Ask Me Monday: Hop's Answers

George Hopkins' answers to this week's featured Ask Me Monday questions


Chad Tully: Prop and other field equipment can sometimes make or break a show. Last year's towers seemed to prove a bit challenging in regards to movement and integration. How are the plans for stages this year going ensure a better integration into the theme and overall visual package for this year's production? 

George Hopkins: Well, the towers were crucial, and yes, they were more difficult to move than we anticipated. Looking in the rear-view mirror, I would have pushed the idea of a visual tech whose only responsibility was to “clean the towers.” Alas, the adjudicators jumped on inconsistencies, and we did not do what was necessary to meet the demands. In our mind, they were a fabulous addition, but… we could have executed it at a higher level.

This year, the stages are still in production. AND, they will not move. So, once they are there… they are there! Hopefully, much easier, but time will tell!


Bob Burky: When on the tour do you feel the corps has mostly hit maximum potential that the show doesn’t need to change much? 

George Hopkins: Well, this depends on the year. Of note as I say this, we do more shows over less time and travel more miles than we did in many years going back to the 80s and 90s. Some of this is complicated by my personal and organizational year that corps like The Cadets have a responsibility to perform as often as possible. In short, we do not have the days off we used to have, especially over the last few weeks of tour.

That said, we try to stop the changes two weeks before Championships. But, we have changed things the day before on occasion. Big changes take time… smaller changes are easier. Sometimes additions were part of the plan, and sometimes we just need to make a change. We do what we have to do...


Jared Clark: What Cadets moment, for you, has given you the most goosebumps?

George Hopkins: Wow… That’s a good many years to think about.

When my daughter Katie marched as Alice in 2006, I was brought to tears often during the ballad. I know the show never quite worked, but there were fabulous moments! I loved it!!

Perhaps 2005… the percussion in double-time against the ballad… that was tremendous! What a great job Tom Aungst and Jay Bocook did!! 

And way back in the day when Barb Moroney was the mellophone soloist in West Side Story! WOW!! 


Pete Bombard: Did I read correctly that any brass instrument, such as trombones, French horns, etc., are now being allowed to be implemented in a corps show? If so, should we expect to see these implementations in The Cadets' 2014 program? frenchhorn

George Hopkins: Well, we did not plan on taking advantage of this opportunity, but as the show develops, we do plan to use a French horn as a solo instrument in the last production.

We will see how it goes! No Trombones!! Not from The Cadets.



Thanks to everyone who submitted questions last week! If you've got a question for Hopkins, post it below, on Facebook, or e-mail, and stay tuned for answers next Monday!


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