Cadet Drum and Bugle Corps/ Jazz Ensemble

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by carteefarm, May 13, 2010.

  1. carteefarm

    carteefarm Member

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    Appointee and I have a few questions about the Corps - how does it work with as far as IM/IC program - would Cadet still have to participate in Intermurals? How long/often are practices? He is very active in Marching Band and would love the opportunity to keep playing music and marching. He also heard something about a Cadet Jazz ensemble. I found a few details on the Academy website, but more specific information would be helpful as he doesn't want to overload his Doolie year.
     
  2. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    My roomie's in D&B, I'll ask him and have him say a few words about D&B.
     
  3. carteefarm

    carteefarm Member

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    Thanks!
     
  4. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Hey guys, I'm PDub's roommate and you guys had a couple questions about D&B? I'll do the best I can.

    Alright, here's how it works, D&B cadets are on LOS which stands for Limited-On-Season Status and this means that you will not have to do intramurals (unfortunately, you will still do intramurals in Basic Cadet Training but after that, you won't have to participate anymore). During Marching Season, which is from August to November, we will be practicing Monday through Friday from about 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. After that, we will have practices on Tuesday and Thursday only from about 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    I personally did not think D&B took up a lot of time during my freshmen year and I thought it was a lot of fun. I mean sure, we did practice a lot during marching season but there was always plenty of time to do homework and other activities. I'm proud to say that D&B has the highest GPA average out of all of the Academy's club sports/teams and if you're struggling, we have an Academic program and Athletic program to help you get back on track. I benefitted from this and it's helped a lot.

    The Cadet Jazz Ensemble meets every Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. but I'm not sure when they end. I'm sorry to say that I do not know much about them besides that but they are definitely a really great group to join if you're interested.

    D&B has their own version of a Jazz Band and only a select few get to join but this group goes to play at the Wing Open (Boxing tournament) and other cool events and in this band, you can play woodwinds and non-marching instruments as well.

    D&B will provide your instrument if you're wondering and unfortunately, we only have horns and a drum line/ pit so no woodwinds, sorry... Don't let that get you down though because we've taught many woodwinds players how to play Trumpet, Baritone, Euphonium, Mellophone, or Contra and they haven't had any complaints. If you're a beginning percussionist then we also will teach you how to play.

    Well, if you have any other questions, please let me know. Hope to see you guys next year and Welcome Aboard. D&B is a great program and we'll be glad to have you.
     
  5. carteefarm

    carteefarm Member

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    THANKS, roommate! Your information was exactly what we needed. I'm forwarding this to our 2014 Appointee. He'll love to hear about the Jazz opportunity as he is a Bari Sax player. He's tried the tuba and has played piano for years so he has D&B options. He's excited about IM during BCT as he loves athletics, but he loves music so I guess it's the best of both worlds for now. Thanks for your great information!
    A Mom
     
  6. lizzienelson

    lizzienelson Member

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    My son is in D & B. He loves it. No, inter murals are not necessary. Another plus, they get off post which is nice in their first year, since its about the only time the first year they will. Great experience so far
     
  7. AFAplease

    AFAplease Appointee

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    Just a few questions:

    How competitive is the jazz ensemble? I have played all throughout high school but I don't know how I will stack up with a bunch of other talented musicians especially competing for a spot in the rhythm section.

    In regards to the D&B Corp, how involved is the marching and music? I was part of a high school powerhouse marching band for 3 years, but I haven't marched or played my trumpet in a little over a year.

    Thanks!
     
  8. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Yo,

    After consulting with my roommate, here's what he said:

    Jazz ensemble is not that competitive and neither is D&B. If you want to be
    part of this group and you're willing to learn and practice, they'll take
    you. Promise. We take beginners into both groups and it doesn't matter if
    you're talented or not, we'll teach you regardless. I think you'll come to
    find out that any club here at USAFA, we're all willing; you just need the
    heart and effort to learn and try.

    I came into D&B with only concert band experience. I did not know how to
    march at all but I learned and I'm glad I'm part of the team now. I came in
    with no experience marching. You've got three years so I think you'll do
    just fine. Good luck with all your endeavors and hope to see you at Basic
    when we look for new members. Thanks.
     
  9. shiner

    shiner Member

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    AFAPlease,
    You will see a mix of musicians in the corp. Beginners to serious folks coming from top programs around the country. From my own experiences, I would say the program is not like an elite High School program. The speed is slower and the expectations are lower. Go into it with an open mind and use it as an escape from the daily grind. Understand that this activity will give you something "normal" to hold onto and ground you in your 4* year. It would be the closest thing you can find to what high school was for you.

    I was a drum major for a top level Texas music program. Before going to USAFA, I had high expectations for a College Music program. After tryouts, I discovered that everyone made it, and the drum major started as a walk-on cymbal player with no previous music experience.

    Everyone in my high school band had a personal tuner and section leaders would take your mouth piece if you could not get the part or play in tune. In 1995, D&B had one tuner for the whole corp. Former woodwind players were carrying horns and were trying to learn to play it. To me, it was a whole new world!

    Unlike other colleges, there are no music majors at USAFA. Whereas a major university band would be made up mostly of music majors, the USAFA program does have some players that would be music majors if it were offered.

    The club is tasked to perform at quite a few functions, and as with any music program, the people in them are just great people! The director is an awesome guy and we still talk to this day! You will travel to away football games, bowl games, NIT or NCAA Basketball, and many other opportunities around the country.

    Go in with the right expectations and you will have a good time.
     
  10. AFAplease

    AFAplease Appointee

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    Thanks for the post! It sounds like a nice way to escape a little bit of 4* year!
     
  11. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    I highly encourage you not to "escape" your fourth-class year. You'll appreciate the experience much more when you make it to as many training sessions as you can.
     
  12. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    It is ironic how hard people work to get in, then immediately try to find ways to "escape."
     
  13. shiner

    shiner Member

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    I think some here have misunderstood what I meant by this comment. As many of you understand on a very personal level, any of the SA's are stressful. To that end, people need a way to relieve that stress, and D&B (really any club activity) is great for that. I am not advocating looking to get out of a training session, or looking to hide from anything -- just have some place to go where you fit in and feel accepted in a place where it is tough to find that during your 4* year.

    So many elements of the 4* year are new, it is nice to have a place where you can go where you feel like you are good at something. As AFAPlease posted, they have several years of marching band under their belt. In this case, you could join D&B and actually feel that some part of your day was a success and you did something right for a change as a 4*.

    Maybe you don't learn quotes all that well, or remember the name of the 3rd group cadet commander -- but you rock on the xylophone! So, at the end of a long day you can reflect on what went wrong and what went well. When I say escape, I mean take a brief visit to your "happy place" (SO CHEESY I KNOW) but hopefully now you understand a little about what I meant by the comment.

    and as for
    This may be true for some, but ask anyone on D&B about hard work and time management. They are tasked more than any other group at USAFA with cheerleaders being second. No joke and not debatable - I have been a member of D&B, club sports teams, IC teams, and coached a USAFA IC team for 3 years. From performing at events and practice, they have more time commitments than anyone at usafa. It is year round and the guy just doing intermurals doesnt even come close to the amount of time involved with being in D&B.


    Chris
     
  14. btown13

    btown13 Member

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    not getting into the D&B argument....i'm in the jazz band right now. they did have tryouts, and did cut a few people. but it was pretty fun. practice once a week. if you have any questions let me know. i'll do the best i can!
     
  15. AFAplease

    AFAplease Appointee

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    Does anyone have the email address for the director, Mr. William Smith?
     
  16. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Can they use a jazz piano player in the jazz band?
     
  17. shiner

    shiner Member

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  18. btown13

    btown13 Member

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    probably. no hurt in trying out
     
  19. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Thanks. Just wanted to make sure that they had a piano in the jazz band.
     
  20. airforcefalcon05

    airforcefalcon05 USN (RET)

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    D&B Corps

    My son, USAFA Grad Class of 2005, was in the drumline; he really enjoyed it, and it gave him an opportunity to do a lot of travel for football weekends, attend and perform at Bowl games, and compete against the Navy and West Point D&B's. He is now a captain teaching at USAFA, Mech Engineering.
    All the best to you as you begin your journey, AFA Dad
     

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