​​Membership FAQs

2019 Season


Our calendar is updated regularly -  click here


Winter Season


All members of the brass and percussion sections will have 1 rehearsal Sunday per month from January through March to respect all religious and family commitments. We also support our members' desire to participate in indoor drum line and color guard ensembles - see below for rehearsal conflict info. 


Spring Training


All members (brass, percussion and color guard) begin outdoor rehearsals in late April. Outdoor rehearsals are on Saturdays 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday afternoons 12 PM to 6 PM throughout the spring. See calendar for more specific dates.


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. 




How can I prepare to audition for Thunder Brigade?

Pay the 2019 registration fee and download audition packets for brass, percussion and color guard. Contact the director, Mr. Terrell Smith or any caption supervisor at anytime to answer any questions you might have. See the staff page for contact info.


As a new member, what should I expect at the Open House?

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

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

  • A full day of rehearsing side-by-side with new and returning members of Thunder Brigade.

At the conclusion of each rehearsal, you will:


  • Be given exact and detailed information concerning how you may improve for the next rehearsal. 

  • Receive information about following rehearsals that will take place for the 2019 season

  • Information about any upcoming performances that will be presented by Thunder Brigade

Do I have to attend all of the winter rehearsals?


Yes. You are expected to attend all scheduled rehearsals for your section. Our selection process spans several rehearsals and involves the evaluation of many aspects that include, but are not limited to: talent, skill, physical condition, attendance, preparation, work ethic, and attitude. 

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.


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.


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,  $50.00 online or $60.00 at the door, completing the necessary paperwork. 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.


What are the instruments in a drum and bugle corps?


All of our brass instruments are bell-front, three-valve instruments—trumpets, mellophones, 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.




How much does membership in Thunder Brigade cost?


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, we feel that offering a quality experience at a reasonable rate of tuition and time expense are important values for our program. Our 2019 Membership fees will be posted soon. Keep an eye out!  


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 corps rehearse?

Thunder Brigade is a regional drum corps that serves MD, VA, WVA, PA and Washington D.C. All of our rehearsals are within our regional area. 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 following the January Open House, we do not ask guard members to attend another rehearsal until after the WGI season is finished. Because Thunder Brigade winter music rehearsals 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 in the drum corps, 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 deal with it on an individual basis. Talk with Mr. Terrell Smith - "Mr Tee" (the Director) and your caption supervisor at least two weeks in advance of a rehearsal to inform the corps of any anticipated absences. ​

Who do I contact with attendance conflicts?

To discuss any attendance issues involving any rehearsals or performances, contact our Director, Mr Tee and the caption supervisor of your section. More details regarding attendance will be explained at the Open House rehearsal.

What if I cannot attend a rehearsal 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 to serve as sets of eyes and ears to assist the director. 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: Mr. Terrell Smith, Director ( or 240-286-0770)

©Thunder Brigade Drum & Bugle Corp 2018