Cadets baritone horn player, Ryan Tinker, talks with's Christina Mavroudis about the corps' 2007 show, "This I Believe," and about how his drum corps experiences have helped him in his life.

Ryan Tinker

CM: How did you first get involved in the marching activity?

RT: I was in marching band in high school, and I had some really good teachers who motivated me to keep working on this after I graduated. When I went to college, I decided to continue my marching career and join a drum corps.

CM: Why did you choose to come to the Cadets?

RT: I had a lot of good friends in the Cadets who first motivated me to join. But the tradition, the persistence of excellence, the innovation and the history behind the drum corps is something that keeps me coming back year after year as well.

CM: What are you studying in college right now?

RT: I'm a music education major and I'd like to be a high school band director one day. Drum corps has definitely motivated me to want to do this, and I'm probably getting the best training I can get right now.

CM: Tell me about how you feel you fit in with this year's program, "This I Believe".

RT: Everything that is said through the narration during the show is something that I have learned or experienced from being a Cadet. Our director, George Hopkins, tries to make this drum corps more than just a marching and playing experience; it's about practicing to live your life outside of the drum corps. I've been able to apply many of the life lessons I've learned in the drum corps to my life.

CM: How has the drum corps experience changed your life?

RT: I think I've really matured throughout my time marching. When I first started, I didn't know what to expect, but I have really become a totally different person because of this experience. I think we can really apply the theme of our show, "This I Believe," to our lives. What we talk about during the show: choice, persistence and perseverance, are all things that can help us grow.

CM: Have you had any performances this year that really stand out as one to remember?

RT: Yes, we had a lot of alumni attend our home show on June 30 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. That was my favorite shows so far this year because they were all watching and supporting us. They remember what it's like to be in a drum corps. When they see this year's show, they remember the lessons they learned as Cadets members. It kind of came full-circle for them and I got to meet a lot of the alumni after the show as well. It was a great experience.