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Cadets Brass 2021

Cadets Jan. Camp Builds on the Success of 2021

The Cadets held their first rehearsal weekend of 2022 with a virtual camp for brass and percussion on January 14-16.

"It was an absolutely fabulous weekend," Director Ron Lambert said. "We had excellent attendance at camp, and things are looking really positive as we begin the new year."

The Cadets now look ahead to their first full tour of the 2020s, and DCI's Golden Anniversary Tour. This summer will be the culmination of over two years of achievements under the leadership of CEO Denise Bonfiglio, who has worked tirelessly to bring together a strong, well rounded team to lead The Cadets into another decade of excellence.

2021 Achievements

Since its incorporation in early 2020, Denise along with the Cadets Arts & Entertainment Staff and Board of Directors has sought to honor The Cadets' legacy, build on that foundation, and raise the bar in every aspect of the drum corps experience. Of course, the corps has assembled an incredible team of designers and music educators to bring that standard to life on the field and instill the corps' history in each group of performers. But perhaps most importantly, The Cadets organization has stepped up as a leader in the DCI community in the areas of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI), and Health and Wellness in the COVID era.

Equality & Inclusion

One of the first and most important achievements under CAE is the implementation of The Cadets Equality and Inclusion Training Program. This curriculum was created by the Equality an Inclusion Committee, a committee of the CAE Board of Directors which is led by Denise Bonfiglio, Vicki Ferrence Ray, and Darcie Aungst and comprised of a diverse representation of Board members, staff, corps members, alumni, and volunteers. The curriculum provides positive, comprehensive education in the areas of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion; Feminism and Misogyny; Sexual Harassment, Abuse and Assault; Sex, Gender, Orientation and Identity; LGBTQIAP+ and Pronouns; Class and Socioeconomic Status; and Equality, Equity and Justice.

The impact to The Cadets organization at the individual and corporate levels were profound. As a group, everyone attended the virtual training sessions. Break-out sessions followed in which Board members, office staff, instructional staff, current members, and volunteers were able to discuss these topics with guidance from an E&I Committee member. Once the corps was in person, we enjoyed an accepting, encouraging environment made up of individuals who felt more empowered to be kind to one another than ever before. This promoted a safe environment with proper protocols and reporting procedures in place.

Health & Wellness

In 2021, The Cadets Health and Wellness Committee - another strategic committee established by the CAE Board of Directors - created a plan that successfully mitigated COVID-19. This team of medical professionals and experts in the activity worked together to review ever-evolving CDC guidelines and create a plan for how drum corps could occur amidst the pandemic. The result was a three-tiered system in which those leaving the corps bubble more often were tested more often. Over the course of the abbreviated summer, 1,754 tests were administered, and every single one produced a negative result.

As the Delta variant worsened mid-season, protocols were adjusted to further protect members, staff, and volunteers. The Cadets went through about 6,000 masks and are extremely proud of the fact that there was no instance of COVID-19 at Spring Training or Tour in 2021.

Programming & Recruitment

Intrinsic to the success of The 2021 Cadets was the 2021 program, Shall Always Be. The Cadets Design Team produced a program that was iconic to the corps history, reigniting the character, tradition, and power of The Cadets. The show brought generations of Cadets Alumni back into the fold, while making new fans of countless young people in the stands.

Also noteworthy were The Cadets' recruiting efforts for 2022, which were well underway before the 2021 season was over. The corps' administration and leadership teams worked together to create a new timeline and procedure for recruitment that will undoubtedly lead to ever greater success for The Cadets in the future.

Financials & Fundraising

Under the leadership of CEO Denise Bonfiglio, the Cadets Arts & Entertainment team is proud to have ended the 2021 season in a positive cash-flow position - a huge accomplishment for a drum corps as well as a young non-profit established amidst a pandemic. In addition, the organization met or exceeded every fundraising goal set for FY2021.

Thank you to all of our donors, volunteers, management, and staff for a fantastic year in 2021. We look forward to building on this success in 2022!

The Cadets will make every effort to hold in-person camps in February, March, and April. As always, the safety of our members, staff, and volunteers is our utmost priority, so COVID protocols established last year will likely remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Please stay tuned to and the corps' social media channels for updates and announcements.


The Cadets Brass Staff will host an informational webinar for anyone and everyone interested this Wednesday, November 3, at 7PM EST.

Register Now


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