The Cavaliers


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.

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.

Michael McIntosh

Michael McIntosh

Mr. McIntosh is a graduate of Butler University earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis in Composition. In addition to designing, coordinating, consulting and composing for many pageantry groups throughout the United States, Michael is the Percussion Coordinator for the Music For All Summer Symposium as well as the Percussion Caption Manager, Music Coordinator and one of two Percussion Designers for The Cavaliers drum and bugle corps. From 1997-2011, Mr. McIntosh was the percussion specialist at Carmel high school in Carmel. Recently Mr. McIntosh was named the percussion designer for the Music For All 2022 Rose Parade Honor Band. Michael is a Yamaha artist/clinician as well as a signature drumstick artist with PROMARK. Mr. McIntosh also endorses EVANS drumheads, Zildjian cymbals and Daddario Accessories.

About the Session

Zero to Sixty-The Cavaliers, Past, Present, Future

The Cavaliers 2020 Percussion section is featured playing iconic excerpts from the 1960s-2020s. Interviews with living Cavalier composers from the past 60 years detail the mindset and design of every decade of DCI. Live commentary describes the educational process involved as the staff uses distance learning to teach and inspire and speak to changing trends in pageantry percussion. This clinic is dedicated to anyone involved in the drum corps activity!

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