Monte Mast, executive director for The Cavaliers, is relatively new to his current role. Dan Potter caught up with Mast at the 2020 DCI Annual Meetings & Rules Congress to discuss his experience in his position, as well as the outlook for the 2020 season for the Rosemont, Illinois corps.
DAN POTTER: How are you liking the new role?
MONTE MAST: I'm having a great time. It's certainly been a new experience after retiring from the public school system and working with bands in the Illinois area and doing a lot of recruiting this fall.
POTTER: How has it been going?
MAST: Very good. We're really excited about the talent level of the kids. Just some unbelievable auditionees this year
POTTER: And the design process, are you monitoring that?
MAST: A little bit. We're being a little cryptic and keeping things under wraps, like everybody is at this point, but the design team is really excited about the direction that they're going.
POTTER: What's been the biggest challenge for you so far?
MAST: Well, I think going from a school district where the finances are structured so differently, and working on a lot of the minor details, because you go from working at a school district that serves 53,000 students, so you have all of this incredible infrastructure behind you, and now it's the merry band of pirates kind of pulling everything together behind the scenes. So you become the jack of all trades.
POTTER: You're enjoying it, though?
MAST: Oh, yes. I love the people I work with. The members are great. The staff is great to work with. They're so much fun, and they really enjoy working with each other. So, that kind of permeates through the whole corps.
POTTER: How much do you think you're going to tour this summer?
MAST: I'll be on tour some. You know, fortunately, we have a really good staff and admin team on the road, so I don't have to be on the road. I was hired to run the organizational side of this. And you know, Dr. Michael Vaughn is the actual corps director who's on the road with the kids. But I'll be around plenty, especially this year. We're not doing the California tour. We're going to be doing, as we call it, the “beer and brats tour” in the upper Midwest, so everything will be fairly close to our home and Rosemont.