Former Bradyite Ray Evans, the salutatorian of the Brady High School class of 2000, recently returned from an 11-day tour of England as a member of the Texas A&M Singing Cadets. The Singing Cadets are a group of individuals with a history dating back to the formation of the school in the late 1800s. The first written record of a singing group, known as the Glee Club, was in 1894. It had nine members made up of students and faculty. Since that time, the group has grown in size and popularity. Throughout the history of the group, they have performed around the world in numerous foreign countries, at statewide conventions, on national television appearances as well as for such distinguished events as Presidential galas at the White House. The currently have recorded 10 albums. As a freshman at Texas A&M University, Evans was persuaded to try out for the group by a friend who was already a member of the Cadets. Auditions are held in the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters. The Cadets practice every weekday for at least one hour and underclassmen are usually required to put in additional time and despite what the name implies, membership in the Corps of Cadets is not required. The recruiting and desire to be a Singing Cadet is found in the belief the Cadets have about the group itself. A statement taken from the official Singing Cadets website states, “If you love to sing and you love Texas A&M University (and if you’re a hard worker), you qualify! Not everyone in our group has sung before. Not everyone in our group is a musician. We exist because we love our school and this is how we show it.” Competition for the limited number of spots in the singing group can be extremely competitive as several hundred individuals may audition at any given semester. The most recent group of cadets ended their 2001 spring tour with an 11-day tour of England. “We took an 11-day tour of England, Scotland, and Wales,” said Evans. “We flew into Manchester, England, then drove into Wales for the day and had a concert with the Dalesmen, a local all-male choir consisting of men ranging from 35-91 years of age. Choirs are fairly popular in Wales and we actually got to sing for the Sheriff of Nottingham.” Traveling to Scotland the following day, the group spent three days in Edinburgh, Scotland where they toured and sang in a local cathedral, at a local girls school, and at a small, open-air concert at the park overlooked by the Edinburgh Castle. The Cadets then traveled to Cambridge and toured the University of Cambridge and sang in the chapel of another small university. From there, they traveled to Lakenheath Air Force Base, one of two USAF bases in the UK, and performed a concert on the base. “We finally wrapped up our trip in London where we watched the changing of the guards, rode the London Eye, and toured the tower of London. In our last concert in the UK, we performed at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London,” recalls Evans. “On our last night, we watched a performance of The Lion King in Her Majesty’s Theatre. It was truly a wonderful show, and totally sold me on musicals. Also on the last night of our tour, we carried on a Singing Cadet tradition by having Midnight Yell Practice at Trafalgar Square. We had a great time and everyone was wonderful.” As a member of the Singing Cadets, Ray and the other Cadets will be acting as escorts Monday night at the Miss Texas USA Pageant which will be broadcast on statewide television.