The Optimists Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Happy Birthday Canada
In 1967, it was Canada’s Centennial. In the nation’s capital, Ottawa, they decided that hosting the Canadian Drum Corps Championships in September would be a good way to keep the national birthday party rolling right through the summer.
The Optimists were ready. They fielded the largest corps they’d ever had and offered a collection of superb Truman Crawford arrangements, including Born Free, Battle Cry of Freedom, Temptation and Old Devil Moon. Kaiser’s drum line was an executional masterpiece, with amazing complex rhythms and time signatures. It seemed nothing could stop the corps’ drive toward their tenth consecutive title.
At the “Shriner’s International” contest in June, Optimists placed third, but were a mere 1.5 behind the winning Chicago Cavaliers. The nearest Canadian corps was 12 points behind.
Throughout the summer, the corps remained on top, but once again watched Cadets LaSalle creeping ever closer and, at nationals prelims, they defeated the Optimists again. On the starting line at finals, the corps was greeted with a rousing, relentless chorus of “boos” that rolled through the crowd all through the performance. They were, after all, in LaSalle’s home town. The judges, however, weren’t booing and the Optimists captured their 10th consecutive title.