The 728 Cadets have wrapped up their percussion and winter guard seasons with honors, while breaking ground for a third performance medium.
About 65 students from Elk River, Rogers and Zimmerman are involved, some of them in multiple groups. Their overall director is Tom Gallus.
River Valley Percussion Theatre, RVPT, with its performance labeled “Flight,” won all six competitions on its schedule, competing in Scholastic Class A, capped by the WGI Sport of the Arts Regional Drumline competition (12 teams) on March 22 in Buffalo and the Minnesota Percussion Association Championship Show (eight teams) in Rochester on March 29.
They won the state event for the third consecutive season and posted their season high score, 90.725 of 100.
Drumline is a genre with elements of music performance, marching techniques and theater.
RVPT’s show, created by director Joe Jaeger, depicted a journey through the unknown, set in the sky.
The group’s press release stated: “As humans look into the world above, it seems so distant, yet so simple. However, an airborne life can never be fully understood by the grounded. RVPT’s ‘Flight’ demonstrated this unattainable lifestyle, taking you on a ride through sunny skies, wind storms, cold nights of rest and the excitement of reaching the destination.”
River Valley Winter Guard, RVWG, closed its third season at the WGI Sport of the Arts Winter Guard Finals in Dayton, Ohio, on April 4, placing 66th among 122 teams from across the country.
RVWG had three first places and three seconds in the regular season. They were second in Scholastic A class in the Minnesota Northstar Color Guard finals.
RVWG combines music and modern dance, using flags, sabres, mock rifles and other traditional marching band equipment.
The RVPT captains were Katie Langer and Brooke Anderson. The RVWG captains were Samantha Killian, Isabelle Farkas and Ellie Goodrich.
RVWG’s whimsical production, created by Gallus, was labeled “A Class,” set in a classroom where the teacher gives tips and tricks that kids can use to compose their own winning production.
Also this season, the 728 Cadets pioneered a new ensemble group, River Valley Sound, RVS, the first of its kind in the Upper Midwest. WGI Sport of the Arts Indoor will begin an indoor horn line circuit of competition in 2015.
RVS provided opportunities in the winter months for traditional wind ensemble instrumentation, marching and dance, to create a new, unique performance medium. A traditional wind ensemble includes flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto tenor and bari sax, trumpet, mellophone, trombone, baritone and tuba.
RVS demonstrated its inaugural production, “Awakening,” created by RVS director Michal Reed, at three exhibitions in March.
The press release stated: “Through the music of Tichelli, Stravinsky, Orff and Pachelbel, RVS walks us through life’s trying times to our ‘Awakening.’ Through our lives we deal with adversity and demons on a regular basis. It is how we react and rise from those times that define our character. Just as the Firebird faces adversity and rises from the ashes, so do we as we awaken into our lives.”
The organization hosted its eighth annual River Valley Winter Arts Festival on March 15 at Elk River High School with 20 color guard and drumline units performing.
The 728 Cadets organization’s stated mission is “to equip its members with the highest level of education in musicianship and life skills.”
You can learn more about them at 728Cadets.org, see past season shows on Vimeo, follow them on Facebook and see a video at 728cadets.org/2014-rvpt-photovideo-gallery.
Photos and press release by Cindy Martin, 728 Cadets Boosters
DIRECTORS AND STAFF
Head Director — Tom Gallus
River Valley Percussion Theatre Staff — Joe Jaeger (head director/program coordinator); Liz Johnson (frontline instructor); Nina Zywicki and Emily Johnson (frontline tech); Matt Mann, James Schuster, Tim Badaczewski, Jake Esterberg and Jacque Gaetz (battery tech); Tom Gallus (program consultant)
River Valley Winterguard Staff — Tom Gallus (head director), Sarah Gallus, Trisha Abel, Rachel Graack, John Joseph, Alex Holland
River Valley Sound Staff — Michael Reed (director, designer, program coordinator), Keith Saxton (instrumental specialist), Mark Walentiny (visual tech), Tom Gallus (program consultant)