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USBands has begun hosting Director Connector weekly discussion forums to help directors stay connected in these days of social distancing and online connectivity.

The USBands team began with a small group this past week, testing the waters so-to-speak, to talk about how directors were connecting with students via distant learning and what challenges and successes they were experiencing. 

We heard individual districts are placing varying expectations on their staff and students, and those are continuing to evolve as the days go by. Having directors share what is working for them helps everyone generate fresh ideas for themselves and sharing challenges helps us realize how much none of us is alone in this new world of learning.

Over the coming weeks, we are looking to expand these online virtual meetings, both in terms of topics covered and our ability to include more of our members.

If you are interested in joining one of these discussions, please reach out to JIm Sheeley, Director of USBands at

With the recent announcement from Drum Corps International canceling the 2020 summer tour, The Cadets will concurrently cancel all touring plans for 2020 and focus entirely on the 2021 season. 

My decision to cancel the in-person March camp was driven by our mandate to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all who participate in The Cadets, particularly during this fluid situation with COVID-19 and physical distancing. The Cadets will continue to find inventive and creative ways to strengthen our educational process—for example, The Cadets Brass conducted a successful March camp online which allowed the members to be taught virtually by The Cadets Brass faculty located across the country. It is moments like this that illustrate that, no matter what, the music goes on, even in the toughest times.

Still, we have many details to work out as a result of the cancellation of the 2020 tour and the transition into 2021. I ask that you remain patient as these details are discussed and the resolution is ultimately communicated to all members, staff, volunteers, and sponsors. In the meantime, please continue to follow all protocols set forth by the CDC to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.

The Cadets were one of only a few corps in DCI to hold a virtual camp in March. Matt Stratton, Cadets Brass Caption Manager and alumnus, hosted the online rehearsal. He was very pleased with the success of the virtual format, especially his ability to introduce the members to the entire brass faculty.

Typically all the brass staff would not be able to attend a live camp due to travel constraints and prior obligations. However, with the virtual format in place and most of the staff and members staying close to home, the entire brass staff was able to be involved in the camp and work with the members.

“I think the members are quite invested in what we are doing with The Cadets brass,” said Stratton. “With an uncertain 2020 season, I feel confident that The Cadets brass is laying a foundation for long term success.” The brass members were even able to hold a session with a visual staff member and work with a designer during part of another.

During the camp the staff and members discussed expectations, setting and attaining goals, and tightened up the fundamentals program. They were also able to learn additional show music and unify musical interpretation.

More information will be coming soon regarding future camps and the summer tour.

18 Mar 2020

The mission of USBands is to support the development of young people into magnificent humans through participation in the performing arts. That mission extends directly to you, the music educator, that has dedicated your life to your students and encouraging their musical and performance pursuits.

In these trying times, we want to be sure that you know USBands is here for you to help in any way possible. From the aftermath of national and weather emergencies that have impacted our beloved activity in the past, we have always tried to look beyond the immediate crisis to assist our members in any way possible and make them stronger for the future.

We recently began sharing resources from our partners throughout the world of music education, to assist in the challenges you are facing in these extraordinary times.

You may have already tapped into some of those resources but with so many others available, we will dedicate upcoming email communications, social media posts and our BAND mobile app to sharing some of the most valuable ones that could potentially provide assistance, guidance or knowledge to you and your program during this unprecedented time. 

For even more resources, be sure to check in at periodically or give any one of our team a call to discuss. Jim Sheeley, 610-821-0591; Amanda Ehst, 610-821-0656; and for Texas Directors: Eric Kitchenman, 484-387-1137 and Jason Howard, 325-205-0183.

Following the direction of state and feral government guidance and regulations, the USBands team is working remotely for the foreseeable future in service to our schools and partners in the music education community. 

We will continue to respond to emails and phone messages as quickly as possible and will continue to communicate and share information with band directors, adjudicators and all ofthers on an ongoing basis.

In these challenging times and this ever-changing landscape, we remain committeed to serving educators and students and focused on preparation for a successful 2020 Fall Marching Band Season.

Stay tuned for additional updates as we share the latest on USBands as we plan for a future full of music, pageantry and performance.


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Our Mission is to support the development of young people into magnificent human beings through participation in the performing arts.


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