CEO, Youth Education in the Arts
Director, The Cadets
George Hopkins is the Director of The Cadets and CEO and Executive Director of Youth Education in the Arts, a not-for-profit organization with headquarters in Allentown, Pa.
Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) is a youth agency committed to supporting the development of young people to magnificent human beings, through their participation in the performing arts. Program offerings include the nine-time world and 19 time national champion Cadets Drum Corps and the US Scholastic Band Association. More than 70,000 young people across the country are involved in programs supported by YEA! with festivals, performances, and clinics scheduled each year from coast to coast. In 2009, YEA! managed 140 festivals including 750 different high school programs, while The Cadets performed 40 times in 19 different states.
Hopkins began his history with The Cadets in 1979 after one year of teaching social studies in Pennsylvania. With a staff of one to begin, Hopkins led the Cadets to four of five world championships from 1983-1987. The organization launched the Cadets Marching Band Cooperative (now the USSBA) in 1988. Youth Education in the Arts was developed in 1990, and in 1996, the Crossmen Drum Corps was acquired.
Today, The Cadets conduct multiple clinics with high school band students. Two dance and percussion ensembles are now in place to serve the Lehigh Valley community, and various percussion ensembles are in development regionally and locally.
The headquarters relocated to Allentown from Northern New Jersey in 2005 as YEA! partnered with the Allentown Economic Development Association in the creation of the Musselman Arts Development Center in downtown Allentown. YEA! is now the managing tenant of this urban arts incubator, offering services and support for numerous Lehigh Valley Non-Profits. Current staffing for YEA! is now seventeen with a part time teaching staff of 60.
George Hopkins is a member of the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame and the Cadets Hall of Fame. He has been a member of the DCI Board of Directors since 1982, the DCI executive committee from 1983-1999, and 2005 – present, the N.J. Music Educators Board of Directors from 2000-2003 and the president of the N.J. Coalition for Music Educators, from 2001-2003.
Hopkins holds a BA in secondary education and an MA in Non Profit management. He has a daughter Katie (22) who is a dance major at Columbia College in Chicago, and a four year veteran of the Cadets. Hopkins loves his Philadelphia Sports Teams, Broadway, the Philly Orchestra, live music concerts, reading, running and learning.