The Optimists Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
One of the top DCI corps in the mid 1970s was the Oakland Crusaders, the result of a successful merger between De La Salle Oalkands and the Etobicoke Crusaders. Carol Munro, John Swartz and Mark Blandford, all of whom were in "Oakies" drum line, now play with the Optimists Alumni.
Oakland Crusaders, DCI Finals, 1976
The Oakland Crusaders were founded in 1975 as a merger between the Etobicoke Crusaders and the De La Salle Oaklands drum corps. They roared to success in their first year of competition, taking 6th place at DCI, an amazing accomplishment! Even more amazing was their 4th place prelims finish.
Oakland Crusaders, 1976 DCI Finals
Their success continued the following year where they finished in 8th place at the DCI finals. At 1977 DCI Nationals they placed first in drums at prelims, but failed to make finals. In failure they became legends as the only corps to win a caption but not get the trophy – ever.
1986 saw the Oakland Crusaders and the Ambassadors merge, for one season, to become Out of the Blue. The next year they returned as the Oakland Crusaders and continued to compete into the 90s as an A Class corps.
By the turn of the century they had become a marching band before fading out of existence.