Colts auditions.

Membership in the Colts is an amazing experience for you and your entire family, and one that takes tremendous dedication, hard work and personal responsibility.

Our audition process includes evaluation of your talent and experience, but we also consider your commitment, attitude, financial and personal responsibility, and attendance, as well as parental support and participation.

THERE IS NO OBLIGATION TO BECOME A MEMBER BY ATTENDING REHEARSAL OR BY RETURNING ANY MATERIALS. Find out what we are all about. Even if you don’t become a Colt, you will learn a great deal. You will participate in the ensemble and perform as a member of the Colts. In the process, we will assess your skills, answer your questions, and you will be more comfortable with our program and our family.

Following is a step-by-step guide to the information you need to become a member of the Colts!

Front ensemble students at a Colts camp

Prepare & Audition

Enrollment in the RED ZONE is $125 and includes:

  • A Colts Section Exercise Packet. The 2022 packet has printable information, exercises, and details about the Colts technique and approach.
  • Multimedia Practice Tools. Play along with our instructors, music, and a metronome in a virtual learning system from the convenience of your own home and at your own pace. Materials and methods from our section packets are covered, with additional supplemental practice materials to refine your skills.
  • Video Audition & Evaluation. When prepared, submit an audition video to gain personal feedback from our professional educators. You will be paired with an instructor most appropriate for your section and skills. The audition video is the first step for ALL students to earn membership in the Colts.

(A packet-only option is available for $25. This PDF packet contains the exercises included in the Red Zone, but does not include the digital learning tools and evaluation consideration.)

Join the Red Zone and download the audition packet for your section. THIS IS THE FIRST STEP IN THE AUDITION PROCESS. Once you enroll in the Red Zone, an audition packet will be sent to you via email. Cost to join the Red Zone is $125 which includes all the audition materials you’ll need to earn membership into the Colts.

Prepare the exercises in the audition packet.

When you feel you are ready, prepare an AUDITION VIDEO. Instructions for submitting a video are included in the audition packet. THIS IS THE SECOND STEP IN THE AUDITION PROCESS. We will begin reviewing audition videos the first week in November, and then every couple weeks thereafter. Our staff will contact you with audition results.

So what is the deadline for submitting the audition video? Really, the answer is as soon as you feel you have a video that best demonstrates your skills. The sooner you submit a video, the sooner you will get results, and the more time you will have to improve your skills prior to attending an in-person callback event.


Once you submit an audition video, you will get one of four results:

  1. An offer of membership in the 2022 Colts. Contracted members are expected to attend all three-day callback/rehearsal camps when their section is scheduled. Please plan accordingly.
  2. An invitation to attend one of our in-person callback/rehearsal events. Most students will receive an invitation to attend a live event so we can assess your growth. We have three-day weekend events scheduled in Dubuque, Iowa, and one-day events are being planned at various sites around the country.
  3. A recommendation to join Colt Cadets so you get a full summer of drum corps experience to help you become better prepared to earn a Colts position in the future. The Colt Cadets staff are great educators and many of the techniques they use are identical to Colts. (Age restrictions may apply.)
  4. A suggestion to refine your skills using the materials offered in the Red Zone and try again next year.


Most students will receive an invitation to attend one of our in-person callback/rehearsal events so we can assess the growth you make based on our video feedback. THIS IS THE FINAL STEP IN THE AUDITION PROCESS. The cost to attend an in-person event is $75 which covers instruction, food, and facilities expenses. Membership results will be updated following each in-person event. Contract packets are sent via email, and you will have 30 days to return your contract with a down payment of tuition and summer fees.

If you are asked to attend an additional recall event, you will be given clear direction for areas of improvement we need to see before offering a membership contract. You can attend an in-person event if you do not submit an audition video, but you will still need to enroll in the Red Zone to receive audition materials. Your first attended event will be $200 ($125 Red Zone plus $75 camp fee).

You can RSVP for any upcoming event HERE. Always check within a few hours of leaving for camp for any updates or last-minute changes in schedule (especially due to the unpredictability of winter weather). Specific camp information is released a week or so prior to each event. Become familiar with our calendar. Our preseason schedule is limited, so attendance is expected of all contracted members at three-day events when your section is scheduled. Attending part of the weekend is better than none at all. If you have conflicts, talk to us — we will work with you! COMMUNICATION IS CRITICAL! Each subsequent camp you attend is $75. This fee covers the cost of these rehearsals and does not apply toward your summer tuition. We expect all potential Colts to RSVP in advance of each camp. This allows us to prepare for your attendance.

Submit & Join

Fill out a 2022 Application in advance of your attendance. Submitting the application in advance will save you considerable time at registration before our in-person recall/rehearsal events. All attendees need to submit an application online.

Sign up for our email list and encourage your parents to do the same. All communication is done through our email distribution list.

Join our Facebook groups! We use our Facebook groups to communicate important details about camps and general membership throughout the audition process. Make sure you've joined the interest group for your section and the General Interest Group.

Submit a Medical & Release Form. This is required of all students prior to in-person attendance.

Flight Info

We provide ground transportation from the Dubuque Regional Airport (DBQ) for Dubuque camps. We can often 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 if you are requesting ground transportation. 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 the camp at these airports.

ORD (O'Hare) flights MUST land prior to 3:30 PM on Friday and depart no earlier than 7:30 PM on Sunday. MDW (Midway) flights 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 the office know prior to booking flights.

For our one-day camps, students will need to provide their own transportation between the airport and our rehearsal facility, as well as their own lodging, if needed, before or after our event.