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CADET VISUAL DESIGNERS PAST AND PRESENT

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Who wrote the drill for The Cadets when you marched there? If you marched there.

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Danny MrBride, then Zingali. 

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Bobby Hoffman all three years I marched, 70-72.

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On 7/12/2020 at 7:02 PM, MikeD said:

Bobby Hoffman all three years I marched, 70-72.

While we sat in my ''63 Chevy in the rain outside the Patterson Armory in 1970 waiting for rehearsal to begin, Bobby and Pete Emmons worked out the logistics of the White Rabbit "Peace Sign" on the fogged-up windshield.

"I'd love to do this, but I can't imagine how to get in and out of it", said Bobby. "No problem", said Pete, and within the hour, there it was.

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50 minutes ago, ironlips said:

While we sat in my ''63 Chevy in the rain outside the Patterson Armory in 1970 waiting for rehearsal to begin, Bobby and Pete Emmons worked out the logistics of the White Rabbit "Peace Sign" on the fogged-up windshield.

"I'd love to do this, but I can't imagine how to get in and out of it", said Bobby. "No problem", said Pete, and within the hour, there it was.

Cool story! If I recall, John Sasso wrote the brass book, and you wrote the ending of "White Rabbit" with that cool mello lick. It was George Tuthill's first year on percussion.

 

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11 hours ago, MikeD said:

Cool story! If I recall, John Sasso wrote the brass book, and you wrote the ending of "White Rabbit" with that cool mello lick. It was George Tuthill's first year on percussion.

 

Right on all counts, Mike.

That little coda was the first thing John let me write. I was such a novice. It was good preparation though, since I ended up writing most of the "Revolutionary War" show the following year, with the exception of the Holst Chaconne and the "Profiles" closer, which were penned by Larry Schillings, who is now the NJ State Director for Bugles Across America.

Hoffman (it goes without saying) was brilliant. He gave me an assignment: "I need 38 counts of something that sounds like a war...by Thursday." This was pretty far outside the box for the time. Nobody wrote "made to order" original music for drum corps back then. The s.o.p. was the horn instructor arranged the brass music, the drum instructor threw in some rudiments that didn't clash too much, and then the drill writer figured out how to make pictures out of it.

Bobby turned the whole magilla on it's head. I asked Tuthill for advice. "Write some dissonances and articulations, and short quotes with staccato attacks. I'll throw in some bass drum booms and rim shots. Piece of cake."

I was among giants and just followed direction. I truly believe this was the beginning of the eventual Visual Caption dominance in drum corps design. Or to put it another way, real coordination among brass, percussion and drill. Bobby and Emmons were pioneers for sure.

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1 hour ago, ironlips said:

Right on all counts, Mike.

That little coda was the first thing John let me write. I was such a novice. It was good preparation though, since I ended up writing most of the "Revolutionary War" show the following year, with the exception of the Holst Chaconne and the "Profiles" closer, which were penned by Larry Schillings, who is now the NJ State Director for Bugles Across America.

Hoffman (it goes without saying) was brilliant. He gave me an assignment: "I need 38 counts of something that sounds like a war...by Thursday." This was pretty far outside the box for the time. Nobody wrote "made to order" original music for drum corps back then. The s.o.p. was the horn instructor arranged the brass music, the drum instructor threw in some rudiments that didn't clash too much, and then the drill writer figured out how to make pictures out of it.

Bobby turned the whole magilla on it's head. I asked Tuthill for advice. "Write some dissonances and articulations, and short quotes with staccato attacks. I'll throw in some bass drum booms and rim shots. Piece of cake."

I was among giants and just followed direction. I truly believe this was the beginning of the eventual Visual Caption dominance in drum corps design. Or to put it another way, real coordination among brass, percussion and drill. Bobby and Emmons were pioneers for sure.

Absolutely! I did not know that about Larry and where he is today. I knew he arranged the Chaconne, but not the closer. 

He was band director at Glen Ridge HS back then. I started at Montclair State in 71, so I would take the Montclair/Newark bus and get off at Glen Ridge to help teach the band. Larry Kirshner wrote the wind charts, and George Tuthill was the main percussion instructor. Ray Capacelli did drill. I was what would be called a tech today. That was a great band. Very unusual in 1971 to have that kind of staff/show, at least in NJ. After he left teaching to work for his father-in-law's company, he lived in Morris Township. He worked with their marching band, and he brought me in to do percussion. This was early 80's.

Our 1971 Cadet show was great. You guys wrote an amazing program. I do recall George Tuthill pulling his hair out, as a lot of old time drum judges just did not "get" what he was doing. We split the line in two for a while, with half supporting the British mid/low brass and half the soprano Americans...playing completely different music (and time signatures) at the same time. Some of the drum judges just did not get it. At one spot in the battle scene George had the large bass do a big cannon boom, with a smaller one right after as an echo. It got hit as a tick every show as "not playing together". George really had to dumb the drum show down by late season. 

 

 

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"I knew he arranged the Chaconne, but not the closer. "

To be precise, it was kind of a joint effort. Programming the tune was his idea, and I believe his Glen Ridge band was playing it a a wind ensemble format. My recollection is that he made the edits from that score and I did the transposition and orchestration for bugles.

Having never done anything quite that complex before, I really needed his guidance. After all, Larry Schillings had a Music degree; mine was in History.

I did know a lot about the Battle of Trenton however, and Hoffman wanted all the details pertaining to that since his plan was to do a reenactment thereof.

I think it's important to remember that this thread is about Cadets visual designers, and the implied sub-text is how innovative they have been through the years. Before the Hoffman/Emmons era, drill was all about "pretty pictures" and "clean". Almost no one was trying to tell a story with a through line that extended for the entire show, the notable exception being Truman Crawford's Civil War epic for the Yankee Rebels.

These days, we simply expect "total show" to be the model. 1971 saw the spark for that, with Garfield, Cavies and Madison leading the trend.

 

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13 hours ago, ironlips said:

 

I think it's important to remember that this thread is about Cadets visual designers, and the implied sub-text is how innovative they have been through the years. Before the Hoffman/Emmons era, drill was all about "pretty pictures" and "clean". Almost no one was trying to tell a story with a through line that extended for the entire show, the notable exception being Truman Crawford's Civil War epic for the Yankee Rebels.

These days, we simply expect "total show" to be the model. 1971 saw the spark for that, with Garfield, Cavies and Madison leading the trend.

 

Yup!  Also the Brassmen's show in 71. 

We passed out a libretto to go along with the show (a decade before Phantom), I assume written by Dave Shaw. I also guess you were the one to make sure the history was correct!  😀

The session with those guys the other night was amazing. Some marvelous stories.

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