April Rehearsal Camp Details

April 16, 2022


The Colts welcome new auditionees, callbacks and contracted members to Dubuque for our final weekend camp prior to summer. The camp is scheduled for April 29 - May 1 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. New students are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Registration and unloading will begin at 6:00 PM on Friday. Rehearsal begins at 8:00 PM, and will conclude at 3:00 PM on Sunday. Plan on arriving at 6:00 PM Friday to register and unload equipment. Always check our website within a few hours of leaving for Dubuque for any last-minute updates!

COVID-19 Update: The Colts expect all who participate in our in-person events (camp and summer tour) to have been vaccinated for COVID-19. We strongly encourage everyone to get the booster as soon as you are able. Anyone with special circumstances should reach out to Vicki (colts@colts.org). We ask all attendees to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. (Tests available onsite.) There will be no masking required but anyone who feels more comfortable in a mask in group settings should feel comfortable doing so. Thank you in advance for your consideration and respect for those around you.

Auditions & Callbacks

There are still spots remaining in various sections of the drum corps and auditions will be taking place in conjunction with our April rehearsal plans. If you are a contracted member, invite a friend who you think would love the drum corps experience offered at the Colts. IF YOU DID NOT YET SUBMIT AN AUDITION VIDEO, YOU CAN — AND SHOULD — STILL ATTEND THE REHEARSAL WEEKEND. Our staff will plan to assess new and recalled students individually who are here attending their first camp. All students will be evaluated within their section throughout the weekend.

The cost for the Colts rehearsal weekend is $75 which helps cover the cost of instruction, facilities, and food. IF YOU HAVE NOT YET JOINED THE RED ZONE, YOU WILL NEED TO PAY $125 TO GET YOUR AUDITION MATERIALS IN ADDITION TO THE $75 REHEARSAL FEE ($200 TOTAL). You can pay the fees online for both the April camp and the Red Zone (if you have not already enrolled). This fee covers the cost of your audition and the event and does not apply toward your summer tuition.

Camp Paperwork

Prior to camp, you will be expected to turn in:

RSVP \ Even if you are not planning to attend, please submit an RSVP so we can keep you up-to-date for future announcements. If attending, 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 by the Thursday immediately before the camp who will be picking you up.

Member Application \ If you have not yet done so, submit an 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. Also, IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO, email a headshot of yourself to colts@colts.org. Include your name (first and last), section, and which audition camp you are attending. This picture is added to your audition file so our instructional team can quickly learn your name and face. This picture should be submitted before the camp starts and is required of all attending. Make sure the image is clear, well lit, and contains your whole face. And as awesome as your sunglasses or Snapchat filters may look, they should not be included in your headshot.

When you arrive to check in on Friday, bring with you:

Colts Medical History & COVID Release 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. The medical form only needs to be submitted once per year, unless your information changes. Be sure to complete all three pages!


Travel Plans

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, Cedar Rapids, Madison, or Rockford) but you MUST notify us prior to booking. 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 overnight. Do not plan on spending the night before or after camp at these airports.

Chicago Shuttle \ We will run one shuttle on Friday and Sunday to Chicago’s two major airports. The shuttle (bus or van depending on the number traveling) will depart Midway at 2:30 PM and O’Hare at 3:30 PM on Friday. The shuttle will be scheduled to arrive at O’Hare on Sunday evening at 5:00 PM and Midway at 6:00 PM. ORD (Chicago O'Hare) travel MUST land prior to 3:00 PM on Friday and depart no earlier than 6:30 PM on Sunday. MDW (Chicago Midway) travel MUST land prior to 2:00 PM on Friday and depart no earlier than 7:30 PM on Sunday. If you plan on using either of these airports, please let Vicki (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. On your RSVP, please let us know if you have extra room or if you cannot find a ride. All flight details should also be listed on your RSVP.

Parking And School Entrance

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!

What To Bring

Students stay overnight in the school on the gym floor, as you will 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. No cots, please, as they can scratch the surface of the floor. Bring a binder with plastic sleeves for your music and any handouts. First-time attendees will receive an audition t-shirt at check in to write your name on that you will wear for all rehearsal segments throughout the weekend. If you already have an audition shirt, bring it with you or purchase an additional shirt after you check in. Don't forget to bring a water bottle!

Brass: Bring your own mouthpiece, marching instrument, music stand, binder for music, and gloves. If you have absolutely no access to an instrument and 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. We will evaluate you individually, and as a part of the ensemble.

Percussion: Bring your own sticks and/or mallets and a practice pad. A stand for your pad is beneficial if you have one available. We will provide all other instruments for camps. Prospective members should be familiar with the exercise packet that best fits your area of interest. Front ensemble students are expected to perform a short segment of a personal selection for the individual audition. We will evaluate new and recalled percussion students individually, and as a part of the group.

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.


  • 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.

Membership Contracts

All positions in the corps were open to begin the audition season. A number of contracts have already been determined based on audition videos and previous camps. Following the weekend, you will receive 1) an offer of membership, 2) a callback for a second event, 3) a recommendation to consider Colt Cadets to gain a year of drum corps experience, or 4) a suggestion to come back again next year. Attend early and attend often for your best chance at a position in the 2022 Colts.

Schedule Conflicts

Camp attendance is critical to our mutual success. If you cannot attend this rehearsal but would like to remain in consideration for membership, you must communicate in advance through the RSVP. It is important to communicate with your caption head as well. Too much communication is ALWAYS better than not enough. If you have schedule conflicts with our preseason rehearsals, talk with us. Attending part of the weekend is better than not attending at all. Do not lose your opportunity to earn a position with the Colts over a lack of communication.

COVID-19 Protocols

The Colts expect all who participate in our in-person events (camp and summer tour) to have been vaccinated for COVID-19. We strongly encourage everyone to get the booster as soon as you are able. Anyone with special circumstances should reach out to Vicki (colts@colts.org). All attendees should have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. Thank you in advance for your consideration and respect for those around you.


An informational meeting for parents will be held Friday evening at 8:45 PM. Bring all your questions you may have about auditions or summer tour! 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 throughout the weekend, the kitchen trailer or registration table are great places to start with questions anytime you visit or to find out 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 drum corps 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 school with sleeping bags and air mattresses. If parents are interested in hotel accommodations, we recommend the Holiday Inn for this rehearsal, as the Hampton Inn is sold out for the weekend. Auditioning students are expected to stay with the group overnight at the school. As always, email or call us with any questions you may have.

Parents should fill out the Adult Medical Release Form prior to arrival. ALL PARTICIPANTS (STUDENTS, STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS) ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE HAD THE COVID-19 VACCINE. All attending must have a negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to arrival.

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


Throughout the weekend, all items in the Colts Mall (unless out of stock) will be available for sale! Anyone is able to purchase souvenirs — students, parents, friends, family and alumni. The souvenir racks will be set up near the check in table, and you can purchase your items there.

Sunday Afternoon Performance

We generally end our weekend with performances from each of the sections. Please stay tuned for further details about a scheduled Sunday performance. This could potentially be indoors or outdoors.

Email And Facebook

All students will need to enroll in the Red Zone to receive audition information in their area of interest! These materials are emailed to you after enrolling online. 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.

General Interest Group

Colts Cooks, Parents & Volunteers (for parents)

Make sure you have signed onto the email distribution list with your current email address, and check your email frequently! Parents are also encouraged to sign up for the membership email list.

We are excited for what the 2022 season will bring!

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