The Oldest and Most Honored Drum Corps in the World

The Cadets is one of the oldest and most honored continuously operating drum corps with members from across the globe. The corps was founded in Garfield, N.J. as the Holy Name Cadets in 1934 and is currently headquartered in Allentown, Pa. With 10 gold medals since the inception of Drum Corps International and hundreds of regional and circuit championships, The Cadets are one of the winningest drum corps in history. The corps travels over 14,000 miles each summer, entertaining hundreds of thousands of drum corps fans throughout the nation.


Modern drum corps are comprised of 154 performers who range in age from about 14 to 22. Each corps is made up of brass musicians, percussionists and a color guard. They perform an 11-minute program on a standard football field. Programs are extravagant displays of musical excellence, marching precision, color, drama, dance and emotion. All members of the corps (except for a stationary ensemble of percussion instruments) march in intricate formations which are coordinated with the musical productions. Brass musicians in The Cadets play on top-quality Yamaha instruments available to artists, amateurs and students all over the world, including trumpets, mellophones, baritones, euphoniums and tubas. Percussion instruments include marching snare drums, tenor drums (often referred to as “quads” or “quints”), five bass drums of increasing size, and a front ensemble including marimbas, vibraphones, various drums, cymbals, tympani, xylophones, chimes and electronic synthesizers. The color guard adds color and drama through the coordinated use of flags, rifles, sabers, dance and theatrics. The modern color guard is as much a dance ensemble and storyteller as it is a precision marching unit.


The Cadets travel over 14,000 miles each summer as they compete in a national DCI tour. In total, The Cadets move over 220 people in a self-sufficient convoy that supports food service, sleeping accommodations, an administrative office, medical care and the equipment required for their performances.

WHAT are the benefits to the performers?

Drum corps do much more than provide a performance opportunity for students and entertainment for an audience. Through The Cadets Experience, members learn the life skills of diligence, leadership, goal-setting, time-management, teamwork, and many more. The Cadets provides opportunities for members to achieve their potential not only as musicians but as leaders in their communities.


We invite parents to get involved and volunteer with the corps, whether it's for an afternoon at a winter camp, a few days during spring training, or a few weeks during the summer tour. We encourage interested parents to join our passionate team of volunteers who are always eager to welcome newcomers into the community. Ranging from parents whose own children aged out of the corps years ago, to alumni who want to give back, to fans who just love The Cadets and want to stay involved, our volunteers are ready to help you help the corps, as you watch your son or daughter perform on tour. We couldn't do what we do without our incredible volunteers, and we would love for you to join us.

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