(ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS) - The Cavaliers would like to extend our appreciation to Chris Lugo, who recently resigned as the organization’s Executive Director.

After a brief leave of absence, Lugo submitted his letter of resignation to the Board of Directors, effective December 1, 2018.

In the following internal statement released earlier today, the former executive director shared his deep appreciation and admiration for the organization and the people who have helped advanced the mission of The Cavaliers.

I’m writing you today to share that I resigned as Executive Director of The Cavaliers, effective December 1, 2018.

This was an incredibly difficult and personal decision to make, as I have been involved with the Green Machine every year since 2002 as either a performer, volunteer, board member, administrator, or employee. I can’t begin to express how impactful YOU and this organization have been on my life over these past 17 years.

I’ve stepped down now to focus my time and energy on family, health, and the next phase of my career.

For the past ten years, it has truly been my distinct honor and privilege to serve as an advocate for and an employee of The Cavaliers, most recently in the role of Executive Director. As I reflect back, I’ll most treasure our passionate and dedicated community of people who tirelessly worked to advance the mission of developing young leaders through the performing arts.

Today, I’m still completely awestruck and inspired by the vision and bold steps taken by Don Warren, Adolph DeGrauwe, and all our leaders over the course of The Cavaliers’ 70-year history. While those individuals helped pave the way, I firmly believe it was what each of YOU personally invested over the years that helped me and so many others develop into the best versions of ourselves.

Without a doubt, The Cavaliers positively changed my life, and it warms my heart to know there are thousands around the globe who would echo that sentiment from their time with The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, Cavalier Cadets, Cavaliers Comp Guard, Green Thunder Percussion, Cavaliers Indoor Percussion, Chromium Winds, Classic Cavaliers, Midwest Connection, and our GearWORKS educational programs.

I will be working with Chris Hartowicz, Lamar Long, and several others to aid in the transition, and I’m energized to focus on some special side projects over the next year.

As the search for the next executive director begins, I challenge the entire organization–from our board members to our volunteers–to take a moment to remind yourself why The Cavaliers mean so much to you, and ask yourself how YOU can make an even bigger difference by pursuing excellence TOGETHER.

I started my journey here because one alumnus simply encouraged me to follow my drum corps and Cavalier dreams. That interaction set into motion a lifetime of love, hard work, dedication, and wonderful friendships, and for that I am forever grateful.

To our student membership and all involved with The Cavaliers, you each have a powerful influence on this organization’s future. So bring the energy, stay humble, love always, commit to your details, and continue developing a safe and healthy culture of accountability, excellence, innovation, and inclusion.

Thank you for the opportunity to play a small role in something truly special since 2002. I can’t wait to see what’s next for The Cavaliers in 2019 and beyond!

“Chris Lugo has been the heart of The Cavaliers’ organization for much of the past decade, serving as Executive Director since 2015 and in various roles leading up to that,” said Chris Hartowicz, President of The Cavaliers’ Board of Directors.

“We have been truly blessed to have his passion, leadership, and love during that time, and we are far better and stronger as a team and as Cavaliers from his dedication and friendship. We are confident that Chris will be successful in his future career, and we wish him and his family nothing but the best.”

Chris Lugo during The Cavaliers’ 2018 Leadership and Safety Kickoff Weekend

Chris Lugo during The Cavaliers’ 2018 Leadership and Safety Kickoff Weekend

Pursuant to the organization’s by-laws and in the interim, Board President Chris Hartowicz will be taking on the responsibilities of the Executive Director of The Cavaliers.

"We have a solid team of professionals in place for each department and are in communication with Chris to continue our focus on operational excellence during this transition. I encourage you to reach out directly at should you need any assistance during this time,” said Hartowicz.

Current Director of Media & Marketing, Lamar Long, will run point on organizational tasks and will be coordinating all front office activities with support of Office Manager Rosanne Duewerth, Operations Manager Bruce Peters, Corps Director Michael Vaughn, and Staff Accountant Jeanne Steines.

"Lamar helped lead the organization during Chris’ earlier leave and has done an excellent job partnering with me concerning our responsibilities and path forward.” 

"We have so many great things to look forward to in preparation for our 2019 season for both The Cavaliers and Chromium Winds. I would like to appeal to and express thanks to the great people of The Cavaliers’ organization for their dedication, drive, and passion. Now more than ever, The Cavaliers will continue to stay diligent and focused on creating incredible educational experiences for the young men and women of our organization.”

Path forward to 2019

The Cavaliers’ Board of Directors will be considering candidates in 2019. Please click on the button below to review details of the job description or to apply online.


Timeline for Executive Director Search

  • December 10, 2019: Application Form Open

  • January 23, 2019: Application Form Closed

  • January 28, 2019 - February 6, 2019: Search Committee Reviews Applicant Submissions 

  • February 2019: Search Committee Conducts Interviews

  • March 2019: Search Concludes


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Founded in 1948 from Boy Scout Troop 111, The Cavaliers are one of the most successful drum and bugle corps in history, winning 20 national championships, including seven Drum Corps International world championships since 1992.

The Cavaliers provide a variety of educational and performance programs for young people, including GearWORKS, Cavaliers Indoor Percussion, Chromium Winds, Crystal Lake Thunder, and Midwest Connection. The organization delivers life-changing experiences that go beyond music and performing arts to build personal accountability, excellence, teamwork, and camaraderie.

The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization sponsored by The Village of Rosemont, Illinois.