Hopkins' inside scoop on Cadets2

Q&A on some of the recent questions that have arisen

To: Cadets Alumni, Fans, and Friends 
From: George Hopkins; CEO of Youth Education in the Arts; Director, The Cadets 
Re: Cadets2  

Good Day, 

Yesterday, Youth Education in the Arts announced the launching of a new program called CADETS2.  In effect, a weekend only version of The Cadets for those who cannot, for some reason, be a member of The Cadets. That reason could be financial, it could be school, it could be the need for further seasoning or a host of other reasons.  In short, Cadets2 is another way to enjoy participation in The Cadets.  cadets2 vert logo

For those who may have missed the document, CLICK HERE.

As I traveled Route. 78 this morning on the way to New York City for an event I am attending on marketing and innovation, I realized that we could have and perhaps should have released this news to those closest to the corps first. 

I am sorry for this. 

With that in mind, let me answer a few questions that I imagine might come to mind. The order of the questions is not per order of importance, just how my mind is working today. 

DO YOU AND YOUR TEAM NOT HAVE ENOUGH TO DO?

Yes, we do, and we talked about that. It would be easier to do nothing but, there seem to be young folks who want to be in a drum corps like The Cadets, and we have the ability to offer that service. As the world changes, who knows, weekend drum corps may be the way of the land. We would like to find out how we can do and what we will do. 

HOW IS THIS GOING TO BE PAID FOR? 

Cadets2 will be a separate program and will have their own accounting programs and restrictions. We believe once we are up and running, we can manage this program for close to break even, as opposed to the loss we would incur if we had a group out on tour, even for a few weeks. 

The Crossmen, who we maintained for 12 years, showed us the financial challenges of managing a corps who is NOT in the top 5 for many years. Without a donor base, and a merchandise sales base, or a source of income not related to corps, fiscal stability is a challenge. 

With DCA, we need not travel more than a few hours, and even the championships are but a few hours away. Again, once we are up and running we should be able to break even year-to-year, or be close to it. 

WHAT IS THE INITIAL INVESTMENT? 

We have friends like YAMAHA, REMO, ZILDJIAN, DEMOULIN,  UP FRONT FOOTWEAR,  and DANCE SOPHISTICATES  who have agreed to assist at some level but, the initial investment is primarily for brass, keyboards instruments and uniforms.  If all goes well for 2011, we will have the ability to make this investment.

And at the end of the day, if we can assist 128 men and women in learning and growing, while they learn to perform and chase excellence, well, that is what we do and that is why we are a not for profit.

WHY CADETS2? 

Well, we want to play off of the brand that THE CADETS have created over 77 or so years. Why would we want to call it the Allentown Arrows? And besides, we plan that they will look like, talk like, and feel like THE CADETS! 

SO HOPKINS, I SEE YOUR NOT GOING TO BE THE DIRECTOR? BUT, ARE YOU GOING TO CONTROL CADETS2?

Let me put it this way … you can be assured that Cadets2 will be an extension of the values and philosophy that manages THE CADETS and all of YEA! 

I will say that I am committed to the success of this corps. It is in my schedule to attend all rehearsals from November through April, to be at all rehearsals and events from Aug. 13 through Memorial Day weekend , and all else that is possible. Perhaps I can clean ticks from the snare line again!  

HOW DO YOU THINK THE CORPS WILL DO COMPETITIVELY? 

I have no idea. This is a first year venture.  We want to work hard, do the best we can, and work towards a high level of excellence.  As for where we will place… it would be great to make the finals competition our first year but that might be tough! 

WHY ARE YOU NOT ALLOWING FOLKS OVER 22 TO MARCH IN CADETS2? 

Well, as Justin noted, in the original release, we could open things up to those 23 and 24 years old. In fact, as we think about this, and we work through our needs. For year one, we are now looking at an eligibility of 25 years old. That is if you are not 26 on Jan. 1, 2013, we will consider your acceptance in the corps for the 2012 season. 

As for older folks, and past Cadets regardless of age …. Well, YEA! Is not about creating the opportunity for participation in activities that folks love and enjoy. As much as we all love corps, what YEA! Is here for is to support the development of young people to magnificent human beings through participation in the performing arts. For now – we tend to be involved in the marching arts, but there are changes  and additions on the way! 

So Cadets from the 50s through the 90’s,  we love you! But, we are not at this time providing an outlet for those of all ages!  And yes, we do realize that DCA is an all age environment and we are adhering to the rules and regulations. The management of DCA is understanding of our plans and they seem supportive. 

I hope this answers this important question. 

DO YOU HAVE IDEAS AS TO WHAT THIS CORPS MIGHT PLAY AND PERFORM? 

Well, it’s just an idea but we could perhaps bring to life some of the shows of The Cadets, but in a different form and with appropriate changes. 

  • Appalachian Spring 
  • To Tame the Perilous Skies 
  • West Side Story – Version 1, 2 or 3
  • The 2001 Show --- Complete with Moondance and Farandole 

These and other pieces could keep us engaged and moving forward for a while. We think the audience would like it?  And that will be a big part of anything we do. 

WHO IS GOING TO TEACH THIS CORPS?

Well, not sure but we would like to incorporate as many people as possible with ties to The Cadets. I would be very happy to use the same design team as is in place at The Cadets today; IF possible. 

DO YOU THINK THERE IS GOING TO BE AN IMPACT ON THE CADETS?

I believe that those who want to be a Cadet and are ready to take on the fiscal challenge and time investment will continue to search out The Cadets. So, no I do not think there will be an effect on the 150 members of The Cadets. 

WHAT IS THE COST OF THIS GOING TO BE TO MEMBERS? 

We are not committing yet to a price but an estimate would be about $1,000. 

OH, AND WHAT WILL THIS CORPS BE WEARING?

Well, The Cadets this summer have a rather novel approach to the show that will involve two different colored uniforms.  Sixty members of the brass and battery percussion will be in each uniform. At the end of the season, 60 of the uniforms, those we will not need again, will be moved to Cadets2 and therein will be the beginning of the new look for Cadets2

I know this does not quite answer the question but once the Cadets uniform is unveiled this May, the answer to the question will be most evident. 

AND FINALLY, DO YOU THINK THIS HURTS OTHER CORPS IN YOUR AREA AS PEOPLE ARE GUESSING? 

I cannot imagine. The Reading Buccaneers are the class of DCA. I am sure they will continue to be fabulous for years and years to come.  Back five or more years ago, I actually approached Reading about some kind of cooperative arrangement but we were not able to come to an agreement. And as I reflected--why should they?  They are undefeated for years and they have their methods that clearly are successful. 

And the Jersey Surf has a unique position in the activity that allows for a lesser commitment with the chance to travel for weeks each summer.  They seem to do well and per their recent announcements, they continue to be innovative in their fiscal arrangements and services to young people.  And after all, they are a few hours away!  I had also approached Bob over the years to create a formal partnership but again, we were never able to create anything formal. 

There are other smaller corps providing services in our area and I would think if anything we will be complimentary. 

And through all of this, at the end of the day, we have a mission to serve, and a plan that includes expansion on a national, regional and local level. Here in Allentown, our Urban Arts Center now services close to 200 at risk youth – at no charge! All of that has happened over the past two years! 

All that we do is about service to youth!  And trying to do so in a way that will not threaten the fragile financial balance we have created.

That is it fans and friends. 

Before you depart, will you vote for YEA! please in the Chase Giving Challenge. All you need is a Facebook account. Click on the button below to VOTE!

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We have the chance to win a $500K grant!

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