The Madison Scouts kicked off their 2003 audition weekend with a combined banquet for the 2002 Capital Sound and Madison Scouts. More than 450 people attended the banquet to celebrate the 2002 season and to honor Scott Stewart, who retired after 25 years as Scouts’ director. The attendees honored Stewart with two lengthy and enthusiastic standing ovations. The highlight of the evening was the singing of May You Never Walk Alone by Stewart and the 46 young men who aged out of the Scouts. Friday evening was merely a prelude to what was to come during the next two days of auditions.
Saturday and Sunday saw more than 140 young men from around the world audition for spots in the 2003 Madison Scouts. Sunday found the returning veterans rehearsing with 2003 hopefuls. One soprano player was heard saying, “This is the greatest! I can’t believe I’m playing with the Scouts!” His energy and enthusiasm were indicative of the overall attitude of everyone involved.
Not everyone who auditioned was offered a spot for 2003. “The talent level of the those who auditioned was fantastic. I wish we could have offered each of them a spot; but that’s just not possible,” said Bob Wall, executive director of the Madison Drum & Bugle Corps Association. “Meeting with those young men who didn’t earn spot was heart wrenching.”
Wall added, “I want to thank each and every one of the men who auditioned this weekend. I hope we’ll see many of them next year.”
The weekend closed with a mass meeting of the staff and the men who will be marching in 2003. Michael Cesario unveiled the 2003 65th anniversary program in what may have been the most electric moments of the weekend.
The Scouts have filled all but a handful of spots. Young men interested in joining the 2003 Madison Scouts’ color guard or other sections can find membership information at www.madisonscouts.org, or they can call the corps office at (608) 837-0707.