Unity is the name of the game for The Cadets in 2018.
For one, it’s in the corps’ program title, and is the driving theme of the performance it will bring to audience all around the country.
But more importantly, it’s a theme showing up amongst the corps’ membership — on and off the field.
“Throughout the course of the spring training and the winter camps, we just really had a great attitude,” brass instructor Dan Berard said. “They’ve really embraced that concept of coming together as a group of people, as a drum corps, to provide something that’s powerful and life-changing for us.”
Ultimately, the strong bond created by a large, diverse group of individuals has been the key to a successful spring training for the Allentown corps.
“It really has been, I feel like, a common thread, just in terms of the attitude, the energy, just the vibe of the drum corps,” Berard said. “It’s really made it a joyful experience to be here.”
The corps’ 2018 program, “The Unity Project,” embodies that attitude. Visually and musically, The Cadets will start with themes of dischord and gradually bring the pieces together over the course of their production.
“The show is really something that’s going to mean something different to everyone as we go through the season,” Berard said. “We’re not trying to tell any literal story or anything like that. What we’re just trying to do is tell the story of the larger human condition.”
The show’s ballad movement, a beautiful piece by Sigur Ros called “Ara Batur,” serves as the show’s anchor, the point where the corps begins to form one firm unit from an artistic standpoint. From there, the closing movement, David Holsinger’s “Ballet Sacra,” provides a resounding exclamation point to the theme’s development.
“Ballet Sacra” will also give a nod to The Cadets’ history; the Allentown corps featured Holsinger’s piece in 1993, in its gold medal-winning program, “In the Spring, at the Time When Kings Go Off to War.”
“It’s just this joyous, uplifting, very empowering message, through the music, that certainly the members have embraced,” Berard said.
According to Cadets drum major Claire Albrecht, the meaningfulness of the 2018 show is rubbing off on the membership. Thursday, at The Cadets’ community performance at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio, she felt the thrill of “The Unity Project” coming to life in front of an audience.
“I think our show is something so special already,” Albrecht said. “I’m up there feeling how incredible this is going to be, it’s something that I’m really excited about.”
The Cadets will officially debut “The Unity Project” on Saturday, June 23, at the Innovations in Brass DCI Tour event in Akron, Ohio. The corps set out with an ambitious goal of having the show completed during spring training while leaving extra extra time prior to the start of the season to clean and fine-tune the production before the Akron event.
“We set a really aggressive production timeline so we could really get to those first couple of performances and have a viable package,” Berard said. “So that we can be just as entertaining for the first audience of the year as we are for the last audience of the year.”