The Cadets held their monthly full-corps meeting Sunday night, as has become the routine since June. While we were unable to provide an immersive summer experience for our membership in 2020, our organization remains committed to providing them with a high level of support and education through this challenging year. Corps meetings continue into the fall to provide continuity between drum corps seasons and promote the well-being of The 2021 Cadets.

To maintain the feeling of drum corps rehearsals in a high school, the administration has creatively labeled their Zoom links “Gym,” “Auditorium,” “Dance Studio,” and “Cafeteria.” So, the full corps met in the Gym before breaking off into sectionals in their respective rooms.

With many Cadets now back on colleges campuses, Director Denise Bonfiglio and other staff encouraged the members to stay connected with one another and maintain their own physical and mental health. The corps reviewed safety recommendations to apply in their classrooms, ensembles or jobs, and discussed ways to manage stress, from getting enough exercise, to spending time outdoors, to making time for virtual hangouts with friends.

After a positive half-hour corps meeting at 5 p.m., The Cadets broke off into sections. Each caption supervisor had created an assignment schedule for the month, which they reviewed and assessed the performers’ progress. They then set their goals and assignments for the following month.

“I think we’ve made some good progress this summer,” Brass Caption Head Matt Stratton told the hornline once they were alone in the Gym. “We’re excited to hear your playing assessments so we can really focus on the areas we need to work on. It’s great to see you all healthy and, hopefully, happy.”

The brass then began a workout session led by Visual Instructor Alejandro Taverez, followed by small sectionals in which they each performed a playing assessment for their respective instructors. The hornline concluded their rehearsal with a review of their fall syllabus before the rest of the corps joined them back in the Gym at 8:15 for Ensemble Rehearsal.

That’s right – The Cadets have already learned the music for their 2021 program, and they are able to work on it together in a virtual Ensemble. During this part of the rehearsal, Front Ensemble and Audio Arranger Brandon Carrita plays the show music for the corps, while members mute themselves and play (or spin) along. Periodically, they pause and discuss parts of show.

The Cadets proudly boast a 90-percent return rate from the 2020 membership, with 140 students already committed to the corps for 2021.

Stay tuned for special video content from The 2020 and 2021 Cadets, coming soon!