The video retrospective recounts the stories of the season told by the members themselves and details including: the first theme-based production for the cadet corps; the first teaching year for a future Vanguard Hall of Fame Percussion Arranger; a strong and experienced horn line; mindset adjustments after learning the corps would not be going to DCI Finals; and how the celebration of Vanguard’s 25th Anniversary was even more of a special occasion for one member and his family.
About the Vanguard Cadets 1992 Season
Following Vanguard Cadets’ first trip to DCI in 1991, the 1992 Vanguard Cadets looked to continue and build upon that same momentum and excitement. However, this time the corps wouldn’t be able to go to DCI Finals. While the horn line returned a number of members and strong instructional staff, the percussion and color guard sections used the season to develop and rebuild as performance ensembles. Out of this rebuild came an opportunity for then 22 year-old percussion arranger, Jim Casella, just one year removed from aging out of SCV, to write, arrange, build and lead his first DCI percussion section. This is of unique significance to the 1992 Vanguard Cadets members as Casella went on to be inducted into the Vanguard Hall of Fame 30-years later.
The show production, “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves” marked the first time that Vanguard Cadets had used a thematic approach for a full show production. The movie of the same name was a #1 worldwide box office success that included the hit single “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” which topped the international rock and pop charts for weeks in 1991. The mass-appeal of such a popular show program helped to establish a cohesive music, visual and general effect package. Inspired by the visual and emotional content of the movie, Vanguard Cadets members had the opportunity to own and deliver a cohesive theatrical experience to their audience. This was an approach that the Santa Clara Vanguard A corps had perfected over the course of 25 years.
Corps Director JW Koester and his instructional staff wanted to elevate the morale of members who were disappointed by not being able to perform and compete at DCI. Koester rallied the Vanguard Cadets to think in terms of making the most out of the performance opportunities that they did have. The season concluded at Drums Along the Rockies in Denver with a performance that achieved the top score in all of Division II as of that date. This final performance of the season earned the corps a score of 80.10 and ended the Vanguard Cadets’ 1992 tour with a 1st place finish.
Scores and placements aside, Vanguard Cadets delivered on its promise to continue gaining momentum and developing young performers toward maximizing their abilities. The 1992 Vanguard Cadets corps prepared and produced numerous Division I (World Class) level performers, many of which were able to audition and perform with the Santa Clara Vanguard. The Vanguard Cadets returned to DCI in 1993 with an approach to show development that was similar to 1992. This year’s strong core of staff and performing members helped pave the way for unprecedented success at DCI in 1993.