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Director 1983-present George Hopkins

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GEORGE HOPKINS 1983 - present

George Hopkins, better known as "Hop" to his friends and marching Cadets, is the current Director of our corps, as well as the longest serving (25 years and still going strong). He joined the staff of the Cadets in 1979 as percussion instructor and arranger, moving up to become Assistant Director under Dr. Santo; and in 1983, following Dr. Santo's departure, George assumed full responsibility as Director.
His arrival was fortuitous, because the Cadets were in crisis - lacking staff, money, and members. The story of George's van trip to Mississippi and Louisiana to recruit potential members is a Cadet legend. He began as Director in 1983 wondering if he would be able to field and/or finance a corps, and ended 1983 with the Cadets as DCI World Champions...the first eastern corps ever to hold that title. He followed that with eight additional DCI World Championships, most won with field programs that were, and still are, viewed as ground-breaking.

George's stewardship of the Cadets has been marked by organizational growth and emphasis on the "Cadet-experience;" coupled with a realistic respect for competitive achievement. The YEA "umbrella concept" can be credited solely to George's design, effort, and execution. He views himself primarily as an educator, and that finely-focused emphasis continually propels The Cadets into new and unchartered territory.

A glance at his professional resume paints a picture of a man on a mission. His journey as Director of The Cadets has been full of twists and turns; with the promise of new ideas and new destinations always on the horizon. His credentials, his experience, his talents, his imagination, and his intellect are formidable.

Executive Director, Youth Education in the Arts
Director, nine-time DCI World Championship Cadets D&B Corps
Social Studies Teacher: Aston Township HS (PA) 1979-80
Band Director: Northern Highlands High School (NJ), 1984
President/Treasurer: Drum Corps East, 1983-1992
Treasurer: Drum Corps International, 1984-1998
Board Member: Drum Corps International, 1983-present
Member: NJ Music Educators Asso. Board of Directors, 1995-1999
Chairman: NJ Coalition for Music Education, 1996-1999
Member: National Association of Fund Raising Executives
Member, International Festival and Event Association

Drum Corps International Hall of Fame, Inducted 1998
Cadets Hall of Fame, inducted 2004
Official recognition as a Cadet by the Holy Name Cadets' Alumni, 2007

B.S., Secondary Education, Magna Cum Laude
West Chester State University, West Chester, PA 1978

M.S., Not for Profit Management
New School University, New York, NY 2000

George has a daughter, Katie 20, who marched Cadets in 2006-2007

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Text by Dave Shaw