Scout House Performing At 10th DCA Alumni Spectacular

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Preston Scout House Alumni Band is making its first-ever appearance in Maryland on Labor Day weekend, performing for the 10th time since 2002 in the Alumni Spectacular field concert, held each year during the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world championship tournament weekend. All the field events will be held in Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

Weekend events include individual, ensemble and mini-corps competitions the evening of Friday, September 31, World Drum Corps Hall of Fame luncheon and induction ceremony on Saturday, preliminaries for Open and Class A corps on Saturday evening, the Alumni Spectacular field show starting at 10 am Sunday, and championship finals starting at 5 pm Sunday.

In addition to Preston Scout House Alumni Band of Cambridge, the Alumni Spectacular field concert will feature 11 other popular drum and bugle corps located from coast to coast across North America. The other featured alumni groups are Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni of Le Roy, New York;?Park City Pride of Bridgeport, Connecticut; Lancers Alumni of Hanover, Pennsylvania; Caballeros Alumni of Hawthorne, New Jersey;?New York Skyliners Alumni;?Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights Alumni of Newark, New Jersey,?Reilly Raiders of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, Freelancers Alumni of Sacramento, California;?Yankee Rebels Alumni of Baltimore, Maryland;?Bayonne Bridgemen Alumni of New Jersey, Optimists Alumni of Toronto, Ontario.

Since first performing in the DCA Alumni Spectacular show in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 2002, Scout House has remained a crowd favorite. The audience in Rochester, New York, chose Scout House as one of three most entertaining alumni corps in North America. The other two were Hawthorne Caballeros and Bayonne Bridgemen.

The Alumni Spectacular brings to a close another season of summer field shows. It comes two weeks after the 3rd annual Scout House Invitational Tattoo in Waterloo’s University Stadium which took place on a glorious summer day after the two previous Tattoos drowned in heavy rains. The 2010 event took place despite the steady day-long rain. Last year, the weather was so bad the show was cancelled and spectators and participants had to leave the stadium.

This year’s Tattoo audience enjoyed the complete field routines of all the bands and drum and bugle corps in the line up and a number of special presentations by groups playing together. This year’s Tattoo saluted the 35th anniversary of the Ceremonial Band of the Waterloo Regional Police Service.

In addition to the Waterloo band and Scout House, the line up for the family-oriented Tattoo included the Les Diplomates du Quebec Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, Quebec, QC; Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, LeRoy, New York; Optimists Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, Toronto, Ontario; United Alumni Senior Drum and Bugle Corps, Simcoe, Ontario; Burlington Teen Tour Band, Burlington, Ontario; Toronto Signals Band, Toronto, Ontario; drum line of the Philippine Heritage Band, Vaughan, Ontario; Panwaves Steel Drum Orchestra, Cambridge, Ontario (pre-show entertainment).

The family feeling of the Tattoo flowed from the seating area right out on the field with the special performances of groups playing together demonstrating the friendships and common values shared by everyone in the marching music field.

At the end of the opening ceremonies The Burlington Teen Tour Band and Scout House played If My Friends Could See Me Now, a repeat of a combined performance during Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival last June. The teenagers of the Burlington band and the seniors of Scout House represent the entire age range of the marching music community with their members as young as 13 and as old as 80.

After intermission, the second half of the Tattoo began with the 80 horns of Scout House and Les Diplomates arranged in a huge arc on the sideline to play Band of Brothers, the theme from the acclaimed series about World War II soldiers. The dramatic arrangement includes two extended conductor’s pauses. During the very long final chord being played at low volume, Les Dips’ drum major turned to salute the crowd, acknowledged the horn players on the field with a gesture to each end of the arc, then turned back to the field for a triple forte crescendo. In the words of the stadium announcer, “Wow!”

After last year’s visit to Waterloo, Les Diplomates provided their arrangement of Band of Brothers to Scout House for this year’s performance.

The Tattoo introduced an innovation: the drum lines performed together. The massed drums played Three Camps, which dates from North American colonial times when drum patterns between distant military encampments signaled that each camp was safe for the night.

The emotional highlight of the Tattoo was the performance during the finale by all the groups plus members of the Durham Girls Alumni horn line of You’ll Never Walk Alone. The Durham Girls were invited to participate following a Scout House concert during the Durham Homecoming Festival earlier in August when they had played together. The performance at the Scout House Tattoo was dedicated to Jim Tufts, a long time member of both Scout House and Mighty St. Joe’s who passed away earlier this year.

The Scout House performance season is far from over. The Band will help the Preston branch of the Royal Canadian Legion celebrate Warriors’ Day on September 8 with a short parade and tattoo performance outside the Legion. The Scout House Silver Leaves brass ensemble will entertain visitors to the Legion during the previous evening’s wine and cheese party.

Following the Legion performance, Scout House will make a short trip across town to perform on the new Astroturf field at Jacob Hespeler High School during Cambridge Minor Football Association opening day ceremonies.

Weekly Sunday afternoon music rehearsals begin in early September, running from 1 to 4 pm in the Preston Knights of Columbus building on Speedsville Road. All those interested in joining the Band or watching the rehearsals are welcome to attend. New members joining the group in autumn will have plenty of time over the winter to get their chops back in shape and learn the music for 75th anniversary year performances in 2013.

The new Scout House Cadets youth drum line program will begin Wednesday September 12 with an information night for parents and potential members at the Scout House building in Preston. Regular Wednesday evening practice sessions begin the following week on September 19. Information about the Cadets is available from Bruce Witmer, Scout House Band President, telephone (519) 756-0245 or email wwitmer [at] rogers [dot] com or Jim Pratt, Program Head, telephone (519) 823-8033, email kusankusho [at] hotmail [dot] com

Since its first stage show 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, Massachusetts, Florida and West Virginia.

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 Tuesday, August 21st, 2012. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.