The Oldest and Most Honored Drum Corps in the World

The Cadets is one of the oldest and most honored continuously operating drum and bugle corps with members from across the globe. The corps was founded in Garfield, NJ as The Holy Name Cadets in 1934 and is currently headquartered in Allentown, PA. With ten gold medals since the inception of Drum Corps International and hundreds of regional and circuit championships during its rich 86-year history, The Cadets are one of the winningest drum corps in history. The Cadets travel 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 the front percussion ensemble) 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”), bass drums in five sizes and stationary front ensemble instruments 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 accomodations, administrative office, medical care and the equipment required for their performances.

WHAT are the benefits to the performers?

Drum corps is an activity which attempts to do much more than provide a performance opportunity for students or entertainment for the audience. Through the drum corps experience, members will learn useful life skills such as leadership, goal-setting, and teamwork, among others. The Cadets provides opportunities for members to exercise their potential not only as musicians but as leaders in their communities.


We invite parents to get involved and volunteer with the corps, whether that’s for an afternoon at a winter camp, a few days during spring training or a few weeks on tour during the summer. We encourage interested parents to join our legion of volunteers who are excited to welcome you into our community. Ranging from parents whose own children aged out years ago to alumni who want to give back, our volunteers are ready to teach you everything you need to know about helping the corps as you watch your student transform on tour. We couldn't do what we do without our incredible team of volunteers, and we would love for you to join us.

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