It takes time and dedication to learn and study the drill of each show. From February-May, you're learning the drill, along with the music. By the time tour starts, middle of June, there have already been significant changes to the drill. Possibly the drill didn't fit the music, or the music didn't sound right, so they changed the music. Constantly throughout the summer, the music changes, and the drill changes. It is possible that by the time when championships come around, a corps is doing a completely different show then what they started with. This isn't just with the composer/designers ideas, it's also from being judged during the different contests. The judges give their perspective on the show and say something like, "you need to change this", or "the flags didn't look right", or "WOW, that was awesome!" After the contest, the instructors listen to the adjudicators tapes to see what the corps needs to work on for the future, so we would work on those parts the next day.
We really saw the country on tour. Well, actually we saw many high school gyms, and high school football fields. When we would pull in, in the weeee hours of the morning, we would go sleep on the gym floors. We each had our own little spots to sleep in. They weren't assigned spots, it's just a place that you find comfortable in the gym. Mine was usually under the basketball net inside the 3-point area with four other friends. First thing in the morning, the field staff would be out scouting the area for some great locations to have a make-shift football field to practice on. They would go out and spray paint the grass, usually about three fields. One for the Guard, one for the percussion, and one for the horns. This way during sectionals, each group had their own field to work on. While one group was working on drill, another could be working on music. It worked out well most of the time. Once in a while, they had to have the fields over lap, but it wasn't often.
In 1991, early in the season, we were at the Preview of Champions in Madison, WI. Who would have known that 12 months later, we would come back to Camp Randall stadium and win The DCI World Championship for the first time in our Cavalier history. The two years I marched with the Cavaliers were the best two years so far in my life. I wish I could devote more of my time to be with the corps, but my full time job calls!
One interesting tidbit about this corps is one of it's nicknames: Green Machine
It has been told that when the corps is moving, it looks like a never-ending motion and the designs look like gears of a machine at work. This was a nickname that was given to the corps back in the 60's/70's. During tour, you really start to learn a lot about the history of the corps. History that you normally wouldn't hear about in public. A lot of it you learn during your second year, where in tThe Cavaliers, you get initiated. If you are a first year member, but are an 'age-out', then you can be initiated too. The Cavaliers figure that if you come back a second year, you are more dedicated to the corps. I could go into talking about the initiation process, but I would be killed by my fellow brothers! So, you will have to go and march to learn what it takes to be a Cavalier.
After our 1992 DCI Championship, the corps received two letters that was printed in our Alumni Association newsletter. It congratulated the members of that corps who won the DCI World Championship for the first time. Feel free to view them here: Cavaliers 1992