Visual Audition FAQs

Revised: September 2014

Q: How will the auditions work?
A: You will be evaluated in small and large groups. Your visual audition at Pacific Crest will look and feel like a rehearsal. We’ll start with a good stretch, some physical conditioning, and a mile-run. (It’s important to have spent some time running beforehand so you can still perform a day of auditions!) A series of basics exercises will focus on forward and backward strides, as well as slides – all at various tempi. There may be some introductory body movement, dance technique, and Jazz running.

Q: How can I best prepare for the auditions?
A: Here are the elements we evaluate:

Timing – You do not have to know the Pacific Crest marching technique when you audition, but you must be able to demonstrate consistent foot pulse. During the auditions, use the marching style with which you’re most comfortable. We will teach the Pacific Crest technique later.

Attitude – We’re looking for students with a positive attitude toward receiving, reacting, and responding to instruction. Your ability to learn carries as much (or more) weight than your skill level.

Improvement – Demonstrating improvement is a key component of success in drum corps.

Fitness – One of the most important fundamentals to success is physical fitness. You should be able to comfortably run for a mile.

Tempo Variety – Practice marching at a variety of tempos, from 60 up to 200 beats per minute, while maintaining good technique and control.

Q: Do I have to know how to Jazz run?
A: It’s to your advantage if you have tried jazz running, but this is a technique we’re happy to teach you.

Q: How physically fit do I have to be?
A: The physical requirements of modern drum corps are akin to college athletics. Like a good athlete, a good drum corps performer must be in great physical shape during the season and off-season. Begin preparing physically for your audition the same time you begin musically. It is important you wear athletic fitness clothes and cross-training athletic shoes.