Cadets Winter Brings Home Gold in 1st Year

An overview of CWP's trip to Dayton

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Cadets Winter Percussion got on the bus to embark on their first trip to the WGI World Championships on Wed. night, April 9. They returned four days later as World Champions. Here's a little overview of their journey to Dayton.

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The convoy - complete with The Cadets equipment truck, bus and pick-up truck - arrived early Thurs. morning at 6, and the members were given some time to get a good breakfast before unloading the truck at 8 a.m.

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"They rehearsed all day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.," said Director Rich Hammond. "It was windy, like insanely windy. They were good though; they made it through rehearsal."

Friday was WGI Independent Open Prelims day, which began with rehearsal until 1 p.m. before their 5:30 p.m. performance time.

Independent Open Prelims were held at Miami University's Millet Hall in Oxford, Ohio, which was a little over an hour from the Extended Stay America where CWP was staying.

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WGI gives units two hours to get ready to perform once a unit arrives on-site - half an hour to unload and an hour and a half to warm up.

"They had a really good warm-up," Rich said. "The lot was fun for the kids. It was their first big WGI event, and people were very receptive. A lot of people saw The Cadets truck and came to watch."

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The weather was warm for warm-up - the warmest it had been since August - but the CWP parents were prepared with a snack of fruit, cheese and water on-site so the members would stay hydrated and fueled for their first big appearance."

"The venue was great," Rich said of Millet Hall. "The acoustics were really good - really dry - and the kids were good. I think it took a little time to settle in, but then once they settled in, they were great. I think it actually caught the crowd by surprise."

Members and staff of Cadets Winter Percussion were thrilled to find out that they ended up on top after Prelims with a score of 95.8. They headed back to the hotel in high spirits.

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The next day, everyone woke up a little earlier to get in two hours of rehearsal before heading to WGI Finals to perform last at 2:05 p.m.

"The kids were totally excited out of their minds," Rich said.

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Rehearsal flew by, and before they knew it they were back in the lot with an even larger audience.

"The lot was fun," Rich said. "A lot of people were there, and the WGI staff was awesome. They very excited to have us and very helpful."

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Check out this lot video less than an hour before their Finals performance:

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WGIhillDAyton.pngA staple of the Dayton experience is the hill that leads in to the arena. "It's crazy," Rich said. "So steep... like Allentown [J. Birney Crum] but longer, and it curves, and it's in a hallway," he said.

"But then it was great going into the Dayton arena," he continued. "Just to see them there at WGI participating was really special, and they definitely looked the part. Something about the floor, the uniforms and the presence of the ensemble on the floor came across like we really belonged there."

"At Finals, they were on the whole show," Rich said. "They had a lot of confidence going in, and they were ready to go out and do a really good show, so I know they personally felt really good about their performance."

Coming from The Cadets' rich tradition of military-esque conduct on the field, Cadets Winter Percussion had to pave their own way in the very different world of WGI. As the members readied themselves for the Awards Ceremony, CWP Center Snare and 2013 Cadets Snareline Age-out Joe DeLosa set the tone of how CWP would appropriately represent The Cadets in the WGI arena.

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"Think about what being a Cadet means to you, and how you would imagine a Cadet to act during Awards," he reportedly told his fellow members.

In the WGI Awards atmosphere, the strict conduct The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps upholds during DCI Retreat would be inappropriate. Rich said that during Scholastic scores, the members of CWP remained relaxed and friendly towards their fellow participants. But once the announcer moved on to the Independent Class, they honored The Cadets' tradition by remaining silent at attention, not breaking out in celebration, even when they were announced in first place with a score of 96.725, until they were dismissed.

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Thanks to WGI for making this video about our first trip to Dayton!


After Awards, pictures and many hugs, the staff held a little banquet for the members in the park. Awards were given to several outstanding members of the inaugural Cadets Winter Percussion.

Member Awards:

Zildjian Cymbal Award: Abby Molen
Best Performer Award: Matt Copp (quads), Joe DeLosa (snare), Conner Mulford (marimba)
Most Improved: Matt Harron (bass), Dominic Palazzo, Brittany Frankel (synth)
MVPs: Donte Cleveland (bass), Mariah Graham (vibes)
Individual Players of the Year: Annie Chernow (xylophone), Anthony Shelton (snare)

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Cadets Winter Percussion sincerely thanks the generous donors who fueled them through WGI 2014 and all of the fans and alumni who have enthusiastically welcomed them into The Cadets family.

Meal Sponsors:

  Thursday Friday Saturday
Lunch Dr. Ed DiCarlo  Anonymous Joe D's Nanny & Pop-pop
Dinner Rick & Mary Molen  Pat Egberts
Joe D's Nanny & Pop-pop

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