Scout House Receives Cambridge Chamber Of Commerce Award

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Preston Scout House Band is the winner of the inaugural award to a large non-profit group in the 1st annual Cambridge and North Dumfries Chamber of Commerce Community Awards program, presented at Dunfield Theatre in Cambridge on Tuesday November 12. The other nominees were: Cambridge Community Association, Lisaard House Charitable Foundation, Lutherwood, Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region.

Bruce Witmer, president of the Scout House board of directors accepted the plaque on behalf of the Band. The Community Awards program recognizes achievements of not-for-profit organizations, charities and services groups in Cambridge and North Dumfries. Awards were presented in 10 categories.

Scout House received a city of Cambridge cultural award for achievement in music about 10 years ago, shortly after the alumni band began performing. The original Scout House Band and founder Wilf Blum are members of the Cambridge Hall of Fame.

Preston Scout House Band Inc. is a non-profit corporation incorporated in 1956 under the Corporations Act of the Province of Ontario. Preston Scout House Band Inc. is the umbrella organization giving oversight to all activities conducted under that name. Current activities include Preston Scout House Alumni Band and Preston Scout House Cadets drum and bugle corps. In addition to providing entertainment to the community and representing Cambridge at many out of town events, the organization also provides grants for music programs in the community and promotes marching music activity.

The Preston Scout House organization includes about 115 marching band members, about 35 young members of Preston Scout House Cadets and about 60 associate members who help provide a variety of support services.

In 2013, the organization celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding in 1938 as an activity for members of the 1st Preston Boy Scout Troop. Goals for the 75th anniversary year included:
*increasing visibility in the community.
*updating instrumentation and music arrangements.
*recruiting to attract younger marching musicians to the band.
*providing a variety of entertainment events for local audiences.
*stimulating the growth of music programs and the drum and bugle corps community in Ontario.

Preston Scout House Band achieved all its goals in 2013, reinforcing its position as one of North America’s most popular and entertaining drum and bugle corps, operating on a solid base of community support. Members show an exceptionally high level of commitment to Band activities, not only marching and playing, but filling about 100 positions on more than 20 committees.

Preston Scout House Band, of Cambridge wound up 75th anniversary year performance schedule marching at home in the annual Cambridge Christmas parade the evening of Saturday, November 16 and almost at home the following afternoon in the Guelph Community Santa Parade.

The anniversary year began on the Centre in the Square concert stage in mid-January with the drum lines of both Scout House and Preston Scout House Cadets performing during the Kitchener/Waterloo Symphony’s Drums, Drums, Drums family concert. Since then, Scout House has performed 28 times in southern Ontario and across the border in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

Since its first stage concert at the Great Alliance of Seniors (GAS) reunion in Mississauga in 1999, Scout House has performed 425 concerts, street parades and field shows in Ontario, Quebec and 10 American states: Michigan, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland and Florida. By happy coincidence, the Band’s 400th performance took place in April during the 2013 Spring Opening arena show, offered free each year in response to widespread support from local residents, businesses and the city of Cambridge.

Preparations for the 2014 performing season are already well underway, with brass, percussion and display guard rehearsals on Sunday afternoons, Silver Leaves brass ensemble rehearsals Sunday mornings, guard sessions Tuesday evenings, extra brass practice for new members and others who enjoy sitting in on Wednesday evenings, Preston Scout House Cadets brass and percussion practice at Scout House building on Wednesday evenings and drill team floor show marching practice on Thursday evenings. Indoor practice continues throughout the winter and early spring until May, when outdoor field show practices begin on the Cambridge Centre Mall parking lot.

For more information about Scout House 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

Information about Preston Scout House Cadets is available from pshcadets [at] outlook [dot] ca

Posted by on Saturday, November 16th, 2013. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.