History Night

Storm doesn't keep The Cadets from completing the first third of the show

The Cadets finished the opener today! In marching rehearsal this morning, the corps learned the final 13 pages of “Carol of the Bells,” bringing the show to 88 pages of drill and roughly four minutes in length. “Carol Part Three” ends at 192 beats per minute, and let’s just say the word “crazy” has been tossed around by both members and staff today.

Sectionals proceeded as normal after the grilled cheese party (see yesterday’s entry), but as expected, the rain did come. “The dark clouds were behind us, then they started kinda circling the field, and then it closed in,” baritone player Pat Smith said. It was eerily warm and still outside, then a chill breeze swept in and the staff sent the kids into the dorms at 5:30, about 30 minutes before snack. The downpour hit about ten minutes later, while the members awaited instructions in the dorm lobbies.


Ensemble was pushed back from 6:30 to 7:00, but when everyone made it out to the stadium, the skies opened up again, and George sent them back inside until 7:30, which was then pushed back to 7:45. “There’s no reason to die early,” he said. Thankfully, the storm cleared and the corps got an hour and a half of ensemble in.

The Cadets marched and played through all they know of 12.25 tonight, and while they have a lot of refining to do, this corps certainly doesn’t hesitate to play when they’re running around.

In other news, our uniform ladies have been hard at work continuing the alterations they started at the winter camps. DeMoulin’s shipment of the other half of our cream and maroon uniforms arrived yesterday, so there’s plenty of sewing to go around for a while.


The Cadets’ corps historian and Hall of Fame member Rich McGarry, here known only as “Scotty,” came in today to put on his annual Cadets History Night. Scotty filled the tables outside the auditorium with old Cadets pictures, jackets, newspaper clippings and show programs, and once the members had a chance to admire everything, he played a half-hour video that shows the corps’ history from 1934 until now.

History Night is so meaningful, especially for new members who have yet to fully grasp the depth of the Cadets’ tradition. Looking at blurry black-and-white photos of young men wearing The Cadets’ familiar uniform years before World War II, and watching pictures gradually progress into color through the years, and then into familiar faces instills an unparalleled sense of family.

The 2012 corps had a blast. The tubas celebrated when the video noted the first year The Cadets fielded three contrabass bugles, the girls cheered for the induction of females into the corps, and the drummers applauded the perfect drum score in 1987. The room went crazy for the 1983 Z-Pull at the end of “Rocky Point,” and it was fun to listen to The Cadets’ enthusiastic reactions to their own general effect as they watched last year’s championship show.

Scotty’s video always concludes with the Finals run-through of the previous year’s performance, followed by a slideshow of pictures that have already been taken in the current season. I love that, because it illustrates to the rookies that they are already a part of the tradition; the mantle has already been passed.

So while tomorrow will be just another morning in rehearsal, perhaps The Cadets will have a renewed (or new) sense of identity, and of the reality that this monotonous portion of the season does progress to a tour with buses and uniforms and shows. As Scotty said at the end of his presentation, “Cherish it; it ends too quickly.”


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