Cadets undeterred by rain on first day of tour


The first leg of tour was a 4-hour trip to Allentown

It was a dark and stormy night.

And a dark and stormy morning, too, as The Cadets prepared to roll out of Johnstown and begin their 2013 summer tour. In the next 60 days, the corps will travel to 40 cities on the road to DCI World Championships this August in Indianapolis.

As always, this approximately 15,000-mile journey begins with Kick-off Weekend. The Cadets' convoy traveled four hours east to Allentown, home of YEA!. One member described this short time between Spring Training and the season step-off performance as "limbo" — the time between the hard work and the hard work.

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Although weather delayed our departure by an hour, The Cadets arrived in Allentown in the early afternoon, giving them plenty of time to prepare for their YEAllentown! performance yesterday evening. After lunch, The Cadets (joined by Cadets2) rehearsed inside Miller Symphony Hall.

Thankfully, things were timed just right, as the corps avoided the downpour that opened up over Allentown later in the day. But the bad weather didn't keep away the fans, as many turned out to see The Cadets, C2 and Xcape Dance Company.

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CEO George Hopkins opened the night by talking about the history and longevity of the corps. This season marks the 80th edition of The Cadets, making them the oldest continually operating junior drum and bugle corps in the nation. As he spoke, members of the color guard danced and spun their way onto the stage, marking their first of many great performances throughout the night.

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The audience witnessed a wide array of YEA! talent, featuring video presentations, a Cadets low-brass small ensemble; moving dances by Xcape; a Cadets colorguard duet; humorous interviews with three Cadets from England, Ireland and Japan; Cadets2's musical production, Les Mis; and a colorful combined performance of Katy Perry's "Firework" featuring The Cadets' front ensemble, the Xcape dancers and The Cadets' colorguard.

The Cadets brass and percussion closed out the show, where they easily had their best musical run-through to date. Then they relaxed into their fun, jazzy encore tune, "Swing, Swing, Swing," as the colorguard and Xcape dancers danced down the aisles. Albeit an extremely loud event, the night truly showed off the talent in each of YEA!'s performing ensembles.

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With the performance over, then came the challenge of transporting 150 members and a countless number of staff and volunteers to our housing site one town over, which seemed like an adventure unto itself. On that note, The Cadets would like to thank Broughal Middle School for housing us Thursday night. As members made their way inside, many commented on the amazing facilities.

"An underground parking garage!?"

"A planetarium!?"

"A room just for an ice machine!?"

And, of course, we'd like to thank band director Maryann Gross who remained helpful throughout the night, as the corps pulled in slightly later than planned.

 

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