The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps

The Cavaliers are a World Class (formerly "Division I") drum and bugle corps based in Rosemont, Illinois and founded in 1948 by Donald Warren, and are a member corps of Drum Corps International. The Cavaliers are currently under the direction of Bruno Zuccala. Known to fans as the "Cavies" and the "Green Machine", the Cavaliers are one of only two all-male corps in the activity, the other being the Madison Scouts.


The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps was founded in 1948 by Don Warren. He is the only person to ever serve as corps president for the Cavaliers - a role he has filled for nearly 60 years. Don is also one of the inaugural members of the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame. When the group was created, it was known as "Boy Scout Troop 111 Drum and Bugle Corps". Today the Cavaliers are sponsored by the village of Rosemont, Illinois. The corps songs of the Cavaliers are "Over the Rainbow" (since 1951) and "The Corps Song", set to the tune of "Semper Paratus" ("Always Ready," the Coast Guard Hymn). The corps cheer or battle cry is "Splooie"; the meaning of the word is known only to members who have been initiated into the Cavalier brotherhood, a process taking two years to achieve; the only one year marchers to know the meaning of "Splooie" are "rook-outs" (a member joining at the age of 21, thus only having one year to march). The Cavaliers were the first marching unit to use and standardize pitched (tonal) bass drum tuning.

The corps has a long history of success in the competitive ranks of Drum Corps International (DCI) as well as the earlier VFW and American Legion Championship years in the 1950s-1970s. The Cavaliers have won more championships (Drum Corps International, VFW, American Legion, and Winter Guard International championships included) and contests than any other drum and bugle corps in the history of the activity. They are the only junior drum and bugle corps, besides the Blue Devils(1982 and 1994) to experience two undefeated seasons - 1961 and 2002. The Cavaliers also hold the record for the most consecutive victories of any drum and bugle corps with 63 first place finishes in a row over three seasons, breaking the previous record of 51 wins in a row held by the Blue Devils; the Cavaliers' streak was broken by the Blue Devils on July 26, 2003. The Cavaliers also achieved a three-peat in the winter color guard activity, winning the Winter Guard International Championship in 1981, 1982, and 1983. They have played for four Presidents of the United States (Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson). Also, select members of the corps were chosen in 2005 to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show to portray a college marching band. Their marching designs and fundamental marching technique revolutionized the marching band and drum corps idiom through the late 1980s, the entire decade of the 1990s, and still to this day.

The Cavaliers continue to be an annual selection for the DCI Classic Countdown, a fan picked repertoire of all drum corps shows from the past. Representing the Cavaliers for 2007 was the 2006 DCI World Champion Production "Machine," with the fourth most votes overall. Other Cavalier shows that received votes but were not chosen for the 2007 countdown were 2004, 2002, 2000, and 1995.

On January 9th, 2008, Jeff Fiedler announced his retirement after 17 years as corps director and 35 consecutive years with the Cavaliers, which included positions as a marching member (both in the Cadet and A corps), drum major, guard/visual instructor, program coordinator, personnel manager, assistant director, visual caption head, and director. Under Fiedler's tenure as director, the Cavaliers captured all seven of their Drum Corps International World Championship titles, as well as two silver medals and three bronze. Fiedler was named to the DCI Hall of Fame in 2005. [ [ The Cavaliers: Headlines ] ]

Mission statement

"The mission of the Cavaliers is to provide the members with life changing experiences, educationally and socially, which help each individual member gain realworld life skills, musical training and performance experiences. Through the development of the character traits of dedication, discipline and teamwork, each member of this close knit, all male fraternity learns what is required to be successful on and off the performance field. Participation in the Cavaliers instills confidence, quality of character and a strong work ethic that cannot be taught in any college or university and is desirable in the real world workplace." []

DCI championship years


Performing "Revolution and Triumph", the Gavorkna Fanfare by Jack Stamp, and Sir Malcolm Arnold's fourth movement of "Cornish Dances", fourth movement of "English Dances", and the "Peterloo Overture", the Cavaliers claimed their first Drum Corps International title with a score of 97.50.


To the music of Gustav Holst's "The Planets", specifically Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter, the Cavaliers took home a second championship title with a score of 98.30. The show included the impressive visual maneuver recreating a double helix with the effect of rotation. Two lines of corps members formed waves that passed through each other in synchronization, creating a "rotating" helix.


After falling to a seventh place finish at the 1997 DCI Championships, the Cavaliers came back in 2000 to tie for the title with The Cadets, this time becoming champions with Michael Daugherty's "Niagara Falls" and an original composition by Richard Saucedo. A score of 97.65 secured another Cavalier title and the start of the second three-peat in DCI history. This was another visually impressive performance, with the famous "diamond cutter", with a square diamond form that groups of four members spun in, culminating with the entire diamond spinning in synchronization which had first been used by the corps in 1999 with tremendous success.


"Four Corners" was the Cavaliers' show for 2001. With frantic tempos sending members sprinting across the field, the Cavaliers won for the second year in a row with a score of 98.35. This was the first "all-original" show to win the DCI World Championship, with Richard Saucedo composing the brass score, Bret Kuhn and Erik Johnson writing for the percussion, and Bruno Zuccala as color guard caption head. Adam Sage, Keith Potter, and others were responsible for the equipment book for the color guard.


Perhaps the most famous Cavaliers show to date, "Frameworks" was in many ways a record-breaking show for the Drum Corps International circuit. It constituted the second three-peat in DCI history, making the highest score to date of 99.15 (which has been tied only once by The Cadets in 2005). It was also the third year in a row the Cavaliers had won on shows with original music (the second year with "entirely" original music), this time composed by Erik Johnson, Bret Kuhn, and Richard Saucedo. The Cavaliers again reinforced their position as DCI's visual powerhouse, with such maneuvers as full-corps jumps, a giant framed circle sliding across the field while rotating, and the famous "Fight Club" sequence where corps members engaged in a frenetic dance and choreographed martial arts breakdown. In 2005, "Frameworks" was voted as one of the shows to appear in the DCI Classic Countdown, a movie theater showing of the top twelve shows of all time, with one show for each corps.


After placing second to the Blue Devils in 2003, the Cavaliers claimed their sixth DCI world championship title with "007", the music of James Bond as composed by David Arnold. The Cavaliers performed selections from "GoldenEye", "Hovercraft Theme" and "Welcome to Cuba" from "Die Another Day", and "Tomorrow Never Dies". Perhaps the most memorable form of the night was a maneuver now known as the "Floating Circle of Percussion," in which the horns were arranged in a moving field of lines. The drumline, in a circle, rotated through the horns, gaining horn members into their circle, and then replacing them in the positions once the circle maneuvered its way beyond their position. Their score at finals was a 98.7, edging out the surging Blue Devils by .175.


The Cavaliers won their fifth title in seven years with a show entitled "MACHINE". Scoring a 97.200 at finals at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin, it featured, among other things, crowd surfing and robotic dancing. In caption awards, The Cavaliers won the Jim Ott Trophy for best brass for just the second time in the corps' history (the other from 2002), as well as Best Effect and Best Visual Performance. The Cavaliers were also awarded the Spirit of Disney Award for Innovation, which marks the first time that a corps has won both the DCI Championship and the Spirit of Disney Award in the same year. The summer of 2006 also brought about a new personality to an already very well respected percussion section with the addition of Jim Casella (arranger) and Jim Ancona (caption head). "The Jims" (as they are affectionately known) assumed command after the tenure of Bret Kuhn and Erik Johnson and brought a new philosophy and approach to the percussion section while maintaining the section's status as one of the best in the world. The 2006 program also won the DCI Classic Countdown in 2008.

Winning decade

After winning the 2006 DCI World Championships, The Cavaliers set a new record for the most DCI World Championship Titles in a single decade with an astounding five championships. The only corps to rival this feat are The Cadets (1983, 1984, 1985, and 1987), and the Blue Devils (1994, 1996, 1997, and 1999). The Cavaliers obtained their fifth title since the beginning of the decade, with wins in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2006.

hows by year (DCI era)

*No songs or composers announced


External links

* [ Official Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps website]
* [ Drum Corps International]

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