The Optimists Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
How Long Can This Machine Last?
The thing about a winning streak is knowing that at some point it will run out, but not focusing so much on that point that you bring about an early demise.
Colour Presentation (1964)
In 1964 and 1965, Bell and Crawford made further explorations into popular strains of music. Instrumentation was also changing with the recent introduction of mellophones, euphoniums and contra bass horns.
Bell and Crawford made use of all those voices in bold arrangements of Who Will Buy, It’s Legitimate and Latin-themed material such as El Cumbanchero. Attention was also paid to big band swing in songs such as Big Bad Bill and Mandy.
In 1964, two new drum majors arrived. Andy Henderson moved up from guard captain and Vern Johansson moved up from the Bantam Optimists.
The corps captured its 7th and 8th consecutive Canadian Championships.
The consistency of the organization had always come from the top down. But changes were now occurring. Baggs, such an instrumental force in the corps’ success from the beginning, handed over the reins to Daber. Bell and Ferrazzutti remained firmly in place, with Bell adding former star soloist, Joe Gianna, to the instruction staff and Ferrazzutti adding former individual snare drumming champion, Ron Kaiser, to the drum staff. During 1966, Ron Kaiser wrote the drum charts and Crawford still arranged the horn charts.