In 2003, the Cadets are making some changes. These changes include new uniforms (albeit very similar to the classic Cadets' look), a new brass staff and a new spring training site.    But staying true to form, the Cadets are maintaining some traditions that have been in place for a long time –- current staff members Marc Sylvester, Tom Aungst and April Gilligan have been on board for more than 20 years. "We know each other -- and yet, we seem to push and pull together for something new and better," Hopkins said of his 2003 staff. Meanwhile, the Cadets' penchant for fielding a crowd-pleasing show (this year entitled "Our Favorite Things") will again be repeated. "The show is pure unadulterated fun! We may get bashed for our lack of artistry, but there is nothing in the world better than performance and this year, as much if not more than any other, our goal is standing ovations. We want them, and we are not afraid to ask for them," said Cadets' director George Hopkins. But as with most corps this time of year, the Cadets are spending their spring rewriting the music for their 2003 program. "We have been doing a good many rewrites, but thankfully, Don Hill, the brass arranger, is most accommodating in terms of my ineptitude," Hopkins said. "At this juncture, "Rocky Point Holiday" and "Fanfare and Allegro" are ready to go -- and "Malaguena" is involved in rewrite number three." Overall, however, Hopkins said, "The corps is excellent! It is to be a great year! (We have a) Great staff, great kids, great volunteers and a great tradition. The kids are a good deal like the Cadets of the last so many years. The talent is high, the commitment is wonderful, and their approach to life is exciting. They are the top performers and I love having the chance to watch them improve week to week." Like most corps north of the Mason-Dixon line, the Cadets have faced some weather- and housing-related challenges this winter. "It is always an effort and always trial and error. In actuality, we need someone to take over my job as coordinator -- I am just out of time each day, but for now, we are making it work," Hopkins said, but added, "We have had a decent winter -- and we have some fabulous kids."

Regarding the changes in the brass staff, Hopkins said, "With all respect to those of the past, the current crew seems to bring the right mix of fun and work, the right balance of musicianship and excitement, and around it all, the ability to roll with the punches as the show changes and the workload increases!" Hopkins said.