A Parent's Guide to The Cadets


Does your son or daughter want to become a Cadet? Here you can find out all about this program and how it can enhance their life.

Parent Handbook

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Who are The Cadets?

The Cadets is the flagship performing ensemble of a non-profit organization called Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!). This elite group of 150 students come to audition from all over the United States and world.

The corps was founded in Garfield, N.J. in 1934 and has won 10 American Legion National Championships and 10 Drum Corps International World Championships.

The Cadets travel over 15,000 miles during the summer entertaining hundreds of thousands of drum corps fans throughout the nation.

trumpet play 2014 Akron crop

What is a drum corps?

Modern drum corps are comprised of 150 performers who range in age from about 14 to 22. Each corps is made up of brass musicians, percussionists and a colorguard. They perform an 11-minute program on a standard football field. Programs are extravaganzas of musical excellence, marching precision, color, drama, dance and emotion. All members of the corps (except the front percussion ensemble) march in intricate formations which are coordinated with the musical productions.

Brass musicians in The Cadets play on top-quality Yamaha trumpets, mellophones, baritones, euphoniums and tubas.

Percussion instruments include marching snare drums, tenor drums (often referred to as "quads" or "quints"), bass drums in five sizes and stationary "front ensemble" instruments including various drums, cymbals, tympani, mallets (marimba, vibraphone, xylophone and chimes) and electronic synthesizers.

The colorguard adds color and drama through the coordinated use of flags, rifles, sabers and dance. The modern colorguard is as much a dance ensemble and storyteller as it is a precision marching unit.

colorguard parade look inspire

What are the benefits to the performers?

Drum corps is an activity which attempts to do much more than provide a performance opportunity for students or entertainment for the audience. Through the drum corps experience, students will learn useful life skills such as leadership, goal-setting and teamwork, among others. The Cadets curriculum includes opportunities for students to exercise their potential not only as musicians, but as complete human beings.

Get Involved

We invite parents to come on the road with us for a couple days or weeks during the summer! We couldn't do what we do without an amazing team of volunteers, and we would love for you to get involved.

For more information, contact , or visit yea.org/volunteer.

Tour Schedule

The Cadets travel over 15,000 miles each summer as they travel across the country. Click here to view the tour schedule.

In Case of Emergency

Most Cadets have cell phones, and the best times to contact them are during dinner and after shows, although they may also find time throughout the day to return calls/messages. If there is an URGENT need to contact a Cadet who is not responding to personal communications, parents may call our administrative staff, but please use this contact information ONLY in case of an emergency:

Mike McConnell, Tour Director | 832-454-2522
Office, Allentown, PA | 610-821-0345 

Other Cadets Ensembles

snare drumline 2014 intense square

Cadets2  is a regionally performing drum and bugle corps made up of approximately 128 young men and women ages 16 to 25 that competes in the Drum Corps Associates circuit. Founded in 2012 as a weekend-only alternative to the 10-time DCI World Champion Cadets nationally touring ensemble, Cadets2 maintains The Cadets' standard of excellence while offering a more time- and cost- effective drum corps experience to young people in and around the Lehigh Valley.



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For questions about your account, contact or call 484-387-1155.