Colts April Rehearsal And Pre-Tour Information

April 17, 2017

The April rehearsal and audition weekend for the 2017 Colts will be held April 28 - 30 at Stephen Hempstead High School in Dubuque, Iowa. For first time 2017 season camp attendees, the cost of this rehearsal is $175, ($125 for returning members). If you have already attended rehearsal weekends for the 2017 season, the cost is $60. This fee is collected at each camp and covers your meals, overnight accommodations, instruction, and materials. This fee does not apply to summer fees. You can pay your camp fees in advance through the Colts Mall. Returning students can save a great deal of time at check in by also paying in advance.

New students are welcome to attend!

CLICK HERE for a Google map to the facility.

Registration and unloading will begin at 6:00 pm, and rehearsal starts at 8:00 pm Friday. The weekend will conclude around 4:00 pm on Sunday. The guard will recap their weekend in the gym at 2:00 pm. The brass and percussion will conclude their weekend with a full music ensemble run through at 2:30 pm to conclude rehearsal. Exact locations will be listed on the schedule for the weekend. Schedules will be on the check in table throughout the weekend.

Parents are welcome to bring a sleeping bag and sleep in a classroom at the facility. We also have arrangements for discounted rates at the Hampton Inn in Dubuque. The Hampton Inn is a great sponsor of the Colts! To take advantage of these rates, please call the Hampton Inn directly at 563.690.2005 and ask for the front desk. Tell them you are with the Colts.

Always check before leaving for camp for any last-minute updates! Please RSVP now with your plans!

NOTICE: The Member Handbook (aka Tour Survival Guide) and car wash information will be distributed soon. The member handbook will answer most of your questions about what to pack, what to bring, logistics and the like, especially for new members and new parents. We will email the information to all members and parents. Everyone needs to read the handbook in its entirety! The information will also be printable online. All members will be asked to submit a signed acknowledgment of the member handbook.

Members, please double check with your parents to ensure they are checking the web site and getting all of the information we provide as well! Please bring your own spandex for uniform fittings at this event. We will be doing uniform fittings at this camp.


  • Bring clothes for any weather (snow, rain or heat wave). You may be outside for much of the weekend, working on drill and music. Don’t forget cold weather gear. You just never know. Right now there is no rain scheduled, but Iowa weather can change at the last minute.
  • Two pairs of comfortable tennis shoes (no high tops). One pair is for wet and mud that will be taken off before entering the school if it rains or is wet outdoors.
  • Athletic braces for any previous injuries or weaknesses. You will be on your feet a lot this weekend, so protect yourself against injury.
  • Other helpful items: extra socks, sunscreen, lip protection (DCT) with sunscreen, hat or bandanna, sunglasses, a smile, backpack (field bag) and water bottle or jug.

Parking is available in the parking lot of the school. Please park in the parking lot behind the school.

Please RSVP regardless of your plans for this camp, so we can keep up to date with your plans. Please also submit a Member Application on the Colts website if you have not already done so. Returning your application in advance will save you a great deal of time when you check in. For first time attendees, please print, fill out, and have the Colts Medical History Form signed in advance of your arrival. You will turn this in when you check in for camp. The Medical Form also provides permission to participate in our activities. Students 18 or older may sign their own Medical Form. Any student 17 or younger will need a parent or guardian signature to participate. Please email if you have any questions regarding any of our forms. The application and medical forms only need to be submitted once per year unless information changes. The RSVP should be submitted each month by interested students.

Paying in advance can also speed up your check in process. First time attendees get a $25 discount by paying at least 48 hours before camp begins. You can pay your camp fees in advance through the Colts Mall. Returning students can save a great deal of time at check in by also paying in advance.

Students stay overnight in the gym on the floor, as you will all summer. Bring changes of clothes, shower supplies, towel, sleeping bag and pillow, comfortable clothes for rehearsal (no jeans please), and tennis shoes (no high tops, please). Many students will bring an inflatable mattress with a battery-powered air pump. Please bring a binder with plastic sleeves for your music and any hand-outs. Returning students should bring their Colts camp t-shirt to wear all weekend! We will have t-shirts available for sale for $8.00 if you need a new one.

New auditioning students will receive the audition t-shirt at check in. The shirt with your name will be worn for all rehearsal segments of the weekend. If this is your first camp, please email a picture of yourself to Include your name (first and last) and section in the email. This picture is printed on your audition form so our instructional team can quickly learn your name and face.

Brass: Please bring your own mouthpiece binder for music, and gloves. Instruments will be provided for the weekend. Be prepared to play the exercises and excerpts provided in the brass packet that best fits your area of interest: Trumpet, Mellophone, Baritone/Euphonium, or Tuba. You may also demonstrate your abilities with any piece, etude or excerpt you feel comfortable with. For the Sunday afternoon performance, please wear the audition t-shirt.

Color Guard: Bring lightweight, workout clothing for rehearsals (no jeans), black pants or shorts and a black shirt for Sunday's performance, your own rifle and/or sabre (if you can), and knee pads (if you like). There is no need to purchase any special equipment for rehearsals. You will wear your audition t-shirt for most rehearsal segments through the weekend.

Percussion: Please bring your own sticks or mallets, practice pad, and a binder for music. We will provide all instruments for camps. We will evaluate you individually, and as a part of the group. Please wear the audition t-shirt for the Sunday afternoon performance.

We provide ground transportation anytime to and from the Dubuque Regional Airport (DBQ) for Dubuque camps. We can also 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. MLI (Moline) and CID (Cedar Rapids) are very close to Dubuque and reasonable in fare. ORD (O'Hare) travel MUST land prior to 3:30 pm on Friday and depart no earlier than 7:30 pm on Sunday. MDW (Midway) travel MUST land prior to 2:30 pm on Friday and depart no earlier than 8:30 pm on Sunday. If you plan on using either of these airports, please let know prior to booking flights.

If you need help finding a ride to camp, or to arrange rides from an airport or bus station, please notify us ASAP by email at or call 563.582.4872. You can also help fellow members by offering a ride in your vehicle. You can let us know if you have extra room or if need a ride on your RSVP. All flight details should also be listed on your RSVP.

There are positions available in the brass line and color guard. Individuals attending our first events are given priority over those who do not attend these rehearsals. Following the weekend, you will receive 1) an offer of membership, 2) a recall for a second and final audition, or 3) a suggestion that you come back again next year.

If this is your second or third rehearsal, we are specifically looking for the growth you have made in the past month. Your audition will be very similar to the prior month, and please be prepared in the same manner as which was asked for your first audition. A decision will be made regarding your membership after this camp. If you cannot attend this camp, please make sure you are communicating with the office and your caption head about when you will be here.

Individuals offered a contract should begin making payments on your fees immediately when you submit your contract. If you cannot attend this rehearsal, you must be in touch in advance to preserve your position in the corps. Initial contract offerings are valid until noon on Saturday of this rehearsal. We must have a signed contract with initial payment by that time, or the spot will be released to someone else.

Camp attendance is critical to our and your success. If you cannot attend this rehearsal but are planning to attend an upcoming audition, you must be in touch in advance with the office through the RSVP form. It is important to communicate with your caption head as well. Too much communication is better than not enough.

If you have schedule conflicts with our preseason rehearsals, talk with us. We can usually work it out with you. Attending part of the weekend is better than not attending at all. Do not lose your opportunity to perform with the Colts over a lack of communication.

An informational meeting for parents will be held Friday evening at 8:45 pm in a location to be announced. Bring all of your questions! Schedules will be available at the check in table with locations for everything going on throughout the weekend.

Parents are strongly encouraged to attend the weekend. Parental support is what makes the Colts successful, and you are needed to give the kids the incredible Colts experience we are known for. Also, this is the best way for you to find out about our program, meet the other parents, and get comfortable with what this is all about. You will find a very welcoming and exciting opportunity here.

Parents will cook and serve the meals throughout the weekend, coordinate sewing projects, and assist with some repair work. We always have things to do for anyone willing to lend a hand.

Parents are welcome to bring a sleeping bag and sleep in a classroom at the school, or you can find a discounted rate at the Hampton Inn here in Dubuque. Please call the hotel directly at 563.690.2005 and ask for the Colts Drum Corps rate.

Parents are encouraged to sign onto the email mailing list to receive Colts information via email.

All parents and volunteers are Colts Boosters! Plan on joining us Saturday morning, before or after breakfast (approximately 8:30 am), to divide for Saturday projects. If you arrive at a random time, the kitchen and check in tables are good places to start with questions about where you can help.

Throughout the weekend, all items in the Colts Mall will be available for sale! Summer is coming up soon, and the weekend will be a great time to purchase a present for your special someone! Anyone is able to purchase souvenirs - students, parents, friends, family, etc. The souvenir racks will be set up by the check in table, and you can purchase your items there.

We will be staying at the Dubuque Armory again this season, and bussing to fields. Please plan on arriving at 6:00 pm on Sunday evening May 21, so we may begin rehearsal bright and early Monday morning, May 22.

If your parents are able to volunteer for a day or two during this time, we would be VERY EXCITED to have them with us! Please have them contact Vicki to help during this time.

We can pick you up at the airport or bus station in Dubuque. If you need assistance getting here from another airport, please call us before booking flights. Rides from other local airports such as Moline (MLI) or Cedar Rapids (CID) can generally be accommodated.

To arrange rides from an airport or bus station, please notify us by email at or call 563.582.4872. You can also help fellow members by offering a ride in your vehicle. You can let us know if you have extra room or if need a ride on your RSVP.

For those who will be flying home after finals, please note: You should purchase a plane ticket home no earlier than 6:00 am on Sunday, August 13, from the Indianapolis Airport (IND). We will run a bus from the stadium to the Indianapolis Airport after finals early Sunday morning. A fun-filled overnight at the airport awaits you with about 2,000 other corps members!

These parts have been added to your bill and will be emailed with your statement. The parts will be handed out at the Memorial Day camp. Each brass and battery member receive a new plume, member shirt, mirror triangle, and marching shoes (brass/cymbals/DM also purchase gloves). Prices for Brass/Cymbals/DM will be $100; Battery $80 (no gloves); Front Ensemble will be $55 (no plumes). Guard members pay $150 for personal uniform parts that will be supplied, including shoes, earrings, flag bag, under uniform garments, warm ups, uniform parts bag and other necessary personal items.

CAR WASH, JUNE 10, 2017
This is a critical project for us, and the only fundraiser for which we expect everyone's participation. We ask that you collect a minimum of 20 pledges or donations, with a total potential value of $175. If you start now and get one per day, you'll have over 40. If you wait until the last day, you'll have a problem. Please make sure your sheets are legible!

The vast majority (90%+) of Colts and Cadets do a great job, but we do remind you that this is a requirement of your membership, agreed to in your membership contract. The car wash will be held Saturday, June 10.

As in all facets of membership, we need people who are committed to the success of the Colts. When everyone does their share, we can make more than $45,000 in our one-day event!

Please plan, so that you can do your share. It's important to all of us, and it beats having to sell cookie dough, magazines, candy, pizzas and whatever else. Our one and only fundraiser for members does the same thing as many small ones.

The money raised from this project helps with tour expenses, especially food and fuel. It's extra important that we do well this year with what is happening in the world and with beef prices going crazy.

As a guideline, set a goal of an average value of $10 per pledge or donation. If someone asks the value of a penny per car, the typical pledge of a penny per car total will end up being around $8. If we wash 750 cars at approximately 20 locations, that amounts to $7.50 per pledge. Some pledges will be more, some less. Remember, although you may collect money in advance, you are not required to. You do not need to collect pledges. After the car wash, we will mail letters from the office to the commitments you received for you. We then collect these payments through the office by mail. We prefer to not bill for anything less than $5. Please keep in mind the total goal to raise $175 personally. Twenty donations of a dollar each is not satisfactory.

May 21, 2017: Pre-season Move In for Guard and Percussion, Dubuque Armory
May 26, 2017: Move In For Summer, Roosevelt Middle School, Dubuque
May 29, 2017: Parade and Summer debut concert in Dubuque, Iowa

Please make sure you have received audition information in your area of interest! These materials are emailed to you after requesting information for the current season.

Join our Facebook groups for your area of interest! These pages will help you meet other members prior to auditions and clarify questions you may have. We will also be distributing music through the Facebook pages.
2017 Members Group
Brass Members Group
Percussion Members Group
Guard Interest Group

We are scheduling summer volunteers. Check your schedules and let us know. Remember, we can be very creative in getting you in and out of tour. Cooks, Van Drivers, and/or Those Who Sew email Other Tour Drivers email

Most parents purchase their own airline tickets, if necessary, to get in and out of tour, but if you volunteer two weeks or more, we can furnish your air travel upon request. Even one day helps! Come as early as you can to give us a hand (and bring fresh fruits or vegetables!).

Your time on tour with us!
8-12 Board room chairs
Medium weight plastic silverware
Gift certificates for fuel and office supply
Coffee - definitely caffeinated!
Paper towels
Fresh Fruits or Vegetables
Did we mention, a week on tour with us!

For a detailed list, CLICK HERE

Welcome! We would love to have you as part of the Red Team family!

2300 Twin Valley Drive
Dubuque, IA 52003
Phone 563.582.4872
Fax 1.844.347.5323

Vicki MacFarlane, Director
Cell: 563.564.9016

Jason Schubert, Colts Tour Director
Cell: 630-666-7489

David Alford, Colt Cadets Director
Cell: 773.308.6710

Jeff MacFarlane, Executive Director
Cell: 563.599.8553

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