What is drum corps?

Drum corps is a competitive musical marching activity that takes place during the summer season. Similar to marching band, it is composed of brass instruments, percussion and colorguard. While no woodwind instruments are used, woodwind players are encouraged to join and learn a new instrument.

Drum Corps International (DCI) is the nonprofit governing organization for all drum and bugle corps.There are two divisions: World Class (highly competitive membership) and Open Class (generally smaller and easier to obtain membership). Competitions for DCI member organizations take place in the summer. Most drum corps begin training and rehearsing in late winter/early spring. More information about DCI can be obtained at DCI.org.


How can I join Gold?

Please click here for audition information. You must be 21 years old or younger on June 1 to participate in DCI drum corps programs. Prospective members who turn 22 on or after June 1 are eligible to participate in that year’s corps. While there is no minimum age requirement for Gold, members usually begin as young as 13. If you do not fall in this category, we have plenty of volunteer opportunities available. You can also sign up for our mailing list to receive updates.

Is there a fee to audition?
Yes. The 2017 audition fee has not yet been set. It will be announced alongside the audition dates and locations.

How much does it cost?
Our tour fee for 2017 is currently being determined. The tour fee covers staff instruction, rehearsal facilities, uniforms, equipment/instruments and maintenance, meals after competitions, transportation and accommodations while on tour, including mini-tourĀ and tour to championships, and meals during tour. Fundraising opportunities are available.

What should I do if I can’t make any of audition dates?
Brass can audition at open rehearsals. Please check the calendar for rehearsal dates.
Percussion can inquire about video auditions by emailing 2017tour@golddrumcorps.org.
Color guard will resume auditions at the end of the winter guard season.

If I owe money to another corps, can I still join?
No, your outstanding debts must be paid before you can become eligible to join Gold.

Who can my parents talk to if they have questions?
We understand that drum corps may be a new concept for some parents. First, please ask your parents to review our website. The DCI website also has great resources here: www.dci.org/parents.


What should I expect if I join gold?

How much time will I have to commit to Gold?
Spring rehearsals vary per section. The brass will rehearse 2-3 times a month from February through April; percussion meets for callbacks, while the color guard will not meet until winter season has ended in April. Regular rehearsals with the full corps begin the first weekend of May and will take place every weekend until the end of the season in August. They are usually full day rehearsals with no overnight requirement. We begin to add weekday rehearsals at the end of June when most schools are out for the summer. Apart from the competitions currently listed on the DCI website, we are also attending DCI Championships in Indiana, leaving approximately end of July and returning mid-August. Parents are welcome to make their own arrangements to travel there.

Where are rehearsals?
Rehearsal locations will vary since our members come from Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County and we try to accommodate everyone’s drive as best we can. Locations are also determined by the facility access we are provided. If you or your school are able to volunteer a location, please contact our corps director – dflaherty@golddrumcorps.org.


Lead photo courtesy of Taffy Hui