In case you do not follow along, in the world of Drum Corps Associates, Youth Education in the Arts presents an ensemble each year called Cadets2.
They look like The Cadets, they march like The Cadets, their teachers are many times Cadets, and they even sound like The Cadets. The mission is the same; the values are the same. They stand at attention during retreat, and they walk in twos to warm-up.
They are Cadets!
Of course, there are some differences. They do not go on tour, rather they are a weekend-only corps. The membership is a bit younger. They do not have the same level of support as The Cadets, nor do they spend as much money or require ALL of the resources of The Cadets National Touring Ensemble.
This weekend at the DCA Championships, this four-year-old drum corps placed second, defeating corps that have been successful in the DCA arena for many, many years.
Here are the DCA Finals results from Rochester, N.Y.:
1. Buccaneers - 97.58
2. Cadets2 - 96.33
3. Minnesota Brass - 95.40
4. Caballeros - 94.88
5. Atlanta CV - 93.83
6. Kidsgrove Scouts - 91.90
7. Fusion Core - 89.75
8. White Sabers - 88.33
9. Sunrisers - 85.38
10. Hurricanes - 83.80
Cadets2 started in 2012. After an excellent first two seasons, the corps faltered a bit in 2014, and we decided that if YEA! was going to dedicate the time and financial resources to the corps, we needed to see once and for all if this all-age drum corps idea was something we could make happen.
So, I personally became the director, I brought in people with experience to assist , we recruited like wild people during the off-season, we invested financially to make sure they had all that they needed, and, well, we did all we could to ensure that C2 had the best of all opportunities.
And the corps was filled with 128 members, they worked hard, they ate well, they traveled well, and you can see from the scores that they performed well.
In fact, I was there over many of the weekends including these last four, and this version of the Cadets was simply magnificent. We were a success.
So What's Next for Cadets2?
What Cadets2 does not have is a financial base. Few people go to shows, so we do not sell a ton of T-shirts. As a young corps, we do not have a donor base, and, well YEA! invests between $70,000 and $100,000 a year to keep the ensemble going.
Considering how we do all this, this is not a terrible number:
- Our facility bill is $70,000 for high-school rentals
- Our bus bills are $40,000
- We spend a good deal to keep the members and staff well-fed
We do not charge the members a high fee to participate, although we do ask more of them than most DCA corps. But unlike other corps, we offer housing, transportation and food.
We take care of our Cadets2 members just as if they were The Cadets! And they are!
So, we are launching a campaign. The Friends of Cadets2 begins now.
Our goal is to get 200 donors and raise $25,000 in September, as we work to launch a true fan club!
I have to say, I admire the Reading Buccaneers and their crazy fans at the Championships. We can do that; ! am sure we can do that.
So, please click here to take a look at the donor form. If you have purchased tickets to see The Cadets, or you are an alumnus or a fan, can you consider a gift to C2?
One crazy expense we have as a part of this effort is the need to purchase 150 hotel rooms for the members in Rochester during DCA Championship Weekend.
Eventually, we would like ALL of those rooms to go to fans, but for now, the corps stayed in the hotel, and the cost was $14,280. OUCH!
So why not give $100 or $250 to this new venture? Cadets2 matters to these kids, and somehow, we need to make sense of what we are doing here. Perhaps C2 is not totally self-supporting, but with your help, I think we can get much much closer.
Take a look at what the kids and their parents think:
"Hi Mr. Hopkins. My daughter, Adrianna Cunning just finished her first season of drum corps with Cadets2. I wanted to take a moment and thank you for providing such a wonderful opportunity for young musicians. From the high level of instruction to the professionalism of the corps, Cadets2 is truly a first-class organization. It stand out against the other groups. I'm thrilled that my daughter was a part of it this year! Thanks again for all that you do. " - Abigail Cunning
"C2 has been THE best experience of my life! I've never had so much fun with so many like-minded people, pushed myself so hard, and have never dared to believe that I could achieve my dreams. I learned how to work so hard, and now know that I can do anything I truly want to do if I give it my all and strive to be the best I can be. Excellence is the new standard, and I will forever know that I have a brotherhood of friends that I marched with who share the same ideals." 2015 Cadets2 Member
"I plan on auditioning for the Cadets next year, and I can say thanks C2, for giving me an experience that has changed my life and that has given me the desire to be great no matter what I'm doing, and that has given me the work ethic and means to be successful! For I now know that no matter what I do, I WILL be successful because I'm going to put in 100%, and I know now that there truly is joy with hard work!" - Robert Browne, 2015 Cadets2 Tuba Section Leader
As you can see, this organization, just like The Cadets, makes a profound impact on young lives each season.
Please join us in this great endeavor at one of the following levels of giving:
$1,000 - Director Level
$500 - Caption Supervisor Level
$250 - Instructor Level
$100 - Drum Major Level
$50 - Section Leader Level
$25 - Member Level
Thank you so much for your support of The Cadets Ensembles in 2015. I hope you will join us as we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible and assist great young people in their journey to become magnificent human beings.
Director, The Cadets and Cadets2