The 1950's - "The Inception Years" by Warren Alm
Ah yes, the good old days of drum corps. The days when you could fit the whole corps, uniforms and instruments on ONE bus. The days when going to Springfield for the State Fair was considered a long trip. Obviously, a lot has changed in these 50 years. Yet within the history of the Cavaliers some things were derived out of events and relationships that were to play significant roles in helping to define who we are, what we are and what we were to stand for in the years to come.
For every Cavalier rookie that faced the daunting task of getting through initiations, one of the requirements was to commit to memory the list of titles and championships won over the years. This was meant to instill the feeling of history in these recruits. While I have no complaint with this requirement, I have always felt that a recitation of titles and their respective years was not enough. Cavalier history goes back further than 1952, the year of our first major title and it encompasses things that were substantive to this business of who and what we are.
Today, any drum corps fan with even the most remote knowledge knows who the Cavaliers are, that we wear green, black and white, and that our theme song is Somewhere Over The Rainbow. But do YOU know how these things come about, and what their significance is? How we come to call ourselves the Cavaliers and not the something-or-other-cadets. How our primary uniform color is green and not something else. And what the circumstances were that etched Somewhere over The Rainbow into our minds and hearts as our theme song. Bear with me for a nostalgia trip back in time and I'll share my reminiscences with you.
When the corps started in 1948 we were the Boy Scout Troop III Drum & Bugle Corps; not the catchiest of names, but one with good, solid associations with Mom, Apple Pie, and The Flog. Those early years were pretty much self defined by sponsorships, finances, and other related circumstances. In 1948, as the Troop 111 Boy Scout D&B Corps, we wore the traditional khaki uniform dressed up as much as possible with shoulder braids, white gloves, etc., all pretty much straight forward.