The Optimists Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dave MacKinnon (Brass Arranger and Instructor)
Dave's connection with the Optimists goes all the way to the 1970s when he played mellophone with the Toronto Optimists and the Seneca Optimists. His teaching experience dates back to the 1970s when he was the musical director of the Ventures (Kitchener, ON). Since 1994 Dave has been Brass Supervisor of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. He has been Music Director, Brass Arranger and Brass Instructor of the Optimists Alumni since 2008.
Dave resides in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and has taught, written, and consulted for drum and bugle corps in Canada, the United States, Korea, and Japan for many years.
Dave is an active music judge for U.S. Scholastic Band Association, New York Field Band Conference, Ontario Drum Corps Association, Michigan C.B.A., and Indiana State Music Association.
Doug Darwin (Percussion Arranger and Instructor)
Doug is our drum arranger and an all 'round good guy. Do I need to say more? OK, I'll add a bit.
Doug began his drum corps career in 1968 with the Scarborough Firefighters organization. He has been a snare drummer for most of his marching years although he played multi tenors with Oakland Crusaders from 1975 through 1977. Over the years Doug has been an instructor, arranger and designer, working with corps in Canada, the US, Japan and South Korea.
Doug was the executive director for the Kiwanis Kavaliers from 1988 to 2005, is a past president of the Ontario Drum Corps Association and was on the board of Drum Corps International for over 10 years. He has also been the director for the Northstar Youth Organization since 2008. Of course, he still likes to play and has been a member of both the De La Salle - Oakland Crusaders Alumni and the Optimists Alumni since 2011.
Peter Jones (Visual Design and Drum Major)
Peter Jones is currently the Arts Dept. Chair and Head of Music at Villanova College in King City, Ontario.
Peter is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. He has been involved with Drum and Bugle Corps since the age of 10. Peter started drumming with the Aurora/Newmarket Ambassadors Drum and Bugle Corps in 1978 and was a member of this organization until 1984. From 1985 to 1989 he was a member of Dutch Boy Drum and Bugle Corps (Kitchener, ON).
Over the past 35 years, Peter has taught more than 40 Drum Corps, Marching Bands, Winter Guards and Drumlines including The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (Canton, Ohio), Spirit Performing Youth Ensemble (Toronto, ON), Marshall University Marching Band (Huntington, West Virginia), The Wheaters Drumline (Rockford, Illinois), Dutch Boy Drum and Bugle Corps (Kitchener, ON), Avon High School Marching Band (Avon, Indiana), Westerville North High School Marching Band (Westerville, Ohio), Normal West High School Winter Guard, Normal (Illinois), and The Ventures Winter Guard (Kitchener, ON).