Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need previous experience?

SHORT ANSWER: Yes and no.

LONG ANSWER

Lets consider two definitions of “experience”

If you define experience as…
…some form of participation in a marching arts, percussive, or musical activity that has equipped you with at least some standard abilities such as

  • music reading (pitches and/or rhythms)
  • correctly holding percussion implements (mallets/sticks/cymbals)
  • understanding marching fundamentals
  • and/or understanding the note layout of a keyboard instrument.
Then YES—If any fewer than two of those items are not in your repertoire, earning a spot at Vegas Vanguard may not be in your immediate future. However, you are welcome to register for an audition, soak up everything you can, and come back to make it happen in the future! We also recommend (but do not mandate) participating in your school’s music program and their marching arts programs to develop yourself!

If you define experience as…
…participation, membership or leadership in your
  • high school indoor/outdoor percussion program and/or marching band
  • collegiate percussion program Drum & Bugle Corps or other Independent Indoor Percussion Program
Then NO—We do not require, expect, nor give priority to or hold in high regard, anyone with experience in or affiliation with any particular ensemble or program. The simple fact is that experience is experience and it should only make you better and improve your capacity to handle our material to audition successfully. You will audition as yourself, not a representation of your merits or affiliations.


What happens if I don't make it?

SHORT ANSWER: Then you don’t make it.

LONG ANSWER

Vegas Vanguard is a lot closer to “life” than it is “school.” You may not make it because you just may not be ready, talented enough, prepared enough, or any other myriad of reasons. You may be phenomenal but just slightly less phenomenal than that one person we took instead you. But the truth is, we can’t take everyone, and we can’t teach you from scratch. We also can’t take ego or bad attitude; remember, we have to live with you about seven months.

Here’s the good news, though. The worst that can happen by not making it is that you improved yourself by trying. Information is information, and time on the drum is time well spent. If you came to our audition and did your best, listened, took notes, and asked questions, then you got better and that’s all there is to it. If you truly want it, you’ll work your rear end off for the next 365 days and come back an even better drummer and earn your place!


What happens if I make it?

SHORT ANSWER: Congrats.

LONG ANSWER

You will be given a contract for your review to sign. You will then be given a password for the member login on this website to pay your first installment of your tour fee. Your first payment comes in the form of a downpayment (a total which will be discussed when contracted) that cannot be refunded. It serves as your understanding to the commitment of paying your dues to assure that you and everyone else has the resources to have a successful season. It also serves as a way to make your regular payments an even amount.


What If I’m Still In High School?

SHORT ANSWER: You’re still eligible—but you better communicate

LONG ANSWER

All auditioning individuals still in high school will be required to have their respective band director(s) communicate, in writing, to Vegas Vanguard their approval of your audition and potential membership if awarded a contract.

Should you be contracted, you will have exactly one week (7 days) to exchange the appropriate calendar of events for each program (your HS and Vegas Vanguard) to be reviewed and signed by each respective director. If necessary, a meeting or phone call may be arranged to discuss conflicts.

School comes first; however, obligations—and when you commit to them—hold their merit and we must come to and understanding that you will do your best to communicate absences, conflicts, and the occasional oversights to your teachers and Vegas Vanguard regarding conflicts on both sides. Remember, this is all about learning and a great experience. Only you will create stress and frustration among your superiors by NOT COMMUNICATING.


How do Payments work?

SHORT ANSWER: Payments are made biweekly and are due the Friday night before our Saturday rehearsal of a “Payment Week.”

LONG ANSWER

You will pay your fees on this website via the member portal (which you will be given access upon contracting). The payment schedule will be included in your member contract; it will be your responsibility to make sure you are paid in full when each due date comes.

We will accept personal checks and cashier's checks/money orders but in no way will we EVER accept cash for a member payment.

Other details on timely payments will be discussed at your time of contracting.

Please understand that the concept of “I can afford this” means you do not have to miss rehearsals to pick up a work shift in order to make payments here and there. Affording the season means you are capable of making your payments and being present for all rehearsals.


Can I get cut midseason?

SHORT ANSWER: Yes. Absolutely.

LONG ANSWER

There are only four main reasons you may be removed from Vegas Vanguard after successfully securing a spot.

  1. Failure to pay fees on time or at all
  2. Actions that violate our Code of Conduct
  3. Recurring punctuality and attendance issues
  4. Failing to grow as a contributing member of the ensemble
It is very unlikely that 2 through 4 will be an issue, but it would not be transparent of us if we did not note that our primary reason for ejection is failure to pay fees. Bad attitude and/or attendance issues is the next most common reason for dismissal mid-season.


When is the cutoff date to sign up for auditions?

SHORT ANSWER: There is no cutoff date other than the audition itself.

LATE REGISTRATION
(aka long answer)

A late registration fee of $100.00 will be required should you arrive to auditions having not registered online before the scheduled start time. We will NOT except cash and you will still be required to register online. If you cannot submit payment electronically at the time of auditions to register, you will not be permitted to audition.

This fee increase and operating manner is implemented to discourage walk-on auditions, as such approach does not typically yield an effective, well-prepared audition from you and likewise slows our process of having your audition information on file before you arrive.


What are the age requirements to audition?

ANSWER: No younger than 12 and no older than 22 by April 1st of the season in question

WGI Rules on Membership

1.1 Percussion ensembles from the United States competing in the independent classes and composed of members not over 22 years of age as of 12:01 a.m. on April 1st of any given year shall be permitted to compete in contests governed by WGI. Each ensemble appearing at a WGI contest shall be prepared to show proof of age. International independent percussion ensembles are not bound by any age limit.

1.1.1 U.S. Military veterans may be granted one (1) year of eligibility immediately following their end of active service. To qualify, individual must have enlisted prior to their 19th birthday, served for no less than four (4) years, and must have been honorably discharged or medically separated. Veteran must submit a copy of their discharge papers and separation documents to WGI prior to December 1 to qualify.

Vegas Vanguard reserves the right to limit the earliest age at which an individual is allowed to participate. We do not allow any individual under the age of 12 years as of 12:01 a.m. on November 1st of any given year to participate in our ensemble.


MAY I ATTEND just for the clinic?

SHORT ANSWER: There will not be a clinic option this year. But you are welcome to “audition.”

LONG ANSWER

You are still welcome to "audition" (notice the quotations) and have no intention of joining; however, all auditionees will be considered for membership.

Considering all individuals for membership allows us to operate the audition process effectively for those who do wish to earn membership. It is not practical nor fair for individuals who truly wish to make the ensemble to have their playing and instruction time hindered by individuals not wishing to do the same.

Therefore if you are attending just to learn but do not have the ability to handle the material or are unprepared because you just want to learn, do not expect much time on the drum or keyboard, as staff will rotate individuals on and off instruments. Simply put, those with the most promise will get more playing time.


 

What about drum corps audition conflicts?

SHORT ANSWER: Communicate well in advance and keep your endeavors reasonable.

LONG ANSWER

Look, we're all one family—drumming is drumming. We want you to find success beyond Vegas Vanguard and achieve your dreams whatever they may be. We also understand that both activities have evolved to a point where they're demanding your time simultaneously and it can become stressful. Luckily, all parties understand what it means to make a prior commitment and that, after all, you are drumming and learning regardless of possible audition/preseason conflicts.

Therefore, our policy is a simple process:

  • At the time of your Vegas Vanguard audition registration, you will list the potential Drum Corps for which you will audition.
  • If you have their audition & camp dates, you will list them ALL on your registration or provide them immediately via email to your director upon their release.
  • You will be allowed to list two (2) Drum Corps for which you will audition.
  • You will be allowed a first audition for both Drum Corps
  • You will then be allowed one (1) callback for your Drum Corps of Choice (if applicable)**
  • Should you earn a contract with your drum corps, discussion between you and your director will take place in person to determine a schedule that suits Vegas Vanguard the best, as it is our active season and your Drum Corps' preseason. Your future drum corps organization will understand this justification, as the diplomatic relationship between Drum Corps and Indoor Ensembles has been active for many years.
  • If necessary, your director will advocate with and for you to your new Drum Corps' director.
**our reasoning for this is that we simply cannot afford your absences by virtue of a string of failed auditions and callbacks as you vie for a spot at one corps after another.


what does your membership contract look like?

SHORT ANSWER: A wordy, ten (10) page document that keeps you, Vegas Vanguard, its constituents, and all entities with which it interacts safe.

LINK TO MEMBER CONTRACT COMING SOON…


how do you keep your members safe?

SHORT-ish ANSWER: we employ a strict Youth Protection Policy across all operating elements of our organization. Likewise, we screen all staff and volunteers using a third-party criminal history and background check system.

We comply with all policies set forth by the competitive circuits in which we participate and with the local school district in which we are allowed residence for rehearsal.

LINK TO YOUTH PROTECTION POLICY COMING SOON…

MORE FAQs to come

Since we are still building this site, more FAQs will be added. Your questions, questions at auditions, and other items will slowly make this list. If you have any questions not answered here, go to our Contact Us page and reach out.