The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps

The Cavaliers were founded in 1948, as the drum and bugle corps for Boy Scout Troop 111 in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. Their growing reputation as one of the best of Chicago's neighborhood drum corps soon led the boys in the troop to reorganize themselves as a standalone operation,  borrowing their name and logo from a brand of then-popular cigarettes, and choosing their colors of green, black, and white - a name, logo, and color scheme that have part of the corps history ever since.


Boy Scout Troop 111

Boy Scout Troop 111

Led by corps director Donald W. Warren, The Cavaliers began a rapid ascent in the ranks of drum corps, winning their first field contest in 1952. That rise continued through the rest of the decade, with The Cavaliers winning their first national championship at the 1957 VFW convention, breaking the stranglehold of East Coast drum corps  and establishing the Midwest as the epicenter for championship drum corps for the next decade. The Cavaliers went on to be National Champions seven more times between 1959 and 1969, a decade where they became known far and wide as "The Green Machine."

In 1971, The Cavaliers were instrumental in pulling together the concept that eventually became Drum Corps International. But the 1970s saw the corps endure a tough decade, as the members struggled to keep pace with a rapidly-evolving art form. On the verge of shutting down in the early 80s, the corps was reinvigorated by new sponsorship from the Village of Rosemont, and bolstered by this support, the organization made a re-commitment to not just compete, but to excel. With a new management and staff, the corps moved from being a 10th place corps in 1981 to a Top Three finisher in 1986 - competitive territory The Cavaliers have occupied regularly in the 25 years since.

The Cavaliers won their first DCI Championship in 1992, a feat they repeated in 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2006. Using a combination of strong visual presentation, powerful musical arrangements, and aggressive color guard, The Cavaliers are one of the most easily recognized drum corps in the activity today. Even more importantly, The Cavaliers continue to provide a world class experience for the young men in our drum corps, and provide performance and educational opportunities for the members of our Cavaliers Indoor Percussion ensemble and the hundreds of student musicians throughout the United States who take part in our GearWORKS clinics and camps.

The Cavaliers Winter Guard


As charter members of Winter Guard International (WGI) and longtime members and supporters of the Midwest Color Guard Circuit, The Cavaliers have an impressive history in the winter guard activity.

The Cavaliers 'Comp' Guard competed in the MWCGC during many of the pre-WGI years bringing the guard into national prominence by becoming the 1964 Midwest Circuit Champions and competing throughout the Midwest periodically during the late 1960's and early 1970's.   

The Cavaliers Winter Guard competed in WGI from 1978 through 1983, as well as 1985 and 1988, winning a total of five medals: one (1) bronze in 1980, one (1) silver in 1988 and three (3) gold in 1981, 1982 and 1983.