Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't put your hopes on one audition

It's time for winter guard auditions!

If your school doesn't have a winter guard program, or you've graduated from high school, there are independent units looking for your talent.

Auditioning for an independent winter guard is like applying to college. Dream of one, apply to many. Don't put all your hopes on one unit! You may not make it, or if there's not enough participation, the guard may fold leaving you in the bleachers.

Be realistic. If your fall program's skills are limited to flourishes and slams, you'd be wasting your time trying for a world guard. World guards are for the "pros". Those folks are, on average, in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties and have been in guard for a long time. They have years of dance instruction and drum corps under their belt. World guard members may also come from high schools with Scholastic World or Open skills.

Open guards are the intermediate level. All basic skills are mastered to perfection and it's time to experiment with layering dance, equipment and drill on top of each other at the same time. If your high school program challenged you, and made sure you could do the 27 point in space in your sleep, consider open. Dance skill need to be above average, and strong weapon skills are a must.

Independent A is for folks who are still learning their way around all three pieces of equipment. Also, if you don't have a dance background, Independent A is where you will receive a good foundation in movement.

Don't let the participation costs freak you out. Almost all successful units have built-in fund-raisers to cover instruction, travel, equipment, uniform and association fees.

Dream about making the best guard in your association, but make sure you give others a try as well. If you don't make your dream guard this year, the guard you do march with will give you skills to succeed in the future.

Go to Winter Guard International for a list of audition schedules for independent units in your state. Some units are training ground for drum corp. For example, if you want to march for The Blue Knights (Denver), consider Opus 10 which is an independent Open.

Not into silk, wood and steel? Check out Winter Percussion in your area. It's an amazing sport, too!

Questions about anything guard? Leave a comment and I'll answer. If I don't know the answer, I'll find someone who does.

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