Scout House Clinics Coming In September

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Three of the best-known instructors in the North American drum and bugle corps community, all residents of the Cambridge, Ontario area, will share their experience and expertise with participants during the first annual Scout House Alumni Band’s “Time To Step Out” brass, percussion and guard clinics.

Time to Step Out is designed to benefit brass players, drummers and colour guard members of all ages. Registration fee for each of the concurrent sessions running from 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday September 25 is $5. Lunch will be available.

The morning sessions will concentrate on basic concepts and techniques. Following the lunch break, participants will learn Malaguena and all three groups will perform together at the end of the day.

The clinics will be held in a Cambridge high school. The school location and further details will be announced closer to the clinic date. Registration deadline is September 19. To register, contact Scout House Alumni Band president Bruce Witmer at wwitmer [at] rogers [dot] com or telephone (519) 756-0245 or contact Jim Fraser at telephone (519) 743-5164.

The brass session with Dave MacKinnon will benefit musicians who play B flat or G horns and read on the treble or bass clef. Some extra horns will be available during the day but participants are encouraged to bring their own instruments.

Drummers attending the percussion session with Lee Beddis should bring their own instruments and sticks. Some equipment will be available.

The colour guard session with Doug Cann will cover such areas as marching style, flag and rifle spinning and tossing. Participants should bring their own flag and/or rifle if possible. Some extra equipment will be on hand.

The three clinicians have all produced top scale results with some of the best-known units in marching music activity in Canada and the United States.

Dave MacKinnon, of Kitchener, has been a brass teacher, arranger and clinician in Canada since 1977. He was the music director for the Ventures All-Girl Drum and Bugle Corps of Kitchener/Waterloo from 1978 to 1993. During his 17 year tenure with the Ventures the group received international recognition in the world of marching music, finishing in the top three of their competitive class for 13 of those years, including five first place awards at the Drum Corps International (DCI) Class A and All-Girl championships.

He has hosted various brass clinics in Japan, Korea and the United States over the last 25 years and has been a music adjudicator at numerous state high school marching band championships in New York, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Nebraska.

Since 1994, MacKinnon has been a brass instructor with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps from Canton, Ohio and presently holds the position of Brass Co-Caption Head. He currently also arranges for and teaches the horn lines of Scout House Alumni Band and Toronto Optimists Alumni.

Scout House and Toronto Optimists will be featured in the Scout House Alumni Band 2011 Invitational Tattoo in Waterloo, Ontario on August 20. For tickets and other information visit the website, at:

Lee Beddis, of Waterloo, is well known in the drum corps community for his ability to teach percussion programs that quickly achieve high success. He is experienced at all levels of instruction from drum technician to caption head, arranger and percussion coordinator. He currently instructs Carolina Crown, one of the top corps in DCI. He previously instructed Madison Scouts, Star of Indiana, Phantom Regiment when they won the DCI world title in 1996, Toledo Glassmen and the Crossmen.

Beddis also judges Winter Guard International (WGI) contests across Canada and the United States. He started teaching and arranging for WGI groups in 1994 and moved into judging in 1999.

Over his years of activity, Doug Cann, of Hamilton, has not only marched in and taught colour guards, he has played in the brass line, marched as drum major, judged DCI and Drum Corps Associates (DCA) drum and bugle corps contests, high school marching band and WGI contests. He was inducted into the North East Color Guard Hall Of Fame in April 2011.

He has helped produce championships for many groups, including Legacy of Hamilton, Conqueror II of Hamilton, Empire Statesmen of Rochester, Phantasia of Cambridge, Kitchener/Waterloo Ventures, Sentenelles of Cambridge. He has also worked with a number of marching bands, including the Qualifiers Marching Band of Erie, Pennsylvania; Kenmore, New York East High School winter guard; Pioneer High School guard from Arcade, New York. He has also been guard caption head for the Edinboro University Marching Band Guard in Edinboro, Pennsylvania.

Cann has judged contests for the New York Federation of Contest Judges, Winter Guard Judging Academy and the Ontario Judging Association. His involvement in drum and bugle corps and guard activity began in 1969 when he joined the Guelph Optimist Knights. He later played horn and marched as drum major with Guelph Royalaires. His instructing career began in 1983 when he served as colour guard tech with Hamilton Ridge Raiders.

Scout House will begin preparing for the 2012 season in mid September, with new music and mellophones added to the horn line. Those interested in participating in Scout House activities over the coming year can obtain more information by visiting the web site at:

Posted by on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.