More Than 80 Performers Attend Scout House Clinics

| |

More than 80 marching musicians, ranging from high school students to alumni corps veterans, enjoyed a day of learning, sitting down to lunch together and performing for each other at the end of the day during the “Time to Step Out” Scout House Alumni Band’s recent instruction clinics.

About half those attending were Scout House members. The others were members of other area marching music groups, or individuals interested in brushing up on their skills.
The percussion clinic participants included the entire drum line of the Philippine Heritage Band, the only group that got to perform for spectators before the Scout House Invitational Tattoo was rained out in late August, and the M. M. Robinson High School drum line from Burlington.

Drummers received souvenir T-shirts, hats, drum sticks, catalogues and brochures with the latest production information at the end of the session. The gifts were provided by clinic sponsors Yamaha instruments, Vic Firth Inc. percussion equipment, Zildjian cymbals and Remo drumheads.

Percussion instructor Lee Beddis describes the exercises drummers will play during demonstrations at the end of the day. Photo by Tom Mellors

The separate instruction sessions for guard, percussion and brass all ran at the same time in different areas of St. Benedict’s High School in Cambridge on Sunday, September 25. After the morning sessions, everyone gathered in the school cafeteria for lunch served by the volunteer members of the Scout House auxiliary. At the end of the afternoon sessions, all three groups gathered in the main gymnasium to present to each other what they had learned during the day.

The percussion group demonstrated a number of exercises they had worked on during the day. The brass performed the final section of a new arrangement of Malaguena while the guard demonstrated accompanying twirling and spinning moves.

The clinic instructors, all local residents, were three of the best-known teachers in the drum corps community: Dave MacKinnon, of Kitchener, who has been a brass teacher, arranger and clinician in Canada since 1977 and instructor with Bluecoats of Canton, Ohio since 1994; Lee Beddis, of Waterloo, who instructed Carolina Crown last summer and is well known in the drum corps community for his ability to teach percussion programs that quickly achieve high success; Doug Cann, of Hamilton, who has judged Drum Corps International and Drum Corps Associates (DCA) drum and bugle corps contests, high school marching band and Winter Guard International (WGI) contests and was inducted into the North East Color Guard Hall Of Fame in April 2011.

Brass instructor Dave MacKinnon leads horn players through a section of Malaguena. Horn players first saw the music at 1 pm and played the final section for the demonstration at 3:15. Photo by Tom Mellors

“Time to Step Out” was a new venture for Scout House, offered as part of its ongoing community outreach efforts to bring marching music to a wider audience than just drum and bugle corps fans.

Scout House supports high school music programs with annual donations; performs at no cost to organizers of local concerts and outdoor events; performs for ceremonies at area Royal Canadian Legion Branches, local business and heritage events; marches in Cambridge’s annual Canada Day Parade each July 1, the largest in the country, and invites the entire community to enjoy a preview of the coming summer marching season during a free Spring Opening arena show.

Although there are still several events on the 2011 schedule, including the annual Oktoberfest Parade in Kitchener/Waterloo on Thanksgiving weekend, Scout House will begin preparing for the 2012 season shortly, with new music and mellophones added to the horn line.

Those interested in marching with the band or participating in Scout House activities as an auxiliary member over the coming year can obtain more information by visiting the web site at:

Posted by on Friday, September 30th, 2011. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.