IF YOU GO
What: The Cadets in rehearsal
When: 7:15-9:15 p.m. today, July 25
Where: Finley Stadium, 1826 Reggie White Blvd.
Chattanoogans have the rare opportunity to hear a world-class drum and bugle corps in Finley Stadium tonight, July 25.
The 150-member-strong Cadets from Allentown, Pa., are passing through Chattanooga on their way from Opelika, Ala., to The Masters of the Summer Music Games competition on Friday, July 26, in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The Cadets are the oldest continually operating Division 1 group in Drum Corps International. They have won the DCI World Championship nine times.
After driving all night, they were scheduled to pull into Red Bank High School this morning at 8 a.m., according to tour assistant Rich Hammond.
Just the arrival of the Cadets is a parade in itself. The 150 musicians and color guard members, along with 40 instructional staff, travel in a caravan of five buses, two tractor-trailers, two box trucks and an RV for the administrative staff.
After morning and afternoon rehearsals at the school today (seven hours total), they will move to Finley Stadium. That rehearsal is open to the public, free of charge, from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m., says Hammond.
Lonnie Bork, a former Red Bank Band Booster parent who helped make accommodations for the Cadets at the high school, says he received a two-page checklist of requirements/preferences from the Cadets to meet their housing and rehearsal needs. One of those was their need for three football fields for rehearsals.
"They rehearse during the day by sections: one field for the brass, one for the percussion and one for the color guard," explains Bork. "They rehearse separately during the day, then together at night."
Bork says visitors to tonight's rehearsal in Finley should be aware that Cadets director George Hopkins will be giving instructions to the musicians throughout the two hours, occasionally stopping the performance to make music or drill corrections.
Contact staff writer Susan Pierce at spierce@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6284.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...