The defending World Champion Cavaliers scored of 74.60 in Oswego, Ill., on Friday night, winning this early season contest in front of 3,000 noisy fans under near-perfect marching conditions. The Cavaliers' director, Jeff Fiedler, said the corps felt "Really good about how the guys performed. It was very exciting, and they were very much anticipating the performance because we've been on our pre-tour during three weeks, getting it all together, and getting ready to go. So it turned out to be a very exciting performance, a lot of energy and I think they did a really good job."
Members of the Cavaliers were equally pleased with their performance. Rookie vibraphonist Travis Knapp, 16, of Amarillo, Texas, said, "It was amazing; I didn't know it was going to be like this. I never performed with a group like the Cavaliers before, I only performed with orchestras and bands, but never with a marching group like I just did tonight, so it was really incredible, I really enjoyed it. It was a lot better than what I thought it was going to be!" Knapp is anticipating the upcoming season. "I'm very excited about this season, about the show, getting better, we have a long ways to go to get it clean, but I'm really looking for it. Having in mind that I'm only 16, I feel really lucky to be in the corps, because I know that a lot of people tried out and I just feel really fortunate to be able to play with such a great corps." For their first show of the season, Glassmen received a score of 65.80. Brian Hickman, corps director, described the performance as a "Typical first performance. The kids did great, there were some nerves but they were ready for that and overall things worked very well! The best part of the show to me is when you actually get the entire show on the field, when you get them out here, and have them doing what they are supposed to be doing and get into the performing again." Right before the intermission Pioneer (51.40) took the field, followed by Capital Sound (51.60). Capital Sound's show was "More under control than the previous show. With maybe a little less energy, but we really put it out on the field tonight," said Mary Eneff, 21, of Fort Atkinson, Wis. Eneff is a sixth-year member and is drum major for the 2003 season. Americanos, who scored 40.05, "Were a little better than the night before. We are getting better everyday. We worked on the closer all day and it was a lot better than last night, which was our goal for tonight's competition," said corps director Butch Kolosso. The Joliet Kingsmen began the evening and scored 28.85.
Travis Knapp, a vibraphonist for the Cavaliers, and a Glassmen bass player perform in Oswego on Friday.