The big news around here is that my son, Jordan, was invited to join the Cavaliers, the world champion drum and bugle corps based out of Rosemont, Illinois, which is part of Chicago.
Last week he participated in a select invitational music camp that the corps conducted at Eastern Illinois University, in Charleston, IL.
It was a high-energy, intensive training, combination boot camp and band camp experience for some 100 or so young brass and percussion players. On Thursday, near the end of the camp, the directors of the corps asked Jordan and three other young men if they would serve as alternates for the 2007 performance season.
Jordan has wanted to be a member of this elite organization for probably 5 years; pursuing it seriously for the last couple of years, so to say that he is very excited is an understatement. It is a fine achievement and the realization of a dream he has held for nearly a quarter of his life.
I don’t recall the exact statistics, but I do know that several hundred players, from all over the world, traveled to one of four American cities to audition for this year's season. The many benefits of this experience will follow him throughout his life and career. We are very, very proud of him.
Nancy and I traveled there on Friday to attend the activities of the final evening, which included performances by the 100+ camp attendees, plus a preview of this season’s show by the 135-member Cavaliers. Composed of young men between the ages of 16 and 22, this 59-year old organization will criss-cross the nation by bus over the next couple of months in a very rigorous touring schedule, living a Spartan and focused existence, concentrating on little more than music and marching. You can see their full schedule here and, if you can make it to a performance, you will be glad that you did.
They are performing a selection of remarkable arrangements of the hit songs by pianist Billy Joel, and both the music and the field presentation are outstanding. This is what your high school or college marching band would have been like if it were composed of the best young players and athletes from all over the world. This is marching band on steroids amped up well beyond what most people would believe possible.
Here is JP and his mom as we are waiting to hear more about the Cavaliers summer schedule from one of the directors. It is from her, of course, that he gets much of his ability. She is an excellent musician and teacher, and was an outstanding, successful band director when we lived in Texas.
This will make for an exciting, action-packed summer.