Cadets continue to hone show concept in beautiful Bonney Lake, Wash.

Angel and Demon Diary: Cadets daily update from the road


July 2 was a typical show day for The Cadets, but the scenery in Bonney Lake, Wash. is anything but normal. Mount Rainier is quite the backdrop for drum corps. Washington continues to spoil the corps with perfect weather and amazing hospitality. Don Neptun, the band director at Bonney Lake High School, and his team were up at 2:30 a.m. yesterday to welcome The Cadets and insisted on helping in any way they could. Neptun marched in The Cadets’ trumpet section in 2004, so he knows this process well. He has been more than accommodating, working for hours to get hot water for the showers and grilling hundreds of chicken breasts for dinner.

As for rehearsal, the design team continues to hone the show concept, and The Cadets put some changes into the beginning of the ballad yesterday. “We changed the interpretation of ‘The Doxology,’ ” said director George Hopkins. “It has been too happy. What we are looking for are demons trying to be angels.”

Hornline and color guard movement is now “much more dissonant and angular” according to George. The piece feels unsettled; hornline demons play an increasingly darkened version of “The Doxology,” and their body movement along with the color guard’s choreography adds an almost mocking tone to the traditional hymn. The angels remain poised and enter with “Amazing Grace” with traditional Cadet style.

“We also changed the middle of the ballad in an attempt to give the demons more presence,” George said. The design team continues to make this piece more of an interaction between good and evil so that the beautiful integrity of the angels outshines the almost sarcastic tone that the demons set.

George said the corps also changed the transition between “Angels in the Architecture” and “Angels and Demons” to make the battle scene even more effective. The Cadets also worked to add even more character to the demons’ entrance. It seems they become more believable every night.


All in all, George said it was a “good day,” and the members rehearsed with “good effort and spirit.”

The crowd at the show in Sumner, Wash. ate it up. A loud roar went up after “Angels and Demons” (the battle), and half of the audience leapt to their feet a good four and a half minutes before the show was over. The Cadets earned a score of 80.6.

Today, the corps woke up at 7 a.m. and will rehearse until 12:15 p.m. before heading to Seattle for some free time.


Hi! My name is Allison Watkins, and I marched mellophone in The Cadets from 2006 to 2010. I fell in love with the corps when I saw them at Phantom’s home show in Rockford in 2003, and now this is home. I graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Georgia in December 2010. I’m on Rudy’s administrative team for the summer, and I’ll be writing daily updates for the website.


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