USSBA unveils The Cadets Award of Excellence for Marching Band

New award to be presented for achievement in effect, creativity and excellence

Beginning with the 2011 State Championship Series and the national championships, the US Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) will begin to adjudicate The Cadets Award of Excellence for bands in select groups and classes of competition, recognizing the performances of the bands reflecting The Cadets tradition of overall effect, creativity and pursuit of excellence.


The trophy for The Cadets Award of Excellence will be a Cadets shako inscribed with a customized plaque reflecting the winning band’s name, performance date and location, along with the name of the championship at which it will be presented.

As many know, the USSBA began as the Cadets Marching Band Cooperative (CMBC) in 1988 as an extension of The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, and since then the two organizations have grown to complement one another: the USSBA growing to become the largest scholastic music organization in the nation and The Cadets winning 10 DCI World Championships, including their most recent this year, in 2011.

George Hopkins, chief executive officer of Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!), parent organization of the USSBA and The Cadets, announced the new award. “We are extremely proud that YEA! is the exclusive organization that facilitates both a world class performing ensemble along with nationally recognized events. We are in an unique position to have learned so many lessons through competing and performing with The Cadets, that we can now share this knowledge with the educators, adjudicators, students and boosters through the USSBA.”

In announcing the new Cadets award for USSBA bands, Hopkins continued, “While being judged on the principles that have defined The Cadets for over 77 years — entertainment, creativity and excellence — The Cadets Award of Excellence ultimately stands for the commitment we have for music as a platform to teach life lessons. The stronger the ties between The Cadets and the USSBA, the more we are able to provide to all of the supporters and participants of marching music.”

The Cadets Award of Excellence will be presented at each of the awards ceremonies at the state and national championship events in 2011. Bands will be competing for one of two awards each at Towson University (Md.); Tennessee Tech (Tenn.); Kennedy Stadium (New England); Washington Township High School (N.J.-A); Union High School (N.J.-A); Old Bridge (N.J.-Open); Glen Allen High School (Va.); Irving Independent School District,(North Texas); and Woodforest Bank Stadium (South Texas). A single Cadets Award of Excellence will be presented at both the West Chester University (Pa.) and Hofstra University (N.Y.) events.

Adjudicators of The Cadets Award of Excellence will be selected from the long history of The Cadets Alumni who have gone on to be music educators, professional adjudicators or serve other roles in the world of music performance and music education. Criteria will be developed to best highlight the areas of a band performance which reflect the core principles of The Cadets.


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