New Scout House Board Of Directors

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Members of Preston Scout House Alumni Band, of Cambridge, Ontario, are marching toward 2013, the 75th anniversary of the Band’s founding in 1938, under the guidance of a newly elected board of directors.

Elections for board positions were held November 27, the day of the last regularly weekly practice before the Band’s annual Christmas banquet on December 3. Regular weekly Sunday afternoon practices resume January 8, 2012.

Bruce Witmer has been re-elected to a second three-year term as president. Tom Weiler will continue to serve as past president. Jim Fraser continues his term as vice president. Ray Palmer will continue to serve as treasurer. Lynne Musselman was re-elected to serve another term as board secretary.

All board members are elected to overlapping three-year terms arranged so that four positions are renewed each year. Elected board positions include: president, immediate past president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, four members at large. The board structure also includes the activities coordinator and equipment manager, both appointed, and the elected chair of the steering committee.

Ray Hallman, re-elected to another term, and Dan Young are members at large, joining Roger Waller and Wayne Ryder, whose terms are continuing. Nancy Weiler continues as activities coordinator and Mike Young continues as equipment manager. Both have held their position since the alumni band began operations in the fall of 1998. Roy Wilson will serve on the board as steering committee chair.

Scout House has already implemented a number of new initiatives leading up the 2013 performance year. The horn line now includes mellophones, which will add a new voice to the horn line’s upper register. The brass section will still include first and second French horn parts in music scores.

Many drum and bugle corps began switching from French horns to mellophones as the middle range voice in the brass line in the 1960s. Scout House continued throughout its history to use French horns as a way of reinforcing the distinct sound of its B-flat instruments.

Scout House purchased its mellophones from Madison Scouts, following Madison’s performance in the Drum Corps International (DCI) final competition in August. The close relationship between Madison and Scout House extends back to the 1950s, when Scout House appeared regularly at events in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Scout House web site will undergo a complete redesign over the next few weeks, to be unveiled early in the new year.

Both initiatives are part of the overall recruiting campaign that will also begin early in 2012 with the aim of sharply increasing membership for the 2013 anniversary year.

Scout House originated in the late 1930s as a non-traditional activity for the members of the 1st Preston Boy Scout Troop. The town of Preston is now part of the city of Cambridge.

During almost 30 years of activity until 1967, “Canada’s famous Scout House Bugle Band,” named after the scout troop’s building, won more than 80 regional, provincial, national and international titles. In 1957, Scout House marched in 30 parades. The Band traveled 8,216 miles throughout Ontario and Quebec and nine states, appearing before more than 1,234,856 people. In preparation for this busy performance schedule, Scout House held 135 practice sessions.

The band continued to operate as a street parade unit for more than 10 years after the original group disbanded.

Scout House blazed a trail of innovation and performance excellence throughout the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, introducing Latin-styled numbers, Broadway hits and classical selections while other corps were still playing mainly military marches; introducing French horns and E-flat bass baritones; competing in four different categories in the Waterloo Music Festival in a single day, winning each one, and then performing a late night encore of its field show before 30,000 spectators.

Since its first stage concert in 1999, Scout House Alumni Band has performed more than 360 parades, field shows and concerts in communities across Ontario and Quebec, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Florida. In the 2011 performance season, which ended November 20 with a Christmas parade in Guelph, Scout House performed 24 times: seven stage concerts, 11 parades, and six field shows.

Anyone interested in joining the Scout House organization as a marching or associate member should contact activities coordinator Nancy Weiler by email at prestonscouthouseband [dot] adm [at] sympatico [dot] ca or by telephone at (519) 653-3376.

Posted by on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.