This page updated: Monday, June 10, 2013
For the fourth year in a row the United Alumni Senior Drum & Bugle Corps, in cooperation with the Simcoe Lions Club, presented our popular stage concert featuring the music, pageantry and excitement of the finest marching bands in Ontario.
Our May 10th performance was second to none. All participants performed beautifully making our 2008 show another great success.
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…. ‘and the Bands played on…IV’ launches the 2008 Season for Ontario’s Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps - Published in the June 2008 issue.
by Richard T Robida – Staff Writer - Drum Corps World
May 10, 2008 – Simcoe, Ontario … The 2008 Ontario drum corps season kicked off to a capacity crowd Saturday night at Simcoe Composite School with … ‘and the Bands played on … IV’. The 2008 edition of this annual event was the best ever and the town reverberated as four of Canada’s finest Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps as well as Dutch Boy Drum Corps and the Paris-Port Dover Pipe Band ‘rocked the house’ This increasingly popular showcase event was co-sponsored by the United Alumni Senior Drum & Bugle Corps and the Simcoe Lions.
The Toronto Signals Band opened the show with the playing of Oh Canada. Celebrating their 82nd year of service, Sigs as they are affectionately known, featured 22 brass and primed the enthusiastic crowd for what was to come. Under the direction of DCI Hall of Fame member Barry Bell, Sigs 2008 repertoire included As Time Goes By, What to do With a Drunken Sailor and The Maple Leaf Forever. Also known as Canada’s Marching Ambassadors this unique organization, dedicated to preserving the history and traditions of Canada’s oldest Military Band had the audience on their feet in appreciation of a solid and stirring performance.
Preston Scout House Alumni Band from Cambridge, ON was up next and proved to be a favorite with the enthusiastic crowd who welcomed them with repeated standing ovations. 2008 marks the 70th anniversary of the 1st Preston Boy Scout Troop bugle band which evolved into Canada’s perennial Jr. Champions. The 2008 Alumni Band is also celebrating their 10th year of existence. In a salute to these significant milestones the Band provided a rousing rendition of their famous Scout House on Parade song to the strains of Men of Harlach. The Band song which is sung before every performance was written by the late member Ken Whittington in 1954. The Band’s 2008 repertoire includes Waterloo Fanfare and Colonel Bogey March off-the-line as well as a Broadway medley concert of No Business Like Show Business, Tonight and Music of the Night. The Band concludes with Wayward Wind and their popular theme Waltzing Matilda. Based on tonight’s performance 2008 should be a great year for Scout House.
A welcome addition to this year’s show was the award-winning Paris/Port Dover Pipe Band. Since the band’s formation in 2000 it has garnered a reputation for excellence – locally, nationally and internationally. In 2007 the band won fourth place in their respective level in the Worlds Pipe Band Competition in Scotland. Proudly wearing the Lamont Tartan the band wowed tonight’s crowd with their renditions of Scotland the Brave, Scottish Soldier and Bonnie Dundee.
Dutch Boy Drum Corps from Kitchener/Waterloo were next to take the stage. This young Corps that featured 17 brass was recognized as the Most Improved Division III Drum Corps at the 2007 DCI Championships held in Pasadena, California last August. They also were the recipient of the Division III Bronze Medal. Dutch Boy provided a more contemporary glimpse of Jr. Corps activity and was well received by this drum corps savvy audience. Dutch Boy’s 2008 repertoire includes original compositions by Brass Arranger Nick Klawitter as well as the Pat Methany rhapsody Another Life.
The Optimists Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps was greeted with a rousing welcome as they filled the stage with 34 brass and 18 percussion. 2008 marks the 50th Anniversary of Canada’s legendary ‘Green Machine’ and from the opening strains of their 1963 classic off-the-line of Lawrence of Arabia and El Cid were out to prove the ‘Legend Lives On’. The Alumni Corps founded in 2003 continues to improve each year and the 2008 horn line is the best ever. This year’s repertoire features other Optimist favorites including; More and More, In the Mood, Caravan, Battle Cry of Freedom as well as If You’re Going to San Francisco. Optimists, arguably referred to as Canada’s most winning Drum Corps received a thundering ovation from tonight’s appreciative audience.
The final Corps to perform was United Alumni Senior Drum & Bugle Corps from Simcoe, ON. This Corps, which gets better each year, was welcomed as the home town favorite. Len Addley is undoubtedly one of the best Drum Majors around and continues to bring out the best in this classy alumni corps. This year the corps features 33 brass and a repertoire that is non-stop entertainment. Their rendition of I go to Rio is a crowd favorite. The 2008 repertoire also includes Auld Lang Syne, Danny Boy and Amazing Grace.
The show closed with a unique and very moving version of Amazing Grace performed by the combined brass line of United Alumni and the bag-pipes of the Paris/Port Dover Pipe Band under the direction of Simcoe’s Drum Major Len Addley. The finale number was the brain storm of United Alumni percussion instructor Robert Judd. On one occasion after witnessing 1300 pipers playing this traditional piece it became Judd's dream to feature pipers and United Alumni's brass performing it in ensemble. ‘We knew from the outset that the key signatures of the pipes and bugles varied dramatically and could pose some problems but we were determined to give it a shot’ commented Addley, ‘We approached Brass Arranger Dave MacKinnon to write the brass parts, rehearsed them within our own horn line and then with the pipers of the Paris/Port Dover Pipe Band, and the rest is history’ he added.
The host and emcee for the show was Bob Foster who did an outstanding job of keeping the performers on time. His repertoire of anecdotes and stories also kept the audience entertained throughout the evening.
This annual stage concert has become a Canadian drum corps fraternity event enabling members to get together after the long winter months to showcase their new repertoires, and to renew old friendships and acquaintances. Based on tonight’s performances and the audience reaction the Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps activity is definitely alive and well in Ontario.
District A-2 Region 4 East
Celebrating 75 Years of Service
Message from the Chief: Jim Adams Jr.
After last years impressive drum and bugle showcase, I was awestruck by the incredible talent and I remember thinking, it doesn’t get any better than this. Well I was wrong. Apparently these musicians feel they have to keep improving every year. Wow, what a fantastic production we were treated to on Saturday night! Lion Len Addley (our very own Little General) and the rest of the event planning committee deserve full accolades for putting together a top-notch show. I know I echo the sentiments of the entire club when I say we feel very proud and privileged to be associated with such a class organization as the United Alumni Senior Drum and Bugle Corps. I hope this event remains an annual tradition for many years to come.
United Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps Inc.
PO. Box 845, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada N3Y 4T2
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