giving me some
pointers and tips on how to fix things.
I have learned so much about music,
marching and very productive working
habits that I still use to this day. I also traveled all over the globe and have made many
life long friends through this organization. I
can easily say marching The Blue Devils was
the best time of my life.
Robert

2017 Mellophone Audition Exercises


Mozart Horn Concerto #3, 3rd Movement,
indicated sections only
Till Eulenspiegel,
indicated sections only

I was a member from 2004-2007 and


I am so glad I came back year after year. To
date, my fondest memories in life come
from those years. Im not going to lie, nothing about The Blue Devils is a walk-in-thepark. I wasnt an out-of-stater, but it sure
was a long drive from SoCal to Concord.
Not that driving would be any cheaper than
flying considering the ridiculous gas prices.
But let me tell you... all of the hardships I
endured were all worth it, and not just in the
end. The experiences, morals, ethics and
friends youll gain with The Blue Devils are
forever.
Shane

6/13/2016

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Excerpts used for educational purposes only

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EUPHONIUM
My name is Tim and I have a story
that can be a true testimonial for people
out there thinking they cant make The
Blue Devils. I auditioned in April of the 2007
season to fill a spot in the Euphonium line.
I was 21 years old with no previous drum
corps experience at all. Things really didnt
look in my favor as there was another guy
auditioning for the spot that had marched
with a different top 3 drum corps the year
before. The biggest thing I can tell anyone
about auditioning is dont doubt your
abilities and walk into the audition with total
confidence. No matter how many butterflies you may have in your stomach, you
should look like its no big deal at all. Show
the staff that is auditioning you that you
deserve to be in the hornline. Needless to
say, I made it!
My one and only summer of drum corps
with The Blue Devils was completely magical. It was totally the best time I have ever
had in my life and I wish I had more years
to march. Being a part of a drum corps
with such a rich background of history on
its 50th year anniversary was priceless. It
was truly a privilege to be around everyone
affiliated with The Blue Devils. Everyone
from the cook staff, to the instructional staff
to the 135 marching members. At the end
of each day, knowing that everyone together
put all their heart and soul into working
together for a common goal was amazing.
Anytime I would want to give up and not
push anymore, I would look around and see
everyone that was depending on me to keep
pushing beyond what I thought I could. The
Blue Devils truly are a world class organization. The last piece of advice I could give
is to be in The Blue Devils doing your best
isnt good enough, you have to do whatever
it takes.
Tim
6/13/2016

2017 Euphonium Audition Exercises


Toccata Marziale,
indicated sections only
Rochut Melodius Etudes, Book 1, #9,
indicated sections only
Commando March (OPTIONAL),
indicated sections only

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Excerpts used for educational purposes only

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Excerpts used for educational purposes only

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TUBA
I have nothing but good things to say
in regards to my audition and camp experiences with The Blue Devils. I auditioned
in Indianapolis at the BOA Grand Nationals
competition and made it on the spot, so I
didnt have to attend camps until January.
It proves that the staff knows exactly who
is capable of making the corps without
putting its members through unnecessary
hassle (i.e. having to fly to auditions even
though they saw me in Indy). Also, they will
not waste your time and money, so if you
are called back, you have a great shot at
making itespecially if they see improvement from the last time they saw you. I had
to miss two camps due to school related
functions, but it is good to know your spring
schedule ASAP so that the staff can know
that upfront. Plan on missing all of your
Friday classes on camp weekends because
it takes all day to fly out there. The BART
train is really easy and safe to usepeople
are friendly and will help you out, make sure
to bring single bills to pay for shuttles to the
station. Basically, if you are talented and
committed, you have a great shot at making
The Blue Devils.

2017 Tuba Audition Exercises


Die Meistersinger
indicated sections only
Blazhevich #21
indicated sections only

I was a rook-out in BD this year (2007) and


had the best summer of my life, even if we
hadnt won. Not a day went by that I didnt
have fun or wasnt laughing about something. They have the best instruction in the
activity and treat everyone very well. Ive
noticed that at BD, more than anywhere
else, they bridge the gap between rookies
and vets and treat everyone the same. I can
carry on for hours about the great experiences Ive had as a Blue Devil. I guarantee
that you will not regret your decision to
march BD. Go for it!
Kayla

6/13/2016

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Excerpts used for educational purposes only

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Excerpts used for educational purposes only

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Q: Why should I try out? I KNOW Ill never make it.

Now, to instruments

A: I hear this question/comment more than you could ever


imagine. As a matter of fact, prior to the 2003 season, I was
doing a clinic for a band in Tennessee and suggested to one
of the Trumpet players he consider auditioning for The Blue
Devils. He immediately blushed and said No way! I would
never make it. My reaction? HELLO! Im on the BD brass
staff and just told you to audition! This person went on to
audition and subsequently make the brass section (just like
I thought he would). So, my advice to anyone who would like
to one day be a member of The Concord Blue Devils is to GO
FOR IT! Like with many things in life, you will never know if
you dont try, and theres nothing wrong with taking a chance
once in a while.

IMPORTANT! If you are attending ANY NON-CALIFORNIA


audition, you will need to bring your own instrument.

Q: What should I expect at my playing audition with


The Blue Devils?
A: In a nutshell, your playing audition will last around 4 to
8 minutes and be in a room with just you and one or two
members of The Blue Devil 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. DONT
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 all of the 2017 Audition Exercises and
Selected Excerpts, which were designed and selected to give
us a good idea of your tone, flexibility and articulation style.
Finally, we will ask you a few more questions and thats it,
painless!
Q: What should I bring?
A: First of all, BRING YOUR MUSIC! It sounds ridiculous,
but youd be surprised with some of the things that have
happened! There is no need to bring a music stand, we will
provide one for you. I highly suggest that you bring your own
mouthpiece. You will be able to borrow one of ours if needed,
but my experience has been that its much more comfortable to audition on your own.

6/13/2016

If you ARE coming to a California audition


Trumpet players I suggest you bring your own horn and
mouthpiece. You will of course be able to borrow one of
ours if needed, but like mouthpieces, weve found its 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, its
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 Euphoniums
during the season, please be prepared to also play a few
notes on one of our instruments as we will need to check
your finger control and dexterity. If you play Baritone, Euphonium or Tuba, its up to you whether or not you bring your
own horn. We will of course have enough instruments available for you to borrow. I suggest you use ours (with YOUR
mouthpiece) as these instruments are difficult to travel with.
Please remember we only have Euphoniums (no Baritones)
and they take large shank mouthpieces.
Q: Do you accept Trombone players?
A: We have many Trombone players every year audition for
and make the Blue Devil brass section. While we dont march
Trombones, these members move to our Euphonium section.
You are fully allowed to audition on your Trombone for The
Blue Devils, but might be asked to play a few scales on a
valved instrument to demonstrate your finger dexterity.
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FAQs

continued...

Q: What kinds of things are you looking for with my


audition?

Q: Can I audition even though I may audition for another


corps?

A: 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 corrective 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!

A: YES! We understand you need to keep your options open.


Feel free to audition for as many corps as you please. Just
remember, if we or any of the other corps offer you a spot (or
a call back opportunity), you WILL need to make a decision.

Q: What are your age requirements?

Q: Are there any scholarships or sponsorships I can get


to help with my tour fees?
A: Once you are accepted into The Blue Devils, you will
receive a handbook with information regarding these opportunities.

A: The average age for The Blue Devil A Corps is 19 and


ages range from 15 to 22. While we have no age limit, when
you are under 17, age is a consideration. If you have the talent
to make the corps, no matter what the age, we will of course
consider accepting you. If you happen to be under 17, we
would need to talk with your parents just to make sure they
understand the activity and what the commitment would be
for joining The Blue Devils. We have had members as young
as 15.

A: We prefer you audition on one instrument only. If you are


a Trumpet player but wouldnt mind playing Mellophone if it
were to help you get a spot, please put that on your audition
form the day of the audition. You could also mention this
during your music audition. Audition on the instrument you
are most comfortable with.

Q: Do you have any inside information to help me


prepare for my audition?

Q: Will I find out my status by the end of the audition


weekend?

A: The most important piece of information I can give


ANYONE auditioning for The Blue Devils 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
well never know your true talent. Remember, you are auditioning for one of the best brass sections in the marching
activity, and although you dont 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. This is a huge
event in most peoples lives, take full advantage of it!

A: One of three things will happen at the end of the audition


day/weekend. #1) We will congratulate you and accept you
into the 2017 Concord Blue Devil brass section. #2) We will
inform you that you have passed the first step and will be
invited to our first full corps camp in January, 2017. It will
be at this camp that we begin learning the 2017 technique
program and show music with the entire brass 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. #3) We will inform you
that unfortunately we cannot offer you a spot in the 2017
Blue Devil brass section. 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 the 2018 auditions.

Q: Can I audition even if I have no intention of marching?


A: YES! Many people each year audition just for the experience. The more you do one on one auditions, the more
comfortable you will get.

6/13/2016

Q: Is there any way I can audition on more than one


instrument? Like Trumpet AND Mellophone?

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FAQs

continued...

Q: How long would I have to live in California?


A: This answer varies person to person. We have some
members that move to Northern California in January so
they can not only attend all rehearsals, but also work and go
to school for the semester, kind of a change of pace. Beyond
that, we have some members that commute to camps
January through May (either by car or plane) and move to
Northern California once school is out for the year (usually
sometime during the month of May). For more information,
continue reading in the following question.
Q: Do I have to move to the Concord area if accepted?
A: Most people think that in order to be a member of The
Concord Blue Devils brass section you HAVE to move to
Concord in January and put all facets of your life on hold.
This is NOT true! Our attendance policy has changed over
the past several years and is now VERY consistent with the
other top drum corps in the country. Here are the 2 scenarios that I see the majority of our members committing to
each year.
Scenario #1 Continue going to school and work like normal
and travel to Blue Devil camps. Once accepted into the 2017
Blue Devil brass section, you only have to attend monthly
camps during January, February, March and April. During
that time (4 months), you would spend a total of 12 days in
Concord for mandatory rehearsals (school conflicts can be
worked out as excused absences). Once May rolls around,
your attendance will be determined by your school schedule. Once you are out of school for the summer, you will be
required to attend all rehearsals beginning in May, so it is
highly suggested that you move to the Concord area then.
If you ARE still in school in May, we will create an individually
based attendance policy based on your last day of school.
Once school is out, you will need to move to Concord immediately as we begin all-day every-day rehearsals in mid-May.
We COMPLETELY understand that some schools end after
mid-May, so no worries. This is why I say we will create an
individually based attendance policy JUST for you.
6/13/2016

Scenario #2 Move to Concord, get a local job and attend


classes at a local college. Some members CHOOSE to take
a semester off of school and live in California for 6 months.
Most (if not all) of these members move into an apartment
with other BD members in similar situations to save on the
costs of living.
Q: Since I dont live in California, does that mean I need
to take a semester off of school?
A: No, refer to the Q&A above with scenarios 1 & 2. You CAN
take a semester off of school, but that would be YOUR choice.
We try to make being a part of The Blue Devils as attainable
as possible, for everyone.
Q: How many camps do I have to attend?
A: We have rehearsal camps once a month January through
April. We also have weekend rehearsals in May and all day
rehearsals beginning mid-May. All in all, that is 6 weekend
rehearsals before the all day rehearsals begin. Out of those
6, we expect as much participation as possible. How much
exactly is determined once you make the corps, this is more
of a personalized schedule. Mandatory school conflicts are
always excused. We require once you are out of school for
the year, that you are at ALL rehearsals after that.
Q: Where do I stay for camps and all day rehearsals?
A: You are responsible for your own housing at camps and
all days. Many new members stay at a local hotel for the first
camp (this hotel offers a special BD rate), then figure out
ways to save money with other members for the following
camps. For all days, members usually share an apartment
for the 5+ weeks. There are also local members that house
out of town members as well as alumni and booster club
members that open their homes. The Blue Devils also have a
housing coordinator that helps people once they have been
accepted into the corps.

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FAQs

continued...

Q: I am going to do an early May tour with my College,


what is your policy in that regard?

Q: Will there be another audition at the Bands Of


America Grand National Finals?

A: If you make the brass section, we will deal with this as


best as possible as long as it does not conflict with too much
rehearsal. We have had members in the past who have
participated in both May school tours as well as The Blue
Devils.

A: No. We will NOT be holding an audition at BOA this year.

Q: If I cant make it to one of the live auditions, what do


I do?
A: Use the Media Audition option.
Q: Im from Germany and would like to do the audition
by DVD or other media. Is this OK?
A: YES! We realize how expensive it can be to audition for an
American drum corps when you are from another country.
Sending in a media audition is fully acceptable.
Q: I am from a foreign country, can I get a letter from
The Blue Devils to help secure a visa?
A: Yes. Upon acceptance into The Blue Devils, we could
provide you with a letter of participation to help secure your
travel visa.
Q: Im not sure if Im going to be able to afford it, should
I audition?
A: YES! Audition even if you dont plan on marching until
2018. The experience will only help and if you DO make
it, who knows, you might just figure out how to afford it. I
suggest you worry about these issues AFTER youve made
the corps, not before.
Q: How much would it cost if I made The Blue Devils?
A: Please check out this link for that information - http://
www.bluedevils.org/join/#fees
Q: I have heard you need previous drum corps experience to be accepted, true?
A: NO! We have members each year in ALL sections with
no previous drum corps experience. Does it help? Yes. Is it
required? No.
6/13/2016

Q: What music is BD going to play in 2017?


A: This decision is usually made near the end of November, around Thanksgiving. Stay tuned to the BD website for
further details.
Q: If someone doesnt make the A Corps, could they
march the B Corps?
A: Yes, but most B Corps members are from the California
area. Unlike the A Corps, the B Corps is (almost) solely
made up of California members who can commute to
rehearsals via car or train. The B Corps rehearses most
weekends January through May, then begin more daily
rehearsals in June (once high schools have ended for the
year). If you dont make the A Corps and are interested in
the B Corps, let us know at the end of the audition process.
Q: What College would be easiest to attend if I were to
be accepted into The Blue Devils?
A: Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos College, University Of
California Berkeley, Hayward State University, San Francisco
State University and San Joe State University.
Q: Do you have a specific mouthpiece I have to play on?
A: For your audition, NO. If you are accepted into the brass
section, you WILL be required to play on our specially
designed System Blue mouthpieces for the 2017 season.
Every section in 2017 will be on a uniformed mouthpiece
(specifically picked by the staff to best fit the tone and range
of each instrument/section).
Q: Is there any way I can try out for both Trumpet and
color guard? Would I have to attend two camps?
A: Yes, you can audition for both the brass section AND the
color guard, but you would have to attend both auditions.
Q: Is there a hair length standard for male members?
A: No.
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TESTIMONIALS
Throughout this packet and on the
following pages are real-life testimonials
on auditioning and being a member of
the Blue Devils from current and previous
members. While we know there is nothing
like the actual experience, we also find
that getting personal perspective from
someone who has gone through it before
can help settle nerves, give insight and
better prepare you for the actual event.

I first auditioned for the corps in


2006 by sending in a video tape because I
live in Arizona and I didnt have the money
to fly out at first. I was very nervous and had
gotten help from all of my old instructors on
both playing and marching but still felt none
of my skills were up to Blue Devil standards.
I still remember when John Meehan called
me to tell me that they were interested and
that I should plan on coming out in December so they could get a better idea. In fact,
when John called me asking me to come
out I was driving to an open house for the
corps that I had marched with in previous
years. I remember sitting in the audience
at the open house as the corps announced
their show and hoping to death that it would
be a show I got to watch and not march in.
The audition process, as scary as you can
make it seem, is really a very positive atmosphere where the staff and all of the current
members just want to see you do your best
and be accepted into what will hopefully
become one of the defining experiences of
your life.
Ben

6/13/2016

In November of 2006 when auditioning again after not succeeding in 2005, I


found it much easier. It was a road trip with
friends to get to auditions, but 575 miles
later we showed up at the hotel about 2
min.s drive from the audition site. As the
night came to an end, this would be the
hardest time I would have falling asleep.
The first audition day rolls around... the
best words of advice that helped me are
perform what you practiced. We do our
stretches, meet the horn captain and some
staff (Wayne Downey, John Meehan and
other marching instructors). For the remainder of the morning (until lunch), we did zig
zags, up in four down in four, side back side
front and jazz running. The day went on
and I never got to the musical portion of my
audition, I guess that will happen Sunday.
We showed up on Sunday, did some more
marching and I was one of 18 (I think) to
still audition for a spot musically. I went
in, warmed up and finally got to audition. I
played my piece, played their music, did
okay, but when others asked, I said I never

played better (not true). So its now past


lunchtime and they are pulling people out
to look at them again, some of which look
really good, but I am never called. Pretty
much after I wasnt called when the staff
went to talk to decide who made the cut, I
was about to walk out the door to go home.
John Meehan comes back in and explains
whats about to happen if you make it,
if they want to call you back for a second
audition in January or if you are invited back
to audition again next fall. He goes down
the list of accepted and Im called right after
my good friend that is here with me. We go
outside, so I have no idea what happens
inside after that.
The next nine months would turn out to be
the time of my life. I was that kid who had
two left feet in high school I was that kid
who sounded like a fog horn on clear day
And now, Im that kid but 5 years later with
a world championship in my list of accomplishments, but best of all, Im a proud
member of The Blue Devils. When you walk
on the field, you know what its about.

Steven

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Succeeding as a member in The


Blue Devils during spring training requires
careful planning and a strong sense of
commitment. Most members have busy
lives outside of drum corps, involving work,
school and relationships. All of these can
lead to conflicts with camps.
As a member from out of state, its important to note the camp dates ahead of time
and immediately start making travel
arrangements and taking care of conflicts.
Its crucial that every member gets repetitions on new skills and information from
the staff as early as possible. That can
only happen if everyone makes an effort to
make getting to camps a priority. Getting
into the Oakland airport and up to Concord
is a simple process, especially if you talk
through it with a veteran member ahead of
time.
There are three or four hotels very near
to the rehearsal sites and a few generous
boosters who are willing to house members
on the camp weekends. As long as youre
willing to meet new people and maybe
spend a few dollars, sleeping arrangements
arent hard to handle either. Apartments
for all-days are similarly not too difficult to
arrange. The one thing that isnt easy is
making the commitment to the corps and
living up to that commitment by planning
ahead, making arrangements in advance
so that you can get to where you need to be
when you need to be there, and taking care
of the rest of your life so that you can live up
to the financial obligation and time commitment to The Blue Devils. Once youre on tour
is usually the easy part; before you leave for
the summer, its easy to get distracted and
start falling behind.
Plan ahead, work out conflicts, make drum
corps a real priority and youll be able to
enjoy the experience of camps and the
month of all-days more, but beyond that,
youll perform better.
Matt

6/13/2016

As a Blue Devil alum, I can look back


on the two years I marched and think to
myself how much better I became as a
person. I can also look back and think about
the first time I saw The Blue Devils and how I
thought that they were untouchable. That is
what most high school students think, even
college students, so that mindset usually
keeps you from trying out (auditioning). I
actually thought to myself afterwards that I
wanted to be part of something that would
always stay with me for the rest of my life,
and I knew I wanted to wear THE BLUE. I
did my research and read a lot about how
to audition and prepare myself. The bad
part about it was that it only intimidated
me some more. So I just said, What the
heck, Ive got nothing to lose and just gave
it my best shot. I sent in my media audition
and waited for a response, which was an
invite to complete my audition at the first
January camp! Im from Miami and being a
member from the east coast is tough but
you can always find help and sponsorships
are available if you really look for them.
The best part about being from the east
coast was taking the flight out to the west
coast for camps every month, it was like
a vacation! On top of that, the amount of
people you meet that arent from California
is just amazing. If you think you cant make
it, youre just setting yourself up wrong.
Someone once told me you never know until
you try, and how true that is.Pedro

I honestly enjoyed my experience as a


Blue Devil. I have marched other corps such
as Crossmen and the Boston Crusaders,
and this corps hands down was my favorite.
The first week I got there it was very exciting,
with everybody all happy to see each other
and glad to be apart of an organization with
such great caliber. The second week comes
and you realize how much you have to go
to get that championship status. To be
honest, it really was difficult because I was
part of The Line (Tuba section), which
historically is a rock solid group within the
corps. I remember after the San Antonio
show when we got back to the housing site,
the cameraman for The Blue Devils DVDs
put the camera in front of my face and
asked me what I thought about winning the
regional. I let him know I felt honored that
we won, that The Blue Devils had not won
since 2001 and that I am proud of how far
my section had come. It meant a lot to me
when I heard we won in Pasadena because
it showed me that as with anything you want
in life, you really need to put forward that
extra effort and show people how much you
want to obtain your goal and it will happen.
I sincerely want to thank everybody, the
brass & visual staff, the members, the fans
and just everybody. I really will miss this
activity and wish I had one more year. Its
alright, Im blessed that I could say Im a
Blue Devil.
Kristian

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I am from Iowa and had to fly to all of


the camps, as many members do. This is
an added challenge to being a member but
is definitely doable. Dont rule out The Blue
Devils just because of travel inconvenience;
it requires a bit of extra planning, time, and
money, but it is totally worth it. There are a
few things that will make the process easier.
First of all, plan ahead. If you know there
is a camp coming up and that you will be
attending, start looking for plane tickets
right away. In general, the sooner you buy
them the cheaper they are (and there are
more flight time options available). Secondly, I would recommend signing up for a
frequent flier program with the airline you
usually fly. You will accumulate a lot of miles
flying to camps. Finally, communicate! If
you arent sure youll be able to make all of
the camps due to travel issues, money, or
other conflicts, tell your caption head right
away. They are really understanding and
flexible people as long as you are responsible about letting them know in advance.
Also, it is incredibly important to communicate with your teachers and professors
at home. At the beginning of the semester,
explain to them the activity youre involved
in and let them know what days you will
have to miss because of travel to and from
camps. Most professors will probably think

6/13/2016

it is a great opportunity and will excuse


you from class when necessary. However,
professors do not like to be told last minute
you will be gone. I made the mistake last
year of assuming that my college band
director would not mind me missing one
Friday afternoon rehearsal for a plane flight
to a Blue Devils camp. I went in and told him
the Monday before, and he was not pleased.
My grade was lowered just from missing
that one rehearsal!
The Blue Devils do not provide housing for
camps or for all-days, which can be inconvenient for those coming from far away and
not knowing anybody in the Concord area.
For the audition camp, I stayed at the Holiday Inn, which was nice but expensive. I was
lucky enough to hear about Sonja Williams,
a volunteer with The Blue Devils who allows
as many members to stay at her house as
can fit. If you need a place to stay for camps,
ask around. Sonja is not the only volunteer who offers free housing. Also, some
members are local to Concord and are
willing to allow some people to stay at their
houses. Not only does this save you some
money, it also provides a great opportunity
to make new friends in The Blue Devils.

Alissa

When I auditioned for drum major in


2007 I was only 17 and still finishing up high
school. I was intimidated thinking about
the others I would be competing against
and the staff that would be judging me.
When I asked people What does the staff
look for in a BD drum major, the number
one response was confidence. But just
like everyone else, I get nervous before a
performance or audition. So what I did was
prepare myself extremely well beforehand
so that I could be confident, knowing I was
fully prepared and ready for anything. I
prepared the music and then I went though
a mock audition with my band director and
some friends. Afterwards, I felt extremely
prepared and ready for the audition.
When the audition came around I didnt
worry about my competition, I just focused
on my own gig and tried to enjoy the weekend. It was great to see how the audition
process works and just be around so many
great performers and amazing staff. During
the audition, I tried to stay relaxed and act
just like I did in my mock audition. During
the interview I made sure I thought before I
answered each question and just tried to be
myself. You have to know why you want to
be a Blue Devil and enjoy it. Just be yourself
and have confidence.
Brian

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BLUE DEVILS STAFF


If you have ANY questions about any part of the Blue
Devils Brass audition process, please feel free to
contact John Meehan at john@jksmusic.com.

2016 Blue Devil Brass Staff:


(left to right) Sean Snyder, Kevin Ronan, Steve Vento, John Meehan,
James Rocillo, Bill Watson, Sam Pilafian, Eric Weingartner, Scott Palmer

6/13/2016

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33

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6/13/2016

2017 BLUE DEVILS BRASS AUDITION PACKET

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