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Everything posted by onceuponatime

  1. I found your reaction to what I wrote to be beyond my apparently limited ability to understand. I would have no objection whatsoever if a mod agrees with your characterization and wishes to remove my post. Nor would I have any objection to any other post I wrote to be similarly removed. I don't think that any further attempts on my part to understand your viewpoint would provide any additional clarification for me.

  2. This flag was not presented for the usual reason. It was one of the flags that flew over The U.S. Capitol the day that The Holy Name Cadets won their sixth American Legion National Title at Convention Hall (the finals was an indoor show) in Atlantic City, N.J. ,1957. Fifty years later at the same site The Cadets who marched in that show gathered for the 50th Anniversary of "their" championship. It was a three-day event and nearly every Cadet who marched in that show was present for the anniversary festivities. At the banquet on Saturday evening, held on the exact same floor on which they had competed, Cadet Alumnus Ken Shedosky called the Drum Major (Alumnus Tony Bartello), and the Section Leaders (Percussion Sergeant Alumnus Bob Peterson, Soprano Sergeant Alumnus Donald Angelica, French Horn Sergeant Alumnus John DeOld, and Baritone Sergeant Alumnus Dave Shaw) to the speakers podium to be recognized. Each one of those individuals was then presented with a flag that had flown over The Capitol on that momentous day fifty years prior (with a certificate of authenticity). The flag shown in the photo was the one presented to Dave Shaw (who coincidentally is the Cadet writing this post). I had the flag placed in a display case and formally presented it to The Cadets to be placed on display in the foyer of their office headquarters in Allentown, where to the best of my knowledge it still remains.
  3. Right after I made this post I realized what a terrible job I had done in trying to make my point. I attempted to first edit (unsuccessful) and then delete (also unsuccessful). In the original post I wasn't attempting to get a read on who did or did not like The Cadets' 2002 show. The point I was attempting to make, and failed so miserably in doing, was to suggest, as the title of the post indicated, that "what goes around comes around." Admittedly the post title is pretty vague and in retrospect not a good title choice. I am not going to proceed with this topic because I do not believe that anything constructive could be gained by doing so. Things will play themselves out without the need to go head to head with others with strongly differing viewpoints. Again, please accept my apologies for wasting everyone's time. I wish you well as you move forward with your discussions.
  4. Wait a minute! What's going on here? This is 2002, 16 years ago. The Cadets are presenting a "story" show, while wearing their iconic world-famous Cadet uniforms. The uniforms seem to enhance rather than detract from the story being told on the field. The color guard is not only marching up a storm, but they're dancing all over the place, and they're totally integrated with the corps throughout the show. Look at that innovative color guard program, and the mind-boggling use of equipment. The audience is going wild for them. Screaming ovations again, and again, and again throughout their show. Look at the way the entire corps knows how to march a close-to flawless program. Holy cow...that's not supposed to be happening! Were horn lines supposed to be that good and that multi-dimensional in the past? Isn't that what judges are looking for now in 2018? Isn't this what modern-era drum corps is supposed to be all about? Maybe that's what The Cadets should be doing: reviving all their great shows from the past that aren't supposed to work anymore. Did someone screw up the drum corps calendars? Things weren't supposed to be that good back then. Maybe we should rethink what we're doing and where we're going now, because where we're coming from looks to me like it was pretty #### great. Maybe many of the people now clamoring for a "new direction" just aren't old enough to have seen what GREAT DRUM CORPS was really like? THE CADET SHOW BEING REFERENCED IS THEIR 2002 SHOW, AN AMERICAN REVIVAL.
  5. I didn't see them as 7th. I saw them as 1st in their own unique class.
  6. Why not Cadet? You know that whenever they do it they interpret it differently, and every one of their interpretations to date have been great. I did see it live when it was on Broadway though, so I guess my viewpoint is a bit too personal.
  7. I didn't see them as 7th place this year. I saw them as 1st in their own unique class.
  8. It would be nice if it was that simple. I assume that all the Board members are on the Board for the right reasons, but they in most cases are too far away from the day to day operations to grasp the problem. As long as they make their periodic contributions and leave other matters pertaining to the corps to George, no one complains...and if they do they are more likely to resign from the Board, rather than take on the unpleasant responsibility of cleaning house. In the past month I have been contacted by two recent board members who told me they had recently resigned from the board because they had become increasingly uncomfortable with the way the corps was being run. I have also been contacted by two parents, one of whom has a son marching Cadets2. She feels that the three day mini-tour that Cadets2 were scheduled to take, but was subsequently cancelled, constituted a breach of contract. A second parent who is himself an alumnus and long-term supporter of the corps has withdrawn his support and permitted his son to switch corps after the 2016 season. I don't know how many of our best and most talented Cadets moved on to other corps at the end of the 2016 season. The numbers were considerable, and that is something that has never before happened to The Cadets, other than a Cadet or two moving on in hopes of getting a ring, or having a love interest or close friends in another corps. None of this is a reflection on our 2017 marching Cadets and Cadets2 who, though in most cases were somewhat younger and inexperienced than those who left, have turned themselves into Cadets in every sense of the word. None of this growing dissatisfaction with George's leadership should be any of their concern. Their focus is on the weeks ahead, and they have turned this season into something that makes most of our alumni very, very proud. In most cases their parents who so generously give of their time and love and resources, really have no conception of the struggle between George and many of our Alumni about the increasing number of red flags we see popping up all over the place. The marching Cadets are focused on the year at hand of course, and that is the way it should be. Many of them view alumni concerns from a competitive aspect, rather than a survival of the corps imperative. The alumni are concerned about the long term survival of The Cadets if George continues to believe that The Cadets are HIS drum corps to do with whatever he pleases, regardless of the growing negative effects his insular mentality is doing in destroying our great and universally respected drum corps. Our marching Cadets are concerned exclusively with the here and now, and we support them and have always supported them in their goals of the year. It is up to the alumni, however, to think about the generation after generation of brand new Cadets hoping for their chance to be a part of something so beloved and widely respected. It is almost our sacred obligation to ensure that our door is always open for The Cadets yet to come, and our reputation as an experience apart will always be secure. The Cadets have thousands of alumni, most of whom have no idea of the dead-end road that George has us traveling. Many others have personal lives that do not permit them the the luxury of keeping in touch with their fellow alumni on a regular basis. Fortunately we also have a large number of alumni for whom the well-being of The Cadets is a rapidly expanding concern; and their numbers seem to be increasing on a weekly basis, as evidenced by the increasing numbers of posts, and letters and messages received by me and others, centered around these concerns that are growing in scope, and appearing more and more frequently. We can never underestimate George and the impenetrable wall he has build around our corps. It is a bizarre, world of his own making, fed by a mental process that is mystifying and beyond the grasp of most of us. For years now we have been asking why there have been no checks on his personalization of The Cadets under the umbrella of George's Youth Education in The Arts. George is a genius, but increasingly over the years his genius more often than not has increasingly been used destructively. It has been sad to watch it happen. Most disturbing at all is that he has developed a "cult of personality" that a good number of our Cadets, during their marching years, have bought into. We probably would as well if all our needs were bring met during the course of a season, and a fascade of individual caring has been indoctrinated into a large number of Cadets. I used to think that George was a natural teacher with a special talent for communication with young people. I wish I could say the same thing now. Observing George very closely over many years I have come to realize that George's primary talent is mind manipulation over the young people he indoctrinates to view only the George that he presents to them at his daily "Hop Talks," and in the many personal conversations he has both with individual Cadets and each year's marching Cadets as a group. The "Cadet Experience" is real, and many, many Cadets have benefitted from it. For many years George, to his credit, expanded upon it and refined it. Then, year by year, it evolved into the "The George Experience;" and that was not a good thing. I don't know how many of you, like myself, during this transition period, were approached by people outside The Cadet family, but emotionally predisposed to support The Cadets, with one question, "Why doesn't your alumni bring him under control? Don't you realize how much his personal pursuit of self gratification is hurting your corps? My response was always the same; "because he's great with kids." I sincerely believed that as well, and like many other alumni, I stuck my head in the sand as George's darker side began to emerge. Over the years he became by far the most disliked person in drum corps, with good reason; and he dragged The Cadets down that dark path with him. OUR corps went from being the most admired and respected corps in the activity, to being what arguably is now the most disliked and criticized. It is not competitive placement that has finally fired up more and more alumni. That comes and goes year by year. It is our revered history, and traditions, and values and image that is of so little consequence to George that he nonchalantly tramples on them, only because he can. That is what is beginning to awaken an alumni sleeping giant. Do I speak for the alumni, hell no! I can speak only for myself and my growing fears that if things keep on going in the same direction under George's ever-growing psychological need for absolute control in every area of Cadet operations, we might wake up at any time to find that we no longer have a corps after 83 years of hard-earned accomplishment and history. This conversation has been running for several years, without any progress whatsoever. A couple of weeks ago I posted a very innocuous post related to this issue. I immediately received two very irate replies from 2017 Cadets. Which opened with the same sentence. "George is The Cadets." One was from a Cadet marching his very first year. He related how George ran with them, rehearsed with them, was out in the sun and rain with them, made sure they have good quality meals to eat, and personally cared about each and every one of them. Therefore, in his mind, George was The Cadets, and he was very outspoken about "alumni who only cared about themselves." I wondered if that was the way I felt under my Corps Director at the time, Bill "The Chief" Kemmerer. I decided it probably was, but much like The Cadets of Today my thinking and feelings were focused totally on myself. When you're young life is all about you. It takes a certain amount of maturity to reach the point when you start to think more about "the big picture," and the future yet to come for both yourself and for the corps we all love. OUR Cadets. FHNSAB...
  9. George Dixon, Your response to the post written by an '87 Cadet Alumnus was too condescending to allow it to pass unchallenged. You made yourself a self-appointed critic of the concerns of this Cadet Alumnus who raised issues about the future of our corps...OUR corps, not YOUR corps. I don't know how you view your relationship to The Cadets. I know that you have been a very outspoken supporter of The Cadets, and you have our collective thanks for that support. Being an alumnus of The Cadets, with an assumed love for our corps that most people who have never marched Cadets do not understand, trumps fan status however. Even that of a fan who it appears has developed a close relationship with the current leadership of The Cadets. I doubt that you will agree with me, though I hope that at very least you will think twice about what you said and how you said it. I think you owe this concerned Cadet Alumnus an apology, as much for your tone as for the slanted content of your rebuttal of what he had to say, and his reason for saying it. You don't need to agree with him, but you don't have the right to insult him regardless of your personal viewpoint.
  10. Please excuse my intrusion into the world of DCP, where I seldom visit or post. I am a Cadet Alumnus, and have been for many, many years. For that reason I seldom see The Cadets as others see them. It is with great joy at this moment though to read all the positive comments on the 2017 Cadets. Thank you. I too think they are wonderful. I always do, but this year is something more than just wonderful. To The Cadets, their staff who have also proved to be amazing, and to the show they have brought to the field and given life...I am very, very proud. We never know what awaits us at the end of the road, but when you manage to bring so much magic to the journey, you have already succeeded. FHNSAB... Dave Shaw
  11. It's very difficult for another organization to write something that gives comfort to the members and family of another corps, and that also includes extended family, friends;and neighbors; and most of all to Laurie; her daughter, who rightfully should be facing this season with excitement and joy. Sadly, it was not to be. We all travel our own road of life. Sometimes it seems way too short, and other times prolonged beyond reason. We are strangers on Laurie's road, and though we never met we mourn her loss with the entire Trooper family. The Cadets' Alumni, myself in particular, extend our hand of friendship and love to someone we never knew, but wish we had. RIP Laurie. Your road has come to an end, but the memory of all the wonderful things you did in your life, will live on through every star in the sky, twinkling in your honor. Dave Shaw, A Cadet Alumnus with Trooper memories that will never die.
  12. I had and still have, no intention to write a review on the corps in the DCI Season Opener. Severable reasons; first, there are so many different viewpoints being expressed here on DCP. most of them bundled with assumedly shared viewpoints, that I feel that everyone is partly right and everyone is partly wrong. That's not a criticism, just an observation on what I've read to date. Sometimes it seems as though respondents feel the need to throw in a suggestion of two or three, or a criticism of two or three, or a plaudit of two or three, simply to show they are fair-minded. To be honest, I believe that every review I've read seems reasonably fair-minded (at least in the minds of the people making the comments.) There are some things you like about a corps' program or performance, and other things you don't like. There are certain components that you feel seem stronger or weaker than prior years , or that their current year' program is lacking. That seens pretty fair to me, and I think that most are worth reading if for no other reason than to alert me to something I might have missed in one of more of the six corps' performances. Sometimes it matters...most of the time it doesn't. My assumption is that all the many instructors of these corps know far more about what is destined to work, and what isn't; and unless they are deaf, dumb, blind, or irreversibly close-minded, they are already at work fixing whatever it is that needs to be fixed. Of course, there is the other side of the coin where the judges tell you to fix XYorZ that it's costing you points, so you go ahead and fix it, and the next time you meet that judge he gives you an even lower score, then feigns innocence when you call the contradiction to his attention. Do I believe that most judges are trying to do the best they can in an ever-changing drum corps world? Do most of them succeed? I don't have the right to even touch that one, but I'm increasingly ill-a-ease about how many there might be who don't have a clear enough idea of their mandated judging focus while corps are on the field performing. Does personal artistic taste play a role? Who knows? Who can get inside the mind of a judge when he is reacting to what he is watching or listening to. This, as we all know is a chat room. People come here to chat and exchange thoughts and opinions, and sometimes just to be belligerent. I think the posters who annoy me the most are the ones who say, with absolute conviction, that "such and such a corps had the loudest applause of the evening." Or that "everyone sitting around me" seemed to be of this mind or that. That's just plain rubbish, and I'm not a big fan of rubbish. It's particularly irritating when someone shares that judgement even though he wasn't at-site of the contest. I am a Cadet traditionalist, which means I am a pretty hard sell on "new era" drum corps. I attended tonight's show pretty much expecting a major disappointment from every corps whom I knew was scheduled to be present. I had also prepped myself, honestly, to be disappointed, if not outright hostile, based on prior experiences with this first-of-the-season show. As mentioned earlier, I am not going to offer a review of each individual corps based on my own criteria. It would be no more nor no less than tossing another pebble into a stream already loaded with far too many pebbles. for me to even try. I just watched the best season-opening show I have ever viewed, with six of the most memorable (corps) for varying reasons) than I have ever seen in my long lifetime. I thought I had seen it all. As it turns out I haven't even scratched the surface. Tonight I saw more amazing talent, creativity, and performance level than I have ever previously been privileged to enjoy (at this point in the season). I thought every single corps reached well-beyond their efforts of other past years to present something new and different and entertaining than previous years. One after another they blew my mind, Scores don't matter a great deal to me anymore. Frankly I think that the judging criteria needs a total overhaul, but that's just one man's opinion. I honestly think that scores don't matter much except to those who have turned them into an off-season hobby here on Drum Corps Planet, and the young members of each corps who desperately want to see their efforts rewarded in the scoring columns, and the instructors who have to face them with an explanation in their huddle after each underscored performance. How do you explain to a group of hard-working, dedicated, talented young people who think that you can walk on water that you feel they are not receiving the recognition from the judges they feel they deserve. I sure don't have the answer to that one, no matter how many times I've endured it both as a member and as an adult leader. Thank you for your patience in reading through this. At this time of the night my fingers and my brain don't appear to work very well together.
  13. George, I have a request to make. Would it be at all possible for me to copy your two Cadet Color Guard rehearsal shots you posted recently? They're such fantastic photos I think they would help to excite the corps' base. I would of course give you full credit. If you prefer to keep them frozen I completely understand. Thank you for your consideration. Dave Shaw
  14. Tekk: Please forgive my unrelated intrusion into your post. There is something I wanted to share with you, but other diversions kept interfering. I have been following you ever since you first started posting on DCP when you were younger. Your initial posts disturbed me a little because they were immature, indicative probably of your age at that time. Since then I have watched as you have grown as a writer and a thinker, and the change has been amazing. You have become one of the most reasonable participants on Cadet threads, and your points are always well thought out and well presented. Even more important, they seem to be completely honest. You don't hold back when you disagree with something, nor do you fail to strongly advocate for what you believe is right. Thank you for being a voice of reason, your words well thought out, well articulated, and always straight to the point. Sincerely, Dave Shaw
  15. The color guard captains' drop sashes were on the right rather than the left to accommodate their sabres.
  16. A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON A GREAT CORPSThe Cadets have endured a lot of crisis during their 83 year history, but we were not alone in that respect. The Boston Crusaders for most of their history endured one catastrophe after another; and each one set them back in their goals due to lack of finances. Still, through each one they closed ranks and continued on. Now, suddenly they find themselves being criticized because for probably the first time in the life of their corps finances are no longer a problem for them. I have no idea how this good fortune materialized, nor is it any of my business. With this new-found financial freedom they have become very aggressive in attracting additional instructors and support staff, and in attracting members from other corps. Good for them! This reminds me very much of the early years of Star of Indiana, except Star began with good fortune and strong leadership, and never had to endure the kind of things that my corps, The Cadets, and our respected friends and competitors over the pre-DCI years,The Boston Crusaders, had to overcome. At the time Star was heavily criticized for, as their critics perceived it, having "the best corps that money could buy." They too aggressively recruited staff away from other corps, and attracted members from those same corps with "stars" in their eyes. Now The Cadets and Carolina Crown find themselves the unintentional "victims" of Boston's good fortune. I believe their reactions to the staff/member enticements Boston now finds itself in a position to offer are understandable. Perhaps Boston has been too aggressive. I don't know. What I do know is that The Cadets, and Carolina Crown, and now Boston will overcome any resulting difficulties. I have to admit though that I find it very difficult to be critical of Boston. Over the years I have watched them struggle, rise and fall competitively, and be viewed by many comparatively new to the activity, as "also rans." Nothing could be further from the truth. I am incorporating a reference to Boston's earlier years, taken from the book "DCI - The First Decade," written by Nick Waerzeggers, layout by Steve Vickers. This book was commissioned by DCI; however it never received wide promotion or circulation for reasons not relative to what I am writing here. This information on Boston appears on page 36 of the book. It is an excerpt from an interview with Jim Centorino, Boston's horn instructor recounts their condition in 1971:"Located on the southwest shore of the Charles River, the Magazine Beach Boat House was the only facility the corps could get for free. A miniscule building the size of a two-car garage that was vacant during the cold winter months was "was perfect for the corps." The building had no heat and the bare cement floor absorbed all your warmth through the soles of your feet. Bugle valves seized, lips froze to mouthpieces, drummers' knuckles looked like gray ring pops. Clouds of exhaled breath hovered everywhere. The honor of managing the miniscule mob fell into the hands of George Bevilacqua and Dan Rinaldi (the third and fourth directors in two seasons.) Theirs was the task of trying to rebuild a "Giant." Since they had no corporate sponsorship and no financial infrastructure , the corps ran on fumes. Once while collecting dues I thought of taking $10 for horn instructor pay, but forgot the whole thing when it was announced that the corps' truck was out of gas. None of us would be paid financially." None of this was known, nor cared about, by most of the drum corps leaders of the era. They all had problems of their own, and no time or resources to help out a desperately poor corps like The Crusaders. Well, their kids and their adult leadership persevered, and I believe though I have nothing to base it on, that it was during these years of deprivation, they began to take pride in their status, and they began to think of themselves not as hard-time strugglers, but rather as "Giants." You know something...that was exactly what they were. This was just one of many challenges they faced and overcame over the years. They are a very old legacy corps (if I'm not wrong, the second oldest continually competing corps in the country.) I have a difficult time after so many years of remembering what seemed like a never-ending series of catastrophes which they met as they always did...as "Giants." I seem to remember a fire that destroyed everything they had, and a truck break-in where they lost all their equipment, and so many others it would seem like I was exaggerating to the point of being ridiculous if I could remember enough to recite them all, or even to be completely accurate in the ones I mention here. Cadet Alumni are probably most sympathetic to what Boston has endured, because our corps has a similar history of overcoming our own series of internal and external catastrophes. We too were often hovering on the edge of survival too many times to recall. Now Boston suddenly finds themselves financially stable with an all-alumni (I think) Board of Directors running the corps as a business rather than as a day-to-day, hour by hour, minute by minute group of penniless "Giants." There is one other thing that most of the current members of Boston and The Cadets are unaware of, because it happened so very long ago. Boston Crusaders evolved from The Most Precious Blood Crusaders, and The Holy Name Cadets and Most Precious Blood were bonded by personal and corps friendships. We stayed in each other's homes, we cheered for each other at contests, we not only respected and admired each other, but in a way, we were two corps in love with each other. Strange to put it down on paper in that way, but that was the way it was. So, if Boston is now, perhaps, overusing the financial windfall they currently enjoy, try to be a little patient and remember all they have gone through to reach this point. I guarantee that the waters of the storm now building will soon become more gentle; and all three of these great corps will emerge better for their current experience.
  17. With no disrespect to the posters here on Drum Corps Planet who have a theatre background or a love affair with Broadway (I plead guilty to that), I fail to see why "Costumes" versus legacy corps "uniforms" require dedicated proponents on either side. Why does it have to be an either/or proposition? Someone on this page generalized this discussion by laying the "new costume/theme" direction at the feet of the Bluecoats.That's not really fair. They came up with a very entertaining, exciting show that turned a whole new page in the how-to book of drum corps. I congratulate them on taking a big gamble on a show that caught the imagination of the fans. To the "non-costume" adherents was that such a terrible crime? This recently characterized "new era." as far as I'm concerned, was not what I woud consider to be a "drum corps show." as much as it was an entertainment vehicle. So what? Entertainment is supposed to be a major part of drum corps, and The Bluecoats entertained the hell out of those watching their show in the oil drum. Now, projecting ahead, what would an entire drum corps contest comprised only of corps who pursued that direction be like? What is new and different once around the block, will probably not appear as new and different if one corps after another did it. Remember, all of this "new era" stuff began years ago, when at The Annual DCI Meetings where one after another outlandish proposal was proposed, and year by year one after another, advocated by a small number of Corps Directors convinced the others of the value of what they were promoting. Year by Year these proposals were introduced, and then reintroduced, and then introduced again. The point was to wear down the opposition, and gradually they did. Supporters here on Drum Corps Planet seem very supportive of radical change, proven or not. Most appear to be very intelligent people with well thought-out viewpoints. The prevailing argument seems to be that you cannot do well competitively any more unless you reverse your thinking. The scores awarded by the judges seemed to bear them out. Suddenly it appeared as though a fully-integrated theme was required for the judges to even look at you. GE became so subjective, the other captions became virtually invisible. What about the horn line? Oh yeah, they were pretty good. Not good enoough to score as radically as GE, but pretty good nonetheless. Percussion appeared to disappear as the unique musical art form drum corps had spent years perfecting. So, what about the percussion caption? Should it even exist any more? Were all the drum lines on the field equally accomplished? They all "looked" good to me. Eeeny, Meanny, Minny, moe...I pick that one! Marching (movement if you prefer) which since the beginning of the recollections of drum corps fans, and the source of most of their amazement at what corps could accomplish, now meant absolutely nothing. Corps visual instructors began designing shows where it really wasn't necessary to be well-trained in marching, just so long as you kept moving on the field, pointlessly or not. None of what I just said is meant to denigrate the "new era" of drum corps. I like some of it very much. But we are putting too much emphasis on conformity as opposed to variety. For example, I have been a huge fan of The Cavaliers since I first knew what a drum corps was. I admired and responded to the kind of shows they put on the field. I thought their distinctive uniforms added to every different show they performed. More often than not they excited me, they entertained me, they made me proud to be a part of such a wonderful activity. Then, as is the case with most long-established corps, they lost some key visual design people: Brubaker, Gaines and others I am less familiar with. As a result they slipped down a few notches for a bit, as would probably happen to any corps in those circumstances. So they decided to go "new-era" last season, and they shocked the bejesus out of me. I won't go into any details. If you saw them perform last season you know what I'm talking about. They did a complete back-face, and honestly, they were no longer recognizable as The Cavaliers. It was their decision to make, and I support them in whatever they have decided; but for now at least, I won't be waiting to view them in the same way I once did. Now, as might be expected, there are other corps at the same point of decision. Where so we go from Here? Do we throw in the towel and become just one more in a series of one-act plays on a football field? Carolina Crown actually brought us to the point that we now find ourselves. They fielded one off-the-wall show after another, and with the combination of a truy great horn line and some pretty bizarre uniforms, they stood out from the pack. Where do they go now? Do they try to come up with one-act plays that are better than their competitors, and earn the plaudits of a judging community that has lost its' direction? Do they perhaps have a better idea that no other corps has explored yet? Last season it was a little of both. I thought they had won, but that's neither here nor there. I can't tell you what their theme or story-line was, nor did I care. I just liked them more. Did their stage coach, or their gun duel, or their dead outlaw entertain me at all? No! But their corps overall did. I don't think the "theatre" fans shared my sentiments Then there is the subject of uniforms. Crown does;t really have that problem. Over the years they have had so many different uniforms they are not distinctive in that category at all. So, for now, this winter off-season doesn't have to be any diffent for them than any other winter off-season. They still have time before they too will be forced to choose a stylistic direction. Then we have The Cadets. Fair warning I'm a Cadet Alumnus, so my comments might not carry any weight with anyone who has never marched Cadets. I'm not even certain if there is any other corps that might be viewed as comparable to The Cadets. To begin with we have a sixy year old Director who has been the corps' Director for more years than many of you have been alive. In addition, he has a carved-in-concrete idea that you must move forward or you die. In The Cadets' case, it's very possible that if they subscribe to the new-era philosophy, they might very well die. The Cadets have an 83 year history, and an internal culture far more complex than most corps. Most Cadet Alumni, and many non-affiliated posters fans and observers, feel very strongly that The Cadet uniform is the best in the activity, and should never be changed. Our Director does not share that viewpoint, regardless of the cost of his intransigent position. For many years he has been making small changes to the uniform, which in most cases were not viewed kindly by many of the alumni. At other times he has been very alumni-sensitive (our 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee blast for one example), and transporting the entire corps to Holy Name Church in Garfield to play for the Church's 100th Anniversary celebration. Those are just two examples of many. At other times he does a complete reversal and proceeds with whatever danger-fraught decisions that often radically negatively effect the corps. Last season, for example, for the final few contests of the season, he suddenly springs a totally new all-black uniform on everyone. It was not a good decision, and that is an understatement. For the 2016 season he had The Cadets in those black uniforms for the entire season. Now the truth is that close-up they would have been a good uniform for any corps except The Cadets. For one thing, they didn't have 83 years of history behind them. Speaking for myself, I did not attend any shows during the 2016 season except for DCI Championships, and I found myself still horrified by the black uniforms. Beyond that, I was stunned to see that in spite of all the vitriol directed to The Cadets' show all season (I believe that "shipwreck" was one of the descriptions,) I was more than a little surprised to see just how good the corps was, and just how good the theme production, music and staging were. They caught me off-guard, and I have been off-guard ever since. I loved their hornline and their music (including the trombones, french horns, and violin.) I thought that by putting the horn soloist, who only played intermittently, on a layered prop that projected very high off the floor, and an appropriate-clothed adonis on another prop a little less high, where he seldom moved other than to change poses periodically, and provided a visual focus that never required you to take your eyes on what was happening on the floor. I never made any attempt at all to understand "the story" behind their show, and I think that people who did try to figure it out wasted a lot of time thinking and insufficient time enjoying. Speaking more as an Alumnus than an unaffiliated audience observer, I thought they were radically underscored. I also believe that the reason was that the judges didn't understand "the story" either, and that tried way to hard to make that a requirement. Now a new season is upon us. The Cadets have a brand new staff (several key members of the staff are also Cadet Alumni and understand the culture, history, and significance of the corps. They have been very tight-lipped about the show they will be doing, and even more tight-lipped about the uniforms (costumes) they will be wearing. All we know for sure is that they will not be wearing the iconic Cadet uniform once again. We have been told they were selected to provide more flexibility for rolling around and dancing. The problem is that many if not most alumni, and many committed fans as well, have not reacted very well to hearing the words "rolling around" and "dancing." In short, they will not be The Cadets of History again, and reading between the lines, it appears they are going to be another of the "new era" corps. What that means to fans is that more and more shows by more and more corps will be all about "little stories." and once again superior marching, drumming, and music will not play much of a role. We cannot blame that on anyone but corps staff for turning our activity into a march of lemmings to the sea. I hope I'm wrong. I hope that every single corps sets the crowd on fire. But what I hope more than anything, is that The Cadets revert from being just another drum corps to being "more than just a drum corps."
  18. Cowtown, I don't really know what's in those big coolers they parcel out to The Cadets. Perhaps you're right, but I can't offer verification. I do know that the more I drink the more my commitment as an alumnus of The Cadets expands. It especially happens when I drink the red stuff.
  19. Why are marching Cadets and Cadet Alumni so loyal to each other? How would you answer this? While I was out in Indianapolis awhile back a number of people asked me why our Cadet Alumni are so supportive of our corps. I found it hard to explain in a short conversation just what having worn the iconic maroon and gold Cadet uniform, or sharing a history and heritage, or having shared values and a work ethic that we learned as marching Cadets, or singing The Holy Name hymn knowing that it has been sung by many thousands over a period of 83 years means to us. I thought back on some words that George Hopkins said at our 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee. To paraphrase, "We are not here to celebrate ten American Legion National Championship or ten DCI World Championships. We are here to celebrate and to honor every Cadet who has worn the maroon and gold over our long and rich history." In essence what I think he was saying, and what I firmly believe, is that we are all part of the Cadet tapestry. Our history is not simply about competitive achievement...though we value that as much as any other corps. Winning can be defined in many ways though, and through good years and bad we have always "won," through success, through adversity, and through challenges that have molded our character. If you have a conversation with a Cadet alumnus and you ask "why are you so loyal," more times than not he or she will tell you that everything they are, and everything they accomplished in life, was built upon the experience of having been aCadet. We are all forever linked, to the Cadets who preceded us, the Cadets we marched with, the Cadets who followed us, and the Cadets yet to come. FHNSAB...For Holy Name shall always be...pretty much sums up why we are so loyal and so supportive. We want to ensure that we all do whatever we can to ensure that those words...the final words of the Holy Name Hymn...and the promise to our corps' future that is embodied in those words...never ring empty.
  20. Perhaps it might ease your feelings of creepy/stalky if you were aware that the preceding post was what was on Clash of the Corps. The young man being interviewed was the one providing the posted information during one of The Cadet sequences. Could you provide any more substantiation for your comment that "you people know so many details about youngsters showing up for camp?" There's an implied inference in that comment that really seems to require a more detailed explanation; especially the "you people" comment.
  21. He's one of The Cadets featured on Clash of The Corps. Sadly he lost him Mom a year before at the same contest. It was really hard for him to maintain his composure while telling his story, but he got through sharing it with the camera crew in real Cadet style.
  22. To The Freelancer Family: The Alumni of The Cadets salute The Freelancers and send our condolences on the loss of an important person in your corps family. Many of us vividly remember sharing the field of competition with The Freelancers, and the deep respect we had and still have for your organization. You provided many great moments both on the field and off. Just as Mr. Silva will be missed, we note with sincere sorrow the absence of your corps. You will not be forgotten.