The sounds of horns and drums echoed throughout the Lehigh Valley Saturday as seven drum corps performed for an appreciative audience in Allentown’s J. Birney Crum Stadium.
Spectators who braved the heat were treated to a hot drum corps show, led in competition by the Bluecoats’ “Session 44” production, which took first place with a season-high score of 78.3. Allentown’s own drum corps, The Cadets, jumped almost two full points over their last outing with a 73.2. The Cadets drum majors, clad in the traditional maroon and gold cadets, let the corps onto the field to perform their 2018 program, “The Unity Project.”
Rounding out the World Class were a much-improved Spirit of Atlanta (66.4) and Music City (60.6). New Jersey’s The Raiders were the only scored Open Class corps of the night, finishing with a 48.8.
In exhibition, the show’s opening act was New Jersey’s Encorps, debuting their first-ever public performance and Cadets2 followed. Prior to their performance the Cadets2 brass ensemble opened the night by warming up near the Cadets Community Picnic in the park. The picnic was attended by some 150 friends, family, and alumni of the two drum corps. Alumni representing all iterations of the corps were in attendance, including members of the Holy Name Cadets, Garfield Cadets, Cadets of Bergen County, The Cadets and Cadets2.
Cadets2's offering served as an appetizer to what would become a special evening of celebration of Cadets’ traditions. After the scores were announced, alumni friends, and family of both corps filed onto the field. The two corps’ horn lines combined to play “O Holy Name,” the corps song of The Cadets, after which the alumni gathered and engaged in the Caps for Cadets tradition. Alumni handed member caps to The Cadets and members of The Cadets handed caps to members of Cadets2.
The evening ended with each corps huddling together, hands on shoulders, to sing their respective corps’ songs, “Launch Straight Through to Victory” (Cadets2) and “O Holy Name.”
The Cadets will finish the East Coast leg of their 2018 tour on July 5 with another home show in the corps’ old stomping grounds of Clifton, NJ, after stops in Lawrence and Lynn, Massachusetts, and Cranston, RI. Cadets2 follows up with a performance next weekend at the Buccaneer Classic in Landisville, Penn.