The FAQs.

What is the Red Zone?

The Red Zone is the first step in the Colts audition process. The Red Zone is our online learning platform where students have access to practice materials and interactive tools to help them prepare for their audition. Anyone auditioning for the Colts is required to enroll in the Red Zone in order to be considered for membership. The Red Zone also includes a variety of materials for students who are simply interested in sharpening their skills.

How do I audition for the Colts?

Enter the Red Zone! Membership in the Colts begins with enrollment in the Red Zone. The online tools will help you prepare for your audition. After you prepare your materials, submit a video audition or plan to attend a live event. Please make sure your video submission and event attendance demonstrate your strongest effort.

What positions are open in the Colts?

All positions in the Colts are open when we begin the audition process. We have positions available in all sections and on all instruments. While we treasure the devotion of our returning members, and consideration of prior participation is given during the evaluation process, no spots are guaranteed, and contracts must be earned each year.

How much does it cost to participate in the Colts?

All students must pay the Red Zone Enrollment Fee of $125 to audition for the Colts. The cost of Three-day and one-day camps is $80. Students must enroll in the Red Zone to attend a live event. If attending a camp prior to Red Zone enrollment, the camp fees and red zone fee will be combined. If offered membership, tuition and fees are discounted based on the number of years marched in Colts and Colt Cadets. (One year of membership is given for students who marched a season or more with Colt Cadets.) A first-year member should plan approximately $5000 for tuition fees.

When is the deadline to submit a video?

We review videos and provide feedback approximately two weeks from any video submission. The benefit of submitting an audition video sooner rather than later is that you’ll receive feedback earlier which will give you more opportunity to make improvements and demonstrate growth by the time we see you in person. That said, be diligent in preparing the exercises so your video provides a good example of your skills. We will begin offering positions after each camp and based on videos submitted, so once all positions have been filled on a specific instrument, we will no longer accept video auditions for that instrument. We encourage you to get your video in early.

Can I attend a live event if I don’t submit a video?

Yes. But you are giving up an opportunity to gain valuable feedback from our staff, and we will have no baseline for the growth you make from your video audition until we meet in person at a camp. Most students will need two “auditions” to demonstrate growth — whether one of those is a video audition in advance or both are at live events. All students will still need to enroll in Red Zone ($125), as this covers your audition materials and the cost of the audition. The camp fee covers the cost of each event.

Do I need to wait to register for a three-day or one-day event until after I receive video feedback?

No. Once you submit a video, you can make plans to attend a live event for your recall audition. Contracted members are expected to attend the three-day camps for their section as part of the corps’ preseason preparation. We encourage you to plan for the season now. All contracted members, and those on a final recall, are expected to attend the April rehearsal in Dubuque.

What if I'm interested in more than one packet?

Email assistant director Kathleen Ballard, There is no charge to be added to additional and/or supplemental classrooms in the Red Zone after your initial purchase.

What if I have technical challenges?

The audition video need not require the eye of an award-winning cinematographer. A simple video on your phone will do the job (although make sure we can see you in the frame). But if you do not have access to equipment, or you face other technical challenges, please email Colts Director Vicki MacFarlane ( and we’ll figure out a way for our staff to see a demonstration of your abilities.

What if I have financial challenges?

The Colts generally have a small pool of scholarship money available to students facing financial hardship. The amount varies from year to year. If you believe you have the skills to earn a position in the Colts, but maybe lack the finances required, reach out to Colts Director Vicki MacFarlane ( because if you have the commitment, and are not afraid to put in some extra effort, there are often connections we can make to bring your dream of marching to reality.

What if I'm only interested in Colt Cadets or if I’m a beginner?

The Red Zone is for students who have some level of experience. If your plans are to march with Colt Cadets, you can still enroll in the Red Zone and use the tools and exercises provided to improve your skills. You are not required to submit a video audition although you are welcome to do so to get feedback from our staff. You can also simply purchase the audition packet for $25 although Soundslice is not included with only the PDF packet. If you’re a beginner, we have free exercise packets for you to get started. Email Vicki MacFarlane ( with your plans. You should also Request Information here if you have not done so already.

Is my purchase refundable?

No. All Red Zone sales are final. Please contact if you experience any difficulty at checkout.