Dressed in traditional Scout uniforms embellished with shoulder braids and white gloves, the corps was a parade corps until 1950. The following season
Dressed in traditional Scout uniforms embellished with shoulder braids and white gloves, the corps was a parade corps until 1950. 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. Fabish Music Company to drum corps on parade pdf 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. 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. Although the corps was becoming a midwest powerhouse, the Cavaliers were far behind the top corps in drumming. 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.
By 1960, the Cavaliers were a national powerhouse in the drum corps activity, but the corps’ existence was not easy. 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. 63, and five in seven years from the first in 1957.