Cadets Unveil A Closer That Raises The Rafters
A closer at 210 beats per minute – for three minutes straight – and a crush of horn power that nails you head on. Mix it up with a non-stop, commanding opener played with more confidence in every run-through, it’s body now interlaced with amazing voices of inspiration.
"This I Believe" is coming to life.
The Cadets came into their fifth camp knowing they needed to buckle down and work hard. Mother Nature had dealt them a blow in March, and a postponed camp had stalled momentum on their 2007 program "This I Believe." But by the completion of two days of sectionals, visual drill block and two remarkable ensemble rehearsals, it was apparent the energy and commitment of the Maroon and Gold never strayed far.
The camp last weekend at Penns Grove High School in Carneys Point, N.J., included both the hornline and percussion sections learning and playing the closer Adiemus: "Choral VI & Song of Aeolus," a work by Composer Karl Jenkins. The piece, arranged by Jay Bocook, Cadets’ arranger of 15-years, runs three minutes, its tempo as fast as 210 beats per minute. It also includes a challenging percussion segue arranged by Tom Aungst and Neil Larrivee.
The closer rounds out nearly all the "This I Believe" repertoire which includes the four-minute opener "Symphonic Movement," and a three-minute arrangement of "Blue Shades." All three selections have been taught and played by the corps as they easily reach a staff goal set in December that music would be learned by Spring Training which begins May 17. Still to come is the epilogue arrangement by Bocook, which is expected to be finished by the Cadets’ next camp in just two weeks.
The opener, which includes 10 tempo changes and fluctuations in speeds that sends the corps from 110 beats per minute to 164, and even 136 to 184, also received considerable work as staff began testing the possibility of using narration within the arrangement.
"It went better than I expected," said Cadets Director and Program Coordinator George Hopkins. "Until we get outside, there are many questions. There is also an overriding question of how much is too much and what is not enough."
Hopkins told members the use of narration is certainly a step in a different direction from how the 2006 corps incorporated the idea in last season’s program, "Through the Looking Glass."
"We have to get a feel for how it works into this show," Hopkins said. "What we’re trying to do is make voice part of this show – it has to become actively involved, completely integrated. There’s a fine line between it working and it being overkill."
Announced in December, the Cadets’ program "This I Believe" is an artistic avenue to explain what this dynamic activity of drum corps is about, relaying philosophies that have been instilled in every Cadet since its founding in 1934. Using segmentation, the Cadets will convey its traditional values throughout its history – goal setting, diversity, practice and performance – while still embracing its tradition of innovation.
This camp not only brought members closer to the show they will create, but also to the return of a classic – the traditional Cadets’ uniform – as headway was made in fittings and alterations of the recently received shipment from uniform provider, The Band Hall.
For the members, the weekend was solid, productive and excitement is growing to get to the next camp on April 27-29 when the corps will learn some changes to "Blue Shades" and get onto the field to learn the first two minutes of drill by Designer Jeff Sacktig.
It was Ken Franco’s first camp and audition for the Cadets’ trumpet line and the weekend left a remarkable impression on the 21-year-old from Denton, Texas.
"This music is absolutely beautiful – a lot more soulful than what anyone else out there is playing," Franco said. Listening to the recordings and audio samples on the Cadets’ Web site, along with encouragement from instructors and peers, prompted Franco to seek a spot in the corps. "This camp has been more than I ever expected, from the music, the people and the great staff."
Trumpet player Russell Michaud, 20, is inspired by the music given to the hornline. He admits the book is tough, and he anticipates getting to the field to see where this show is going to take the 2007 corps.
"The music is very hard and it goes for an extended period of time when it’s loud. I think on the field it’s going to be amazing," Michaud said.
Talented players still sought
There are still openings in the Cadets’ hornline. Three trumpet and one tuba player are needed to fill out this extraordinary group of players. For audition information, contact Brass Caption Supervisor Gino Cipriani at ginocipriani [at] gmail [dot] com
RSVP to the next Cadets camp on April 27-29 at Penns Grove High School in Carneys Point, N.J. This camp will also welcomes back the colorguard which has not been at camps since December.