2014 Scout House Spring Opening Arena Show
Spectators at the annual Preston Scout House Spring Opening arena show will enjoy entertainment by two widely separated generations of drum and bugle corps enthusiasts: the veteran members of Scout House and the young members of Scout House Cadets and the winter colour guards of the Ventures of Kitchener and St. John’s of Brantford.
The Spring Opening will take place Sunday, April 27 at Preston Memorial Auditorium, 1458 Hamilton Street in Cambridge, with no admission charge and plenty of free parking spaces available. The annual event is offered as a thank you for ongoing community support. Doors will open at noon with seating on first-come, first-served basis for the 1 pm start.
The fast-paced format of this year’s show will feature non-stop segments of activity on the floor, beginning with the national anthem and ending with current and former Scout House members singing the Band’s song.
Master of ceremonies for the afternoon will be Larry Blundell, a long time member of the original Scout House Band and former drum major and drill instructor of the current group. Over the winter, he taught the heritage drill team routine that will be presented during the afternoon.
The Scout House Silver Leaves brass ensemble will play O Canada then remain on the floor to perform several numbers. This will be the group’s first appearance in 2014. The following weekend, they will be performing at the 30th annual Great Alliance of Seniors (GAS) reunion in Binghamton, New York. This year’s Silver Leaves repertoire includes the Muppet Show theme song,?Gospel John,?Moondance,?House of the Rising Sun and?One Fine Morning, one of many hit songs performed by the rock group Lighthouse, whose members include former Scout House snare drummer Ron ‘Skip’ Prokop.
The Ventures will feature two of their winter guard groups. Winter guard contests are an outflow of outdoor field show routines that extend the summer season to year round activity. Many guards, like the Ventures and St. John’s, are still active after their original drum and bugle corps ceased activity. The Ventures and St. John’s compete in Winter Guard International (WGI) contests.
The Ventures organization features three separate units: the Cadet Guard, performing a Hoedown Throwdown to the music of Hannah Montana; the Regional A Guard (Cadet Class champions in 2013) brings the music of the Bee Gees for One Night Only; the Independent A Guard is going Up! with a show exploring things that rise higher.
The Scout House heritage drill team, which celebrated its 20th anniversary season in 2013, is presenting a floor routine this year that introduces marching styles and maneuvers never before performed by Scout House. Drill team members wear the uniform of the Band in the 1950s and ‘60s: tight black shorts, knee length socks, short sleeved burgundy shirts, white gauntlets and black Aussie hat. The drill team will also be performing at the GAS reunion the first weekend in May.
The St. John’s winter guard of Brantford traces its roots back more than 60 years. St. John’s began in 1953 as an all-girl drum and bugle corps at Brantford Catholic High School and competed in various forms until 2006, earning a number of provincial, national and World Open titles and frequently finishing near the top of its category in Drum Corps International (DCI) championship tournaments. The winter guard first competed in 2010.
Scout House Cadets began as a drum line under the direction of percussion caption head Jim Pratt in September 2012, first appearing in public at the Centre in the Square theatre in Kitchener in January 2013 during a Kitchener/Waterloo Symphony family concert. The Cadets became a full drum and bugle corps in September 2013 with the addition of a horn line.
The Cadets now feature 12 drummers, including a double tenor line. They will be competing in their first Drumline Ontario competition at St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Hamilton on Saturday, May 3. The following week, they’ll compete again, in the Drumline Ontario provincial championships, starting at 1 pm on Saturday May 10 in the Wilfrid Laurier University Athletic Complex in Waterloo. Scout House Band will perform in exhibition before the competition begins.
The Cadets horns are working under the direction of brass caption head Bill Graham, assisted by Sally Ascroft, who also plays bass drum with Scout House. Horn line sessions began in September with four Cadets. Since then, the line has grown to 16, with trumpets offering the top voice, flugel horns in the middle and baritones filling out the bottom end of the range. The horn line has a bit of performance experience, having played for the 4th Waterloo Scouts organization in February.
During the Spring Opening, the drum line will play the Cadets street beat, The Groove, Santana and a piece that combines Mars, Bringer of War with On the Waterfront. The full ensemble will play Ode to Joy.
The drum lines of the Cadets and Scout House will perform together. The two percussion sections frequently perform together, including at last year’s Spring Opening and the Scout House Invitational Tattoo in Waterloo last August.
Scout House Band will follow the percussion feature with a preview of this year’s field show repertoire including, as usual, a blend of new tunes and fan-favourite Scout House heritage numbers. Waterloo Fanfare recalls the days when Scout House dominated Waterloo Music Festival field shows and parades. A percussion feature leads into a driving arrangement of Miserlou, performed originally in the 1920s as a desert love song and transformed into a modern rock classic by the Beach Boys and guitar legend Dick Dale. Waltzing Matilda, the Band’s signature song since the mid 1950s is presented this year in military style with a formal introduction by the percussion section and glockenspiels establishing the mood.
Other selections include Johnny One Note, the novelty number made popular by Judy Garland. The field show closes with a dramatic version of Through The Eyes of Love, the emotional love ballad from the movie Ice Castles.
In the spirit of fellowship that binds Band members together through the years, former members in the audience will be invited to the floor to sing all three choruses of the Band theme song, set to the tune of Men of Harlech.
The afternoon of entertainment concludes with all audience members encouraged to walk out on the floor to greet and talk to Band members.
For more information about Preston 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 http://www.scouthouseband.com/