SmartMusic Q&A with The Cadets

the cadets

Founded in 1934, The Cadets are the oldest and most honored drum corps in the world. This fall, we are proud to partner with The Cadets in providing each of their members with SmartMusic subscriptions so that they can stay connected, and continue playing music in a virtual environment. Learn more about their legacy, how students can get involved, and how they’re using SmartMusic to help members develop their technical growth and mastery.

1. Tell us, who are The Cadets?

The Cadets is one of the oldest and most honored continuously operating drum and bugle corps with members worldwide. The corps was founded in Garfield, NJ, as The Holy Name Cadets in 1934, currently headquartered in Allentown, PA. With ten gold medals since the inception of Drum Corps International and hundreds of regional and circuit championships during its rich 86-year history, The Cadets are one of the winningest drum corps in history. The Cadets travel over 14,000 miles each summer, entertaining hundreds of thousands of drum corps fans throughout the nation.

2. How do students get involved in The Cadets?

Students from all over the world audition to perform with the Cadets.  The first round of the audition process is a video screening.  The next part of the audition process is the live round held at various winter audition camp weekends.  Interested performers should visit 

3. What benefits, life skills, and growth opportunities does this program offer students? 

Drum corps is an activity which attempts to do much more than provide a performance  opportunity for students or entertainment for the audience. Through the drum corps experience, members will learn useful life skills such as leadership, goal-setting, and teamwork, among others. The Cadets provide opportunities for members to exercise their potential not only as musicians but as leaders in their communities.

4. Tell us about the instructors. Are they all musicians? 

The majority of the instructors from the guard, visual, brass, audio, and percussion are musicians. The brass faculty are experienced performers and pedagogues from the marching arts. The caption manager and the assistant caption manager both hold earned doctorates in music. Both are performing artists and clinicians for Yamaha. Every member of the brass faculty holds a master’s degree in music or more. Several members of the team have performed with the stage show Blast, while others perform in professional service bands.

5. What does a “normal” year look like for The Cadets events cycle? How has the pandemic changed it this year? Have you been able to adapt and do any virtual events?

The audition season begins in the late Fall with a video audition screening. Monthly winter camps help to finalize the membership, refine their skills, and begin instruction on the summer show. In the spring, the Cadets move into a facility for a month of in-person training, which is immediately followed by the summer tour of performances. 

The pandemic has moved us to a completely virtual environment. With no summer season,  we have worked to stay connected with the performers,  provide them training, and give them performance outlets in the absence of the summer tour.

6. In preparation for these virtual events (or just to keep students practicing), are instructors utilizing any online practice tools?

The Cadets are proud to have a partnership with SmartMusic.  We have designed an entire syllabus of assignments to develop technical growth and mastery.  The platform has also facilitated our work on exciting new custom arrangements of compositions that will be premiered on our next summer tour.

7. How can people support The Cadets?

Monetary donations are essential to the Cadets with the loss of so much revenue that comes with the summer tour. Folks interested in donating should visit, Another way to support the Cadets is through the 34store. There is lots of instruments, guard equipment, percussion equipment, electronics, and much more for sale at

8. Where can people learn more?

The Cadets website is the best place to find further information. 

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