Apr 24

728 Cadets Broke New Ground In 2014 Winter Arts Season

April 25, 2014

The 728 Cadets wrapped up their winter arts season with honors and broke ground for a new Winter Guard International (WGI) Sport of the Arts performance medium.

IMG_7603-1River Valley Percussion Theatre (RVPT) took first place honors out of 12 competing ensembles in the Winter Guard International (WGI) Sport of the Arts Regional Drumline competition on March 22, 2014 in Buffalo MN, and then received first place honors among 8 ensembles for the 3rd year in a row at the Minnesota Percussion Association Championship Show in Rochester on March 29, 2014. RVPT competed in the Scholastic A class during both events and achieved their highest score of the season, 90.725 out of 100, ending their season with a perfect record after placing first in all six shows they competed in during their 2014 season. Drumline is an exciting indoor percussion competition that marries elements of music performance, marching techniques, and theatre. This year’s production, FLIGHT, was a journey through the unknown, set in the sky. 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. FLIGHT was created by RVPT director, Joe Jaeger. See video of their production and photo highlights.

IMG_7415River Valley Winterguard (RVWG) ended their season at the WGI Sport of the Arts Winter Guard Finals in Dayton, Ohio on April 4, 2014. Competing among 122 other winter guard units from across the United States, they placed 66th – a strong ending to their 3rd season. During the 2014 season they competed 6 times and received 3 first and 3 second place finishes including the Scholastic A class championship in the Minnesota Northstar Color Guard finals. Their whimsical production Composing “A Class” was created by 728 Cadets head director Tom Gallus. It encompasses the idea of every guard show and how they all relate by different elements. The production’s setting is a class room where the teacher gives tips and tricks that you too can use to compose your own award winning “A Class” production. Winter Guard is an artistic and interpretive performance competition that combines music and modern dance with flags, sabres, mock rifles, and other traditional marching band equipment. See video of their production and photo highlights.


Also this past season the 728 Cadets pioneered a new ensemble group, River Valley Sound (RVS), the first of it’s kind in the upper Midwest. RVS provided musicians opportunities for marching arts music and performance experience in the winter months, combining traditional wind ensemble instrumentation, marching, and dance to create a new and unique performance medium. A traditional wind ensemble includes flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto tenor and bari sax, trumpet, mellophone, trombone, baritone, and tuba. WGI Sport of the Arts Indoor will begin an indoor hornline circuit of competition in 2015. RVS was proud to demonstrate their 2014 production, AWAKENING and this new sport at 3 exhibition performances last March. Through the music of Tichelli, Stravinsky, Orff, and Pachelbel, RVS walked 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. AWAKENING was created by RVS director, Michael Reed. See video of their production and photo highlights.

A highlight in the 2014 season for the 728 Cadets organization was the 8th annual River Valley Winter Arts Festival on March 15 at Elk River High School. 20 different color guard and drumline units were hosted, making the festival one of the largest shows within the Minnesota Percussion Association (MPA) and the North Star Circuit of Colorguards (NSCC) circuits. 23 performances, including the 728 Cadets’ three winter ensembles, provided spectacular entertainment for over 2,000 competitors and spectators.

All three winter ensembles feature talented students, grades 7-12 from District 728 schools, including Elk River, Rogers, and Zimmerman. The 728 Cadets strives to equip its members with the highest level of education in musicianship and life skills.  See past season shows on Vimeo, and follow the 728 Cadets on Facebook.

2014 Winter Arts Program Directors and Staff:
Head Director, Tom Gallus
River Valley Percussion Theatre Staff
Joe Jaeger (Head Director/Program Coordinator)
Liz Johnson (Frontline Instructor)
Nina Zywicki (Frontline Tech)
Emily Johnson (Frontline Tech)
Matt Mann (Battery Tech)
James Schuster (Battery Tech)
Tim Badaczewski (Battery Tech)
Jake Esterberg (Battery Tech)
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)