Scout House Cadets Drum Line Win First Two Contests

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scout_house_100x100Scout House Cadets, of Cambridge, topped the scoring in their category two weeks in a row in their first ever participation in Drumline Ontario competitions: at St. Mary’s High School in Hamilton on May 3 and a week later at the Drumline Ontario Provincial Championships at Laurier University in Waterloo on May 10.

The Cadets, competing in the Independent A Standstill 2 Class took the provincial title with a score of 80.3, a leap of almost 10 full points over their first-ever competition score of 70.65 a week earlier.

Drumline Ontario competition classes are divided into scholastic and independent divisions.

Scholastic ensembles are made up of students representing a school in the Ontario kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) system. All members in scholastic ensembles must be enrolled in the school board they represent.

Independent ensembles may include university level students, members from a region, or other non-scholastic participation.

Festival Class in a non-competitive class for any type of percussion ensemble. All participating ensembles receive adjudication tapes along with a rating of Gold, Silver or Bronze.

Scout House Cadets compete in the Percussion Independent Standstill (PIA-SS2) class for beginner non-scholastic ensembles who perform using marching percussion, but choose to stand still in performance.

Drumline Ontario is a Canadian not-for-profit organization established to provide percussion ensembles of every level the opportunity to improve and perform. The best interests of each musician are of paramount importance. Good musicianship, sportsmanship and skill improvement are the goals of the organization.

Scout House Cadets were founded by Scout House Band in the fall of 2012 as one of several projects to help mark the group’s 75th anniversary in 2013. The drum line began practices in September, 2012. Last September, the Cadets added a brass section to become a full drum and bugle corps. The Cadets have the same name as the original group, which served as a feeder group for Scout House Band in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Cadets now feature 12 drummers, including a double tenor line. Jim Pratt, of Guelph, is the caption head for the Cadets percussion section. He began his drum corps career in 1968 with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Ajax. He has since performed and instructed with several corps. He became caption head for the new Conqueror II drum and bugle corps in Hamilton in 1982. The corps first performed in 1983 then in 1984 leapfrogged above everyone in its class to become the undefeated Canadian Class B champions with high percussion honours from every Canadian contest.

Technicians working with the Cadets drummers include Jim Kane, who began drumming with the Toronto Optimists Cadets in 1966. He moved to the Toronto Optimists in 1970, playing double tenor, tympani, triple tenor and triple congas over the next seven years. He began teaching St. John’s Girls corps in Brantford in 1975 and was head percussion instructor/arranger for the Aurora/Newmarket Ambassadors in 1976 and again in 1977 when the drum line was undefeated in competition. He currently plays snare drum with Canadian Associates Drumming Rudimental Excellence (CADRE), the five time Drum Corps Associates (DCA) percussion ensemble champions.

Ralph Ullman joined the Niagara Regionnaires drum and bugle corps at the age of 14, a month after seeing his first contest: the 1981 Drum Corps Associates (DCA) preliminary and championship contests in Philadelphia. In the past 25 years he has played in several bands and continues to learn various styles of drumming from instructors such as Jim Pratt for drum corps; Brian Doerner for rock and Neil Lafortune for jazz.

Bill Graham, of Oakville, is brass caption head, working with Sally Ascroft, who also currently plays bass drum with Scout House Band. Graham is a 50-year veteran of drum and bugle corps activity in southern Ontario. He spent 17 years with Guelph Royalaires playing, instructing and marching as drum major. He has been associated with groups in Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, three different corps in Hamilton, Galt (now part of the city of Cambridge), Batavia, Kitchener and the current Scout House Band.

The Cadets practice each Wednesday evening at Scout House building, 1580 Queenston Road in the Preston neighbourhood of Cambridge. New members are welcome. No previous music experience is required.

For more information about Scout House Cadets, email pshcadets [at] outlook [dot] com, telephone (519) 886-7468 or visit the web site at

Posted by on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.