INDIANAPOLIS – Drum Corps International (DCI), the world leader in producing and promoting stadium events for the world’s top marching music ensembles, announces the launch of its new Judge Diversity Initiative. The goal is to expand the DCI judging roster through proactive recruitment of individuals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds and to provide them with the training and support to be a successful contributor to the activity as a DCI judge.

The announcement of the new program, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the marching arts activities, was made during DCI’s annual winter business meetings, conducted Jan. 6-8. The initiative extends DCI’s commitment to develop new opportunities to expand and share the greatest stage in marching music through thoughtful and deliberate collaboration. It works in partnership with DCI’s IN STEP committee to more broadly foster and promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Funding to offset expenses and comprehensive training will be provided for candidates accepted into the program.

“DCI recognizes that the benefits of diversity include fostering creativity, innovation, and fresh viewpoints. We want to ensure that our pool of talented, passionate and knowledgeable adjudicators includes more professionals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives,” said John Phillips, Drum Corps International judge administrator.

Each season, more than 100 individuals are assigned to adjudication panels which officiate each of the nearly 100 competitive events produced by DCI. Individual judges rank and rate corps performances in one of several discrete disciplines, including program design, performer proficiency and technical achievement, as well as the effectiveness of the musical and visual performance components of each program.

“DCI organizations attract thousands of student musicians and performers from throughout the country and around the world to participate in what is widely regarded as Marching Music’s Major League,” said Lee Carlson, DCI’s director of competition. “Enhancing diversity within the DCI judging community is an ongoing commitment and pursuit for DCI.”

How to apply

Interested candidates can submit their application materials to include:

• Letter of Interest
• Professional resume
• Two letters of reference
• Supporting materials (such as videos and/or audio recordings of candidate’s bands, drum corps, color guards, drum lines, and/or sample recordings of previously recorded commentary)

Applications will be accepted through March 1, 2023. Please forward all application materials via email to:


• Deadline for applying: March 1, 2023
• Review & Screening: March
• Notifications sent: Early April
• Training begins: Late April
• Biweekly training sessions: End of April through start of the 2023 DCI Summer Tour