Percussion Audition Preparation

2019 Percussion Audition Preparation

The final 2019 percussion section roster will be posted soon after May 4. Results will be sent to each candidate via email.

Audition Materials

Download the 2019 audition excerpt package and the 2018 battery or front ensemble audition materials by clicking on the appropriate buttons below.

Click to Download the 2018 Battery Audition Materials

Click to Download the 2018 Front Ensemble Audition Packet

Click to Download the 2019 Percussion Audition Excerpts

Individual Auditions

Individual auditions will consist of the following materials. Candidates may be asked to play some or all of the exercises listed below with or without a metronome. The audition will also include ensemble playing with materials provided on the audition day for those traveling to Lincoln for their audition.

Snare Drum:

  • Any of the exercises listed in the packet.
  • 2018 Rhythm Etude
  • 2019 Audition Excerpt
  • Big Red Cheese Wheel - 112 BPM and 140 BPM.


  • Any of the exercises listed in the packet.
  • 2018 Rhythm Etude - Drum 2.
  • 2019 Audition Excerpt (bass 2 Part)
  • Big Red Cheese Wheel - 112 BPM and 140 BPM

Bass Drum (will be required to play on a snare drum and/or bass drum):

  • Any of the exercises listed in the packet.
  • 2018 Rhythm Etude
  • 2018 Bass Flow
  • 2019 Audition Excerpt (bass 2 part).


  • 2018 Rhythm Etude - on a snare drum.
  • 2018 Cymbal Audition Excerpt
  • 2019 Cymbal Audition Excerpt

Front Ensemble

  • 2018 Front Ensemble Audition packet - all except Study No. 25
  • 2019 Audition Excerpts - Jonathan's Light, measures 1 through 17

Video Audition Instruction

Please play all excerpts listed for your instrument(s). these must be played with a metronome that can be audibly heard in the recording. Please mark time while playing. Submit the video recording by May 1, 2019.

  • Video must be clear, well lit, and at an appropriate angle to show the player, drum surface, and body.
  • Player must perform all excerpts listed for your instrument(s). These must be played with a metronome that can be audibly heard in the recording.
  • Rhythm Etude: Perform etude at 90 BPM at a soft dynamic and 110 BPM at a loud dynamic.
  • Bass Flow: Perform at 80 BPM and 100 BPM on both a horizontal surface and bass drum.
  • Big Red Cheese Wheel: Perform at 112 BPM.
  • Double check the recording before sending it to us. Make sure that the file opens and plays.
  • Remember that we must be able to differentiate your recording from all other applicants' recordings. Name the file with your instrument, underscore, your last name, underscore, followed by your first name. Example: percussion_Sample_John
  • All applicants must submit an on-line registration form. The Band Office will send recording submission instructions after we receive the registration form. There is no need to submit this form a second time if you have already completed it once this spring.
  • The Band Office will acknowledge receipt of your recording via e-mail. However, please give us at least a day to process everything.

2019 Audition Dates

  • Saturday, April 27
  • Saturday, May 4



You must be prepared if you expect to achieve a successful audition. You must print the audition materials, put them in a three-ring binder and bring the materials to the audition. Commit to practicing as it will be necessary though out the season. Study the music and other information, read and comprehend all of the print material. Though we cannot ask you to do more than your best, other incoming students and veteran players will also be auditioning for the same spot as you.


All approaches to our technique are outlined in the audition material. Our system is intended to provide the best, most natural approach of playing that will maximize each student's potential and growth as a musician. Any technique should have room for adaptation but the basic tenants should be intact and clearly understood.

Timing and Rhythmic Accuracy

The more you play with a metronome or recorded music, the better your internal pulse and groove becomes. Great ensembles have great timing and it starts with each individual. Rhythmic accuracy is the ability to play rhythms in time and with a high level of clarity.

Sound Quality

Players should place a premium on incredible sound quality at all dynamic levels. This comes from a thorough understanding of technique, touch, approach, and confidence. The stick, mallet, head, drum, cymbal, and keyboard should all work in tandem to produce a warm, full, and open sound at all times.


Great musicians are great listeners. They adjust when needed rather than being constantly reminded. They are aware of how they are blending with those around them. They are aware of their sound quality at all times. They understand the music and what they are trying to accomplish.

Request An Audition Appointment


The Cornhusker Marching Band percussion section is a community of individuals who are all committed to one thing: Doing whatever it takes to help the group succeed and function at the highest level.


This is a professional organization. We have lots of fun and embrace the unique and valuable personalities of each person. However, we hold very high standards in how we perform, rehearse, and conduct ourselves as both musicians and citizens. Responsibility and maturity is expected without fail.

Fundamental Proficiency and Development

This is a college percussion section that expects performances of the highest level. To play at a high level you must prepare at a high level. Fundamentals are the backbone and basis from which our playing begins and ends. Players will place the utmost priority and constant attention on development and mastery of these basics.


Humility means being teachable, coachable, flexible, and maintaining a selfless attitude. Those who achieve the most brag the least.


Your attitude is your choice alone 100% of the time. Life is often 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. Members are expected to maintain and develop attitudes of contribution, optimism, service, and gratitude.


What you do and how you do it. What you say and how you say it. We do the right thing regardless, on the field and off the field. We are not only a group, but a community and family first and foremost.

Impeccable Work Ethic

The title speaks for itself — We work hard. There are no substitutes here. Everyone is a starter and we depend on each other. You must have an eagerness 100% of the time to work hard: Every day. Every rehearsal. Every Performance


Each individual is expected to take the necessary care and action to ensure their mental and physical wellness functions at the highest level.

Practice and Preparation

Additional practice is necessary and required. Members are expected to consistently refine and work their fundamentals and show music away from group rehearsal. Progress and preparation should go without saying.