Cap off your week with the USSBA at NJMEA Convention

Join Hopkins' for Friday & Saturday clinics on life skills, programming

Music educators and band directors traveling to East Brunswick for the New Jersey Music Educators Association State Music Conference are encouraged to connect with the US Scholastic Band Association team and are invited to attend two clinics led by George Hopkins, CEO of Youth Education in the Arts and Director of The Cadets. 


Come by the USSBA booth (No. 21-22) at the Expo to meet Sean King, Director of the USSBA, and Tara-Lee Bryant and Courtney Beard as they offer a sneak peak at the upcoming fall schedule for New Jersey bands. You won’t be disappointed with the fantastic line-up of events offered to marching bands! 



Friday, Feb. 19, 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm

East Brunswick Hilton & Towers 

There are no jobs for those who can toss a rifle. There is little call for those who can “throw down” inverted flam taps. And even trumpet players eventually put down their instruments. 

So why become a music teacher? What is the long lasting value of what we do? And how can we make the impact even greater. 

George Hopkins, the CEO of Youth Education in the Arts and the Director of the Cadets Drum Corps will explain how it is possible, and actually extremely rewarding to expand the teaching of music to include the reinforcement of critical life skills all of us need and use on a day by day basis… 

Work ethic


How to deal with competition

The value of diversity


These and other skills and values can be reinforced through simple discussion, writing and communication! 

As the Director of the Cadets since 1983, Hopkins has added to the Cadet experience the concepts of life skill learning while traveling cross country on buses and rehearsing 10 hours per day! These founded philosophies have been in place since he began teaching them in 1989. 

The Friday session will close out with an interactive discussion that might give you some tools, and at least an insight, into the great privilege that teaching is. Come take a listen to what one of the top drum corps in the country does and what you might want to incorporate into your music program. 




Saturday, Feb. 20,  9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

East Brunswick Hilton & Towers

Through 30-years of work with the Cadets Drum Corps, and 20- years as an adjudicator within the USSBA, George Hopkins has seen thousands of programs - some wonderful and some a bit less so. He has also been charged for 22-years with coordinating the program choices for The Cadets. 

In this interactive and video based clinic, Hopkins, along with assorted guests, will discuss the programming selection process for your marching band. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the presentation will include those processes and details TO INCLUDE and those NOT to include: 

  • The percussion line on the 5 yard line
  • The story that cannot be followed
  • The grade 6 music for an Intermediate band
  • The guard that is stranded on one side of the field for minutes at a time
  • And much more!  

We will also discuss programming as a concept. What can you do?  What SHOULD you do? Bring your ideas! This is a great time to tell all your plans and to hear and FEEL the reaction. You do not want to miss this!  

Fees for both clinics:

  • Free for NJMEA members registered for the conference
  • $25 for directors and staff of New Jersey-based bands; funds go to NJMEA
  • $50 for directors and staff of bands from other states; funds go to NJMEA  

Directors and staff are encouraged to pre-register. The room seats 400, so space is not an issue. 

CLICK HERE to register. 

The New Jersey Music Educator’s Association State Music Conference will be held Feb. 18-20th at the East Brunswick Hilton & Towers. For more information, go to


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