Renowned Rosemont Cavaliers Mark 60th Anniversary; Partnership with Yamaha Enters Second Decade

3/14/2008 [Marching Instruments]

One of the Industry's Longest DCI Partnerships Yields Ongoing Benefits for Both

BUENA PARK, Calif. — Founded in Chicago in 1948, the Rosemont Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps has solidified a tradition of superb music making. This year, Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division celebrates two decades of walking step by step with the Cavaliers, in a mutually beneficial relationship that has stood the test of time.

The Rosemont Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps
Yamaha and the Cavaliers have been marching together for over twenty years.
"I believe the Cavaliers have always been a role model for marching percussion sophistication, with their playing style, show programming, and professionalism among staff and marching members," said Jim Campbell, Professor of Percussion at the University of Kentucky and former principal instructor, arranger, and program coordinator for the Cavaliers. "Yamaha has truly helped the Cavaliers gain international visibility in the industry and success in the competitive arena."

Since the partnership was forged in 1987, the Cavaliers have proudly carried Yamaha Percussion exclusively. But that's only the beginning. The Cavaliers have also lent their expertise to the testing of Yamaha percussion products in the rigors of an outdoor setting, and have contributed directly to the development of landmark offerings such as the MTS snare drum, the YM-2400 marimba, the YV-2700 vibraphone and the Multi-Frame I and Multi-Frame II. A variety of new product colors, drum wraps and coated hardware has been put through their paces in the Cavaliers' capable hands.

Known to fans as the "Cavies" and the "Green Machine," the Cavaliers are one of only two all-male corps in the activity, the other being the Madison Scouts, also an all-Yamaha ensemble. The group has a long history of success in the competitive ranks of Drum Corps International (DCI). The Cavaliers have won more championships and contests than any other drum and bugle corps, including Drum Corps International, VFW, American Legion, and Winter Guard International.

The Cavaliers have played Yamaha Brass since 2001 and have become known in the activity for their unique conceptual approach to brass pedagogy. The series of ideas and exercises that comprise their approach revolves around establishing a characteristic tone quality on Concert F and then transferring the characteristic sound of that note to notes above and below it, both individually and across the ensemble.

"Yamaha helped us immediately take off when they came along in 2001," says Mark McGahey, member of the Cavaliers Brass Staff. "As soon as we started playing Yamaha our success rate went up. It's a great relationship that still goes strong today."

The Cavaliers were the second Division 1 Drum Corps ensemble to switch to Yamaha Brass when the rules were changed to allow Bb instruments. After winning the DCI championship in their first year playing Yamaha, it was clear that the relationship was on the right track.

The Rosemont Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps
The Cavaliers in Performance
"The Cavaliers staff have been overwhelmingly supportive of Yamaha throughout the years, and have contributed numerous product development projects," recalls Kurt Witt, Marketing Manager, Yamaha Wind Instruments. "Although the Bb instrument era is still relatively brief, considering the long Cavaliers history with Yamaha, I'm pretty sure we'll be celebrating the Cavaliers 20th year playing Yamaha brass in 2021."

After winning the 2006 DCI World Championships, The Cavaliers tied the record for the most World Championship Titles in a single decade since the creation of Drum Corps International in 1972. The Cavaliers obtained their fourth title since the beginning of the decade, with wins in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2006.

"Yamaha and the Cavaliers have always been synonymous to me," says Jim Bailey, a performing member and corps instructor. "Yamaha has always gone the extra mile in the realm of customer service. We were proud the carry the Yamaha badge and the staff was very proud of the fact that the members took great care of their instruments. Remember, you only sound as good as your instrument does!"

For its part, Yamaha has been a consistent and ready supporter of the Cavaliers program, and by now an entire generation of Yamaha representatives has forged personal relationships with the corps' staff and performers. "This is not merely our longest-standing relationship with a marching percussion corps, but one we view as a model for how relationships like this ought to work," says Roger Eaton, Director of Marketing, Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division. "The Cavaliers, along with the Madison Scouts are really at the foundation of our entire marching percussion program, and it is no exaggeration to say that it feels like family on all sides."

Former Marching Member, Percussion Instructor and Board Member, Dave Dombeck recalls a signature moment in the relationship. "I remember building snare drums during the rehearsal for finals in 1992 with then General Manager Jay Wanamaker. We were sitting in a van, working on the drums and missing rehearsal so that the percussion would have the ideal sound. I'm thinking to myself, 'now this is service'," he remembers. "When the corps won the championship and high drums, we all felt that Yamaha was a part of the victory. I can recall seeing how happy and excited Jay and all of the Yamaha staff were when the corps was crowned champs."

"This is the way Yamaha has always approached our relationship – first class quality and first class service," says Troy Wollwage, Marketing Manager, Yamaha Percussion. "This is why we have been together for twenty years. And we are looking forward to the next twenty!"

For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622, telephone (714) 522-9011, e-mail or visit

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