Drum corps season continues over Labor Day weekend as all-age marching music organization Drum Corps Associates (DCA) hosts its championship series of events in Rochester, New York.

Returning to its familiar home of Rochester for the 19th time and to Capelli Sport Stadium for the ninth year in the history of the more than 50-year-old organization, an international roster of 18 all-age drum and bugle corps will compete in a series of events scheduled Friday, September 1 through Sunday, September 3.

Looking to defend its first-ever DCA title won in 2016 is Cadets2, an ensemble of Youth Education in the Arts (YEA), the same parent organization of Drum Corps International's Cadets.

The now six-year-old corps took the field in Rochester last season as a bit of a dark horse, taking first place in both the Prelims and Finals competitions to stay ahead of the perennial powerhouse Reading Buccaneers, who were eyeing a fifth-straight DCA Championship title after enjoying an undefeated regular season.

2017 Premiere

It's time for another weekend of competition! Take a look at our premiere show last weekend as we kicked off the 2017 season!

Posted by The Cadets2 on Friday, July 7, 2017

“When we won with our Pat Metheny show last season, the members were as surprised as everyone else because we didn't go into the last week thinking we were going to win,” YEA executive director George Hopkins said. “The DCA season involves much less stress because the members and staff aren't living it every day like we do throughout the summer season with our DCI corps. We rehearse and then everyone goes home, so it's a lot more low-key.”

Though DCA competition allows participation of all ages, Hopkins says that YEA tends to keep the age-out limit of Cadets2 around 22 years old. The average age of the corps' performers in 2016 was around 18, with most of those members — about 70 percent — living within an hour of the corps' hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

This year's Cadets2 show, “Once Upon a Lifetime,” is built around “Simple Gifts,” the main folk tune Aaron Copland utilized for the finale of “Appalachian Spring.” The theme of the production centers on major events celebrated in a person's life, such as birthday parties, graduations, and weddings. Also heard in the show is a little bit of “Appalachian Morning” at the beginning and “Blue Shades” in the middle. Longtime DCI fans may recognize a visual nod to the breakaway company front from the Cadets' 1987 “Appalachian Spring” production.

The Allentown corps may have a tough fight ahead of it come the trip to Rochester this weekend.  The corps has been finishing a few points behind the undefeated Reaching Buccaneers, but that's a position this come-from-behind corps has been used to in recent years.

Cadets2 will step off in preliminary competition on Saturday, September 2 at 6:44 p.m. ET. Both the DCA Prelims and Finals competitions will be webcast live via FloMarching.com.

Schedule of DCA World Championship events

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Individual/Ensemble & Mini Corps Competition

Friday, September 1, 6 p.m. ET
Individuals and ensembles take the stage in this event that takes on a party-like atmosphere at the Rochester Convention Center. Free and open to the public.

DCA World Championship Prelims
Saturday, September 2, 2 p.m. ET
Preliminary performances at Capelli Sport Stadium.

Alumni Spectacular
Sunday, September 3, 10 a.m. ET
Field performances by alumni corps at Capelli Sport Stadium.

DCA World Championship Finals
Sunday, September 3, 5 p.m. ET
Advancing corps after Saturday's Prelims square off for the Championship title at Capelli Sport Stadium.

How to watch

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Tickets for the in-stadium events
will be available online or by phone until Thursday, August 31 at 5 p.m. ET, and at the stadium box office on the day of the events.

Saturday and Sunday's Prelims and Finals competitions will be webcast live via FloMarching.com.