With the founding of Cadets Arts & Entertainment earlier this year, the Board of Directors has worked diligently to set up safeguards and establish committees to strategically lead The Cadets into greater success in the years ahead. In the context of 2020, the formation of a Health and Wellness Committee was of utmost importance.

Comprised of a group of medical experts that have up-to-the-minute information on COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and current protocols, the CAE Health and Wellness Committee meets regularly to review CDC guidelines and strategize about ways to implement them once The Cadets resume in-person rehearsals, travel and performances. Their focus is simple: To ensure the health and safety of everyone involved with The Cadets.

“We are proud of all the committee has accomplished in its brief existence,” said Cadets Director and CAE CEO Denise Bonfiglio. “Their initial work was delivered to DCI and became the starting point for DCI’s newly established Reopening Task Force.”

According to DCI.org, the organization’s Reopening Task Force seeks “the establishment of operational guidelines that serves all duty of care considerations with regard to the health, wellness and safety of all who engage with the drum corps activity. The group is working in support of the desire expressed by DCI membership to produce a shortened summer tour in 2021 to serve as a ‘bridge’ to returning to a customary full tour in 2022.”

Bonfiglio is a participating member and continues to facilitate the exchange of information between the task force and the CAE Health and Wellness Committee.

You can read more about the DCI Reopening Task Force here.

In the summer of 2021, The Cadets will follow all CDC protocols that apply to in-person events as well as all guidelines and protocols that DCI has provided to its member corps. In addition, the corps will implement a strict, closed bubble environment for all in-person rehearsals.

Internally, The Cadets’ performers already receive regular updates and guidance from Health and Wellness Committee Chair Ann Voorhees as part of their monthly corps meetings. Ann is a Cadets Alumna and serves as the Director of Clinical Services as a Registered Nurse for a Home Health agency. At the beginning of every corps meeting, she walks the members through a PowerPoint presentation in which she clarifies CDC recommendations specifically as they relate to their daily lives as students, musicians, sons and daughters.

These updates will continue throughout the winter as the corps continues its virtual rehearsal schedule into Spring 2021.

“As we get closer to having in-person events, all members, staff, and volunteers will be given a protocol handbook that will identify their preparation requirements prior to attending a Cadets in-person event,” Bonfiglio stated. “The handbook will also outline the safety protocols they will encounter once they arrive onsite. In the coming months, we will continue to monitor all developments of COVID-19, and we will proceed with our future performance schedule only if it’s safe to do so,” she said.

In the meantime, Cadets Arts and Entertainment is working diligently to create a performance schedule for the corps this summer. The following events are tentatively being planned for The 2021 Cadets and will occur only if we can ensure the safety of members, staff, volunteers, and spectators:

Virtual Clinics: With so many music programs being eliminated or reduced, The Cadets will seek to keep music education in the forefront for young adults through exciting, empowering and educational Virtual Clinics. When it is safe to do so, the corps plans to host in-person clinics as well.

Community Performances Honoring Front-Line Workers: As part of their live performance schedule, The Cadets are planning some community performances to honor the front-line workers that have worked so hard to keep us all safe (locations TBA).

Friends and Family Day: The Cadets will be planning a Friends and Family Day to thank all of our donors that have given so generously to sustain the corps and establish a firm foundation for the future.

Events with Other Drum Corps: The Cadets will be partnering with East-Coast organizations to create performance opportunities.

Local Community: The Cadets are planning to host a concert for the local arts community.

DCI Performances: The Cadets will participate in DCI-sanctioned performance opportunities, as referenced by CEO Dan Acheson in a recent press release: “[If] circumstances improve with regard to controlling the pandemic, we will seize every safe opportunity available to add events in addition to those being planned for Indianapolis,” Acheson said.

DCI Showcase in Indianapolis: The Cadets plan to appear in the DCI Showcase event series in Indianapolis. You don’t want to miss The 2021 Cadets!

With ongoing guidance from the CAE Health and Wellness Committee and the DCI Reopening Task Force, The Cadets will continue to plan for 2021 events with the performers’ safety as the utmost priority. Stay tuned to cadets.org for updates.

If you’re interested in becoming a Cadet in 2021, you can get started today by visiting cadets.org/join! The first step costs just $21.