The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps
|Championship titles||American Legion- 1966, '67, '69
VFW-1957, '59, '61–'63, '67, '72, '74, '76, '80 (tie)
DCI-1992, '95, 2000 (tie), '01, '02, '04, '06
|Uniform||Kelly green blouse
w/white wings & collar
& green back
White and black baldric
White gloves (horns)
Black shoes & socks
White "Aussie" hat w/black band
& white plume
The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (also known as "The Green Machine") is a World Class (formerly Division I) competitive junior drum and bugle corps. Based in Rosemont, Illinois, the Cavaliers was one of the thirteen founding member corps of Drum Corps International and is a seven-time DCI World Champion. The Cavaliers is one of only two remaining all-male corps, the other being the Madison Scouts.
||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (October 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The early days
The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps was started in 1948 by Don Warren, Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 111 in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood after being impressed by the Racine Scouts. Dressed in traditional Scout uniforms embellished with shoulder braids and white gloves, the corps was a parade corps until 1950. In 1949, the corps found an additional sponsor in the American Legion Thaddeus Kosciuszko Post 712 of Chicago's Little Warsaw neighborhood; rather than mispronounce the name, the corps members shortened it to K-712. This sponsorship allowed the corps to purchase "new" uniforms; 100% wool U.S. Army surplus dress shirts and pants dyed midnight blue, worn fully buttoned and with puttees. The following season, they were happy to accept the gift of hand-me-down uniforms from the General George Bell Post's corps, until discovering that the "new" new uniforms were even hotter wear for marching in summer parades. The corps' association with the Bell Post corps also led to their getting drum corps instructors. Initially, Don Warren had arranged for instructors from the Quinlan & Fabish Music Company to teach music to the members. After seeing the Bell Corps rehearsing, he decided that it would be more relevant to have instruction on drum corps, so Johnny Line and Art Garikes were signed on to teach Kaz-712 about drill and drum corps competition.
The corps entered the world of field competition for the first time in 1950, adopting the name of Chicago Cavaliers and green as their main color. For competition, the corps learned more marching than parading down the street and a complete musical program. While many corps of the time had only their locale or their sponsor as the name of their corps, the youngsters in the Kaz-712 corps wanted a distinctive name, as had the Austin Grenadiers, one of Chicago's top corps of the day. When a new cigarette brand was introduced with much fanfare, the corps members' reaction was unanimous. They adopted the Cavalier name and the logo of the cigarette brand as the corps' logo (the "Standing Man" at the top of this page), they all ordered pins of the Cavalier logo from the cigarette company, and the K-712 corps became the Chicago Cavaliers. For entering field competition, new uniforms were needed that were cooler than the old wool ones in both style and practicality. The members designed the new uniforms with black pants, black shakos with white trim, a belt with a big silver buckle, and satin blouses in a unique color—chartreuse. The uniform maker informed them that, after a summer's wear, their sharp, chartreuse uniforms would be sun-bleached to pastel blandness, and he recommended that they chose a color that would last--- Kelly green.
After being an also-ran for their first two seasons of field competition, the Cavaliers won their first contest in 1952. At the Spectacle of Music in South Milwaukee, the Cavaliers were winners in Class B (while all the corps they considered to be "Big Corps" were in Class A). They went on to win the Iowa State Fair contest and capped the season by finishing in seventh place at their first American Legion Junior National Championship in New York City, where they bested all midwestern corps and won the General Effect caption. Although the corps was becoming a midwest powerhouse, the Cavaliers were far behind the top corps in drumming. In 1955, the staff added Frank Arsenault, considered to be the best rudimental drummer of his day, to work with the drummers. In 1956, the Cavliers had risen to the number one ranking in the midwest, but could only manage a third-place finish at VFW Nationals. However, in 1957, after trading victories with the Madison Scouts and the Belleville Black Knights, the Cavaliers won not only both the Illinois State American Legion and VFW titles, but also their first VFW National title in Miami. Their win broke the stranglehold that the East Coast corps had held on the national championships. Although the win was considered by the East Coast corps to be just a fluke, the Cavies repeated as VFW champions two years later in Los Angeles.
The pre-DCI power years
By 1960, the Cavaliers were a national powerhouse in the drum corps activity, but the corps' existence was not easy. Money was short, and the American Legion Kosciusko Post and the Chicago's Own VFW Post tried to meet the corps' financial needs, but the temporary banning of bingo and other, similar fundraisers by the State of Illinois was an almost crippling blow. The corps members took a part of the fund-raising on themselves, sponsoring a "Family Fun Night", complete with clowns, games, food at the "The Cavalier Cafe", and a chance to hit Don Warren in the face with a whipped cream pie; for an investment of only $39, they raised $1000. The corps' high level of competition also made recruitment difficult. During the 1960 season, the Cavies maintained their status as a national power, even though they won no national titles.
As part of the solution to the ongoing problems of money and recruiting, in 1961, the Chicago's Own VFW was replaced by the Park Ridge VFW Post 3579, marking the beginning of the Cavaliers' move from being a "city" corps to being "suburban". However, things did not look bright when the Cavies were beaten in a local "standstill" competition, with "experts" declaring the demise of the "Green Machine". But when the season began, the Cavaliers won, and they won, and the corps kept winning. By the time the season was over, the Cavaliers were undefeated during 1961, had won twenty-five shows in a row dating from 1960, and would eventually win twenty-nine contests in a row over a period of twenty-three months before losing on June 17 in Spring Valley, Illinois. The Cavaliers won VFW national three years in a row, 1961–63, and five in seven years from the first in 1957. In 1963, the corps traveled to Canada for the Toronto Optimist's "International" competition, then took a train to Seattle to VFW Nationals, and had marching members from as far away from Chicago as Rockford and Milwaukee.
In 1964, the Cavaliers added mellophones and contrabasses to their horn line. The 1966 drum line is still considered to be one of the Cavaliers' best, and it propelled the corps to the American Legion Nationals crown. 1967 saw Cavalier Hall, the first corps hall in the activity, go up in flames, taking the corps' trophies with it. 1967, too, was the first time in eighteen years that the Cavies did not include "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" in their musical program. They also won the VFW Nationals, then repeated as American Legion Champions. The high of 1967 was followed by a 1968 where nothing was just quite right, and the corps finished second at VFW Nationals. The corps rebounded in 1969, winning the American Legion title, and barely losing VFW to the Kilties. Probably the highlight of 1970 was the Cavaliers' rise from eleventh place at VFW National prelims to third place in Finals. Overall, the "Green Machine" of the 1960s won three American Legion and four VFW National Championships, and did not finish lower than third place in sixteen national finals competitions (VFW, American Legion, and CYO).
In 1971, at the urging of Don Warren and Troopers founder Jim Jones, the Blue Stars, Cavaliers, Madison Scouts, Santa Clara Vanguard, and the Troopers formed the Midwest Combine. This action was taken in reaction to the rigid, inflexible rules of the American Legion and VFW (the primary rule makers and sponsors of both corps and shows) and the low or nonexistent performance fees paid for appearing in the various competitions. The corps stated that not only were they having their creative potential as artistic performing groups stifled, but they were being financially starved. (A similar group of Eastern corps, the United Organization of Junior Corps [also known as the "Alliance"], was formed by the 27th Lancers, Garfield Cadets, Boston Crusaders, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, and Blue Rock.) The Combine members further declared that the corps should be making their own rules, operating their own competitions and championships, and keeping the bulk of the monies those shows earned. For the 1971 season, the corps stuck together, offering show promoters the five corps as a package. Despite pressure on show sponsors, judges, and other drum corps, the Combine corps were not only booked into a number of shows together, but they found a host for a show of their own, which was a spectacular success despite fears of failure that lasted until a standing-room-only crowd arrived literally at the last moment. But 1971 was not as much of a success for the Cavaliers. Their show with the guard doing an Irish jig and a circus section was not well-received, and the corps fell to eighth at CYO Nationals and, with most of the top corps opting for VFW VFW Nationals, they finished in second behind the Argonne Rebels at the Legion Nationals in the Houston Astrodome.
The beginning of DCI
In 1972, the Cavaliers, along with the nine other corps from the Midwest Combine and the Alliance, plus the Anaheim Kingsmen, Argonne Rebels, and De La Salle Oaklands were founding members of Drum Corps International, which remains as the sanctioning body for junior corps in North America. At the first DCI World Championships in Whitewater, Wisconsin, the Cavaliers finished in ninth place in a competition that featured thirty-nine corps from the East, the South, the West Coast, the Midwest and Great Plains, and Canada. The 1972 Cavies also won another VFW National Championship in Minneapolis, their seventh. 1973 was a troublesome year for the Cavaliers. Money was tight; recruitment was difficult; the staff was having a hard time dealing with a rapidly changing activity It was not widely known until later that Don Warren was considering shutting down the Cavaliers. But the Cavies persisted and finished in fifteenth place at DCI in Whitewater.
Over the next four years, 1974–77, the Cavaliers seemed to have rebounded somewhat from the down year of '73. Two years in eighth place were followed by two years in seventh place at DCI. They also won two more VFW National Championships in 1974 and '76. But there was dissension among the members and alumni, with some glorying in the Green Machine's past success; some wanting to just to do anything as long as they were doing something; and others who were among the new breed of "corpies', who would move from one corps to another in search of competitive success. There was also an unacknowledged drug problem that came to a head in 1977 when several members almost died while returning from a show. The rift between factions widened as accusations of fault were bandied back and forth. Don Warren and the corps management met with members, parents, and boosters to get everything out in the open. Some members were expelled, some given cover. The hangover from the incident carried over into 1978, as the corps, with many new staff members, largely alumni, managed only a sixteenth place finish at DCI. Although it was not immediately apparent, the foundation had been laid for future success with the naming of Adolph DeGrauwe as corps director. The Cavaliers ended the 1970s by winning the 1980 VFW crown, their tenth. During the decade, they had made DCI Finals seven times in nine years, and would never again fall from the ranks of DCI's Top Twelve Finalists.
Rise to the top
During the early 1980s, the judges were looking for "cutting edge" performances, but the Cavaliers were not performing at that level. However, the Cavies' winter guard was, under the leadership of Steve Brubaker, winning the Winter Guard International championship in 1981–83. In 1982, Brubaker, who had also been working with the Cavalier Cadets corps since '78, was named head drill designer for the Cavaliers. That change brought about a change in the corps' attitude and this, along with the music selections becoming more and more classically oriented, helped the Cavaliers rise to the top half of DCI Finalists, though not without tests. 1982's Pines of Rome started the season with near-disastrous results, and the corps felt that it was luck as much as talent that earned the corps an eleventh-place finish at DCI in Montreal. But 1982 saw the Cavaliers forge a solid association with the Village of Rosemont and its mayor, Donald E. Stephens, a relationship that would relieve the corps of many financial worries. The corps improved to ninth in 1983 and eighth in '84, and the crowds were witnessing something new and different in Brubaker's drill schemes. The 1985 program of "Also Spracht Zarathustra" and selections from "The Planets" impressed fans and judges alike, elevating the Cavaliers to a fifth-place finish in Madison, Wisconsin; the corps' first finish in the top half of DCI's Top Twelve. In 1986 came "Variations on a Korean Folk Song" and the dragon drill that placed Brubaker solidly with George Zingali as the two greatest drill designers of the day. it also moved the Cavaliers into a third-place finish at DCI Finals.
Before the season ever started, the 1987 Cavaliers knew that it was their year. Everything seemed to be in place: the musical program, the drill, the talent to take it all, including a large number of members marching their last, "age-out" year. The corps started out by going undefeated in Drum Corps Midwest (DCM), then won their first few DCI shows. The Cavies seemed to be "on a roll" as they went to Drums Along the Rockies in Denver, where they crashed back to earth and finished in third p;ace, far behind the Santa Clara Vanguard and the Blue Devils (BD) on the score sheets. The Blue Devils' members even taunted that the Cavies could/would never beat them. They also finished in third at DCI South in Birmingham (behind Blue Devils and Phantom Regiment) and at the rain-shortened DCI Midwest in St. Louis (behind Santa Clara and the Garfield Cadets). After semifinals at the DCI Championships in Madison, the Cavaliers were behind all four corps that had beaten them earlier, with Garfield in first, followed by SCV, Phantom, and BD. Before their Finals performance, corps director Adolph DeGrauwe told the corps to just go out and play for each other, and they did just that, passing the Regiment and the same Blue Devils who had taunted them in Denver, and finished in third place. It was not the expected championship, but it was certainly better than it could have been.
After losing so many age-outs in 1987, the '88 corps was very young. Playing Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, the corps finished in fifth place in Kansas City. 1989's John Rutter program carried the corps back to third place, and the "Cavalier Anthems" took them to their first runner-up finish (behind the Cadets of Bergan County) in Buffalo in 1990, but the Cavaliers would finish the 1980s without returning to the top of the drum corps world. There was not even a "nationals" championship, as there had been in the Seventies, since the American Legion, the VFW, and the CYO were no longer hosting national championships. But 1990 also saw the Cavies start the transition to three valve horns, and it was the year of the Cavaliers' very first DCI Regional championship, when they upset the previously undefeated Blue Devils and Phantom Regiment to win DCI Midwest at Whitewater.
Before the start of the 1991 season, Adolph DeGrauwe stepped down as Corps director, and was replaced by Jeff Fiedler. 1991 was a very good year for the Cavaliers, even though the corps still could not win DCI. In eight meeting with Star of Indiana prior to DCI in Dallas, Star had won seven times. There had also been loses to Phantom and BD, but mostly, the Cavaliers were winners. At DCI East in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the rains came as the Cavies were performing, this seemed to bring out the corps' best and they won the DCI East title. They also won DCI South on an oppressively hot day in Birmingham. At Dallas, the percussion ensemble won the Individual and Ensemble contest with a perfect 100.00 score, and the Cavaliers were far ahead of all others, except Star and the "Christmas Show" earned the corps' second consecutive second-place finish. 1992 started with a fire in the equipment truck, but the corps was also on fire and won their first fifteen shows before falling to Phantom. Star won the DCM Championships in Toledo after Cavies had been consistently beating them. The Cavaliers won DCI North in Buffalo, but at the Preview of Champions in Nashville, the corps found themselves trailing not only Star, but also BD. The Green Machine then returned to winning until losing back-to-back Regionals; to Star at DCI Mid-America in Bloomington, Indiana and to Blue Devils at DCI North in Ypsilanti, Michigan. At the DCI World Championship Quarterfinals in Madison, the Cavies were second to the defending champion, Star of Indiana, but at Semifinals, the Cavaliers moved into the lead. At Finals, the Cavaliers' show title of "Revolution and Triumph" proved to be prophetic, as the corps was finally crowned DCI World Champions.
Trials, triumph, and tradition
The 1993 season was difficult before it ever began; drill designer Steve Brubaker died during the off-season. Once the season got underway, everything was overshadowed by the previous year's success. Star once more left the Cavies in second at DCM, they trailed both Star and the Cadets at DCI North and the Preview of Champions, but they won DCI East over the Blue Devils. The DCI World Championships were held in hot and humid Jackson, Mississippi. It got even more humid, when the rains came during Finals; several Cavaliers slipped and fell, and the corps fell to fifth place. In 1994, the Cavaliers' program showcased the corps' guard. It won the DCM crown, but it was only good enough for second-place finishes in Regionals and fourth at DCI Finals in Boston. Gustav Holst's "The Planets" had been a crowd-pleaser and had earned the Cavaliers their first finish in the upper half of DCI's Top Twelve as the largest part of the show in 1985. In 1995, the Cavaliers brought back "The Planets" as their entire show. The Cavaliers traded wins with the Madison Scouts through the DCM season, with the Scouts taking the DCM title. They continued to trail only Madison at DCI Southwest in Houston and until the Preview of Champions in Ypsilanti, when they found themselves ahead of Madison but behind BD and the Cadets. DCI Mid-America at Champaign, Illinois also went to the Blue Devils. At the DCI World Championships in Buffalo, the Cavaliers took command in Quarterfinals, expanded their lead in Semifinals and Finals, and won their second DCI Championship in four years.
Before the 1996 season, the Cavaliers traveled to Japan. The corps won DCM and both DCI Mid-America and DCI East, but dropped to fourth place at DCI in Orlando, Florida. The 1997 season saw wins in only three minor shows, and the Cavies' return of "The Firebird" slipped to seventh place at DCI Finals. In 1998, the Cavaliers reclaimed the DCM title, but they failed to win any of three DCI Regionals, and they finished in fourth place at the World Championships, held for the third consecutive year in Orlando. The 1999 season was much like the one before, except that the Green Machine moved up to third place at DCI Championships in Madison. As the Twentieth Century came to a close, the Cavaliers performed a show of Michael Daugherty's "Niagara Falls" and an original composition by Richard Saucedo. They lost an early show to the Cadets, lost their home show and DCI Midwestern in Indianapolis to the Blue Devils, but they won three other DCI Regionals: Drums Along the Rockies in Denver, DCI Mid-America in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and DCI East in Allentown. At the DCI Championships in College Park, Maryland, the Cavaliers were three tenths of a point behind The Cadets in both Quarterfinals and Semifinals, but added nearly a point to their Finals score and tied The Cadets for their third DCI World Championship of the decade.
The Twenty-first Century opened for the Cavaliers much as the Twentieth had ended. The 2001 program of Saucedo's "Four Corners" won DCM, was second to Blue Devils at DCI Southwestern in San Antonio, then won DCI Mid-America in Murfreesboro, DCI Midwestern in Indianapolis, and DCI Eastern in Philadelphia. Although they lost several shows to both BD and The Cadets, the Cavaliers took command at the DCI championships in Buffalo, winning Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals for their first consecutive championships since winning the American Legion Nationals in 1966 and '67. 2002 was much like 1961 had been; with an original program of "Frameworks" by Richard Saucedo, Bret Kuhn, and Erik Johnson, the Cavaliers won, and they won again and again and again. They won DCM and then won three DCI Regionals, the Southwestern in San Antonio, the Midwestern in Indianapolis, and Drums Along the Rockies in Denver. When the Cavaliers swept through the three rounds at the DCI World Championships in Madison with unheard of score margins of 1.75 to 1.95 points, the corps had not only won a three-peat, but they had earned the second undefeated season in the corps' history. Additionally, their Finals score of 99.15 was the highest ever in DCI history, tied by The Cadets in 2005 and then beaten by the Blue Devils in 2014.
From August 2, 2001 through July 25, 2003, the Cavaliers won a DCI record sixty-four (64) contests in a row. The 2003 show, "Spin Cycle" by Richard Saucedo won the last DCM Championship before the top corps abandoned the circuit, and the DCI Southwestern Regional before the Blue Devils caught up and won both the Midwestern Regional and DCI East. The two corps went into DCI Championships in Orlando seemingly neck-and-neck, but the Devils dominated the Championships, and rather than the Cavies getting their sixth crown, the Devils gained their eleventh. In 2004, the corps hosted a percussion reunion; Cavalier drummers from 1948 through 2004, including every snare drummer since 1961, gathered to play together. Then the Cavaliers' "007" show of tunes from James Bond movies powered through the season, losing once to the Devils and twice to The Cadets en route to the sixth DCI title that had eluded the corps the previous year. After the DCI Championships in Denver, the Cavaliers, The Cadets, Madison Scouts, Phantom Regiment, Blue Devils, and Santa Clara Vanguard, the winners of all but two DCI Championships made a four show tour through California. 2005 started out with the Cavies' "My Kind of Town" program winning their first twenty-one contests. Then The Cadets caught up and won three pre-Championship shows. At Foxboro, Massachusetts, The Cadets took the lead and left every other corps trailing behind, including the second place Cavaliers, and in the process tied the Cavies' high score of 99.15. The Cavaliers' 2006 show, another original by Saucedo and James Casella entitled "Machine" had the Green Machine back in top form. The corps lost three mid-season shows to the Blue Devils, but won everything else, including the Cavalier's fifth DCI World Championship in seven years and seventh overall. In early 2008, Jeff Fiedler stepped down after seventeen years as the Cavaliers' director. He was replaced by former director Adolph DeGrauwe. After their 2006 title, the Cavaliers remained in the top four at DCI Finals until finishing eighth in 2012, seventh in 2013, and sixth in 2014.
In 2015, the Cavaliers placed 9th, their first time in that placement since 1983. The corps had a long struggle to regain their height, but their rival corps, the Madison Scouts, beat them for the first time since 1997.
Following the 2015 season, the organization underwent a total revamp, with new leadership on the Board of Directors and hiring of their first full-time Executive Director (Chris Lugo). Lugo, in turn, brought in new program management and designers who overhauled every aspect of The Cavaliers' presentation. Included in this was the first completely new uniform design since 1984, with a new style of uniform for the brass and percussion that allowed for show-themed modifications from year to year, rather than a set look as before. At the 2016 DCI Championships, the corps moved from 6th in semi-finals to 5th in Finals, their first top five finish since 2011.
The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization sponsored by The Village of Rosemont, Illinois and has a Board of Directors, corps director, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission. The mayor of Rosemont is Brad Stephens, the Chairman Emeritus is Don Warren, the Corps Chairman is Adolph DeGrauwe, the Corps President is Chris Hartowicz, the Executive Director is Chris Lugo, the Corps Director is Joe Roach, and the alumni president is Gordon Couch. In addition to The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, the organization also sponsors Cavaliers Indoor Percussion that competes in Winter Guard International (WGI); Chromium Winds, a co-ed indoor marching wind ensemble that will compete in WGI Winds. the Classic Cavaliers alumni; and GearWORKS which hosts "Chop Sessions"– intensive workshops geared towards students looking to develop their individual skills for drum corps, winter percussion, indoor winds, and other performing ensembles.
In conjunction with the all-male Cavaliers Indoor Percussion that performs in WGI Independent World class, the organization is also co-sponsoring (with the Crystal Lake Strikers performing arts organization) Crystal Lake Thunder, a new co-ed percussion ensemble that will compete in WGI’s Independent A class.
Show summary 1972–2017
Gold background indicates DCI Championship; pale blue background indicates DCI Class Finalist; pale green background indicates DCI semifinalist.
|1972||March of the Toreadors (from Carmen) by Georges Bizet /
One Hand One Heart (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein /
The Ballad of Casey Jones (Traditional) / Eleanor Rigby by Lennon–McCartney/ Salute to the Green (Unknown) /
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (from the Wizard of Oz) by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg /
Americans We by Henry Fillmore/
I'm Always Chasing Rainbows by Frédéric Chopin adapted by Harry Carroll and Joseph McCarthy /
Look for the Rainbow by Burton Lane and E.Y. Harburg
|1973||Tradition & Sabbath Prayer (from Fiddler on the Roof) by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick /
Pinball Wizard (from Tommy) by Pete Townshend /
All for the Best & We Beseech Thee (from Godspell) by Stephen Schwartz
|1974||March of the Toreadors (from Carmen) by Georges Bizet / Victory at Sea by Richard Rodgers /
Tommy Can You Hear Me (from Tommy) by Pete Townshend / All for the Best (from Godspell) by Stephen Schwartz /
Once Upon A Time (from All American) by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams /
Somewhere (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein /
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (from the Wizard of Oz) by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
|1975||Russian Christmas Music by Alfred Reed / Time Odyssey 7534 by Dan Spaulding /
Love In Them There Hills by Roland Chambers / Entrance to Reality (from The Picasso Suite) by Michel Legrand /
Once Upon A Time by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams / Somewhere (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein /
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (from the Wizard of Oz) by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
|1976||Russian Sailor's Dance (from The Red Poppy) by Reinhold Gliere / Green Soul by Dan Spaulding /
Chump Change by Bill Cosby and Quincy Jones / Give It One by Alan Downey and Maynard Ferguson /
Summertime & Bess, You Is My Woman Now (from Porgy and Bess) by George Gershwin /
Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky
|1977||Man of La Mancha Medley by Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion / Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin||83.000||7th|
|1978||Do Ya Wanna Get Funky With Me? by Peter Brown and Robert Rans /
Russian Sailor's Dance (from The Red Poppy) by Reinhold Gliere /
Pineapple Rag by Scott Joplin / Fifth Symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich
|1979||Esmeralda Suite by Jimmy Goings & Nicolas Skorsky (Santa Esmeralda) /
Fantasy by Maurice White, Verdine White, and Eduardo DelBarrio (Earth, Wind & Fire) /
Cuban Fire Suite by Johnny Richards /
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (from the Wizard of Oz) by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg /
Children of Sanchez by Chuck Mangione
|1980||Esmeralda Suite by Jimmy Goings and Nicolas Skorsky (Santa Esmeralda) / Suncatchers by Butch Nordahl /
Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) by Louis Prima / Sambandrea Swing by Don Menza /
Softly As I Leave You by Giorgio Calabrese and Antonio De Vita, adapted by Hal Shaper
|1981||Picasso Suite (from The Picasso Summer) by Michel Legrand /
Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) by Louis Prima / Sambandrea Swing by Don Menza /
Softly As I Leave You by Giorgio Calabrese, Hal Shaper, and Antonio De Vita
|1982||The Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi / Heliopolis by Jay Beckenstein / City (Unknown) /
I've Had Enough by Philip Bailey, Greg Phillinganes, and Brenda Russell / Ai No Corrida by Kenny Young /
Softly As I Leave You by Giorgio Calabrese, Hal Shaper, and Antonio De Vita
|1983||Jade by Michael Boo / Celebration Suite by Chick Correa / Rendezvous by Al Dimeola /
The Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi
|1984||Don Juan by Richard Strauss / Summer Sketches by Hugh M. Stuart / Ozark by John Prescott /
The Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi
|1985||Also Spracht Zarathustra by Richard Strauss /
Mars, Mercury, Uranus & Jupiter (from The Planets) by Gustav Holst
|1986||Canzona by Peter Mennin / Variations on a Korean Folk Song by John Barnes Chance /
Gamelon (Drum Feature) / Mars (from The Planets) by Gustav Holst
|1987||Festival Variations by Claude T. Smith / Variations on a Korean Folk Song by John Barnes Chance /
Liturgical Dances by David Holsinger
|1988||Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky||95.100||5th|
|1989||Gloria||Gloria – Andante and Allegro Vivace by John Rutter / Images Diabolique by Tom Grant /
Gloria – Vivace E Ritmico by John Rutter
|1990||Cavalier Anthems||Homage to Machaut (from Medieval Suite) by Ron Nelson / Variations on a Hymn by Louis Bourgeois by Claude T. Smith /
All Things Bright and Beautiful, O, Clap Your Hands & Gloria (3rd Movement) by John Rutter
An Advent Collection
|Variants on an Advent Hymn by Fisher Tull / Te Deum by Ron Nelson / Die Natale by Samuel Barber /
Men of Goodwill by Benjamin Britten / The Bridegroom by John Rutter /
O Be Joyful In The Lord by Ralph Vaughan Williams
|1992||Revolution and Triumph||Gavorkna Fanfare by Jack Stamp /
Cornish Dances 4th Movement, English Dances 4th Movement & Peterloo Overture by Sir Malcolm Arnold
|1993||Heroes, A Symphonic Trilogy
|The Symphonic Cantata by David Holsinger / Heroes, Lost and Fallen by David Gillingham /
Morning Alleluias (for the Winter Solstice) by Ron Nelson
|1994||Rituals||Sensemaya by Silvestre Revueltas / Humming Chorus (from Ivan the Terrible) by Sergei Prokofiev /
War Dance (from Belkis, Queen of Sheba) & Church Windows, Movement II by Ottorino Respighi /
March (from Symphonic Metamorphosis) Paul Hindemith
|1995||The Planets||Mars, Venus, Mercury & Jupiter (from The Planets) by Gustav Holst||98.300||1st|
|1996||Pan American Sketches||Pavana (from Tres Versiones Sinfonica) by Julian Orbon /
Mexican Landscape (from Latin American Sketches) by Aaron Copland /
Xylophone (from Tres Versiones Sinfonica) by Julian Orbon /
Piano Sonata No. 1, Fourth Movement by Alberto Ginastera / Third Symphony, Fourth Movement by Aaron Copland
|1997||The Firebird||Introduction to Rite of Spring and Berceuse, Carrilon, Retinue, Infernal Dance & Finale (from the Firebird Suite)
All by Igor Stravinsky
|1998||Traditions for a New Era||The Path Between the Mountains by Jay Kennedy /
Molto Vivo & Lento (from Dance Movements) by Philip Sparke / Machine by William Bolcom
|1999||Classical Innovations||Fantasia for Band in G major by Timothy Mahr / Fantasies on a Theme by Haydn by Norman Dello Joio||97.000||3rd|
|2000||Niagara Falls||Niagara Falls by Michael Daugherty / Original music by Richard Saucedo||97.650||1st
|2001||Four Corners||Four Corners by Richard Saucedo||98.350||1st|
|2002||Frameworks||Melody / Harmony / Rhythm by Richard Saucedo, Bret Kuhn, and Erik Johnson||99.150||1st|
|2003||Spin Cycle||Propulsion, Resonance, Terminal Velocity, Centrifugal Force by Richard Saucedo||97.250||2nd|
|2004||007||Selections from Goldeneye / Hovercraft (from Die Another Day) / Welcome To Cuba /
Paris and Bond (from Tomorrow Never Dies)
All by David Arnold
|2005||My Kind of Town||Chicago by Sammy Cahn / The Magnificent Mile (Unknown) / Jig by Jean-Luc Ponty /
The Great Fire of 1871 (Unknown) / Sweet Home Chicago by Robert Johnson
|2006||Machine||Genesis, Wired, Premonition & The Machine Age by Richard Saucedo and James Casella /
Church: Renewing Vows by Wynton Marsalis
|2007||And So It Goes||The Stranger / Angry Young Man / And So It Goes / Invention in C Minor /
Pressure / I've Loved These Days / Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
All by Billy Joel
|2008||Samurai||Bushido- The Way of the Warrior / Ronin- Masterless Samurai /
Ken-Jutsu- The Art of the Sword / Fumeiyo Yori Shi Wo- Death Before Dishonor
All by Richard Saucedo, Erik Johnson, and James Casella
|2009||The Great Divide||Extreme Make-over by Johan de Meij / Pampeana No 3 – Impetuosamente by Alberto Ginastera /
Engulfed Cathedral by Claude Debussy / On the Great Divide by John Adams
|2010||Mad World||Mad World by Roland Orzabal / Harrison's Dream by Peter Graham /
Dismantling Utopia by Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Steve Rodby, and Paul Wertico /
Smile by Charlie Chaplin, John Turner, and Geoffrey Parsons
|2011||XtraordinarY||Footprints by Wayne Shorter /
Jungle Tango by Jamie Masefield, Danton Boller, and Ari Hoenig (The Jazz Mandolin Project) /
Nature Boy by George Alexander Aberle (eden ahbez) / Fugue in G Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
|2012||15 Minutes of Fame||Don Juan by Richard Strauss / Dead Elvis by Michael Daugherty / Paparazzi by Stefani Germanotta and Rob Fusari /
Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / Vesti la Giubba by Ruggero Leoncavallo /
Out Here on My Own by Michael Gore / In the Hall of the Mountain King (from Peer Gynt Suite #1) by Edvard Grieg
|2013||Secret Society||Rose of Arimathea (from The Da Vinci Code) by Hans Zimmer / Air (from Angels and Demons) by Hans Zimmer /
Drum Music (Mvt. 3: Incinerate) by John Mackey / Secret Society by Drew Shanefield /
Enterprising Young Men by Michael Giacchino
|2014||Immortal||Chamber Symphony Opus 110 by Dmitri Shostakovich / La Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns /
When I am Laid in Earth by Henry Purcell / A Walk on the Water by Stephen Melillo
|2015||Game On||Finale of Symphony #8 by Anton Bruckner / Fetes (from Nocturnes) by Claude Debussy / Run Boy Run by Yoann Lemoine (Woodkid) /
In the Musicals by Bjork / Macrotus (from Batman Begins) by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard /
Fantasie Brillante (from On The Shoulders of Giants) by Peter Graham
|2016||Propaganda||Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary by Henry Purcell / Symphony for Band “West Point” by Morton Gould /
Elegy for Dunkirk by Dario Marianelli / Lollapalooza by John Adams
|2017||Men Are From Mars||Music of: Richard Strauss, Aaron Copland, John Mackey, Steve Vai,
Max Richter, Laurie Anderson, Johan Johansson, Gustav Holst, Frank Sinatra
- Corps Songs: Prior to entering the field for competitions, the entire corps sings both "Over the Rainbow" and "The Corps Song", which has original lyics set to the tune of "Semper Paratus", the U.S. Coast Guard hymn. These two songs are also sung by the corps and its alumni on special occasions and in celebrations.
- Battle Cry: Prior to entering the field for competitions, the entire corps shouts out "SPLOOIE!". This is also shouted by the corps and its alumni on special occasions and in celebrations.
- Bass Drum Cadence: The Cavalier's bass drum cadence, "Iowa", is played by the bass drum line as the corps marches off the field after a performance. The cadence reputedly was developed by the corps' bass drummers in 1964 or '65, soon after the Cavaliers became the first corps to use tuned bass drums.
- The Corps Handshake: is a handshake reserved for greeting or saying farewell to fellow corps members.
- Cavalier Member Jacket: may not be purchased until a member has marched in his first competition.
- Machine Gears or Nozos: Worn on a necklace, the small, plastic gears are symbolic of "The Green Machine", and one is awarded for each year marched in the corps. In recent years, gears have been painted or otherwise customized by the Drum Majors to represent that year's show.
- Cavalier Initiation: is held for all second year members and for "first-year age-outs". Once initiated, the member officially becomes "A Cavalier"; learns the meaning of the battle cry, "Splooie!"; and receives a small, white gear for the machine gear necklace.
- Annual Banquet: is held for members, staff, volunteers, family, and friends. Awards are presented at the banquet.
- Member Awards: The corps members elect, from within their ranks, a "Cavalier of the Year" and a "Rookie of the Year".
- Honorary Cavalier: is an award presented by the staff to non-marching staff members, volunteers, or benefactors "who have provided exceptional assistance to the corps over a significant period of time."
- "Corps". Drum Corps International. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vol. 2; Steve Vickers, ed.; Drum Corps World, pub.; 2003
- "History for The Cavaliers". Retrieved April 12, 2013.
- Alm, Warren; Horst, Don; Nolan, Ken; Hartowicz, Chris; Fiedler, Jeff; Seal, Scott; Raimondi, Keith. "History". Cavaliers. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
- Boo, Michael (March 12, 2004). "Fanfare: Determination: Believing in the Midwest Combine". DCI. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
- Chicago Tribune (10 August 2014). "Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps takes 6th in world championship – Chicago Tribune". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Board of Directors". The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Staff". The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "CAVALIERS ANNOUNCE NEW CO-ED PERFORMANCE ENSEMBLE, CHROMIUM WINDS" (Press release). The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "CAVALIERS LAUNCH NEW AFFILIATE PROGRAM, CRYSTAL LAKE THUNDER" (Press release). The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
- "corpsreps.com – The Drum Corps Repertoire Database". Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Cavaliers, Rosemont". DrumCorpsWiki. Retrieved April 12, 2013.