Approximately 400 students from around the country took to the artificial turf in the RCA Dome last Saturday afternoon to glean tips about leadership, breathing, performance and musicianship from the Cadets of Bergenfield, N.J., who lead a workshop there.Workshops are a common occurrence at drum corps competitions. Students watch the corps rehearse, and glean valuable behind-the-scenes information from corps directors and other staffers who openly address exactly what the corps is working on.The Bands of America/Drum Corps International-sponsored clinic was emceed by Drum Corps International clinician/Hall of Fame member Michael Cesario of New York. "I've got the treat of a lifetime this afternoon," Cesario said at the beginning of the clinic.Noel Alvarez, a 16-year-old snare drummer from Kissimmee, Fla., said he attended the clinic for "a learning experience, for the excitement, and because it's cool." In addition to learning about leadership, performance and musicianship, some attendees came to learn more about the Cadets corps.Cymbal player J.T. Barber, 16, of Land O'Lakes, Fla., said he came to learn "What the Cadets are all about." Students attending the Cadets rehearsal learned new breathing techniques, heard a rousing, hyperloud version of the theme from the cartoon "The Jetsons" and watched a complete rundown of the Cadet's 2002 show, "An American Revival." Jeff Fiedler, director of the Cavaliers, is a strong supporter of student workshops, and stressed the importance of such clinics. "I think it spreads the word about the drum corps activity, that there's something out there beyond their marching band experience," Fiedler said. "The members of the corps can share some of our 'secrets' with marching band kids to help to motivate the kids at home," Fiedler said."Student workshops are an opportunity to showcase the amazing aspects of a drum corps performance from a grassroots point of view. Take off the uniform and we see the corps members are just like the band students watching the clinic, but trained and polished after countless hours of rehearsal and an outstanding commitment to excellence in marching music. Drum Corps International is very proud to work with the corps and band directors in each area to bring the drum corps experience closer to the students," said Drum Corps International Executive Director Dan Acheson.
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