FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where does the group rehearse?
Some of our rehearsals and performances are at GMU’s main campus, while we also have weekends in off-campus locations such as schools and recreational facilities throughout Northern Virginia. The group takes a yearly trip to Dayton, OH to compete at WGI World Championships.
What is the commitment like?
The GMUID provides a highly competitive experience, which requires an equally high level of work from its membership. Expect to attend rehearsals on most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from October through April, as well as weekday rehearsals during the holiday season and leading into WGI finals. Additionally, be prepared to spend time at home between rehearsals practicing and completing video assignments.
Can anyone audition?
Yes! Anyone is allowed to attend our audition clinics for a one-time fee. Our professional education team will assess your playing, marching, and moving proficiency, as well as your compatibility with the culture. This is a great way to see if the GMUID is right for you, and learn skills that you will carry forward regardless.
In order to receive a membership contract, you must be between 18 years of age (and have graduated high school) and young enough to qualify based on the current WGI age limit.
How does the audition process work?
The staff strives to make the most informed decisions possible, so expect to undergo a thorough process that takes time. Our policy is to be transparent, so if you aren’t sure about your standing, it’s mostly likely because it is still being assessed. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always the best musicians and performers that earn spots- it’s about the best fit for the ensemble. We strongly value intangibles such as attitude, level of preparation, willingness to adapt, and rate of progress regardless of where you start.
Learn more about auditions
What if I have a conflict with an audition, rehearsal, or performance?
As previously stated, being a member of this ensemble is a considerable commitment. Outside of a family emergency, immovable school commitment, or injury/ailment, members are expected to prioritize all GMUID events. Through clear communication and forethought, most conflicts are able to be resolved.
How much does it cost?
Membership dues are an essential part of providing a world class experience. They are used to pay for necessities such as equipment, staff, transportation, facilities, hotels, and other operational expenses. We work hard each season to keep these dues as low as possible as to not exclude any potential member for financial reasons.
As of 2020 the base dues are $1600 for the full season, with discounts provided to GMU students and veteran members. While these dues are almost entirely inclusive, there will be unavoidable additional expenses for things such as uniform accessories, personal travel costs, and meals.
I don’t live in Northern Virginia, can I still be a part of the group?
YES! In the past, we have had members and staff travel from North Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and even Canada. These members sometimes undergo long weekly commutes, and other times move closer to the area temporarily. We are happy to help facilitate both versions of long distance membership- where there’s a will, there’s a way.