CLICK HERE to Register for the 2021 ensemble - coming soon!

​​Membership FAQs

2021 Season


Our calendar is updated regularly -  click here


Winter Season


All woodwind, brass and percussion members will take advantage of virtual sessions with our instructional staff during the winter months in preparation for spring training. It is during the winter months that all music for the 2021 season will be learned for our various performance activities. We support our member's desire to participate in winter drum line, color guard and dance ensembles. With this in mind, our Music Tech Sessions will take place on Sundays as scheduled throughout the winter.


Spring Training


All members (woodwind, brass, percussion, color guard and dance) begin outdoor rehearsals in mid April following all indoor guard and percussion activities. Outdoor rehearsals are on Saturdays 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday afternoons 12 PM to 6 PM throughout the spring. See calendar for specific dates and times.


Summer Season


All members will have rehearsals or performances on most Saturdays throughout the performance season which begins in June and ends in late July. The rehearsal/performance schedule also includes select Friday evenings, and select Sunday afternoons. The official summer rehearsal/performance schedule will be announced in the spring. 

What are the instruments in the TB Performance Ensemble? 

For 2021 and beyond, woodwind instruments are now welcomed! This includes: piccolos, flutes, clarinets and saxophones. 

All of our brass instruments are bell-front, three-valve instruments: trumpets, mellophones, trombones, baritones, euphoniums, and tubas—keyed in B-flat and F.




The marching battery section consists of: snares, tenors, and bass drums. The front ensemble percussion section consists of: xylophones, marimbas, vibraphones, bells, and other concert percussion instruments.




The color guard utilizes flags, rifles, sabres, and dance in their choreography.


For 2021 and beyond, Thunder is proud to announce the formation of the Thunder Brigade Dance Team! The dance team utilizes many styles in dance including: ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip-pop, elements of tap, folk and styles representing cultures from around the world.




How can I prepare to audition for Thunder Brigade?

Pay the 2021 registration fee (TBA) and download audition packets for woodwind, brass, percussion, color guard and dance performers. Contact the director, Mr. Terrell Smith at anytime to answer any questions you might have. See the staff page for contact info.


As a member of TB, what should I expect?

  • A complete welcome orientation where you will learn about the time commitment, costs, summer schedule, and the requirements for your participation. There will be time to ask any questions you or your parents may have.

  • A fun and focused atmosphere surrounded by dedicated returning members, admin and highly qualified instructors who are excited about the marching arts.

  • Complete performance assessments by Thunder Brigade’s highly qualified instructional staff. Staff members specific to your section (brass, percussion or color guard) will give technical information and pointers for improvement throughout each day. 

  • Full days of rehearsing side-by-side with new and returning members of Thunder Brigade.

At the conclusion of rehearsals and performances, you will:

  • Be given detailed information about what you can do to improve for upcoming rehearsals and performances. 

  • Receive information about following rehearsals and performances that will take place for the 2021 season

  • Information about any travel, lodging or changes in venues for rehearsals and  performances.

Do I have to attend all of the winter rehearsals?


Yes. You are expected to attend all scheduled rehearsals for your section. See attendance policy and attendance conflict info.

You should bring the following items to rehearsal:



Portable music stand, marching brass instrument, mouthpiece, tuner, gloves, your audition packet, a 3 ring binder with plastic sleeves/sheet protectors for your music, pencils and ear plugs. Everyone should wear athletic clothing (sweats, T-shirts, shorts, tennis shoes, etc.) and bring a bag lunch.


Portable music stand, instrument and stand and carrier (drumline only), sticks, mallets, your audition packet, a binder with plastic sheet protectors for your music, a practice pad, pencil and ear plugs. Everyone should wear athletic clothing (sweats, T-shirts, shorts, tennis shoes, etc.) and bring a bag lunch.


Wear comfortable clothing that will allow maximum flexibility. Dance shoes (jazz, ballet, etc) are encouraged but not required. Bring your own flag, rifle and sabre. Everyone should wear athletic clothing (sweats, T-shirts, shorts, tennis shoes, etc.) and bring a bag lunch.



You must register and pay your registration fee, (TBA) online. If under 18 years of age, you must have your papers signed by a parent/guardian. This paperwork will be available online or upon check-in at the Open House.



How much is membership in Thunder Brigade Performance Ensemble?

TBA - Info coming soon!


The operation of a top level drum corps is an expensive endeavor. Equipment, uniforms, facilities and instruction are just a few of the items needed to keep the program running smoothly. At Thunder Brigade Performance Ensemble, offering a quality marching arts experience with a reasonable tuition and productive use of time and materials are important values for our program. Our 2021 Membership fees will be posted soon!  


Are there opportunities for me to earn money towards my financial obligations?


Yes. There are periodic fundraising opportunities offered to assist with paying off financial obligations.



Where does the ensemble rehearse?​

Thunder Brigade is a regional performance ensemble that serves MD, VA, WVA, PA and Washington D.C. and all rehearsals are in our region. We will rehearse at various sites in Frederick, Washington, and Montgomery Counties that will be announced through the website. Our spring and summer rehearsals are in Frederick, MD and any location changes are announced well in advance of rehearsals so everyone can properly plan. The calendar is posted here.

Can I join Thunder Brigade if I am in a winter guard or indoor percussion program?

Yes. Thunder Brigade supports all indoor marching arts activities and with this, we do not ask color guard members to participate in rehearsals until after all indoor activities have concluded. Because our winter music sessions are on Sundays, there are generally no conflicts for the musicians. 

Can I join Thunder Brigade if I am in my high school or college band?

Yes. Because we are a weekends only program, there a very few, if any, conflicts with high school and/or college marching band programs. 

Do I have to attend all rehearsals and performances?

Yes. Once you have secured a position within the ensemble, full attendance at all rehearsals and performances is expected during the winter, spring and summer months. Because of how limited the rehearsal schedule is, we ask that all members make every effort to be in full attendance at all times. When a conflict arises, we will address these matters on a case by case and individual basis. Talk with the ensemble director,  Mr. Terrell Smith, Mr Tee via email - (tee@thunderbrigade.org) at least two weeks in advance of a rehearsal to discuss any anticipated absences. ​

Who do I contact with attendance conflicts?

Contact the corps director,  Mr. Terrell Smith, Mr Tee via email - (tee@thunderbrigade.org) and your caption supervisor at least two weeks in advance of a rehearsal to discuss any anticipated absences. ​

What if I cannot attend a rehearsal or performance because of a school or religious conflict?

Pre-arranged school or religious commitments take precedence over drum corps activities. Most school and religious events are posted or announced several months in advance, and it is your responsibility to communicate any conflicts with the Thunder admin and your caption supervisor in advance. 

​What if I have a conflict with attending a rehearsal for reasons that are not necessarily school or religiously related?

These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis. You should always discuss any conflicts with Mr Tee and your caption supervisor in advance for planning purposes.



Are parents invited?


Yes! Without the support of the parents, the program will not reach its full potential. Parents are encouraged to attend rehearsals and offer assistance to the corps' admin. Thunder Brigade relies heavily on parent participation to assist with many things including: moving equipment, cooking, driving carpools, sewing, uniforms, and other needs that will arise. Thunder Brigade administrators and other volunteers will be in attendance at all rehearsals to answer questions.


What if my parents would like to talk to someone about the corps?

Parents who have questions are encouraged to contact the ensemble director, Terrell Smith (tee@thunderbrigade.org or 240-286-0770).