How to make The Cadets' horn line

Brass Caption Supervisor gives advice on how to become a great Cadet

Brass Caption Supervisor Gino Cipriani is preparing to audition a new set of Cadet hopefuls from around the world on November 18–20.

“I look forward to meeting all of the prospective members,” he said.


Responsible for nearly a decade of classic Cadets’ horn lines, Cipriani has been The Cadets’ brass caption supervisor since 2005 and headed the brass staff in 2000. He has contributed to three Cadets’ world championships.

Cipriani said the main objective at audition weekend is to give students ample opportunities to demonstrate their abilities on their instruments.

"I want to make sure that everyone can go home feeling like they did the best they can, and my goal is to give each student the most educational and positive experience that we can throughout the weekend,”

Unfortunately, there are only so many spots to fill in the horn line, and a certain level of talent is expected in a world-class organization like The Cadets. Cipriani said that for him, the most difficult part about camp season is the results process. “I wish we could take everyone into the drum corps,”.

But the formula to becoming a great Cadet is no secret. Perfection isn’t necessarily expected at audition weekend; the staff realizes that it takes time to break old habits, learn challenging music, and build physical and mental endurance. The brass staff is looking for students who are "moldable" and dedicated. “A student who is prepared, has a good attitude, and is committed to the program is highly valued in The Cadets organization,” Cipriani said.

And auditioning for the horn line is not just about musical talent. “Each year, the Cadets prove to be more aerobic than the last," Cipriani said. "With the demands of the program, a student needs to be aware of the physical commitment. It takes discipline and desire to be physically fit. A true Cadet has a work ethic to achieve what is expected both musically and physically.

Winter and spring camps are a lot different from the summer, and for new members, they are mentally and physically challenging. It’s a lot of rehearsal packed into a short weekend on top of travel to and from “real life.” From December to May, Cipriani will give the brass section “tape assignments” to complete during the weeks between camps. “The student is expected to rehearse the materials assigned and provide a digital recording to their instructor for development,” he said.


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