Welcome to the 2012 Cadets Audition Group!

2012 "Pearl Harbor" theme updates begin

It’s been over a month since The Cadets won their 10th world championship, and the Corps has long since dispersed.

The 2011 Cadets have resumed their normal lives, tan lines are fading, and Taco Bell is once again readily available. No doubt many will return in November, while others will wish they weren’t too old to come back. But as we treasure this past season and look forward to the next, returning world champions will leave their titles behind and join a new corps in pursuit of its own excellence: The 2012 Cadets.

On November 18, The Cadets and Cadet hopefuls will fly into Philadelphia for the first camp of the season. The design team is working hard to get this corps set up for success, and Director George Hopkins elaborated a bit on the process that led to the Pearl Harbor idea.

“One piece we did discuss was, 'To Tame the Perilous Skies’ by David Holsinger. Not that we would play that again after 20 years, but the idea caused us to look at the idea of flight. From flight, we went to pilots, from pilots to war, and then to Pearl Harbor. We have some definite connections; Jay [Bocook, The Cadets’ brass arranger] wrote a five-minute piece about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and we have plenty of source material.”

He said the show is very much a work in progress. “We have a long way to go, and it's important to note that it’s not a story but a concept. Fighter pilots, Americana, happiness and sadness. So much about that time period is draped in emotion, and we would like to use it to our and the audience's advantage.”

As to how, the design team is still coming up with ideas. “We listened to and reviewed four of five ideas,” Hopkins said. “All were defeated by the team.”

At this juncture, the plan is to return to The Cadets’ traditional maroon and cream uniforms, and the costume design for the color guard is still undecided.

This November, Hopkins said, he’s most looking forward to the dynamic of a whole new group. “Every year is new just as the members are new, so I look forward to auditions and to that which is unknown. As they say, ‘kids say the funniest things,’ and it’ll be fun to watch the personality of the 2012 Corps develop.”

Being a member of The Cadets is foremost a learning experience, and it’s important for the director to get to know the 150 members just as they get to know him throughout the year. The better the staff can relate to the members, the easier it is to develop a teaching style from which the corps can efficiently learn. The result is a believable, clean show and a group of young people well equipped to live their lives to the fullest.

“This season was the closest I’ve been to the members in a long time, and I think it helped,” Hopkins said. “It definitely made me better, and I would like to think I was more of a contribution as well. So, I need to get better at that. I’d like to start out getting to know more about our students during the winter.”

It still a little early, so more details about the show and the season will be released once decisions are made. “We will have more materials to take a look at in the coming months,” he said.

Check back weekly for interviews with staff and members of The Cadets.

Allison Watkins is a Cadets alum and journalist. She marched mellophone in the corps from 2006 to 2010 and graduated from journalism school at The University of Georgia in December of 2010. This past summer, she went on the road as The 2011 Cadets’ embedded journalist, and will continue to write for YEA! throughout the off-season.


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