The GLASSMEN drum corps season begins around Thanksgiving every year when the organization holds their annual orientation and audition camp.
Prospective members travel from all over the world and all over the United States to audition and perform with the GLASSMEN, and although hundreds come to audition every year, the activity mandates a maximum of 150 members in the drum corps.
The monthly camps begin on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. (first camp of the year starts at 6:00 p.m.) and continue through Sunday at 4:00 p.m. This audition/rehearsal process continues into the spring, and the 150 corps members are generally set by March. The winter months are comprised mostly of music rehearsals, but the onset of warmer weather brings outdoor rehearsals and marching drill camps. At the end of May, all the members are required to move into the GLASSMEN West Rehearsal Facility, and they begin daily rehearsals until they leave on the eight-week, 15,000 mile summer tour.
A typical rehearsal day includes 6-10 hours of rehearsal, depending on whether or not there is an evening performance. After a competition, the corps usually loads the trucks and buses and heads out for the next show or rehearsal site, anywhere from a three to ten hour drive away. The corps usually competes in over 40 competitions during the summer, and also performs at various parades, concerts, and exhibitions. The GLASSMEN season begins with our home show in June, the ALL-STAR REVIEW in Toledo, and ends with the DCI World Championships in mid-August, in locations varying from Orlando, Florida to Indianapolis, Indiana to Pasadena, California.
The GLASSMEN have long been contributors to Toledo's economy by presenting many drum and bugle corps competitions during their nearly 50 year history. These events not only bring in competitors from various parts of the country, but also fans, parents and boosters from all over the Midwest and surrounding areas. GLASSMEN has hosted these shows annually for many years, including the KEY TO THE SEA competition at the University of Toledo Glass Bowl, A TOUCH OF GLASS at Port Clinton's True-Lay Stadium, and the current ALL-STAR REVIEW, also at the UT Glass Bowl. They have also produced several preview shows at area high schools and the stadium at the Lucas County Recreation Center. Toledo was also host to the Drum Corps Midwest Championships in 1992 and 1994, through the support of the GLASSMEN.
Not all GLASSMEN performances are competitions, however. The corps has made it an annual tradition to perform in the "Music Under the Stars" concert series at the Toledo Zoo. In 2001, the corps expanded its collaborations to include performing with the Rochester Hills Symphony (MI) and Lima Symphony (OH) during their 4th of July celebrations. The GLASSMEN also present several local and national clinics each season through their ENTERTRAINMENTTM Arts Program that teach kids about music, movement, and performance. Other showcases include local parades and festivals as well as various holiday celebrations.