April Rehearsal & Audition Weekend

March 29, 2019

The April rehearsal and audition for the 2019 Colts will be held April 26 - 28 at Stephen Hempstead High School in Dubuque, Iowa. The address is 3715 Pennsylvania Avenue, Dubuque, IA 52002. Click here for a Google map to the facility. This camp is for all students who are contracted, on recall, or are auditioning for the first time. New students are welcome to attend!

If this is your second or more camp, the cost is $60. You are encouraged to pay this fee early on the Colts Mall. The cost for your first rehearsal is $175 (or $125 for returning members) which includes all audition and application fees. Pay the fees online for your first camp in advance and SAVE $25. Deadline for advance payment discount for the camps is the Monday immediately before a camp at 11:00 p.m.

Registration and unloading will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday. Rehearsal begins at 8:00 p.m., and will conclude at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Plan on arriving at 6:00 p.m. to register and unload equipment. Always check colts.org within a few hours of leaving for camp for any last-minute updates!

We provide ground transportation anytime to and from the Dubuque Regional Airport (DBQ) for camps. We can also accommodate flights into surrounding airports (Quad Cities, Madison, Rockford, or Cedar Rapids) but you MUST notify us prior to booking. MLI (Moline) and CID (Cedar Rapids) are close to Davenport and reasonable in fare. 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. Midway (MDW) 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 colts@colts.org 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 colts@colts.org. 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.

Parking is available at the school. Use the parking lots in the back of the school and enter through the doors by the gym. A map with that location pointed out will be posted in the member Facebook pages prior to camp and emailed out. If you get lost, look for the big, white semi trailers!

Prior to camp, all students will be expected to:

  • RSVP. Regardless of your plans, submit an RSVP so we can keep you up to date. Be sure to include all necessary flight and travel information in the RSVP. If you need a ride from the airport, you will be notified on the Wednesday immediately before the camp who will be picking you up. The RSVP should be submitted each month by interested students.

Prior to camp, first time attendees will need to:

  • Submit a Member Application. Submit your application in advance to save time at check in. All auditioning students must submit a member application. The application only needs to be submitted once per year, unless your information changes
  • Email a headshot of yourself to jason@colts.org. Include your name (first and last), section, and which audition camp you are attending. This picture is placed on your audition form so our instructional team can quickly learn your name and face. This pictures must be submitted before the camp starts and are required of all attending. Make sure the image is clear, well lit, and contains your whole face. And, as great as your sunglasses or Snapchat filters may look, they don't belong in your headshot. This headshot only needs to be submitted once per season.
  • Print and complete the Colts Medical History Form. This form is required in order to audition. 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 must have a parent or guardian signature to participate. Medical forms only need to be submitted once per year, unless your information changes. Be sure to complete both sides!

If this is your second or more camp, you do not need to submit another application, medical history form, or headshot, unless your information has changed. However, you should still submit an RSVP for this camp.

Students will stay overnight in the gym on the floor like they do all summer. Bring changes of clothes, shower supplies, towel, sleeping bag and pillow, comfortable clothes for rehearsal (no jeans), and tennis shoes (no high tops). Many students will bring an inflatable mattress with a battery-powered air pump. Bring a binder with plastic sleeves for your music and any hand-outs.

Brass: Bring your own mouthpiece, music stand, binder for music, and gloves. First time attendees should bring a brass instrument, but if you do not have access to an instrument and will need one provided, contact colts@colts.org. Be prepared to play the exercises and excerpts provided in the brass packet that best fits your area of interest. You may also demonstrate your abilities with any piece, etude, or excerpt you feel comfortable with.

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: 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.


  • If this is your second or more camp, do not forget to bring your audition t-shirt! Replacement t-shirts can be purchased at check-in for $10.00. If this is your first camp, you will receive an audition t-shirt at check in to write your name on that you will wear for all rehearsal segments of the weekend.
  • 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.

Limited positions are open in the color guard and brass line. Following the weekend, you will receive an offer of membership or a suggestion to consider Colt Cadets or try again next season.

If this is your second audition, we are specifically looking for the growth you have made through the winter months. Your audition will be very similar to your initial audition. A decision will be made regarding your membership after this camp.

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. You can pay your member fees online at the Colts Mall or in person using cash or check.

There will be parent meeting on Friday night at 8:45 p.m. in the cafeteria. Bring all your questions! This camp is a great chance to sign up to volunteer, or you can sign up today by emailing volunteers@colts.org. Schedules will be available at the check in table with locations for everything going on throughout the weekend. If you arrive at a random time, the kitchen or check in table are great places to start with questions anytime you visit about where you can help.

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 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 or construction projects at the corps warehouse. We always have things to do for anyone willing to lend a hand!

Parents are welcome to stay overnight in designated rooms at the high school with sleeping bags and air mattresses. If parents are interested in hotel accommodations, we recommend the Hampton Inn for your stay in Dubuque. Please call the hotel directly at 563.690.2005, select the front desk, and ask for the Colts Drum Corps rate. Auditioning students are expected to stay with the group overnight in the arena. As always, email or call with any questions you may have.

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

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 volunteers@colts.org. Other Tour Drivers email colts@colts.org

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!).

Throughout the weekend, many items in the Colts Mall will be available for sale! 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.

A performance including all participants of the weekend will be held Sunday afternoon. The color guard will recap their weekend in the gym at 12:30 p.m. The brass and percussion will conclude their weekend with a music ensemble run through at 1:00 p.m. Exact locations will be listed on the schedule for the weekend. Schedules will be on the check in table throughout the weekend.

May 19, 2019 | Dubuque National Guard Armory, Dubuque, IA | Guard and Percussion Move In
May 24, 2019 | Roosevelt Middle School, Dubuque, IA | Brass Move In
May 27, 2019 | Dubuque, IA | Memorial Day Parade and Performance

Be on the lookout for a post about details related to move ins soon! Information included will be flight information for Spring Training and August, car wash, personal uniform parts, and the member handbook.

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.
2019 Members Group
2019 Percussion Group
2019 Brass Group
2019 Color Guard Group
Make sure you have signed onto the email distribution list with your current email address, and check your email frequently! Encourage your parents to sign up for the membership emailings too.

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