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Woke up this morning to learn that my good friend and photojournalist Alex Giddings was in town with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps here in Houston. Boom. Feature idea for the day. Turns out Jeff Lautenberger shot this in Tulsa yesterday and did a great job of it, so a high bar to meet, too.

Patrick Smith II, center, practices body movements, as visual staff member Patrick Duncan, left, keeps time for the motion during The Cadets drum and bugle corps practice at the Berry Center football field for their performance on Friday night on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. In order to present a flawless performance, every movement of the group must be perfectly timed and executed. The Cadets tour across the nation from mid-May to mid-August, the corps performs across 40 different cities, practicing for at least eight hours a day prior to their evening performance competitions against other teams. The Cadets are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. (Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )

Members of The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, including Kevin Mitchell, 19, center, practice marching and the visual section of their show during rehearsals at the Berry Center football field in anticipation of their Friday night performance on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. The Cadets practice no matter how hot it gets on the field outside, with frequent breaks for water. The Cadets tour across the nation from mid-May to mid-August, performing across 40 different cities, practicing for at least eight hours a day prior to their evening performance competitions against other teams. The Cadets are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. (Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )
Melophone player Josh Read, 20, walks in coordinated slow motion with the rest of The Cadets drum and bugle corps during practice at the Berry Center football field for their performance on Friday night on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. The Cadets tour across the nation from mid-May to mid-August, the corps performs across 40 different cities, practicing for at least eight hours a day prior to their evening performance competitions against other teams. The Cadets are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. (Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )
Trumpets lay on towels to protect them from dirt and scratches on the field during a water break from rehearsals at the Berry Center football field in anticipation of their Friday night performance on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. The Cadets practice no matter how hot it gets on the field outside, with frequent breaks for water. The Cadets tour across the nation from mid-May to mid-August, performing across 40 different cities, practicing for at least eight hours a day prior to their evening performance competitions against other teams. The Cadets are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. (Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )
Trumpet player Julian Johnson cools off Thursday afternoon during a water break from practice with The Cadets drum and bugle corps practice at the Berry Center football field for their Friday night performance, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. The Cadets tour across the nation from mid-May to mid-August, the corps performs across 40 different cities, practicing for at least eight hours a day prior to their evening performance competitions against other teams. The Cadets are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. (Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )
Peter Rekawek, 17, and Ryan Santo, 18, cool off Thursday afternoon during a water break from practice with The Cadets drum and bugle corps practice at the Berry Center football field for their Friday night performance, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. The Cadets tour across the nation from mid-May to mid-August, the corps performs across 40 different cities, practicing for at least eight hours a day prior to their evening performance competitions against other teams. The Cadets are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. (Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )
Baritone Jacob Ulm takes a drink of water Thursday afternoon during a water break from practice with The Cadets drum and bugle corps practice at the Berry Center football field for their Friday night performance, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. The Cadets tour across the nation from mid-May to mid-August, the corps performs across 40 different cities, practicing for at least eight hours a day prior to their evening performance competitions against other teams. The Cadets are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. (Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )
Chris Demas, left with melophone, Fesse Burbank, center with tuba, and trumpet player Julian Johnson, right, practice marching and the visual section of their show with The Cadets drum and bugle corps during practices at the Berry Center football field for their performance on Friday night on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. The Cadets tour across the nation from mid-May to mid-August, the corps performs across 40 different cities, practicing for at least eight hours a day prior to their evening performance competitions against other teams. The Cadets are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. (Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )
Mackenzie Protopapas, 16, of New Jersey, lifts his Tuba into the air during the "sticky feet" exercise to improve coordinated backwards marching during The Cadets drum and bugle corps practices at the Berry Center football field for their performance on Friday night on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. The Cadets tour across the nation from mid-May to mid-August, the corps performs across 40 different cities, practicing for at least eight hours a day prior to their evening performance competitions against other teams. The Cadets are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. (Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )
Drum Major Ben Pouncey conducts The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps during rehearsal at the Berry Center football field for their performance on Friday night on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. The Cadets tour across the nation from mid-May to mid-August, the corps performs across 40 different cities, practicing for at least eight hours a day prior to their evening performance competitions against other teams. The Cadets are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. (Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )
Liam Sargent, 17, Zac Chowning, 21, and Tom Baker, 21 do push ups during a break from rehearsal with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps practices at the Berry Center football field for their performance on Friday night on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Cypress. ( Patrick T. Fallon / Houston Chronicle )
  1. Thank you for doing this. As a Mom in MD of one of The Cadets this year, it is great to see photos of what they are doing. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for doing this. As a Mom in MD of one of The Cadets this year, it is great to see photos of what they are doing. Thank you!

  3. Great pics!!! Thanks so much for the coverage. – Proud momma in Ft. Lauderdale 😀

  4. Great pics!!! Thanks so much for the coverage. – Proud momma in Ft. Lauderdale 😀

  5. Wonderful pictures! So proud of my Cadets grandson.

  6. Wonderful pictures! So proud of my Cadets grandson.

  7. Yes-thank you from another Cadet parent in NJ. The corps has been traveling since May. We miss our kids and appreciate the photos. Wow…look at the skin and bones on them! So many have lost a lot of weight! It’s like concentration camp drum corps style! So proud of the hard work the kids are doing. Can’t wait to see them on the east coast next week!

  8. Yes-thank you from another Cadet parent in NJ. The corps has been traveling since May. We miss our kids and appreciate the photos. Wow…look at the skin and bones on them! So many have lost a lot of weight! It’s like concentration camp drum corps style! So proud of the hard work the kids are doing. Can’t wait to see them on the east coast next week!

  9. Thank you for the great pictures. It was nice to see a picture of my son on his birthday

  10. Thank you for the great pictures. It was nice to see a picture of my son on his birthday

  11. Pat, I know you meant no offense when you compared corps member’s loss of weight as being “like concentration camp drum corps style” but I would caution you never to use such a comparison lightly in the future. The weight loss experienced by the corps members has absolutely no business being compared to concentration camps or the horrific tortures, starvation and deaths the Jewish people and other people endured at those camps.
    Kim Brooks

  12. Pat, I know you meant no offense when you compared corps member’s loss of weight as being “like concentration camp drum corps style” but I would caution you never to use such a comparison lightly in the future. The weight loss experienced by the corps members has absolutely no business being compared to concentration camps or the horrific tortures, starvation and deaths the Jewish people and other people endured at those camps.
    Kim Brooks

  13. Hey everyone,
    Glad to see you like the pictures. I do think Pat M. didn’t realize the implications of such a phrase, perhaps “boot camp” would have been a better phrase. These kids are certainly working hard to put on a great show.

  14. Hey everyone,
    Glad to see you like the pictures. I do think Pat M. didn’t realize the implications of such a phrase, perhaps “boot camp” would have been a better phrase. These kids are certainly working hard to put on a great show.

  15. Where are the sousaphones?

  16. Where are the sousaphones?

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