Building the Green Machine
by Colt Foutz

Now Available Nationwide.
Visit Your Local Bookstore Today!

ISBN: 978-1-932714-39-5
480 pages, 70+ photos
In trade hardcover: $32.95
In trade paperback: $19.95


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Building the Green Machine Hits Bookstores July 1

Calling all marching music heroes: the book you’ve been waiting for is here!

This July, in time for drum and bugle corps season, a book that gets inside what it’s like to give your all – on and off the field – comes to a store near you.

Building the Green Machine tells how a Chicago Boy Scout troop morphed into one of the greatest drum and bugle corps in the world.

Don Warren was just a teenager when he founded the Cavaliers in 1948. Sixty years later, he’s still at the helm – the “president, and still founder.”

Follow the story of his life, and how Don and a group of dedicated men and women turned the Cavaliers into champions, winners of 20 national and world titles. Read how Don and a group of rival directors created Drum Corps International in the 1970s, and about the Cavaliers’ miracle resurgence.

Building the Green Machine is packed with insights and the insider stories that capture the spirit of the drum corps movement throughout history. Hop along on the tour bus for a behind-the-scenes look at marching life then and now through the eyes of the people living it – and loving it.

Order your copy today – in hardcover or paperback – at a store near you. Check back at this site for news of bookstore readings and signings. Special hardcover first editions are available through the Cavaliers at


Look for Building the Green Machine on the Road this Summer!

The days are getting longer and warmer. Summer is upon us. And that means: drum corps season!

The Cavaliers kick off their annual 12,000-mile summer tour on June 21 with a performance at the Show of Shows competition in Rockford, Illinois. From there, it’s on to 26 more shows – from Madison, Wisconsin to San Antonio, Texas; from Atlanta, Georgia to Rome, New York, and many points in between.

It all leads up to DCI World Championships week Aug. 6-9 in Bloomington, Indiana. The Cavaliers will be after their eighth DCI title, and Building the Green Machine will be cheering them on every step of the way.

Author Colt Foutz will be on hand to chat with drum corps fans and sign copies of Building the Green Machine at more than a dozen shows this summer. Stop by the Cavaliers souvenir trailer for special promotions and to play the Drum Corps History Challenge!


Upcoming events

Check here for news of signings, readings, talks and other book-related events.

Attend Building the Green Machine’s hometown bookstore launch!

Author Colt Foutz will give a special talk on drum corps history and The Cavaliers during a reading and signing on June 29 at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville.

The event begins at 1 p.m. in Anderson’s, at 123 West Jefferson Ave. Foutz will autograph copies of Building the Green Machine, which will be released nationally in hardcover and paperback July 1.

Cavaliers and Drum Corps International founder Don Warren will also be in attendance to autograph books and to share stories from his 60 years at the helm of the 20-time national and world champion Cavaliers.

Foutz began covering the Cavaliers in 2004 as a reporter for the Naperville Sun. His feature story on the corps’ first home show in Naperville put him in touch with Don and Jan Warren, which began a nearly three-year process of interviewing more than 200 drum corps members, alumni, staff, volunteers and fans to tell the inside stories that make up Building the Green Machine.

The book features more than 70 photographs from throughout drum corps history, as well as a look at how the activity has evolved from its military roots to the free-wheeling musical and visual artistry of today. More than 100 marching groups are profiled, and the day-to-day touring life of modern competitive corps is examined in detail. DCI executive director Dan Acheson said in a review, “This is a must-have for anyone who calls drum corps their activity.”


Celebrate the Cavaliers’ 60th anniversary and the 80th birthday of a drum corps icon

Mark your calendars! On August 3, 2008, Cavaliers alumni, family, fans and friends will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the corps and pay tribute to founder Don Warren.

The official gala anniversary banquet will be hosted in the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

In the 1940s, Don Warren and his buddies in Boy Scout Troop 111 from Chicago’s rough-and-tumble Logan Square used to hike the trails of Camp Ft. Dearborn – just beyond where the waterfall spills down the hill next to the convention center today.
The Boy Scout troop would become the Cavaliers. And sixty years later, Don is still their president – and still their founder.

Come for an evening of looking back and celebrating all that is to come. Tickets are $95 per person, getting anniversary gifts for friends is not mandatory.



Read what media are saying about Building the Green Machine

Fictionary magazine, Spring 2008

Colt is profiled in the “News & Notes” and “On the Shelf” features about students, faculty and alumni of the Columbia College Fiction Writing Department with recent books. Foutz says of the writing process:

“At the newspaper, real writing was writing every day, and learning how to tap into your creativity on deadline… . In enterprise projects, whether it’s a book or just something you burn to write about, it’s an effort of love, almost. So you find your own fuel, your own touchstones: spiffy turns of phrase, or the daily page count, or in nonfiction, the insight or information you really had to dig for.”


Coming Soon: Dave Richards reviews BTGM in Masters of the Marching Arts magazine

Former drum corps judge and Racine Boys of ’76 chief Dave Richards raves about the book in an upcoming issue.

He writes: “What is green, black and white and should be red (read) all over? The answer would be Building the Green Machine.”


Watch for upcoming profiles of Building the Green Machine, and previews of drum corps shows near you in:

The Times-Reporter (New Philadelphia, OH)
The Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
The Danville Advocate-Messenger (Danville, KY)
Halftime Magazine

Stay tuned for more!


Dave Scott reviews BTGM in April edition of Drum Corps World

April issue is out to subscribers now!

Drum Corps World publisher Steve Vickers conducts Q&A with BTGM author Colt Foutz

February edition of Drum Corps World

Browse the archives and buy your copy:


"Marching to his own Drummer"
by Louise Brass
in the Bolingbrook Sun, December 14, 2007


BTGM featured on Drum Corps Europe web site: (Dutch language)


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