The Cadets were established as an all-male chorus in 1893. The group was originally known as the Texas A&M Glee Club and was renamed the Singing Cadets in 1940. Texas A&M was originally an all-male, military institution. Therefore, at one time, all of the members of The Singing Cadets were members of the Corps of Cadets. However, Corps of Cadets membership is no longer a requirement for membership in the Singing Cadets.
David L. Kipp, the current director of the Singing Cadets, started his tenure in 1995. Kipp is the 13th director of the 60-member men’s choral group. Under his lead, the Singing Cadets are staying true to their crisp military style and diverse selection of music. A Singing Cadets concert will include a wide variety of music. With traditional school songs as the bookends for the show, the program consists of religious, patriotic, Broadway, popular, and novelty numbers. The Singing Cadets use their love of singing to enthusiastically spread the name of their beloved university.
The Emmy-award-winning group has members from across Texas and the United States. Members of the Singing Cadets major in a wide range of academic fields of study and all members are actively involved with many other campus organizations and activities. Also, since the Singing Cadets is a student organization, the members volunteer their time and do not receive any academic credit for participation in the group, but it is their drive to develop lifelong friendship and leadership experiences that keeps them involved.
In the last 10 years, the Singing Cadets have traveled more than 35,000 miles, performed more than 700 concerts and visited more than 125 Texas cities and communities. Each year includes a 10-day tour in January through nine cities and three weekend tours in the spring that cover the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio areas. The group often gets the opportunity to sing for many unique events and renowned individuals. Having the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library on campus often gives the group opportunities to sing for celebrities and dignitaries. The Singing Cadets have performed for every living president as well as other distinguished individuals such as Mikhail Gorbachev. This year the group has many performances already on schedule and will conclude their year with a concert tour to China.
As well as traveling throughout the state of Texas, the Singing Cadets have also spread the Spirit of Aggieland around the globe. The group has toured to Romania, Mexico, Germany, England, Switzerland, Hungary, Australia, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In 1996, invitations to sing in Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center took the group to New York City and Washington, D.C. St. Paul’s Cathedral and Eaton College were concert sites in May of 1999, and the group revisited the United Kingdom in 2001, visiting Wales, Scotland and England.
During the summer of 2006, the Singing Cadets were invited to sing for President George W. Bush at the White House for a ceremony honoring the 2006 Winter Olympics and Paralympics teams. The group also took a trip to Boston and Maine in the summer of 2009 where they sang the national anthem for the New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park and performed as a surprise guest for President George Bush’s 85th birthday.
The Singing Cadets’ most recent trip included a country-wide tour of South Africa just before the FIFA World Cup was hosted in the area. From Robben Island to the Apartheid Museum, from Johannesburg to the Cape of Good Hope, and from Simonstown to Knysna, the tour traversed the entire country and provided excellent opportunities for members to embrace a unique culture while experiencing new music.
The Singing Cadets will be in concert Saturday, March 23, at First Baptist Church, 600 N. St. Mary’s St., at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. The Cadets are sponsored locally by the Bee County A&M Mothers’ Club.