Scout House Anniversary Year Recruiting Campaign
Dr. Grant McGregor, a retired educator who taught at Conestoga College in Kitchener, will head a major recruiting campaign for Preston Scout House Alumni Band as the organization heads into its 75th anniversary year in 2013.
Dr. McGregor has had a lengthy involvement with drum and bugle corps activity in the Kitchener/Waterloo area. He marched in the 1950s and 1960s with both the 48th Field Squadron Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE) military trumpet band and the Flying Dutchmen senior drum and bugle corps and has maintained a continuing interest in drum corps activity since then.
The 48th Field Squadron trumpet band was formed in September 1954 to perform in area parades, at hockey games and at half time during football games. Military drum and bugle corps of the day were discouraged from participating in field show competitions as they were not allowed to depart from their military drill and marching style. In 1960, like many other Ontario military units of the time, the 48th Field Squadron formed a related group named the Flying Dutchmen senior drum and bugle corps. The military unit disbanded in1961 while the Flying Dutchmen continued in competition, eventually transforming into a junior corps.
Under the direction of Dr. McGregor, the Scout House recruiting campaign will focus on a number of initiatives including a major social event saluting the Ontario drum corps community over the past 75 years, expanded media relations and efforts to establish contact with hundreds of former drum corps members from nearby communities such as Kitchener/Waterloo and Guelph and the wider area across southern Ontario.
As part of the recruiting campaign, Scout House has already established a new youth drumline which attracted a dozen young people and parents to an information open house on September 12. Regular weekly practice sessions are scheduled to begin on September 19. The drumline will be known as Scout House Cadets, named after the feeder group that was part of Scout House operations in the 1960s. 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
The anniversary salute to the drum corps community will take place at Preston Knights of Columbus building on Speedsville Road in Cambridge, the Band’s indoor rehearsal facility, on Friday, October 19. A similar Black Thursday pub night held last spring in tribute to the Guelph Royalaires attracted more than 100 former Royalaires as well as people from other drum corps in the area.
The media campaign will include short television and radio promotional spots to inform audiences about the Scout House recruiting efforts. Scout House currently enjoys extensive support from drum corps media and the newspapers, radio and television stations in the Cambridge and Kitchener/Waterloo areas.
Band members and other Scout House supporters will be encouraged to reach out to friends and acquaintances who may have an interest in joining the organization as marching or associate members.
The Scout House Alumni Band organization currently includes about 100 marching members and another 50 associate members who provide a variety of support services ranging from providing water during street parades to handling souvenir sales.
Scout House will be featured in several high profile community events over the next few weeks as the recruiting campaign unfolds. The Band will again be marching in the Kitchener/Waterloo Oktoberfest parade on Thanksgiving Day, Monday October 8. Regardless of weather conditions, the parade attracts a huge crowd along the parade route through downtown Waterloo and Kitchener. The parade is also televised nationally, giving people all across Canada a good look at Scout House in action on the street. In late November, thousands of Cambridge residents will enjoy Scout House marching in the city’s annual Christmas parade
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, West Virginia and Maryland.
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 http://www.scouthouseband.com/