Mirroring the finish of the Drum Corps International World Championships in August, a brand new Drum Corps Associates Open Class Champion was crowned on Sunday, September 4, when Cadets2 captured the corps’ first title at the DCA Finals in Rochester, New York.

One of the newer corps to compete on DCA’s all-age drum and bugle corps circuit, Cadets2 has made a name for itself over the last four years as a weekend-only regionally touring program of Youth Education in the Arts. The Allentown, Pennsylvania-based nonprofit is also the parent organization of the Cadets, one of Drum Corps International’s most consistently successful corps.

Catapulting into second place at the 2015 DCA Open Class Finals, after three straight fifth-place finishes, Cadets2 had the momentum to take the gold medal Sunday night at Rochester Rhinos Stadium.

“Their accomplishment this year has been spectacular,” Cadets director George Hopkins posted on Facebook. “As always, the goal for a drum corps is to be in the mix as Championships arrive. They did that and more.”

Taking first place in both Prelims and Finals competitions, Cadets2 (1st, 97.95) was able to stay ahead of the perennial powerhouse Reading Buccaneers (2nd, 97.25), who were eyeing a fifth-straight Championship title after enjoying an undefeated regular season.

The Bucs have been nearly untouchable in the last decade, finishing on top 10 of the past 11 years. The corps has an unmatched collection of 14 titles since DCA held its first World Championship in 1965.

Nearly sweeping the caption awards, Cadets2 took home honors for Best Visual, Best Color Guard, Best Percussion and Best Effect, while the second-place Buccaneers captured the award for Best Brass.

Minnesota Brass (3rd, 96.95), DCA World Champions in 2011, took the bronze with a score just one point under first place and more than two points ahead of the fourth-place Hawthorne Caballeros (94.28).

Rounding out the 10 Open Class finalists was Fusion Core (5th, 92.45), Atlanta CV (6th, 92.35), White Sabers (7th, 88.73), Sunrisers (8th, 88.53), Bushwackers (9th, 85.28), and Govenaires (10th, 84.45).

Receiving other awards were Bushwackers (Best Drum Major) and White Sabres (Best Honor Guard and Best Showmanship).

With the Govenaires moving into the Open Class division in 2016, the door was open for a new DCA Class A Champion on Sunday.

Ohio’s Cincinnati Tradition took the top spot with a score of 80.03, more than two points ahead of the nearest competition. Winning caption awards for Best Visual, Best Percussion, Best Brass and Best Effect, the corps won its first-ever DCA title.

The second place Erie Thunderbirds (77.75) received awards for Best Color Guard and Best Drum Major, followed by the third-place corps Chops, Inc. (75.03).

The DCA World Championships will return to Rochester September 1-3, 2017, before the series of events moves to Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 2018 and 2019.