Two Minutes Of Drill; Narration Propels “This I Believe”
More than 30 sets of The Cadets’ opener have been put on the field and narration continues to be tested and fused into the program as the creative and production phase of "This I Believe" took huge strides during the corps’ last rehearsal camp of the season.
The Cadets met at Penns Grove High School in Southern New Jersey last weekend, just two weeks after their first April camp, with the members discovering more about themselves and all this return to tradition show has to offer. The weekend included music rehearsals on all three program pieces, plus other encore and parade tunes. Narration was tweaked in the opener "Symphonic Movement" and introduced into the corps’ second selection, "Blue Shades." The Cadets also took the field Sunday, learning up to two minutes of drill by Designer Jeff Sacktig.
The colorguard was welcomed back from it’s winter hiatus, with a mix of nearly 30 veterans and rookies attending camp for the first time since December 2006.
The pace and amount of material learned at the last six camps in the same number of months has been on target and the corps is well positioned to begin Spring Training on May 17, according to Cadets Director and Program Coordinator George Hopkins. This last camp before Move-In allowed the Creative Team to lock down lingering questions on music, concepts and goals as they prepare for four-weeks of intense rehearsals at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, W.V.
"At the end of camp, the kids were excited. The mood was good and we are where we need to be as we head into Spring Training," Hopkins said.
An aggressive schedule awaits The Cadets and their instructional staff when they arrive in West Virginia. Hopkins has set goals that include drill for the opener – playing and moving – being on the field by May 27, "Blue Shades" by June 2, and the closer, "Choral VI & Song of Aeolus," by June 8. Given the closer’s tempo of 210 beats per minute, and it’s complexity, the corps will need a minimum of a week to get it on the field, he said.
The Cadets first DCI competition is on June 16 in Annapolis, Md., when they meet up with The Cavaliers, Bluecoats, Carolina Crown, Glassmen and Spirit from JSU.
Anticipating much more!
Members have only a little more than two weeks before they turn 100 percent of their attention to "This I Believe." When they arrive in West Virginia, the next three months will be dedicated to putting the philosophies and principles of drum corps – and the Cadets – into everything they do, and onto the field. "This I Believe" will relay the 73-years of Cadets’ excellence in a completely innovative program loosely based on the National Public Radio show of the same name.
Returning Colorguard Captain Caitlin Bell was impressed with the progress the corps had made during the winter and was glad to be back with old friends. A fifth year-Cadet and costume design major at Ball State University, Bell is spending her last season of eligibility with the corps.
"The weekend went really well for the guard. We go a lot of months in between without seeing everyone, so it was good to be back," Bell said. "And the corps sounds fantastic."
For Russ Michaud, a 20-year-old rookie trumpet player from Reading, Mass., much of the apprehension in using narration within the show was alleviated after the weekend camp.
"It’s well written. I’ll admit I was skeptical at first, but now I see how it’s going, I’m very optimistic. It will add things to the show that people won’t expect," Michaud said.
Time on the field was encouraging to Michaud, as well. He admits the drill is tough, but that is expected with the Cadets. And getting a small taste of what’s to come at Spring Training was just what the he needed.
"There are some nice little surprises in the first few moves. People are really going to love it."