A great performance last night in Minneapolis, now back to work

Angel and Demon Diary: Cadets daily updates from the road

IMAG0624.jpgAfter four long rehearsal days, yesterday flew by. “I think all of our rehearsal time today could fit into that one four-and-a-half-hour visual block we had the other day,” said trumpet player Rich Beem during breakfast.

The clouds cleared and it was a hot, humid day, but The Cadets pushed to the end of ensemble with great energy.

A few members of the admin team headed to Minneapolis at 3:00 p.m. to secure parking and warm-up space for The Cadets. The construction made parking 24 drum corps every bit as difficult as expected, but everyone made it work.

The Cadets left for the show at 4:50 p.m. in unusual fashion. Because the warm-up facilities were so far from the parking lots, the horn and drum lines had to be dropped off at their warm-up site. This means they had no access to the equipment truck until after the show, so tubas and drums and plume boxes were crammed into any space available on the buses and in smaller vehicles. “Let’s just get to Minneapolis,” tour director Justin Heimbecker kept saying with an understanding smile.

The buses pulled off to the side of the road in downtown Minneapolis to let the horns and drums unload as planned, while the guard and front ensemble stayed on the buses to park closer to the stadium. The extra planning paid off, and there was hardly a logistical hitch to speak of once the corps was in warm-up.

Drawing the sixth slot from the end is certainly not ideal, but The Cadets did their part. Though it was unusually hot at 7:59 p.m., they put on a great show that the crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy.

“They clapped at every spot they were supposed to, and in some places we didn’t even expect,” said Brass Caption Head Gino Cipriani. “At the end of the ballad, when the hornline stretches that form out to the end zones – they were applauding that whole time,” he said.

After the performance, George Hopkins said he was “hopeful and proud.” “The corps was good,” he said. “So much better.”

After waiting over two hours for other corps to finish performing, drum majors Ben and Brad Pouncey and guard captian Ashley Pittman finally walked to retreat. Though we try not to get too competitive, fourth place was a bit discouraging to all. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is generally one of optimism and determination.

“Places two through four are only four tenths apart – that’s crazy,” Gino said as the caption heads glanced over recap sheets. “At this point, anything could happen,” he said.

The Cadets drove about seven hours to Huntley, Ill. to rehearse for the show in Rockford tonight. The convoy pulled in around 5:30 a.m., and everyone went to bed for a couple of hours while the food crew prepares breakfast. The corps is up at 8:00 a.m.


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