Drum & Bugle Corps

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by trumpeter13, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. trumpeter13

    trumpeter13 Member

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    As you all might guess from my username, I play the trumpet and have been heavily involved in music throughout my childhood (especially in high school). I am interested in joining the Drum & Bugle Corps, but I know very little about it. For all the wealth of info on the Internet, I've only found a fact sheet on the D&B on the USAFA website and a few Youtube videos of the band at football games. I'm starting this thread in hopes of learning what it's like to be in the AFA band.

    A few questions to kick off the discussion: How much of a time commitment is the D&B? Does anyone have personal experience or stories they heard from roommates/friends/relatives pertaining to the D&B? Is it smarter to play intramural sports and why/why not? And, are there any prospective 2013ers out there interested in joining the D&B?
     
  2. AFAplease

    AFAplease Appointee

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    Not trying to hijack this thread but...if anyone has info on the AFA Jazz Band please feel free to PM me. I am very interested!

    Thanks!
     
  3. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

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    Have you gotten your appointment yet? There is a sheet in the "Instructions to Appointees" packet. I believe it has a contact number for questions. Let me see if I can fish it out. (I have no musical talent, so I might have thrown it away)
     
  4. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

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    d&b is a huge committment. it's almost like an IC sport. you practice nearly every day, and you sign a contract with them for at least a year, and it's hard as heck to get out of it.. make sure it's really what you want to do
     
  5. trumpeter13

    trumpeter13 Member

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    Yeah, I've heard that it really puts a strain on academics. I love music, but I don't want to sacrifice my grades.
     
  6. btown13

    btown13 Member

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    we've talked about his a bit before on another thread. my alo was in it and loved it, but ive heard from cadets when i visited that its a lot of time, almost too much, you miss out on some squadron things, be it training sessions or what, and you get a lot of crap for it from everyone, since you miss things for seemingly no reason. but you do get to go to all the football games and other events throughout the year...so it depends on what you really want i guess. personally, i will not be doing D&B because i would rather do the other things that i'd miss. i'd rather do jazz band
     
  7. AFAplease

    AFAplease Appointee

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    Sounds like jazz band is the way to go. I'm down!
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My son's roommate is in the D&B and the time commitment is GIGANTIC. He loves it, but hasn't really been able to do much besides playing the horn and academics. Still, if you really love it, why not try it, at least for a year?
     
  9. missmuff

    missmuff Member

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    both my roommates are in d&b.

    they love the cadets, but nobody likes the director. nobody. you'll find it's mostly freshman because of this (although there are quite a few upperclassmen)

    it's a big commitment, but you do get to go on cool trips with the football team. but you have to go play at basketball games too.

    you might look into the cadet orchestra. it's pretty new, but they're getting really good (we sing with them on occasion).
     
  10. trumpeter13

    trumpeter13 Member

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    Haha thanks. I did see that sheet, but it didn't give too many details as to what the experience is like. I do plan on calling the D&B, though, and I'm going to try to find some D&B cadets at Orientation.

    Hey, now that sounds like fun! Do you know what the orchestra schedule is like? Or when/where they perform? Is there a concert band (without strings) or is the orchestra the only musical ensemble besides jazz band and D&B?
     
  11. air_power

    air_power Member

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    There's an orchestra? Because I don't want to pick up the flute again... but I would love to assault everybody's ears with a piccolo:biggrin:
     
  12. missmuff

    missmuff Member

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    They practice either once or twice a week...I know Sunday nights for sure.
    Their officer in charge is the former OIC for Catholic choir, so we do a couple of concerts with them a year (Christmas, then we have one coming up next month) in the Cadet Chapel, and I assume they do their own concerts on top of that.
     
  13. missmuff

    missmuff Member

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    the woodwind section they have now is very good.
     
  14. BrisngrEthri

    BrisngrEthri New Member

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    Percussionist

    I've been thinking about doing it... try it out for a year at least, so I guess I'll probably see you there. Just look for the new guy on Snare (hopefully).
     
  15. trumpeter13

    trumpeter13 Member

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    Thanks so much for the info, missmuff. I will definitely look into that. Do you happen to know if auditions for orchestra are around the same time as auditions for D&B?

    orchestra or D&B??
     
  16. AFAplease

    AFAplease Appointee

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    I hope you aren't set on snare. I know must organized bands have freshman always starting on some other percussion instrument and moving up to snare, unless your a prodigy. Not definite, just what I have always seen and thought. Are there tryouts for D&B? I play trumpet too.
     
  17. J.NordicSkier7

    J.NordicSkier7 Candidate

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    Try outs are what that sheet in the massive pack of info after you accept your appointment is about. It's after Basic, but that seems like a bad idea, since we won't have had a chance to practice for 6 weeks. They say they'll teach anyone, though, which makes me think they aren't that competitive as long as you're willing to try new things.
     
  18. missmuff

    missmuff Member

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    D&B has auditions, but everyone makes it. Then you practice with them for a week or so and then either sign the contract or don't.

    I don't know about orchestra auditions. I'm thinking if you play an instrument with any kind of proficiency you can probably get on, but honestly I don't know.
     
  19. chrissyjean

    chrissyjean Member

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    So I saw this thread and got all excited. I'm very active in the music programs at USAFA, including both orchestra and Drum and Bugle Corps.

    First of all I will clarify some things about D+B. Yes, it is a HUGE time commitment. And huge is an understatement. During football season, we rehearse everyday until around 1900. On weekends, we have weekend long rehearsals. If you're in D+B, that's pretty much your life.

    Yes, it is a contracted activity. This means you can't quit once you sign the contract. The only thing that gets you out is a CARDS hit. Ac pro doesn't even get you out. You still have to go to rehearsals, you just don't get to travel. Traveling is the one good thing about D+B, especially for freshmen, because it gets you off campus.

    D+B is also an LOS activity, meaning it takes precedence over pretty much everything. So if you're a 4-dig that wants to go to all training sessions and whatnot, D+B probably wouldn't be for you.

    What instruments are included in D+B? We play on bugles, so we have sopranos(trumpets), altos (french horn/mello), baritones, and euphoniums. We have a drum line that consists of snare, bass, and tenors. We also have a cymbal section and a pit. I played in pit and cymbals last year, but will be "upgrading" to a horn for the next season.

    D+B is kind of a love/hate relationship. Everyone hates going, but it's one of those things that you still love going to, despite the fact. Almost all my friends are in D+B, and you get to meet all sorts of people through the program. They hold auditions right after BCT, but since our numbers are low, pretty much anyone interested makes it. Even if you've never played an instrument before, come! You can learn. They'll announce when auditions are, so you won't have to worry about missing them.

    Would I recommend D+B? Yes, it's a great way for freshmen in particular to get involved. If you have questions (specifically about the infamous director... PM me, and I'll give you the low down).

    I also was in the orchestra as the piccolo player/flute. I love orchestra! Different than D+B, it is not a huge time commitment at all. We rehearse on Sundays for a couple hours, and have concerts twice a semester. Anyone who plays an instrument is welcome, and there are no auditions. We're especially in need of some trumpet players! The catch is you need to have your own instrument... Sign up for orchestra during the Club Day, or contact me during the school year and I'll let you know when our rehearsal time is.
     

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