Why is the registration fee different for new and returning members?

Our members are our most important resource. Their achievements are our achievements. Having members return year after year helps strengthen and build a strong, positive Blue Stars culture and enhance our performance abilities. As such, we offer small discounts on dues and fees to returning members.

Why do I have to pay the registration fee before receiving the audition materials?

It is very expensive to hold a large audition camp for a drum and bugle corps. As is the trend in drum corps, we are requiring prepayment for the registration fee for all 2020 audition camps. This allows us to more closely track registration numbers for food, housing and instruction preparations. Additionally, prepayment will relieve what has become an extremely long and time-consuming registration line at the start of the camp weekend.

Which camp should I attend?

The largest and most ‘drum corps’ like experience will be at the main audition camp in Indianapolis on November 29-December 1. We also strongly suggest you attend the Indianapolis audition camp if you are flying, as this is the only location in which we provide shuttle service to/from an airport.

Otherwise you should attend the audition camp closest to where you live. There is no difference in the evaluation process at one location or another (there is no advantage for making the corps at any given location). You only need to attend one of the various audition camps during November and December.

Can I audition via video?

Yes, we do allow auditions via video. However, you must pay the audition fee before we watch and evaluate your talent. To submit a video, purchase the video audition packet for your section and follow the instructions. Questions about video auditions can be sent to the director via email.

Note that if your video audition is successful, we will ask you to attend the next winter camp. We will not offer a contract for a position solely on a strong video audition. We strongly encourage auditioning in person as the audition camp is a great learning experience and it is the best way to have your skills evaluated by our staff.

Do I have to attend the remaining camps in Indiana if I get a callback from the audition camps?

All candidates offered membership or a callback must attend the remaining camps in Indianapolis, Indiana as specified for your section. A schedule of these camps can be found on the Camp Schedule page.

Should my parents come to the audition camp?

There will be a parents meeting on Friday night of the November audition camp in Indianapolis, IN. Please invite your parents to come and learn about the Blue Stars. Our continued operation is dependent upon the support and volunteerism of many parents, and this meeting serves as a good opportunity for your parents to ask the many questions they have about the organization.

Parents who want to attend one of the audition camps in Florida, California, or Texas will have opportunities to talk to Blue Stars' staff members and administrators and have any questions answered on those days. Alternatively, questions about the Blue Stars can be sent via email to the director.

Do you provide transportation to and from the airport?

If you fly into camp we provide transportation to and from the airport in Indianapolis, IN. For the other audition locations, we may be able to help you secure a ride, but it is not guaranteed.

I want to RSVP, but don't know my flight information at this time. What do I do?

Simply fill out the RSVP with as much information as you have at this time. Fill out another RSVP when you know the flight details. It's easy for us to reconcile and delete the first RSVP.

Where is your membership from?

The Blue Stars membership comes from across the United States and from around the world.

How many members in each section will you march?

We will be marching the full 154 members allowed by Drum Corps International. The breakdown between sections will not be decided until all auditions have taken place. At that time we will decide how to use the 154 limit based on the talent auditioning for the various sections and the needs of the season’s show.

What will I have to do during the audition?

You will be evaluated based on your musical/performance ability, your marching ability, an administrative interview, and your attitude throughout the audition camp. See Auditions for more information.

Do I need to bring my own equipment to the audition?

Due to the large number of auditionees, we ask brass players to bring their own horn to the audition camp (trumpet, mellophone, marching baritone, marching euphonium, or marching tuba). There will be a limited number of Blue Stars’ instruments available for checkout, but please bring your own horn if possible. Brass players should also bring a wire music stand and printed copies of all audition materials. Any candidate using a Blue Stars' horn will also need to wear white gloves (available for purchase at the camp).

Battery percussion candidates should bring a pair of marching snare or tenor sticks. We will also have snare and tenor sticks available for purchase at the camp. Bass and front ensemble mallets are provided. Battery candidates should also bring a drum pad (snare or tenor, as appropriate). Both the battery and front ensemble candidates should bring a wire music stand and printed copies of all audition materials.

Guard candidates should bring a saber and/or rifle if you wish to audition on those pieces of equipment. There will be a limited amount available, but not enough for all. Flags will be provided.

Can I audition for Drum Major?

Yes, Drum Major audition packets may be purchased. We audition for both drum major and conductor spots every season. The number of drum majors and conductors we choose can fluctuate from year to year. Drum majors and conductors may audition at an audition camp or via email. For additional comments, please email director@bluestars.org.

How many openings are there this year?

154 positions are available. Nobody is guaranteed a spot. Everyone is required to re-audition every year for membership in the Blue Stars.

What is the minimum age to be a member of the Blue Stars?

Members of the Blue Stars are 16 or older. On very rare occasions a 15-year-old has shown the maturity and skills necessary to be part of the organization. We do allow young adults in high school regardless of age to audition and learn about what we expect and how we operate as well as letting us get to know you for consideration in future seasons.

What is the maximum age you can be and be a member of the Blue Stars?

According to DCI rules one must be 21 or younger on June 1, 2020 in order to be eligible to march the 2020 season.

Does the corps offer scholarships to march?

The Blue Stars offer a very small number of scholarships. Many of our members, however, have had success in funding their corps experience through sponsorship. We can help you put together packages and letters to ask for sponsorships, however, it is ultimately the member’s responsibility to obtain sponsorship. Be advised that all members will be required to pay the full dues amount in order to participate in the 2020 Blue Stars. If you anticipate needing assistance with funds, it is best to get started as early as possible and discuss your situation with the corps director.

What if I march in winter guard?

This is not a problem. A majority of our color guard has marched in winter guard programs in past years. The guard is only required to come to a November/December audition camp and the April camp.

What if I march in winter percussion?

This is not an issue, as we have many of our members perform in winter percussion programs. The percussion section is required to come to a November/December audition camp, the January callback camp, and the April camp.

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 more than half 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 DCI finals being held in early August, it is usually early enough that you would be at an orientation prior to school. We will do whatever 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. Attend the audition camp in November/December and go through the audition process. When you decide on your school tell us the dates in question for orientation. We will look at the tour schedule, and see what can be worked out. Please understand that the more notice we have, the easier it is to work these type of conflicts out.

Does the corps provide housing for members for spring training?

We will provide housing for you for the entirety of spring training, as well as all meals. If you arrive in the spring training location earlier than our scheduled move-in date, you will be responsible for your own food and housing.

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.

What do I do if my school ends after spring training begins?

Go through the audition process to give the Corps Director and Instructional Staff an understanding of your ability. We will then be able to ascertain how much of an absence your ability and talent will allow. In addition, we are happy to reach out to your school in regards to taking exams early, proctoring exams, etc. We have had many members that have dealt with this type of conflict, and have made it work so they are able to fulfill all of their school responsibilities and their corps membership.

What if I have a question not answered here?

Send an e-mail to director@bluestars.org or call our office at (608) 782-3219.