The sounds and sunsets of Johnstown

The Cadets enjoyed 72-and-sunny weather today, for something different

As this morning turned to early afternoon, we finally saw the sun burn through the clouds for the first time since The Cadets started rehearsing. Today was also the final marching block sans drill— thank goodness. George said the members might start revolting if they have to endure another three-and-a-half-hour visual block. The Cadets actually seemed fine with it, though, since I’m told the visual staff did a good job of making these long, rainy, indoor mornings gradually increase in difficulty.


The brass and drums spent most of the afternoon and evening in sectionals again, and as I walked around taking pictures, I found myself appreciating the familiar sounds of Spring Training. UPJ is lushly decorated with trees— the buildings are basically nestled in forest— so the many brass sections and drums get to spread out a lot when they spend several hours at a time in sub-section arcs. A metronome taps loudly nearby, while two others beat in opposing tempos further away. Syncopated echoes of the mellophone and baritone parts to “Jingle Bells” bounce off each other at varying distances. They stop playing, another met starts up, a tenor drum taps the drum line off, and they loop eight measures over and over and over.


You would think it might be torturous to listen to Christmas music 24/7, but so far, I personally haven’t given it a second thought. The music is well-written and sounds much more like good drum corps mixed with Manheim Steamroller than campy Christmas tunes.


Although we still didn’t put any drill on the field today, The Cadets did get their first ensemble of the season for the last hour of rehearsal, as well as the first Johnstown sunset. As an alumnus who marched her way through three spring trainings here in Johnstown, I can tell you that some of the best memories happen on the alternating light- and dark- green turf under the Richland High School lights. And I don’t know if it’s the elevation or something about the clouds, but there’s just something about the sunsets in Johnstown. This one wasn’t the best ever, but I’ve decided to post pictures of the sunsets during ensemble here as often as the weather allows.


Spaghetti and meatballs and salad concluded this productive groundhog day at 8:45, and since George went back to Allentown today, the members have some extra time to work on their dot books for the next few evenings. Wake-up is at 8:00 again tomorrow morning.


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