2011 Preston Scout House Expands Instruction Staff

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Preston Scout House Alumni Band is preparing for its 2011 field show exhibition tour under the direction of an expanded instruction staff, including many of the best-known names in the Canadian drum and bugle corps community.

Scout House will appear on the field at shows in Ontario, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York between June 25 and Labor Day weekend.

Dave MacKinnon is the brass arranger, horn line teacher and consultant. He is also the co-brass caption head of the highly regarded Canton, Ohio Blue Coats, one of Drum Corps International’s (DCI) top corps. His career as an arranger and instructor began in the 1970s as musical director of the Ventures all girls corps of Kitchener.

He has taught, written, and consulted for drum and bugle corps in Canada, the United States, Korea, and Japan for many years. He is also a music judge for the U.S. Scholastic Band Association, New York Field Band Conference, Ontario Drum Corps Association, Michigan C.B.A., and Indiana State Music Association. Scout House will step off the line this summer with his arrangement of If My Friends Could See Me Now.

Brass instructors are Gord Cupskey, who has taught and arranged for many community bands in the Cambridge area and Norm Courneyea, former brass instructor with Etobicoke Crusaders and Etobicoke Oakland Crusaders, who both also play in the lead trumpet section and the Band’s Silver Leaves brass ensemble.

Percussion arranger and teacher is Wayne Elliott, who in earlier years played snare drum with Scout House and Guelph Royalaires, and taught Northstar, St. John’s Girls and Flying Dutchmen. He has also served as a DCI percussion judge. Percussion instructor Don Rieck was also an instructor with Flying Dutchmen as well as Northstar, and Dutch Boy Cadets during their top DCI years in the 1980s.

Field show visual designer and teacher is Larry Blundell, a former Guelph Royalaires drum major and drill instructor. Drill instructors are Paul Bauer, who taught drill to the original Scout House Band and marched as its most popular drum major in the 1950s and Del Barclay, a former Guelph Royalaires color guard captain and drum major who originally marched in the Scout House guard in the early 1950s and continued with the Royalaires from the late 1950s until the early 1970s.

Former Guelph Royalaires color guard captain Ken Becker writes the guard’s field show drill and also marches with the guard. Doug Cann heads the new rifle squad that will be featured during field shows later this summer. He is a member of the Winter Guard International Hall of Fame and a Winter Guard judge. He has taught guards of Empire Statesmen, Dutch Boy, Guelph Royalaires and other prominent corps.

The Scout House standstill concert number during the field show will again be MacKinnon’s arrangement of Sing, Sing, Sing, one of the best known big band tunes from the Swing era. The whole corps will move to the front sideline for the high volume ending.

He has also re-arranged the Scout House version of The Wayward Wind to create a haunting sound reminiscent of the original version first heard on radio in the 1950s. It leads into his majestic version of the famous Waterloo Fanfare, which is this year’s color presentation.

The percussion feature written by Elliott is based on Wooden Soldiers, the novelty number that astounded audiences in the 1950s as the musicians marched stiff-legged, rocked back and forth and turned circles before slumping down to a slack position like wind up toys that had run out of energy. The production will highlight the glockenspiel section and a trumpet trio.

Other field show selections this season are Oklahoma, a drum feature titled Buckle Up leading into Waltzing Matilda, the Band’s theme song, and the show-closing Wish Me Luck and a reprise of Waterloo Fanfare.

Since its first performance in 1999, Scout House Alumni Band has performed more than 340 times, including 137 concerts, 256 parades and 48 field shows, across Ontario, Quebec, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut and Florida

In almost 30 years of operation before the original group disbanded in 1967, Canada’s famous Preston Scout House Band won more than 80 international, national, provincial and regional titles in performances across the eastern half of the continent from Minnesota through Ontario and Quebec to the Atlantic seaboard. Since its formation in 1998, the Alumni Band has earned the City of Cambridge award for cultural achievement in music and many parade awards.

Scout House Alumni Band includes more than 100 members, who participate in the full marching band, field show unit, drill team and Silver Leaves brass ensemble. The 2011 version of the Band includes two drum majors, a colour guard of about 25, 31 in the percussion section and a brass line of about 50.

For more information, visit the Band’s website, at: http://www.scouthouseband.com/index.html

Posted by on Monday, June 6th, 2011. Filed under Current News, DCA News.