The Cadets to Play Bernstein's MASS in 2017

The Cadets are excited to announce that they will be playing the music of Leonard Bernstein's MASS as the cornerstone for the 2017 season, with incidental music from Drew Shanefield, Tom Aungst and Omar Carmenates.

"This year, The Cadets will perform the music of Leonard Bernstein's MASS, bringing back the beauty, intensity, and the raw power of a work that signifies to many an amazing transformation that has carried The Cadets through the past 33 years," said Director George Hopkins. "Exactly 34 years ago in 1983, The Cadets performed the music of Bernstein's MASS bringing The Cadets their first DCI Championship. It was a magical year, built on hard work, and the passion of staff, members and volunteers. I can still hear in my head the chants of 'East, East, East' as The Cadets finished their performance in Miami, a performance that would bring the DCI Championship Title to the East Coast for the first time EVER!"

This summer will mark the first time since 2009 that anyone has had the rights to play the music of Leonard Bernstein on a drum corps field. To pull this off, Drew Shanefield, the arranger for The Cadets and George Hopkins made five visits to The Leonard Bernstein Office in New York City. The President of the New York Philharmonic, Matthew VanBesien (a Cadets fan) was by their side throughout the process, bringing another level of wonder to an already incredible start to our 2017 season.

"The Cadets and Bernstein in 2017! This is the show I've been dreaming of since I wore out my DCI VHS tape and my parents' VCR in the 1980s," said Drew Shanefield. "And to think I get the chance to arrange for the corps. How did a kid from suburban Philly end up here? I'm psyched, humbled, exhilarated and honored. I will do my very best to make you proud and live up to the legacy of this music. Check this one off my bucket list!" Not only is he the Brass Arranger and Caption Supervisor, he is also an alumni of the corps, marching from 1988-1991.

The 2017 season marks exactly 34 years since the first year The Cadets played Bernstein's MASS, and a lot has changed in that time. 1983 saw the likes of George Zingali writing drill, Jim Prime and Donnie Van Doren running the brass line, and Thom Hannum redefining the percussion section. There were no cell phones, the uniforms didn't have lining and the staff traveled in vans. One more thing was that The Cadets were broke, and the 1983 season was a miracle. 

To field the drum corps in 1983 took a budget of $400,000, today it takes $1,400,000. Last year, we had over 1,000 people donate to The Cadets to help us get down the road and provide the best experience possible for our members. Success and opportunity come at a cost and we need help from donors like you to help us plan the future for the next generation of Cadets. 17 years from now, exactly one half of the time since 1983, we will be celebrating our Centennial Anniversary and we need you to join with us to support the young men and women who will make up The Cadets of 2017 and beyond. 

When you donate today and become a member of The Cadets Maroon & Gold Club you'll receive exclusive access to behind the scenes looks at our 2017 season and you'll be an integral part of The Cadets return to Bernstein's MASS. Make your contribution today at and be an inside part of our 2017 season!


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