Cadets Arts & Entertainment
The Cadets are the flagship program of Cadets Arts & Entertainment, Inc. (CAE). Founded in 2020, CAE is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of cultivating leadership, innovation, excellence, and community through arts and education, helping students achieve their potential both as individuals and as citizens of the world.
A Brief History of The Cadets
The Cadets is one of the most decorated drum corps in history and the oldest corps of its kind still in operation today. Founded in Garfield, NJ in 1934, we were first known as the Holy Name Cadets. For nearly a century, The Cadets has been a leader in the marching arts activity, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in marching arts movement, instrumentation, and, most recently, technology. We have won 10 American Legion National Championships and 10 Drum Corps International World Championships. Our office headquarters are now located in Erie, PA.
Our Modern Drum Corps
Today, we compete in Drum Corps International (DCI) World Class. Each summer, we field a corps of 165 talented brass musicians, percussionists, and color guard performers from across the U.S. and world. Our members range in age from about 17 to 22.
As a highly competitive drum corps, we spend the summer perfecting one "show" -- an 11-minute program that is performed on a standard football field. Our shows are extravagant displays of musical excellence, marching precision, color, drama, dance, and emotion. Our performers march and dance in intricate formations which are coordinated with the musical productions they perform simultaneously. The Cadets Brass Section (CBrass) plays on top-quality Yamaha marching trumpets, mellophones, baritones, euphoniums, and tubas. Our percussionists perform with snare drums, tenor drums (often referred to as “quads”), five bass drums, and a front ensemble including marimbas, vibraphones, various drums, cymbals, tympani, xylophones, chimes, and synthesizers. The Cadets Color Guard adds color and drama through the meticulously choreographed flag and equipment work, dance, and theatrics. The modern color guard is as much a dance ensemble and storyteller as it is a precision marching unit.
The drum corps season runs from late May to mid August, beginning with a one-month Spring Training and culminating at the DCI World Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. In June, The Cadets embark on their summer tour, performing at high school, college, and professional football stadiums across the country. In addition to daily rehearsals and about five competitive performances each week, you may also see us in a parade or at another special performance opportunity during the summer.
On their summer tour, The Cadets travel up to 14,000 miles each summer. In total, we move over 220 people in a self-sufficient convoy that supports food service, sleeping accommodations, an administrative office, medical care, and all equipment required for performances.
The Cadets Experience
A summer with The Cadets is so much more than a performance opportunity for students. Over the course of a drum corps season, Cadets learn invaluable life skills such as accountability, goal-setting, diligence, time-management, teamwork, and perseverance. We encourage and equip our members to achieve at their highest potential, not only as musicians/performers, but as leaders in their communities.
Once a Cadet, Always a Cadet: When new members embark on their own Cadets experiences, they also step into a lifetime of friendships and connections. The Cadets Alumni is a rich, diverse network of thousands of professionals in nearly every walk of life. We are actively working to keep our alumni community connected and engaged in order to better serve our membership long after they take their last step on the field.
We invite parents, fans, alumni, and anyone interested in the drum corps activity to get involved and volunteer with The Cadets. Whether you help out for an afternoon at a winter camp, a few days during Spring Training, or a few weeks on tour, your time is a valuable gift to the corps. As a non-profit organization, we couldn't do what we do without our incredible volunteers, and we would love for you to join us. The Cadets Volunteer Association is a vibrant community, always eager to welcome newcomers. Visit our Volunteer Page to learn more about the various roles and seasonal needs.