How to Judge Field Conductors in Solo Drum Major Competitions by Rick Wilson

During the spring each year there are a number of solo drum major competitions held in California. These allow drum majors to work on their skills away from their marching bands as well as have some fun competing against other drum majors.

The judges for these events provide a recorded evaluation of the each performance as well as a score sheet which ultimately ranks each competitor from first to last.

Recently, I was asked to record an audio training session for judges who evaluate field conductors. This is intended to be a blueprint for how to determine who are the top conductors and who are still early in their learning curve.

(I’m often asked to train other drum major judges since I have literally judged thousands of drum majors over the last thirty years. As it turns out, I also created the Solo Field Conducting event back in 1985.)

I’ve decided to also make this recording available here at the Drum Major Resource Center so you can get this insider’s view of what drum major judges look for in a performance.

If you’re a judge, this will help refine your knowledge for evaluating this event.

If you’re a coach or instructor, you can hear exactly how your students are being judged so you can help guide them to success.

If you’re a field conductor, you can get an understanding of what to do to make your performances exceptional. It will not only benefit your performances, it will help your band’s success on the field.

Click here to download and listen to the audio recording. (Mp3 audio format)

I hope you enjoy it and find it revealing.

Rick Wilson

If you want to learn more about conducting, check out the audio interview with the Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Benjamin Zander.