Having posted a score of 88.85 last night in Hornell, N.Y. – the highest score that any corps has scored thus far this season -- the Cadets of Bergenfield, N.J., appear to be on their way to a remarkable season. "We're getting a lot of reaction from the fans. We're tearing down houses across the country. It's been one of my favorite years so far," Cadets corps director George Hopkins said of the 2002 season.The corps extensively tweaked its shows on July 8 and July 9, during which approximately "two-thirds" of the opener was "completely changed," according to Cadets guard member Wendy Stone. Corps director George Hopkins said that the Cadets "changed 2 minutes in two and a half days" – a monumental change. "We were petrified we weren't going to get it done in time," Hopkins said. The original design of the Cadets' opener was broken into three sections that ran approximately one minute too long, Hopkins estimated. He, Cadets drill designer Mark Sylvester and other Cadets staff members then worked to break the three sections of the opener into two sections, all of which are set in the 1940s in New York City.On July 10, the Cadets unveiled the extensive tweaks in Glens Falls/Ft. Edward, N.Y., during a show that "went well" and in front of "receptive" audience, Stone said, and the corps' high score (88.70) revealed the success of the changes. Stone, 21, is from Marietta, Ga., and is studying management at Georgia Tech.The Cadets' 2002 show, "An American Revival," is drawing accolades not only from judges, but drum corps fans raving about the accessibility of their show this season. It's a show that hearkens back to the Cadets' 1995 season, and also a show that plays tribute the New York that suffered last September 11. The Cadets' home base is, after all, a mere 10 miles from Times Square. "It was deliberate to be patriotic. (The show is) a deliberate reaction to the environment after 9-11, and people are applauding the statements we make about the country," Hopkins said. "For many reasons, it strikes a chord. We're reacting to the situation (of 9-11) and taking a part in the country's revival," Hopkins said of the enthusiastic crowd reactions.Hopkins also cites the corps itself as contributing to the Cadets' overall success. "They're all very, very good," Hopkins said, adding that the corps has a "Better trumpet line than we've had in a while. They enjoy performing a lot more than they have, but that's in reaction to the fan reaction they're getting," Hopkins said.According to the Cadets Web site, "The Cadets are happy to have the opportunity to bring back to the field a production of which we are very proud. Revivals are not all that common in drum corps, but in this age, at this time, the corps could think of no better tribute than to reach into our past for this very special memory."The Cadets 2002 show includes Leonard Bernstein's "Times Square," from "On the Town"; James Horner's "The Place Where Dreams Come True," from "Field of Dreams"; the Andrews Sisters' "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"; and Don Hill's "New York Memories" and the traditional "America the Beautiful."Hopkins said the corps still has quite a bit of tweaking to do before finals week in Madison, Wis. "There's an ending that still needs to be put in," Hopkins said, adding that those changes would be in place by late July. "We just have to find the time to make the fixes."
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