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Membership in the Colts is an amazing experience for you and your entire family, and one that takes tremendous dedication, hard work and personal responsibility. Our audition process includes evaluation of your talent and experience, but we also consider your commitment, attitude, financial and personal responsibility, and attendance, as well as parental support and participation.

THERE IS NO OBLIGATION TO BECOME A MEMBER BY ATTENDING REHEARSAL OR BY RETURNING ANY MATERIALS. Find out what we are all about. Even if you don’t become a Colt, you will learn a great deal. You will participate in the ensemble and perform as a member of the Colts. In the process, we will assess your skills, answer your questions, and you will be more comfortable with our program and our family.


Following is a step-by-step guide to the information you need to become a member of the 2017 Colts!

1)  Request Information. This is your intial entry to our student database and lets us know which section and/or instrument you're interested in. YOU MUST SUBMIT THIS FORM IN ORDER TO RECEIVE OUR AUDITION MATERIALS. The Colts 2017 Membership Brochure is available online HERE.

2)  Sign up for our email list, and encourage your parents to do the same. All communication is done through our email distribution list. It's faster and far less expensive than traditional mail.

3)  Fill out a 2017 Application in advance of your attendance. Submitting the application in advance will save you considerable time at check-in during the weekend audition camps.

4)  Make plans to audition! RSVP as soon as you can to let us know that you will be attending. You can always update your request later if your plans change (at least three days in advance, please). We can help you find a ride or with other special arrangements through your comments on the RSVP form.

We provide ground transportation from the Dubuque Regional Airport (DBQ) for Dubuque camps and the Kansas City International Airport (MCI) for Kansas City area camps. We can often accommodate flights into surrounding airports (Quad Cities, Madison, Rockford or Cedar Rapids). You MUST notify the office prior to booking a flight into anywhere other than Dubuque or Kansas City. MLI (Moline) and CID (Cedar Rapids) are very close to Dubuque and reasonable in fare.

Please note that the Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Moline airports close over night.
Do not plan on spending the night before or after the camp at these airport.

ORD (O'Hare) travel MUST land prior to 3:30 p.m. on Friday and depart no earlier than 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. MDW (Midway) travel MUST land prior to 2:30 p.m. on Friday and depart no earlier than 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. If you plan on using either of these airports please let the office know prior to booking flights.

We expect all potential Colts to RSVP monthly in advance of each camp. This allows us to prepare for your attendance.


Start your journey toward Colts membership at one of our November rehearsal weekends. This is your best chance to earn a position as you will learn valuable information on which to build in future camps. If you have an unavoidable conflict (say, school band performance or sibling's wedding; NOT your friend's birthday party), you can attend the December camp to audition.

The three-day audition camps are to provide our staff full auditions and evaluations of prospective members with the intent of finalizing membership in the Colts. You will receive detailed instruction on all aspects of your skills with the intent of offering you membership, or guidance on how to become a member of the Colts. After attending your first audition weekend, you will receive a letter officially notifying you of your membership status in the corps. See “JOIN” below for further details.

Offers of full membership will be extended following each three-day audition camp. If there are special circumstances that make attendance at one of these events impossible, first RSVP and then contact your caption head to express your interest in a spot, and to discuss preparations you should make for the next rehearsal (for color guard, this could be in April following WGI).

Our upcoming audition weekends and rehearsals are:

January 13-15, 2017 | Dubuque, Iowa
6:00 p.m. Friday through 4:00 p.m. Sunday (brass and percussion only)

February 17-19, 2017 | Dubuque, Iowa
6:00 p.m. Friday through 4:00 p.m. Sunday (brass only)

March 17-19, 2017 | Dubuque, Iowa
6:00 p.m. Friday through 4:00 p.m. Sunday (brass only)

April 28-30, 2017 | Dubuque, Iowa
6:00 p.m. Friday through 4:00 p.m. Sunday (brass, percussion and color guard)

Click here to register for an upcoming three-day camp.


5)  Prepare for your audition. Upon your submission of the Information Request, you will receive via email an audition packet for the instrument (or section) of your choice. Follow the instructions laid out by your caption head regarding preparation of the exercises you receive. Practice daily! If you are not practicing it's likely the other student trying to earn the same spot is. All students are evaluated individually and with the ensemble. Any updated exercises for your section will be sent via email.

6)  Attend rehearsal! Always check the home page at within a few hours of leaving for camp. Any updates or changes will always be posted here first. Specific monthly rehearsal information is released a week or so prior to each rehearsal. Camps are held monthly in Dubuque or in the Kansas City area. Click here for detailed directions.

7)  Become familiar with our calendar. Our preseason schedule is limited, so attendance is important. Attending part of the camp is better than not at all. If you have conflicts, talk to us, we will work with you! COMMUNICATION IS CRITICAL.

The cost for your first rehearsal is $175 (or $125 for returning members) which includes all audition materials and application fees. Pay the fees for your first camp in advance and SAVE $25. PAY ONLINE HERE Deadline for advance payment discount for the camp is the Tuesday immediately before camp at 11:00 p.m. Each subsequent weekend you attend is $60. This fee covers the cost of these rehearsals and does not apply toward your summer tuition.


Following your first rehearsal, you will receive a letter from us that will be:

1)  An offer of full membership for the upcoming Drum Corps International season.

2)  A recall for a second and final audition because we need to see you make improvements in specific areas of your performance or conditioning.

3)  An offer to continue to come to camps so that you can continue to improve your skills in the event that a spot opens up during the winter or spring. If no spot opens up, you are encouraged to continue to work on what you learn so that you can audition again next year.

Try at least one weekend with the Colts before deciding where you want to march next season. A life-changing summer of travel, achievement and success awaits you. Being here will make that happen. You'll never know if you don’t try!

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