How will this audition work?

Video auditions for 2021 is a four step and should take approximately five weeks from start to finish. Refer to the chart showing our process below:

Step 1: Register

Step 2: Study and practice the audition materials at home

Step 3: Submit a video based on your section requirements

Step 4: You will be contacted to schedule a private lesson, where one of our instructors will work with you based on your video submission

The bottom line: We want to provide the safest space possible to demonstrate your skills. You should be able to complete the audition experience in five weeks; however, you can take another week or two to get it right. In short, we want you to be successful.

Before you fill out this form, upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo. Be sure to set it to unlisted so that it will not be available for public consumption. However, be sure that it is not set to private. Otherwise, we won’t be able to see it.

Are you performance ready?


For the battery audition video please demonstrate basic technique including 8s, double beat, accents and taps, 16th and triplet timing, rolls, flams, and a solo no longer than two minutes. Quads please demonstrate basic around on all exercises as well. Include a 1-2 minute introduction explaining your experience and what drew you to Impulse & Why?.

For the video, please include a short introduction, talking about your experience and what drew you to Impulse & Why?. Further, include the exercises/techniques/styles as provided below, for your instrument of choice.

Scales and Arpeggios: 100bpm, 180bpm
Emaj, Dbmin with two
Bbmaj with four
Green #2: 70bpm, 140bpm
Amaj, Fmaj with two
Cmin with four
Any 4-Mallet Block chord exercise
Single alternating
Lateral strokes
1-2 min excerpt
Major Scales: Both hands, two octaves
D, F#, and G
Arpeggios: Both hands, one octave
Db, Fmin, and Bb
1-2 min excerpt

Green #1: 80bpm, 100bpm
Cmaj, Ebmaj
Long Roll: pp<ff over 4 measures,
ff>pp over 4 measures.
Bass Guitar
Scales: Two octaves
Emin, Gmaj, and Cmin
Green #2: Bass Clef, 80bpm, 100bpm
Cmaj, Gbmaj, and Bmaj

Grooves: rock, funk, halftime shuffle, reggae, bossa.
nova, samba, 4/4 swing, mambo, and soca


Prepare and perform the specific material listed below – there will be no sight reading.
1.Prepared Selection

  • Select and perform a 1.5 to 2-minute etude or solo excerpt of your choice
  • Excerpts may be performed on any brass instrument (Trombone, French Horn, etc.)
  • Suggestions include all -State material, Class 1 solos or standard repertoire for your instrument
  • Make sure that the excerpt includes both a technical and lyrical portion

2.Technique Exercises – Impulse Audition Material

  1. Remington’s – This exercise is used to focus on creating the best warm sound by shaping your oral cavity. Initial attack should be made with a Doh articulation followed by an ohh vowel as you depress your Valves. Make sure you are holding notes full value and using big, warm, slow air.
  2. Lip Slurs-These two exercises are designed to do three different things. First, lip slurs when practiced properly
    can build endurance by developing the muscles in your embouchure. Second, lip slurs when practiced
    properly can help build range. Finally, proper slurring technique will train you to use your oral cavity
    and the air stream changes from partial to partial. Please observe all breath marks and use descending
    chromatic alternate fingerings.
  3. Goldman Short Etude -This etude is designed to work on your articulation. Performers should use ta articulation
    for each staccato note. Please pay attention to the articulations that aren’t staccato. Make
    sure you keep the air moving as to allow the tongue to lightly tap the hard pallet. Take the
    exercise slowly and pay close attention to the patterns. The form of the etude is ABA.
  • Perform each exercise with an audible metronome while marking time
    • Moving & Playing – Impulse Audition Material
  • 4 – Note Lip Slur at 3 Tempos – Quarter Notes = 80 / 144 / 180
  • Perform each exercise with an audible metronome while marching the box drill exercise
  • Utilize the visual technique you feel most comfortable performing


Display of marching technique on a football field or parking lot  –10 yards of forward march “8 to 5” and 5 yards of backwards march “8 to 5” at tempos of quarter = 80, 120 & 160
Box Drill 8 Forward, 8 Left, 8 Backwards, 8 Right, 8 Forward  (2X)
(If you do not have access to a field, please find the next best solution)
Please utilize your schools’ marching technique when submitting videos.

Your visual audition will be evaluated using the following criteria:posture, body control, timing, technique, overall visual performance. Please make sure that your entire body is visible for the whole performance, so that the viewer can best see all of the required elements.

Brass applicants must also prepare the dance piece. Your entire body must stay within the camera frame at all times. Dance piece should be performed with the music selection provided, and the music should be audible.

Dance will be evaluated as follows: Need a Dance Here???

  1. Execution of technical skills
  2. Dynamics (how you do something in relation to speed, energy, and time)
  3. Expressiveness

I have to dance? Yes! But… we know many brass players are not dancers by training. Just do your best, have fun and don’t stress.

Color Guard

Color Guard Video:
Start your video by telling us your full name, where you live, and your current age. Take your time and re-record as necessary to best present your skills.
Movement: 30-40 second combination that include skills such as leaps, turns, battement, in and out of the ground, and a demonstration of the range of flexibility and performance qualities.
Flag, Rifle, Saber: 30-40 second combination that should include, tosses at various heights, angles and catch variations, Please include lower body when demonstrating flag skills. Please include technique basics as well, such as:
50 Spins left and right
Any “singles” exercise you may know
Any exercise that demonstrates wrist flexibility and agility
Any exercise that includes back hands and speed changes
50 drop spins left and right
Carves left and right
Singles left and right
Double left and right Various 45 tosses

Color Guard Audition:
Exercises: Be prepared to perform any of the exercises above.
Audition Piece: Learn and perform the flag combo to the best of your ability.
Be sure to focus on your performance quality, lower body contribution and technical aspects.
We are not looking for perfection. We want to see what makes YOU special!

Drum Majors

Applicants must submit their video on or before December 31, 2020, to be considered.

Drum Major Video:

Start your video by telling us your full name, where you live, and your current age. All exercises and excerpts should be performed with a metronome/recording that is audible in the video. Use the conducting style you are most comfortable with. Your entire body should be visible in the frame for all components of the video submission. Take your time while recording, and review all components of your video once you are finished. If the video does not present your best abilities and performance, re-record sections as necessary.

  1. Conducting exercises: Technique 4/4 pattern: Tempos at 90bpm, 120bpm, 180 bpm, 8 measures for each tempo.
    3/4 pattern: Tempos at 90bpm, 120bpm, 180 bpm, 8 measures for each tempo.
  2. Conducting exercises: Musicality — Conduct 8 measures of a 4/4 pattern at 120 bpm and 180 bpm. Starting with the first bar, use your left hand to show a crescendo for 1 full measure, then a decrescendo for 1 full measure, all while conducting beats with your right hand. Repeat and continue this pattern for all 8 measures (cresc. 1 decresc. 1). Your exercise should end with a cut-off on count 1 after the 8th bar.
  3. Conducting exercises: Technique 4/4 pattern: Tempos at 90 bpm, 120 bpm, 180 bpm, 8 measures for each tempo.
    3/4 pattern: Tempos at 90 bpm, 120 bpm, 180 bpm, 8 measures for each tempo.
  4. Conducting exercises: Musicality — Conduct 8 measures of a 4/4 pattern at 120bpm and 180bpm. Starting with the first bar, you’ll use your left hand to show a crescendo for 1 full measure, then a decrescendo for 1 full measure, all while conducting beats with your right hand. Repeat and continue this pattern for all 8 measures (cresc. 1 decresc. 1). Your exercise should end with a cutoff on count 1 after the 8th bar.
  5. Conducting Piece — A roughly one-minute excerpt from a piece of your own choice (can no longer than two-minutes). You should also be prepared to explain why you made the choice you did, or what about the piece speaks to you as a conductor. The audio for this piece should be audible as you conduct.

Once you have your musical audition video prepared and uploaded,
please send an email with a link of your video audition to:

Link to your music audition video(s)

  • Your full name
  • Birth date and current age
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Active email address
  • Section for which you are auditioning
  • Previous drum corps and/or marching band experience

Email your video to:

On Site Auditions

Q: How will the auditions work?
A: You will be evaluated in small and large groups. Your visual audition 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 basic 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 our 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 Impulse 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?
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.

Program Costs

Our tuition and fees for 2021 — $1500-2000. This is the maximum we expect to charge based on our current budget scenario. This amount could be reduced over the next several months based on changes to the number of days on tour, location of our Training facility, whether there is a DCI season, etc.

You should plan for other expenses, as well, including housing, tour supplies, other supplies (brass mouthpieces, costume undergarments, shoes), etc.

Within seven days of acceptance, a nonrefundable deposit of $300 will be required to secure your spot. We plan to be flexible and will make every effort to work with performers and families. Stay tuned for payment plans and other details.