I’m George Hopkins, Director of The Cadets, and This Is How I Roll


For years George Hopkins has been a familiar figure to drum corps fans everywhere. You may know him best from his time at the helm of two powerhouse organizations: YEA! and The Cadets.

How does he do it all? We caught up with George to learn a little about how he rolls.

Location: Allentown, Penn.

Twitter handle: @yeaguy

Current gig: CEO, Youth Education in the Arts; Director, The Cadets

Current mobile device(s): iPhone 6

Current computer(s): Macbook Air 13 inch, Macbook 15 inch, iPad

One word that best describes how you roll: Chaos

Tell us a little about YEA! and The Cadets, and why being a part of these organizations continues to fuel you.

Well … YEA! is about giving kids a chance for magnificence. Regardless the program, the possibility of greatness is presented to each student through their experience. The Cadets is the top of the food chain. The best young people … for days … it’s a thrill to contribute.

What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without? Why?

Oh my …

That’s enough.

If there were a soundtrack for your life, who would compose it and why?

Geez … John Williams … it’s an epic, and I would need it to go very, very fast !!!!

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?

My new Apple Watch … not here yet :-)

What social media network (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) do you use most?

Facebook, not even close. [I have] 5,000 fans, 3,000 followers and a bit of an addiction.

What are you currently reading?

4 Seconds – Peter Bregman (time and project and life management)

The Cycle — Michael Kaiser (managing the arts )

What’s your workspace setup like?

Office: a huge 12-foot table … filled with papers. It’s disgusting. Home: desk and tons of books. Like 3,000 books. I live in a library!!!

11045340_10152753695081911_192794095810436370_nWhat everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?

Better than everyone else? Not sure. But, I can work hard and long. [I have] a bit of ADD, but I am not afraid of putting in the hours. My secret? I am committed to excellence. I hate not being excellent … which means I am annoyed many times a day. But I will not stop. Work to me is not work. It’s just a part of my life, a big part.

What do you listen to while you work?

NPR or Vocal Jazz. The standards.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert. I have learned to be an extrovert when I have to, but I would love to live alone at the beach.

How do you recharge?

Live performance – shows, music, plays, musicals, dance – I love seeing people put it all out there !!!

What’s your sleep routine like?

Not much of a routine.   5 1/2 to 6 [hours] is good. I never sleep more than 7, and if I have less than 5, my eyes hurt. I do naps … 10 minutes at a time.

What thoughts keep you up at night?

Fiscal pressures of running YEA!, being afraid it will not all get done, thinking there is more to do, and waking up and doing it !!!!!

10847982_10152566744391911_2975619145297893507_nWhat do you do differently from your peers?

Hmmm … not sure. I know I work a great deal, and I have not had a whole heck of a lot in terms of sustaining relationships. My daughter and I are one team that has survived my work habits. But other than that, I am a bit of a loner. My friends work with me, and that does change the relationship.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ___________ answer these same questions.

Leonard Bernstein

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Stop complaining to people that cannot fix “it”! And stop listening to complaints that I cannot do anything about.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers or fans?

Well, it’s been a good run. I plan to live to 102, and I am honored to have the position I have in the world. I hope to be a part of things here for decades to come. Oh … and this January, I plan to run my first marathon at the tender age of 59. So … keep an eye on me :-)

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