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Building the Green Machine

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Don Warren and Sixty Years with the World Champion Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps

Colt Foutz

Format: Hardcover, 480 pages
Price: $29.99
ISBN: 978-1932714-39-5
On Sale: December 2007

100+ photos, biblio., 6 X 9, dust jacket


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About this Book

Building the Green Machine is the first biography of corps founder Don Warren and a comprehensive history of the magnificent Cavaliers! Author Colt Foutz, a former reporter and columnist at the Naperville (Ill.) Sun, spent two years interviewing Warren to get the "inside scoop" of this remarkable organization. In addition, Colt interviewed more than 200 current and former Cavaliers, plus scores of fans, family members, volunteers, and drum corps leaders, to produce a decade-by-decade look at the brotherhood and musicianship that have sparked the corps to twenty national and world championships since 1948.

This splendid book follows the corps' origins as a Chicago Boy Scout troop and subsequent rise to prominence in the 1950s. The corps' dominance in the 1960s is seen through the eyes of members and the influence of talented instructors, including Sal Ferrera, Frank Arsenault, Larry McCormick, and Lenny Piekarski. Warren and countless members share stories from the road and competition, and explain traditions, such as the corps' uniforms and colors, initiations, The Corps Song, Standing Man, and "the board."

Warren explains his decision to recruit four other corps directors to form the Midwest Combine in 1971, which morphed into Drum Corps International the following year, ending the influence of the American Legion and VFW on drum corps.

Building the Green Machine follows the Cavaliers through the tumultuous 1970s and their decision to disband in 1981, just months after Warren suffered a life-threatening heart attack. The corps' miracle resurgence, made possible by sponsorship from the Village of Rosemont and a new crop of talented instructors led by Steve Brubaker and Jeff Fiedler, carried the Cavaliers to seven DCI championships since 1992 and a return to the forefront of the activity. The book concludes with a look behind the scenes on tour in summer 2005 and a reflection on Warren's legacy.

Poignant, informative, and hilarious in turn, current and former Cavaliers and drum corps enthusiasts everywhere will delight in the stories and memories waiting to be discovered inside the pages of Colt Foutz's Building the Green Machine.

Colt Foutz

Colt Foutz won fifteen state and national awards for newspaper writing. He was president of his high school marching band and studied music composition at Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned a B.A. in creative writing. Read More...

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