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Home > News Briefs > Building the Green Machine by Colt Foutz

Building the Green Machine documents Cavaliers history

Journalist Colt Foutz writes in-depth biography of Cavaliers founder Don Warren

Photo ROSEMONT, IL - Building the Green Machine is the biography of corps founder Don Warren and a comprehensive history of the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps.

Author Colt Foutz, a former reporter and columnist at the Naperville (Ill.) Sun, spent two years interviewing Warren to get the "inside scoop" of the Cavaliers organization. In addition, Foutz 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.

Building the Green Machine follows the Cavaliers' 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."

Photo 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.

The book 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.

Building The Green Machine is published by Savas Beatie and is available in hardcover (480 pages, 75 photos). The book includes a foreword by Cavaliers alumnus Gary W. Moore and a preface by Don Warren. For more information and excerpts from the book, visit

About Colt Foutz: In six years as a journalist in Ohio and the Chicago suburbs, 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. Colt is a recipient of a Follett Fellowship in the M.F.A. writing program at Columbia College Chicago. He lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and son.

Text courtesy of the publisher. Author photo courtesy of Colt Foutz.

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

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