Auditions

Auditions

If you have not already done so, please contact us, let us know you are interested, and register with our drumline instructor, Patrick Zampetti. Contact Patrick @: patrick@studiozonline.com. Also, please let the band know you are interested by emailing bands@virginia.edu. Also please fill out the General Band Interest Form.

So, you are interested in being a member of the UVa drumline… GREAT! The UVa drumline is a fun and rewarding experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. You will make many new friends and have opportunities available nowhere else. You will support the Cavaliers against ACC opponents and current and formal national championship contenders, such as Southern California, University of Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Maryland, and others. You will perform in front of 63,000+ fans at every home game, travel to at least one away game (sometimes into the heart of Hokie country at Lane Stadium), and may include travel to an all expenses paid bowl game. You will be on national television. Above all, you will get to drum with a great group of people.

The entire audition process will conclude on the second day of band camp. It may take you a year or more to work yourself up to a particular instrument. Many of our members have played snare or cymbals one year, and bass or tenors the next. If you have the correct attitude, there are no limits to your success. After members are assigned an instrument, the drumline will use the remainder of band camp to learn pre-game, the first halftime show, and other performance pieces. Band camp is the most intense period of the season. If you can make it through band camp, you can make it through the season.

The audition process begins when you first walk into our pre-camp session in July. Our formal audition piece for the battery is called “Hooray” and can be found in the music section. Hooray is a cadence that will be used at events like Paint the Town Orange and other drumline performances, such as Days on the Lawn. Students wishing to audition for the Pit will perform the Bach Marimba 1 and 2 audition piece posted on the website. Our evaluation is based on the audition and other factors like preparation, attitude, tempo control, quality of sound, dynamic accuracy, posture, technique adherence, memorization, and musicianship. Our goal is to place the student, when possible, on the instrument where they can have the most rewarding Cavalier Marching Band experience. Both new candidates and returning vets are required to audition. Auditions may occur individually, in small groups, or with the entire ensemble.

The drumline has a capacity for 8-11 snares, 5-7 quads, 6-8 basses, 8-12 cymbals, and 3-5 front ensemble (pit) players. While the drum line has this capacity, only enough players who have the necessary ability will be placed on each instrument. One snare drummer of significantly lesser ability will not be grouped with ten other drummers to make eleven. Your placement on the line will be based on your ability to succeed on that instrument. This will provide you with the most rewarding experience.

Frequently Asked Auditions Questions

Q. When do I audition for the drumline?
A. Our audition process is a low pressure relaxed event that begins during the pre-camp and concludes at the end of the second day of band camp for percussion. Attendance at the pre-camp is highly recommended. For those who cannot attend the pre-camp, we are developing alternative methods to participate in initial auditions via video or Skype session…more info to come soon. We want everyone to have a fair opportunity to participate in the drumline.

Q. Do I need to go to the pre-camp in order to make the drum line?
A. Yes, attendance is highly recommended. Contact Patrick Zampetti @ patrick@studiozonline.com if you have issues with attending pre-camp.

Q. What will occur at the pre-camp?
A. The pre-camp will consist of sessions covering technique, exercises, and other fundamentals.

Q. What do I need to bring to the pre-camp?
A. You need to bring your own sticks and earplugs. Wear comfortable clothing and tennis shoes. Refreshments will be provided.

Q. Do I have to be a percussionist to play on the drumline?
A. No. We invite anyone to audition for the drumline. Many marching percussionists are brass and wind players. The selection process takes into consideration your fundamental musical skills in addition to your percussive skills. You do not need to be a percussion major. You do not need to be a music major. You do not need marching experience. By developing your playing skills and having a good attitude, you give yourself the best opportunity to succeed in the band camp audition and receive one of the available percussion spots.

Q. How do I prepare for the pre-camp, audition, and season?
A. The first step is to contact us, let us know you are interested, and register. Practice the exercises and the basics. Be efficient! Important things to work on are sound quality, evenness, clarity, and ability to maintain tempos.

Pit Auditions

Front Ensemble auditions will take place during band camp. Please prepare the following:

  • Know all major scales and arpeggios at 100 bpm, sixteenth notes. We will randomly select a few scales for you to play.
  • F Major Invention, Marimba 1 and Marimba 2 (on music site)
  • Sight-reading. We will provide you with a short sight-reading piece during auditions.