The day the show came together

The program took a huge leap forward today at WCU


Yesterday looked very similar to the day before. To better accommodate the clinic, The Cadets flipped their schedule around so that sectionals were in the morning and visual rehearsal was after lunch. During each section’s warm-up, their respective staff members spent time talking to the high school students about The Cadets’ approach to marching music—why we do things the way we do. After Gino finished talking to the kids between Cadets’ warm-up exercises, the hornline blasted them with some extra tunes, “Mahler 2” and “Philip Bliss.” I’m glad they had a few minutes to perform for them in the arc; in my opinion, that’s one of the best ways to get students excited about drum corps.

Aside from the clinic, the corps rehearsed as normal. These three-hour blocks seem especially long after all the quick show days we’ve had, but the extra rehearsal time is already noticeable on the field. Marching technique looks a little more refined, and the drill is getting cleaner.  It rained hard several times throughout the afternoon, and the drizzle continued into the evening but let up for the end of ensemble.

I was out washing uniforms for several hours, and I made it back in the middle of the run-through (at about 9:55 p.m.). At that point, I hadn’t seen any of the changes put together yet, and I walked up into the stands just in time to watch the ballad and the closer. Having been around for several years now, I knew the show would be better than it was, but I was completely unprepared. The front ensemble plays clips from several more Christmas movies now, which lead up to the big, “Gloria” company front and the finale (which is the same). It’s impossible to capture in words, so all I will say is that the design team did an amazing job of capturing Christmas and bringing the loose ends of the show together in the last two minutes.

All of the students from the clinic were watching in the stands, and they went crazy from the company front to the end. Once The Cadets finished the show, the kids wouldn’t stop cheering. It was a great moment—one that will stand out in the members’ memories of this summer.


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