Sentiments of a New Alum: Kris Davis

Trumpet player and Rookie of the Year Kristopher Davis reflects on his Cadets experience

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Kris Davis (taking the lead on the far right), 21, is a member of our newest addition to The Cadets Alumni family—The Age-out Class of 2012. Although he marched only one year in the corps, Kris exemplifies a truly great Cadet both on and off the field and seemed like a veteran of the corps from day one of Spring Training. He was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award for the Marching/Visual caption at The Cadets Banquet on Sunday, August 12, 2012. The following is Kris' personal account of his experience as a Cadet.

"My Cadets experience was absolutely amazing. It was by far my best summer of drum corps to date, and it was an experience that I will never forget. I think that it was an easy transition into a new setting (adjusting to training, tour and rehearsal techniques, etc.) for a few reasons. The first is that this was my sixth year of drum corps (I marched five years with Jersey Surf, 06-10). This made it easy because I knew the basics of tour and was able to adapt and adjust to the Cadet way of doing things. Second, and probably most important, is that I knew a bunch of the vets from marching with them (Jesse Garcia, Evan Berry, Zach Tempone, Kristy Boehmer). They really helped me adjust to the corps, meet a lot of people, and get me through the season. I can't imagine what my season would have been like if I hadn't had their help and encouragement.

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The 2012 Cadets trumpet section, rehearsing in a trumpet sub-sectional on the beach in Bristol, RI on July 3, 2012.

Going into the summer of 2012, I knew that The Cadets had a rich history and deep traditions, but as the season progressed, it really hit me how deep the traditions are, and the bonds with my new 'family' became very strong. But not only that, I felt like I was becoming connected to something much bigger than myself and could connect with Cadets of the past. It was amazing to perform for the alumni and do shows where a lot of our alumni came out because it showed the bond that we all have as Cadets and the continued support of the organization. I think the best experience I had was performing at the Holy Name Church after spring training. Not only was that even a historical milestone for the organization, but I also met some of the original Cadets from 1934, and I even got to meet the first trumpet soloist from 1936!!!(?). Just knowing that we wore the same uniform and had (basically) the same traditions was an amazing thought in itself.

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Kris (third from the right), standing next to former Jersey Surf comrades Evan Berry (far right) and Jesse Garcia (horn sergeant, second from right), performing at the Most Holy Name Church in Garfield, NJ on June 10, 2012.

To put it bluntly, life after drum corps, especially a drum corps that had such a profound impact on my life, sucks (I'm sure you probably can’t use that! Haha). I definitely miss the people and, as crazy as it sounds, sweating on a football field. I think the one thing that makes it not as bad goes back to the tradition aspect of this organization. I know that there are some people who I marched with that I may never see again, but I also know that there is a good bunch that I will see, either at a show or at a get-together, just because we are all tied together. I have made some great friends, and I know that these are connections that I will have for a long, long time.

Kris.jpgHonestly, 'alumnus' is a word that I still haven't gotten too comfortable with. I started doing this when I was 14, and back then I basically thought that I would march forever. Now that I am officially out, it's a strange feeling. I am extremely proud to forever be a part of such an amazing organization, and honestly I'm sad that I don't get another year with The Cadets, but I am happy that I chose to march here and grateful for the people and lessons I have gained. I know that I don't have the same experience as a three- or four-year vet, and there are a lot of things about the organization that I have yet to learn or may never get a chance to learn, but I still feel a strong bond to all Cadets and especially the 149 others I shared my wonderful 2012 summer with.

If I had one thing to say to those who are eligible to return, I would say to come back and keep the tradition going. Many don't know, but I was given a spot in the 2011 corps, twice, and had to turn it down both times because of personal reasons. It is easily one of the biggest regrets in my life, not just because of the gold medal, but it would have been one more year in the organization and another level of experience that I would have. I would encourage people to come back because of the impact the organization and summer had on me. If I had another year, I would have already signed up for the first camp and been working on my sponsorships/tuition, because that is how much of an impact the summer really had.

To those who are thinking about auditioning for corps, I would say, “Just got for it.” Any time someone asks me about drum corps or is on the fence about auditioning, I always tell them to go for it because the experience is like no other, and there is really nothing to lose. Six years of drum corps has taught me so much, and I'm almost positive that anyone can have the same positive experience, even with just one summer."

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