Marching and playing

Music finally gets put to drill, and the closer begins to take shape


The brass and drums had the stadium all morning for visual rehearsal, which was a welcome change from the bumpy grass of the side field. They reviewed the drill they learned yesterday and added a few more sets. This took them beyond the pit feature at the beginning of the show and into their music, so the drums and horns both played and marched for the very first time today. Playing a Cadets show on the move for the first time each year is always a bit less than dazzling. When I marched, I was shocked every spring at how unbelievably difficult the first minute of the show felt, when we had just marched and played a whole show well the previous August. But that’s what spring training is for — you have to train or retrain your lungs and legs to work together.

Once again, today’s schedule was the same (wake-up at 8 a.m., dinner at 8:45 p.m.), and most of the afternoon and evening were spent in sectionals. The drumline learned their parts to “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (the closer) today, and the brass reviewed it in sub-sections since they haven’t played it since camp. At 7:45, the brass and percussion got together in the stadium for the last hour to piece “Hark” together and review “Jingle” in the arc.

“Alright, let’s bring it in,” Gino said, five minutes early. Once he made his way to the field and everyone gathered around him on the 50, he commended them for their hard work: “Every single thing Colin and I set out to do with the music book, we finish early in ensemble. That’s due to some excellent work on your part. The growth that you’ve shown in the last 24 hours is pretty remarkable. I don’t know if you can feel it down here, but the sounds you’re creating are great. And I can tell that you’re doing your part outside rehearsal, too, because ‘Jingle’ got better today in ensemble even though we didn’t work on it at all in sectionals.”

This is definitely one of the more dedicated Cadet corps I’ve seen, especially at Spring Training. The whole group is consistently five to ten minutes early to everything, and many members are working outside rehearsal to stay on top of their game. And so far, their hard work seems to be keeping the momentum moving forward!


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