Music and Drama
Do you have a passion for the performing arts? Cadets who have an interest and appreciation for music or drama will find ample opportunities to pursue their art at the Academy. Cadets with musical talent can choose from a variety of instrumental activities and vocal-performing groups. Those interested in theater can participate in the Academy’s two major productions each year.
Music and Drama Organizations
The Cadet Jazz Band was established in 1959 to entertain and delight audiences with music from our country’s jazz heritage. At concerts throughout the United States, the audience can experience the contemporary big band sounds of Maynard Ferguson or the exciting music of Glenn Miller and other luminaries of the swing band era. Performances also feature a female vocalist on more contemporary “pop” tunes.
The Cadet Jazz Band has performed over 50 concerts in eight states in recent years. Memorable performances include the Medal of Honor Awards at Ellis Island, New York; shows at Disney World in Orlando, Florida; the International Joint Services Ball in Washington, D.C.; Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts; the Dogwood Festival in Macon, Georgia; South Street Seaport and Alexander Hamilton Museum in New York City; and Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland. These are in addition to a full schedule of performances in communities and colleges throughout New England.
The Cadet Jazz Band is one of many bands at the Academy under the supervision of Chief Warrant Officer Ian Frenkel, Director of Cadet Bands.
The CGA Cadet Concert Band was created to provide an opportunity for the Windjammers and Regimental Band’s musicians to continue playing their instruments into the spring semester. The cadet musicians are usually joined by Connecticut College students for a combined performance. The concert venue typically alternates between the Academy’s Leamy Hall and Conn College’s Evans Hall. The band is under direction of Chief Warrant Officer Ian Frenkel and Mr. Gary Buttery and performs challenging material from the traditional concert band repertoire.
The Pep Band is “just plain fun” music. This group can most often be found enhancing the morale of the Corps, and cheering the Bears on to victory on the basketball court or in the football stadium. Even the intensity of a big wrestling match has been augmented by the enthusiasm of the Pep Band on occasion. For more information, contact Chief Warrant Officer Ian Frenkel.
The Regimental Marching Band provides cadets with an opportunity to pursue the most advanced aspects of military drill. The Band also regularly participates in Boston’s famous Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. For more information, contact Chief Warrant Officer Ian Frenkel.
The annual musical production is a much-anticipated event embraced by the Corp of Cadets, the Academy community and the public. Each year, nearly 100 cadets, along with faculty and theater enthusiasts combine efforts to produce a Broadway-style musical staged at the Academy. Each production is complete with choreography, vocal arrangements and acting opportunities. The stage crew is also an integral part of the musical with individuals working to build sets and provide lighting and assistance during performances. Diligent practice culminates in three performances over a single weekend. Past performances have included Guys and Dolls, Me and My Girl, Fiddler on the Roof, Anything Goes, Footloose, Grease and Camelot.
The Windjammers is the official drum and bugle corps of The U.S. Coast Guard Academy and dates back to 1957, when the Windjammers was formed as a traditional marching band to provide cadets of the Academy with a meaningful music program. The band started as a traditional military marching band and evolved to a contemporary, bell-front, corps style band and finally to a full-fledged drum and bugle corps.
Since their founding, the Windjammers have performed with distinction at special events, festivals and competitions throughout the United States. Some of their most memorable performances include NFL halftime shows for the Redskins, Colts, EAGLEs, Bills, Giants and Patriots; the Cherry Blossom Festival in our nation’s capital; New England Collegiate Marching Band Festival; the NYC Veteran’s Day Parade; Fall Foliage Festival in North Adams, Massachusetts; and the Azalea Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina. Special performances over the years have included the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, several Presidential Inaugurals, Disney World and the Shrine Bowl at Molson Stadium in Montreal, Canada. In the past, regularly participating in the Inter-service Band Competition against Navy and Air Force in Colorado Springs has been another highlight for the group. For more information, contact Chief Warrant Officer Ian Frenkel.
Participation in the Windjammers is considered a full-fledged Fall Sport activity that grants an Athletic credit. Please check us out on Facebook.