On the afternoon of November 11, 2010, the percussion line of the Cadets wowed an audience of more than 700 fellow percussionists at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis. The standing room-only crowd was treated to a demonstration of how the line works out, warms up and develops its competitive program, utilizing excerpts from the corps' 2010 production "Toy Souldier." The presentation blurred the line between the academic and entertainment, despite the scholarly title, A Front Ensemble "Nexus": Links between "Etudes" and "Excerpts" in the 21st Century Front Ensemble. The event was sponsored by Vic Firth, Inc., Avedis Zildjian Company, Remo, Inc. and Yamaha Corporation of America. According to front ensemble director Iain Moyer, 95 percent of the Cadets' drum line was able to attend the convention, which originally was going to feature only the front ensemble. However, the scope of the presentation kept growing to the point that it encompassed the entire section. Performing in front of hundreds of PASIC attendees was both a challenge and a distinct honor, as Moyer commented, "Being that these folks are experienced percussionists and educators, it's one of the most educated audiences for whom we've ever performed."
Despite the knowledge of the audience, corps percussion director Colin McNutt says that there was no pressure because the event wasn't a competition. "We could just have fun playing for an audience that appreciated all the levels of what we were doing," he said. If there was any pressure for the group coming into the event, it was the night before. The entire line had to come back together for the first time since August to re-learn their parts in less than five hours of focused rehearsal.
Scott Radock, a snare drummer who aged out of the corps this past August, said, "It's a great honor to wear the uniform again. I've seen so many people here who have inspired and taught not only me, but also each of my parents, both professional percussionists. For them to see me in uniform is quite heartwarming." Mike Daley, a marimba player, thought it was quite a "flashback" to live with 150 people all summer and then come back together three months later. He also believes the line's presentation at PASIC will be a huge boost for recruitment, as many of those in attendance are college-age percussion majors. Moyer says the ultimate goal of the presentation was to inspire those attending through the energy of the performance, encouraging them to learn from the demonstration and take their new knowledge back to their own ensembles. Learn more about PASIC.