Members of The Cavaliers were in Rosemont, Illinois the weekend of March 9, for a brass-focused rehearsal camp.
While the Cavaliers horn line continues to have consistency under returning arranger and caption supervisor Michael Martin, the corps received an injection of new talent in the off-season with the addition of first-year caption manager Kevin LeBoeuf.
Previously serving on Carolina Crown's brass staff, LeBoeuf also teaches a number of other groups throughout the year, including the UCLA Marching Band and the Aimachi Marching Band in Handa, Japan.
Without members of the color guard or percussion in attendance, this weekend's rehearsal gave LeBoeuf and the Cavaliers educational staff the opportunity to focus all of their efforts on the brass section, digging into musical and visual fundamentals as well as the score to the corps' yet-to-be-revealed 2018 production.
"While we might not have the dynamic of the whole drum corps here, the [horn] line is more or less set," LeBoeuf said. "We're down to work, we're cranking away, and it's about us this weekend."
LeBoeuf says that the Cavaliers horn line will be made up of 76 performers in 2018, which is four more than the corps carried during the 2017 Drum Corps International Tour that resulted in a fourth-place finish at the DCI World Championships. He is taking advantage of an influx of new talent and returning members to find the right mix of personnel to achieve the perfect sound.
"We have 16 tubas, 16 mellophones, 24 baritones and 20 trumpets," LeBoeuf said. "Some groups like it trumpet heavy, and we don't really rely on the trumpets that way. They're more a color, not a power for us."
Recordings of the brass section from the weekend will be sent to the corps' design staff members as they continue to develop what The Cavaliers will perform when they make their debut at the DCI Tour Premiere presented by DeMoulin Bros. & Co. on June 21 in Detroit.
"The show is going to be another great Cavaliers show," LeBoeuf said. "Different, but still with the quality you'd expect from this group."