The 1960's " The View from the Pinnacle" by Ken Nolan
As the decade of the 1950's came to a close, daunting challenges faced Don Warren, our Corps Treasurer Mr. Martin McDonald and the Cavaliers organization. In spite of regaining a National Championship, the 1959 season was a disappointment. Despite repeated breathtaking performances, many show titles held by the Corps for years had slipped away. How appropriate that the last show of the year was held at the bottom of a quarry in Rockford?
Mr. Kozy of Kosciusko Post (American Legion), and Mr. Sharkey of Chicago's Own Post (VFW), and their Post members struggled to provide adequate financial support to the Corps. To complicate matters, fund raising was crippled for non-profit groups with the banning of Bingo and similar fund raising vehicles in Illinois.
Add to that, the normal 20% annual Corps turnover in Corps personnel was 30% after the 1959 season and the Corps lost many key men. Aging out were leaders whose competitive experiences reached back to the earliest glories of the Cavaliers. Replacing these men would be difficult indeed.
Successfully facing these trials gave no hint of the Dynasty to come in the 1960's. The 1960 season ushered in the end of the "neighborhood Corps" era of the Cavaliers and began the era of the "suburban Corps" phenomenon for city-based corps. This was the first in a series of profound changes in drum corps. The Cavaliers would be one of only a handful of drum corps that would survive and thrive in this new era.