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Cadets2 Drum Major Auditions This Weekend

Leadership, Conducting Part of the Agenda

Selecting the first two drum majors who will lead Cadets2 onto the field next summer is not an easy task. Just ask Eric Kitchenman, Cadets2 director and Rich Hammond, The Cadets program coordinator.

Both of them have many years of experience working throughout the ranks of drum corps and marching bands to get just the right mix of individual skills and talent, as well as work ethic and personality to lead an ensemble through hours or rehearsals and performances.

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The December rehearsal camp for Cadets2 will be held at South Mountain Middle School in Allentown, Penn. beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 and continuing until 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18.  Individuals who would like to take part in the drum major auditions, or simply come out and play with the corps are invited to register at today.

“Cadets2 have a unique situation at hand because there are no veterans or experienced Cadets in the mix,” said Kitchenman. “These are usually prerequisites for drum major positions in The Cadets, but we will be left to using other determining factors to select the corps’ leaders over the next camp or two.”

Making the job a little easier is the fact that three drum corps drum majors are currently on staff at the YEA! offices. Jon Swengler, former drum major of the Syracuse Brigadiers, Corey Miller, past drum major of the Troopers, and Alex Giddings, past drum major of the Colts are all going to assist in the weekend’s activities for drum major auditions.

“We look at it as an opportunity for us to share our experiences and hopefully give the auditionees some perspective as to the role a drum major plays,” said Jon Swengler, currently the Band Relations Manager for the USSBA. “By no means is it a simple assignment, but for the right person they can excel and create a great relationship between staff and members.”

Miller, Giddings and Swengler have been hard at work on an agenda to keep the prospective drum majors busy for the three weekend blocks when they will be learning what is expected of a Cadets2 drum major.

The drum major track of the December camp will be focused around four main areas: conducting, communication, organization and running rehearsals.  “It’s no secret that The Cadets have a specific protocol for their rehearsals, using what is called the ‘Gino-technique,’ named for The Cadets Brass Caption Supervisor Gino Cipriani,” said Kitchenman.  “We hope to teach that style and see which individuals gravitate the easiest and most effectively to that technique.”

Another special feature of the weekend will be the video taping of each drum major’s conducting style, which will then be reviewed by the drum major evaluation team in order to provide feedback and tips and skills for improved performance either with Cadets2 or back at auditionees schools or collegiate bands.12-17-11

Drum major candidates will have three main blocks of intense activity and will also be participating in the visual block in order to learn the Cadets2 marching style to assist as an extension of the staff should they be selected as drum majors for the inaugural year.

High school drum majors who may not feel comfortable auditioning for the 2012 corps are also invited to attend in order to learn from the experience and the talent on display to take it back to their high schools for the future.

For more information on auditioning for the Cadets2 drum major position, please contact Eric Kitchenman at or by calling 610-821-0345 ext. 124.


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