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What is the time commitment for the Corps?

Mon Valley practice and perform only on the weekends leaving the weekdays free for other activities such as school, work, and social time. Winter rehearsals start after our Open House in November and our season runs for about 9 months to the end of August. The schedule is roughly as follows:

  • Winter Rehearsals and performances (December – March): We come in on scheduled Saturdays of the month from 10:00 am to 5pm). These rehearsals are all indoors and we prepare mostly with music and marching fundamentals.  We will be learning drill for our indoor shows

  • The Season (March – August): We have  performances on different Saturdays (see schedule). During this time we will be doing DCI Soundsport, TIA/TOB, SDCA, Parades, and Concerts.  There is a possibility to do a WGI Winds show as well.

  • DCI Soundsport and Drumline Battle Finals. We travel to Championships where we get on the bus Friday night and ride the bus to Saturday morning to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Indiana. We will perform in the Soundsport Championships and maybe Drumline Battle and then chill until DCI Finals begins on Saturday night. After Finals we pack up and head for home.The following week is our final parade of the season.

What should we bring to rehearsals?


 Make a checklist so you don't end up in a predicament.

  • Shoes, not flip-flops, because you will be doing a lot of marching. Your shoes need to be something that can take it, preferably tennis shoes.

  • A water jug (You're going to want that water jug!)

  • Equipment.  Rehearsal would be useless without this.

  • Sunscreen to prevent burning.

  • Sunglasses to stop the sun from blocking your eyes and a ball cap or visor.

  • A change of clothes: just something simple like exercise shorts and a t-shirt. You never know if you might slip in the mud, get sweaty, or get uncomfortable.

  • Deodorant to put on mid-day (at lunch?) or at the end of rehearsals.

What is the cost?


The financial obligation to be in the Mon Valley Express are.....

$25 Audition fee

$30 Membership fee 

$40 a month dues

Multi family member discounts on a case by case basis. This is an all-inclusive price. This fee includes:

  • All Music Instruments, Uniforms, and Visual Equipment, and all instruction by the top instructors in the industry

  • Tickets to DCI World Finals

  • Busses driven by professional drivers for competitions, Parades, and Concerts.   There are a few engagements that we drive to form year to year.

Is Financial Assistance available?

Yes!!  If needed. We will work with your situation.



Can we still join your group after the Season has started?


The Sooner you join the better.  You lose a lot of instruction time by joining late.  Due to the limited number of spots this may not be possible. But if there IS an open spot we will be pleased to welcome you to the Ensemble.


Can parents, friends, and significant others be involved if not able to perform?


If your not able to perform then join the support staff! The corps is lucky to have a tight-knit team of an all-volunteer support staff and depends on friends, family and alumni to be able to continue giving our members the experience of a lifetime. Each year, we hope to become bigger and better and with your help, we are closer to making that possible.


Afraid that you don’t have enough time? No worries. We are grateful for any amount of time you can commit.


Not sure what you want to help with? There is always plenty to do. Just let us know that you’re interested!


Below is a a short list of areas we need help with.

  • Performance support staff (moving equipment for parformances)

  • Cooking/Food Service

  • Construction/Hall repairs

  • Fundraising

  • Nonprofit/Board of Directors Development

  • Communication (Public Relations, Social Media)

  • Recruitment

  • Special Events



What is the average cruising velocity of an unladen swallow?


Kinematic data for both African species was difficult to find, but the Barn or European Swallow (Hirundo rustica) has been studied intensively, and kinematic data for that species was readily available.  Although a definitive answer would of course require further measurements, published species-wide averages of wing length and body mass, initial Strouhal estimates based on those averages and cross-species comparisons, the Lund wind tunnel study of birds flying at a range of speeds, and revised Strouhal numbers based on that study all lead me to estimate that the average cruising airspeed velocity of an unladen European Swallow is roughly 11 meters per second, or 24 miles an hour.


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