Galva’s “Summer of Music” welcomed an unexpected guest earlier this week.

Galva’s “Summer of Music” welcomed an unexpected guest earlier this week.

The Colt Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps — based out of Dubuque, Iowa — pulled into town early Monday morning and spent about 36 hours here to hone their show and get some rest.

“It worked out great at the last minute with our tour schedule,” Colt Cadets director David Alford said during a spare moment Monday night.

The Colt Cadets were on their way back from a performance in Michigan City, Ind. 

“We were looking for a place to stay for a couple days with some housing and rehearsal space,” Alford said.

A father of one of the Corps’ members put out a call to area band directors, and Galva Junior-Senior High School’s Joe Angelo answered.

“Joe picked up right away,” Alford said, “so we were able to come here and enjoy this lovely town and school.”

The Colt Cadets were formed in 1967. They are one of only three drum corps in the country that’s essentially a cadet corps for a World Class corps — the Colts.

“The Colts are the A Team,” Alford said. “They travel the whole country from the second to last week of May to the second week of August.”

The Colt Cadets are an Open Class corps that features 85 members, with an average age in the 15-16 range. Their schedule runs from early June to the second week of August. Alford said the Colt Cadets focus on Dubuque area and Tri-State (Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin) students, but also have students from all over Iowa, the Chicago and St. Louis areas, and even several members from Arizona and Florida.

Twenty members of the current Colts World Class corps got their start with the Colt Cadets.

The Colt Cadets rolled into town at 2:15 a.m. Monday then tackled a full schedule that started with stretching at 9:45 a.m. and concluded with a full show run through on the GHS practice field at 8:45 p.m. and stationary show under the lights on the GHS football field just after 9 p.m. 

“It’s quite a day,” Alford said.

The corps travels with cooking equipment to provide meals, and the drum and bugle corps members bring their own sleeping arrangements — usually in the form of battery-powered air mattresses. The boys bunked on the GHS stage and overflowed into the staff room, while the girls slept in the band room. Staff enjoyed sleeping accommodations in the GHS library.

“Fantastic. Top notch. World class,” Alford said of the hospitality the group enjoyed in Galva. “Especially for it being last-minute — the whole school and community has opened up. It’s great to see a lot of community members out there watching rehearsal.”

A number of area residents brought out lawn chairs to enjoy the full show Monday night, then moved under the lights to take in the stationary show.

After more rehearsal time on Tuesday in Galva, the Colt Cadets hit the road for Clinton, Iowa. A laundromat stop was planned en route as the group prepares for another show in Lisle on Saturday, June 30.

For Galva residents that enjoyed Monday night’s shows and want to see the Colt Cadets and the World Class Colts perform in competition, Alford extended an invitation to Dubuque.

“The big show that people would want to catch is our Music on the March (July 13) in Dubuque,” Alford said. “It’s our Colts-sponsored home show at Dubuque Senior High School. It’s going to be a great lineup. That will have World Class groups. That’s where you will see the big production that drum corps has become now at the World Class level.”

They also perform in competition on Aug. 4 in Metamora.

For more on the Colts organization or to check their tour schedule, go to their website