Erie, Pennsylvania (October 13, 2023) — Cadets Arts & Entertainment (CAE), the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that oversees The Cadets Drum Corps, has announced the suspension of The Cadets 2024 competitive season.
This decision follows a thorough CAE Board review of the organization’s current financial condition. The board concluded that, while overall planned expenses for the 2023 season were managed within expectations, the organization fell short of its fundraising goals for the year.
“This was a difficult decision to make, one that will inevitably be met with great disappointment and sorrow,” said CAE Board Chair John Broschak. “Simply put, budgeted fundraising amounts did not materialize as anticipated, which has led to an unsustainable financial situation and concerns about providing a quality Cadets experience for 2024. For these reasons, the CAE Board has no other choice but to suspend The Cadets’ 2024 competitive season.”
CAE also announced that Vicki Ferrence Ray has resigned as Executive Director. Brian Murphy continues as Cadets Corps Director.
Broschak noted that, since CAE’s fiscal year ends on October 31, the organization is determined to do the responsible thing by suspending before the new season begins in earnest.
“The care and concern for our students remains our top priority,” Broschak said. “We would only have moved forward with the competitive season if we had the ability to provide a quality experience for our members, staff and volunteers. The CAE Board will continue to evaluate our path forward in the coming weeks.”
Despite recent financial challenges, The Cadets had an admirable year, achieving fifth place and ending the season with the corps’ highest Finals score since 2015. Earlier this year, CAE successfully relocated The Cadets Drum Corps and the organization’s operations from Allentown, Pa., to the Erie Sports Center in Erie, Pa.
“On behalf of the entire CAE Board, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all members and supporters who contributed to this past year’s success and that of years prior. I also want to recognize the tireless efforts of our staff and volunteers who donated countless hours to help provide an extraordinary experience for our members,” Broschak said.
Established in 1934, The Cadets is the oldest corps of its kind, and one of the most decorated drum corps in history, having won 10 American Legion National Championships and 10 Drum Corps International World Championships.