Get to know your 2012 tour manager

Who is Patrick Duncan anyway?


Patrick Duncan, who recently agreed to become the new tour manager for The 2012 Cadets, is a 25-year-old trumpet player currently finishing up his bachelor’s degree in music education at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

Duncan’s drum corps career began when he was still in high school in 2002, before he even know what he was getting himself into. “It's actually funny looking back now on how my drum corps experience began,” he said. “I remember sitting at a band exhibition in Cobb County, Georgia, and there was a booth set up for a group called Spirit of Jacksonville State University. I grabbed a brochure, put my name down on the interest sheet, and went to the audition camp."

Duncan admits it was an awakening. "I had never actually seen a live drum corps show before my audition, so naturally I was blown away by the whole experience of drum corps and knew it was for me! I was awarded a position at Spirit of JSU and marched there from 2003 to 2005 before auditioning for The Cadets in 2006. I marched in The Cadets from 2006 until I aged out in 2008.”


From his very first right-foot step-off, Patrick Duncan has proved a great Cadet. He’s a hard-working, dedicated individual who always leads by example. In 2008, he was awarded the section leader position for the trumpet section. Duncan returned to the corps in 2010 and 2011 as the trumpet instructor on the marching staff.

“I absolutely loved teaching this drum corps,” Duncan said. “It was a privilege to watch some of the most dedicated, hard-working people in the world come out every single day and rehearse like absolute monsters. I enjoyed waking up every day, knowing that I had to give my absolute best because the members wanted to be the best Cadet corps they could possibly be.”

While certainly not a necessity, a Cadet background and work ethic is very helpful when serving on The Cadets’ instructional and administrative staff. Former members of the corps already have a feel for how The Cadets get down the road from day to day, and how the corps achieves a high level of excellence year after year.

“I still really enjoy the process, and it’s actually much more rewarding because I get to see how the corps progresses from day to day and week to week,” Duncan said.

But making the switch from a member of the corps to a member of the staff has its challenges as well. According to Duncan, it's "a mental challenge."

"This side is way more mentally exhausting than the members’ side. As a former Cadet, I know I have an obligation to the hundreds and thousands of Cadets before me to try to make this Cadet corps better than any other before it. Anyone who has marched here knows that it’s never about what happens on Saturday night, it’s about how you are going to be remembered. Are you going to be the Cadet corps everyone mentions when they talk about The Cadets?”

And Duncan plans to carry that approach into the 2012 season. He is prepared to do whatever it takes to see that things run smoothly for everyone onboard.

bus trip

“My role as the tour manager is to make sure The Cadets are always set up for success every day. It is my responsibility to make sure that every aspect of the tour runs as smoothly as possible. From housing sites to transportation issues to food truck supplies to rehearsal facilities, there are many integral aspects of the tour that my team and I are responsible for every day. There is a certain level of expectation within the organization that pushes each of us to do our very best and never settle. It is my responsibility to make sure that those expectations are met and exceeded.”

And as for the amount of coffee it may take to make logistical excellence a reality, well, Duncan said he’s prepared for many a Starbucks run on the road. “I imagine it might be a lot!”


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