Regarding the Marching Arts
A Drum and Bugle Corps is an outdoor performance ensemble consisting of percussion, brass, and color guard sections. Sharing common roots with marching band, Drum Corps began to develop as an activity as veterans returned from WWI and WWII and sponsored local units in their communities. As time passed these local units gradually grew more competitive and focused in their efforts, quickly becoming professional performance ensembles with elaborate shows and national tours.
Just like marching band, Drum Corps perform music while executing marching formations on the field, often adding showy visual effects and utilizing props. The main difference between Drum Corps and marching band is the instrumentation; while both Corps and marching bands use battery and front ensemble percussion, Corps do not utilize woodwinds and instead feature an array of brass instruments, primarily trumpets, mellophones, baritones, euphoniums, and shoulder-mounted tubas called contras. While Drum Corps do not field woodwinds it is not uncommon for woodwind players to learn a new instrument in order to participate in the activity.
Drum Corps International (DCI) is the nonprofit governing organization that manages and oversees all competitive Drum and Bugle Corps. The main functions of the organization are the management of the DCI Summer Tour, the World Championships, and the adjudication process for the activity, including the drafting and application of the rules and the training of the judges.
Within DCI there are two main competitive divisions, Open and World Class. World Class is incredibly competitive and training intensive for its performing members, while Open Class is generally less competitive, with Open Class corps usually having less rehearsals and a shorter tour than their World Class counterparts.
For more information on DCI, please visit www.dci.org
SoundSport is DCI’s newest program, aimed at showcasing instrumental ensembles year-round and giving those ensembles the chance to perform in exhibitions at major DCI events such as the World Championship. SoundSport’s goal is to be local and low cost, and members can be any age and perform on any instrument. Generally, SoundSport shows focus on the music rather than the visual aspect of things with the rules requiring that a show be only 5 to 7 minutes in length.
Arsenal aims to use the SoundSport model as a means of growing a strong support base before making the jump to Open Class. That being said, even though Arsenal competes as a SoundSport Team, we still adhere to standard drum corps instrumentation and age requirements, and provide meals and housing for our members at camps.
At Arsenal, our age range is generally 15 to 21, or freshman in high school to college age. Younger students are welcome to audition, and students younger than 15 can be granted membership with approval from the Corps Director and their respective caption head.
You must be 21 or younger on June 1, 2017 in order to be eligible to march the 2018 season.
Regarding Participation in an APA, Inc. Ensemble
- Be younger than 21 years old.
- Be able to fulfill the financial requirements.
- Be able to attend all rehearsals except for instances where you have a conflict that has been communicated and approved by the APA staff.
- Be able to attend ALL performances.
- Have fulfilled all outstanding obligations to APA/other DCI/WGI ensembles, included but not limited to outstanding tuition.
- Successfully complete the audition process and be offered a contract.
You are required to attend every rehearsal if offered a contract for an APA ensemble. As a competitive organization it is paramount that we have every member available for every rehearsal, as our ability to rehearse effectively depends on having everyone present. An unexcused absence will result in the termination of your contract with APA.
This being said, part of the core philosophy of Arsenal Performing Arts is that school should come first, and if your school schedule conflicts with our rehearsals then your absence is permissible. All members will be asked to sign an attendance contract when offered a position in an APA ensemble and they will be asked to highlight any conflicts at that time. Failure to include a conflict in this contract and then further failure to alert our staff in due time is grounds for termination.
You may not under any circumstances miss a required performance and if you have a known conflict with a performance at the time of auditions you will not be offered a contract.