Kiwanis Kavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps

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Kiwanis Kavaliers
Miami, FL
DivisionWorld Class

The Kiwanis Kavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps were a World Class" drum and bugle corps based in Miami, Florida (Previously twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. This corps was Canada's only World Class drum corps until it moved its headquarters to Miami after the 2006 season. The Kiwanis Kavaliers have appeared in both Division I and Division II (now Open Class) competition throughout its history.

The highest championship finish by the corps was fourteenth place in 1996 and 1997.

The corps merged with several other Canadian drum corps over the years. However, the corps finally folded in 2008 after two years of inactivity.


Formerly headed by Doug Darwin, Russ McKechnie and John Cameron, the corps was founded in the fall of 1971 by Jack Turner as a member of Drum Corps International. At one point, Jack considered calling it "The Apple Corps," but didn't due in part to sponsorship by the local Kiwanis Club.

For the first 30 years of their existence, the Kiwanis Kavaliers enjoyed many years as a Canadian-based drum and bugle corps, achieving various levels of success. The focus during the first ten years of the corps were parades and the local competition circuit in Southern Ontario under the Ontario Drum Corps Association (ODCA). along with about 30 other local drum corps. They were generally considered a "Cadet" or "C" class corps at this time. There were occasional trips to the U.S. during this time, including a trip to Disney World for the American Bicentennial in 1976.

In the winter of 1987 St. Andrews Drum and Bugle Corps of Cambridge, ON, merged with the Kavaliers. As a result, 1987 was the first year the corps made DCI A Class finals. 1987 through 1991 was spent getting established as an A class perennial contender.

In 1994 and 1995 the corps played increasingly sophisticated music composed by Pat Methany. Another merger happened in 1995 which pushed the corps further: The Ventures Drum and Bugle Corps from the same hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo, ON had folded and their existing membership folded into the Kiwanis Kavaliers. With their help, in 1995 the corps finished 2nd in Div II with a score of 95.6, just 0.8 behind first place. And, the corps also won top brass and top percussion caption awards. It was at this time that the director, Doug Darwin, decided that the corps should go to Division I rather than rest on its laurels in Div II. The corps enjoyed competitive success through the late 1990s, but by the year 2000 membership was starting to diminish.

Following a trip to Europe in 2001, there was increasing concern inside of the organization about membership numbers, causing Doug Darwin and Tampa Bay Thunder director Jim Newman to increase collaboration between the two groups. During 2002-2003, there were staggered camps held both in Florida and Waterloo, but during the years 2004-2005 all camps were held in Florida.

In 2006, the corps announced that it would not tour during the summer 2006 season due to a sudden change in administration and staffing. In late 2006, the new corps administration announced their petition to return to a full Drum Corps International Tour. However, on January 25, 2007, the administration announced that they would remain inactive, and a large portion of the Corps' equipment was stolen in Miami, Florida, the following month. The corps continued in an inactive state through 2008 before finally folding.

Corps nicknames[edit]

  • Kavies
  • Kiwanis
  • Kiwi-Kavs

Corps motto[edit]

We Are One, We are Many, Resistance in futile

External links[edit]