As the summer season grows closer, we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to get to know the drum majors of Cadets2. This year, the team will include Armon Raygani, a veteran member of team hands during the 2016 DCA Championship season; Doug Bell, also returning to Cadets2 after serving as a drum major last season; and Christina Donall, a member of the corps in prior years. To get to know the faces you'll see up on the podium this summer, keep reading!
Question: Why did you first chose to march Cadets2?
Armon: So I first joined marching band my senior year of high school because I lost a bet, but loved it so much I decided to apply to colleges that had marching bands. This was around the same time my best friend tried out for Cadets and received a contract for C2. He knew I wanted more marching experiences so he asked if I was willing to learn how to march and play the mellophone and I just took the shot and five years later here I am.
Doug: I first chose to march C2 after hearing of a drum major spot open up at another corps. I went on Facebook to find some information, and I saw an ad for a drum major spot at Cadets2. I decided to audition for the C2 spot instead, and I have not looked back since.
Christina: I first chose to march C2 because of Armon Raygani (current Drum Major) and Nick Franck (current Brass Tech). We all went to Towson University and during our freshman and sophomore year, they would not stop talking about how great it was. Finally, I was like “let’s give it a try!” and marched Mellophone for the 2015 season.
Question: Why did you decide to return to Cadets2?
Armon: I love the friends I've made in the corps and wouldn't trade them for the world. I also learn SO much every season. I'm currently getting my Master's degree in conducting and I'm learning so much about the art of conducting through drum corps as well as through school.
Doug: I decided to return to C2 for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is our amazing staff. Another reason is that the members of this drum corps are truly some very special people to me. Of course, a third reason is to get the Cadet experience for another summer. Wearing the uniform, standing tall, working really hard towards a common goal, these are all things that bring make my summer great.
Christina: I’ve always wanted to return to C2 after that season because it was an amazing summer. Unfortunately, four weekends before finals, I got injured and barely survived marching until the end of the season. I needed to find another way back in and this year I’m extremely happy to be back.
Question: What is something that people who march Cadets2 have in common?
Armon: Honestly we're a spicy but diverse group of individuals. We share our passion for pushing our own boundaries, and I love that.
Doug: Something that people who march C2 have in common is absolutely determination. This group does not give up, no matter what the circumstances are. Everybody in this drum corps is ready to push themselves and the people around them to get better.
Christina: People who march C2 all have dedication. They have inspiration to become a part of something bigger and requires more mental and physical strength than anything else I’ve encountered. I used to be a thrower in track and field, including two years at the collegiate level, and even C2 was hard in every way then competing.
Question: What makes Cadets2 different from other corps?
Armon: We are a lot like other corps in many ways, but we take the whole "Cadet tradition" thing to a new level. We don't get to wear the uniform as often as our sister corps, so we take a lot of pride and care in the times that we do. We have a lot of fun quirks and interesting parts about our history. Our membership also strives to create a hyper-positive environment to grow in.
Doug: C2 is different from other corps because we have a combination of both great staff and great members. Our staff is always working to give us the information we need to grow as a drum corps, and our members are always ready to absorb that information and put it to use.
Christina: One thing that also drew me to C2 that is extremely different from other corps is that they have a staff who extremely cares about each individual. They also takes the responsible of feeding and housing its’ members. I find that relaxing, especially for new members, but it’s just two things you don’t have to worry about and focus more on the tasks of getting better at each weekend.
Question: What does it mean to you to be a drum major for Cadets2?
Armon: It means more than I can convey in words. I actually was a drum major in 2015 and 2016 and "retired". I missed the position so much that I decided it was time to come back and do it all over again. I love getting the opportunity to lead and inspire the next generation of Cadets. This position means helping people get to where they want to be as marching members and as people. For many, we're their first impression of what a drum corps drum major is. Talk about stressful! This just means that Doug, Christina, and I have to constantly bring our A game and give everyone a fantastic experience. We serve the members, and we're proud to do so.
Doug: It means so much to me being a drum major at C2. Not only am I provided with an opportunity to better myself as a leader and musician, but also as person overall. Obviously to be a great Cadet drum major requires focus and ability on the field, but something less talked about is the leadership that occurs off the field. This "behind the scenes" work is what really makes the drum corps work like a well oiled machine. Some of the lessons that I have learned from C2, such as communication skills and decision making, will certainly go on to benefit for the rest of my life.
Christina: Being a Drum Major for C2 is not just about being a person on the field waving their hands around. It’s about being a leader, a mentor, a friend, and being a part of experience of what makes it so memory to everyone involved. I have been a drum major before, and currently one in the Towson University Marching Band, but every season and group is different. I’m extremely excited to see what I can bring to the corps and what I can learn from being a Drum Major at C2!
Question: What can people expect from Cadets2 for the upcoming season?
Armon: Expect something different from us. We're putting out a theme very relevant to our current times in our nation, and we hope to bring the audience along on a ride of a lifetime.
Doug: People can expect a very motivated and persistent drum corps out of Cadets2 this year. This combination of members and staff is already shaping up to be very strong and we can only gain momentum from here on out. Everybody is on board with both our show design/theme and our music. I really cannot wait to put this on the field and show ourselves and the audience what this drum corps can do.
Christina: People should expect a run for their money this upcoming season. The corps is off to an amazing start with the talent of our members and the hardworking staff we have. We have our music, the design/concept and even drill and it’s only February.
Question: Why should people march Cadets2?
Armon: Well, if you've read this far and STILL aren't sold... You should march if you want to push yourself beyond your limit. If you want to become a better player, marcher, spinner, etc. If you want to get to the next level. If you want to perform an amazing program. If you want to make some of the best friends you'll ever make. If you want to create memories that will last a lifetime. If you want to be a part of history. If you want to be a better YOU. That's why you should march C2.
Doug: People should march C2 because it truly provides a great experience for all of its members. We create an environment that emphasizes hard work and reaching our goals. Over the course of the season, members make friends and memories that will last a lifetime. If one is looking to improve their skills as a leader, musician, marcher, and person, then C2 is the place for them.
Christina: March C2 if you want to have an experience you will never forget. It will push you and make you accomplishment many tasks you never thought you would be able to do. It will be a life changing experience.