Learn from the BACBattery

Your pathway to scoring a spot

Get a behind the scenes look at the BACBattery through the snare drum Backstage. Join today to interact with veterans of the Boston Crusaders while learning from instructors including Colin McNutt, Alex Beltran, and Zach Schlicher. If you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced snare drummer, Backstage is your place to learn, refine, and perfect your musical and visual skills to earn a position in a drum corps, marching band, or indoor ensemble.

What You'll Find Backstage

Receive exclusive access to...

  • Full Scores

    Learn the BACBattery technique and warm-ups heard in the lot! Learn the exercises the BACBattery use year-round including Basic Strokes and Dig-gits. Throughout the year, battery members will receive past show music and learn the fan favorite "Marimba Spiritual" from our 2018 show.

  • Instructional Videos

    Excel in your musical and visual technique with video-guided lessons from the BAC staff. Refine your technique and break it down with step-by-step videos and live classes. Put it all together and practice with exclusive recordings of past lines!

  • Evaluation and Assessment

    Keep track of your progress with regular feedback and evaluations. Collaborate with staff and members through assignments, masterclasses, and live seminars. Prepare for your future in the marching arts and take your first step to becoming a member of the Boston Crusaders.


Director of Percussion

Colin McNutt

Colin has served as the Director of Percussion since 2017. Previously, Colin worked with The Cadets Percussion Staff from 2007-2016. He served as The Cadets Percussion Caption Supervisor and Battery Arranger from 2008 through 2016, winning a DCI World Championship in 2011 and the Fred Sanford High Percussion Award in 2013. Colin was inducted into The Cadets Hall of Fame in 2016. Colin has also previously taught and arranged music for Star of Indiana, the Glassmen and the Crossmen. In addition, he was a part of the design and instruction team for the internationally acclaimed production, Blast!. Colin began his marching career in 1988 during his junior year of high school when he joined the Boston Crusaders. He was an integral part of the Crusaders percussion section over a four year span. He aged out with Santa Clara Vanguard in 1992, where he was recognized at the 1992 Individual and Ensemble competition as the tenor drum solo champion. He has made a career out of his passion for music and percussion, while also completing a double major in music education and classics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1998. When not instructing drum corps, Colin conducts clinics for the percussion companies Avedis Zildjian Co., REMO, Inc., and Vic Firth. He has signature series “Colin McNutt” sticks designed and manufactured by Vic Firth. He also writes music for marching bands in the United States, Canada and Japan.

Battery Manager

Alex Beltran

Alex Beltran is a writer, educator, and performer based in Ohio. He recently finished his Masters Degree in music history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he received an undergraduate degree in percussion performance. While at UMass Alex has worked as teaching assistant to Thom Hannum, studied under Ayano Kataoka, and taught the UMass Minuteman Marching Band. Alex’s marching career began with the Connecticut Hurricanes from 2008-2010 before marching in the quad line at The Cadets from 2011-2014 under Colin McNutt. During his time at The Cadets, the group won the 2011 DCI Championship and the 2013 Fred Sanford high percussion award. Alex has continued to work with top drum corps, teaching The Cadets battery during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Alex also currently works with WGI Independent World finalist United Percussion and is a Vic Firth endorsed educator.

Percussion Production Designer

Zach Schlicher

Zach Schlicher began his drum corps career with The Cadets in 2001. Upon aging out in 2004, he began teaching the snare line at the Madison Scouts. After two seasons with the Scouts, he moved to be on the faculty of Carolina Crown for the next ten years. Away from the drum corps field, Zach works with several scholastic and independent programs within BOA and WGI. Over the last twelve years, he has developed a unique set of skills which allow him to take on multiple responsibilities and roles with any ensemble. Zach studied percussion at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Presently, he resides in Indianapolis, IN, but travels to work with multiple programs within North America. Along with his design/instruction commitments, Zach occasionally performs on cast with Aerial Experience Productions and has performed with Blue Devils Entertainment. He has also been featured on VicFirth.com in the video lesson series “Hybrid Rudiments.” Zach is endorsed by Vic Firth and Evans Drumheads.
Watch Intro Video

Meet Colin!

Your Backstage Battery Instructor


  • What is the deadline? Is it too late to audition?

    No, it is not too late! Contracts are being awarded on a rolling basis until April 1st. However, we suggest signing up as soon as possible for the best chance at receiving a contract. There is no deadline for those interested in learning but are not auditioning for a contract.

  • Do I need my own drum?

    You will need a drum when submitting assessments but drums are not required for participation. Most lessons can be learned on a pad. If it is not possible to obtain an instrument for assessments, please contact info@bostoncrusaders.org.

  • Can I sign up for more than one section?

    Yes! Check out our multi-section bundles by clicking "register" at the top of the page!

  • Is this how I audition for the Boston Crusaders?

    Yes, membership candidacy will be based off Backstage assessments and evaluations. We have positions available in all sections.

  • Do I need to sign-up for Backstage to audition? Do I have to audition?

    Yes, you must sign up for Backstage if you wish to audition for the Boston Crusaders. Audition requirements will be made available within the Backstage program. No, signing up for Backstage does not mean you have to audition. Backstage is a valuable tool to help you refine your skills, whether or not you are pursing a position with the Boston Crusaders.

  • Is there an age limit?

    No! Backstage is open to all regardless of age. If you are an educator, please stay tuned for future programs tailored to assist your classroom and students.

  • Is my purchase refundable?

    No, all sales are final. Please contact us at info@bostoncrusaders.org if you experience difficulty at checkout.

Days Left To Audition

Auditions open until April 1st!

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