New Scout House Music For 2012 Field Show

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Preston Scout House Alumni Band, of Cambridge, Ontario, is adding a couple of noteworthy new arrangements to its 2012 field show: a sparkling, fast-paced version of Johnny One Note, first heard in 1937 in Rodgers and Hart’s hit Broadway show Babes In Arms and a dramatic new arrangement of Waltzing Matilda, which has been the Band’s popular signature tune since the mid-1950s.

Most listeners are familiar with Judy Garland’s version of Johnny One Note, a novelty song whose lyrics proclaimed the limited range of a band singer:

Poor Johnny one-note

sang out with “gusto”

And just overlorded the place

Poor Johnny one-note

yelled willy nilly

Until he was blue in the face

For holding one note was his ace

Couldn’t hear the brass

Couldn’t hear the drum

He was in a class

By himself, by gum!

Garland and Mickey Rooney starred in the film version of Babes In Arms, released in 1939 with only two songs retained from the stage show, which ran for close to 300 performances.

The Broadway version of Babes In Arms featured many of the best-loved popular songs of all time, including such standards as My Funny Valentine, Where Or When, The Lady Is A Tramp, Johnny One Note and I Wish I Were In Love Again. The movie features Garland and Rooney as kids whose parents perform in vaudeville shows. When the parents go on tour without the children, they produce a show of their own.

The new arrangement of Waltzing Matilda features dramatic chord changes and a stately pace that relates to the solemn message of the song’s lyrics. The melody of the Australian folk song is known around the world but few people know all the lyrics, which tell the story of a livestock rustler who jumps into a pond to evade capture by rangers. His ghost later returns to haunt the area.

Both songs were arranged for Scout House by Dave MacKinnon of Kitchener, who has been a brass teacher, arranger and clinician in Canada since 1977 and a brass instructor with the Bluecoats of Canton, Ohio since 1994. 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.

The field show for the coming exhibition season will also include If My Friends Could See Me Now; a standstill concert of Sing, Sing, Sing and Wayward Wind, another Scout House standard from the 1950s. MacKinnon also arranged these three songs. The closing number will again be Wish Me Luck, followed by Waterloo Fanfare.

Scout House resumed regular weekly Sunday afternoon music rehearsals on January 8 following the annual Christmas break. Colour guard sessions are held Tuesday evenings. The weekly indoor sessions will continue until late May, when the schedule switches to outdoor drill practice on Thursday evenings to learn the field show.

The brass section will include mellophones for the first time in 2012, adding more depth to the middle voice of the horn line, which still includes first and second French horns. The introduction of new instruments is one of the initiatives in the Scout House recruiting drive to take place over the next year, leading up to the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Band in 1938.

Since performing its first concert in Mississauga in 1999, Scout House Alumni Band has performed in more than 360 parades, field shows and concerts in communities across Ontario and Quebec, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Florida.

About 50 members of the alumni band marched with Preston Scout House in the 1950s and 1960s. The ages of Band members range from 22 to 80. Originally, Scout House was an all male organization, but today’s marching unit includes more than 20 females.

For more information about Preston Scout House Alumni Band, contact Activities Director Nancy Weiler at telephone (519) 653-3376, email prestonscouthouseband [dot] adm [at] sympatico [dot] ca or visit the Web site at

Posted by on Friday, January 13th, 2012. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.