The Optimists Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Notes From The Back Of The Pickup Truck
Submitted by: Ted Wilson
Thoughtful comments from contra player Ted Wilson on the March 27 - 28, 2004, mini camp weekend
"Though we are not that which once moved Heaven and Earth that which we are, we are……one equal temper of heroic hearts, to strive, to seek, to find, but not to yield."
I included this phrase in the last article I wrote which was shortly after our first ever performance in front of family and friends At the time I wrote about the performance we did that night, I was so pumped from the experience I thought nothing could ever surpass that evening or the feeling.
Stupid me. This is the Toronto Optimists we are talking about. It is an organization that is comprised of individuals who remember only too well the lessons and mentoring they received from the likes of Barry Bell and Lorne Ferrazzutti.
All of us who shared in the experience of marching with the Optimists learned first hand that nothing, absolutely nothing stopped us from achieving our collective goal of winning as long as we were prepared to sacrifice some things, work as hard as possible on improving and perfecting both ourselves as individuals and as a collective unit and once we had achieved that we stepped back and said 'no we can still do even more and get even better'.
This past weekend I witnessed that same attitude all over again. There was a feeling of electricity as we all began to realize that we are starting to peak at just the right time and at the present moment we are really good.
But, just as we did in the past, we are not satisfied with the level we have achieved. I listened and observed the interaction of people within their respective sections planning more section rehearsals before our next full corps rehearsal... I watched guys going up to guys and saying man your tenor section or your contra section or your baritone section is really good.
The response was always the same. "Thanks we are getting there, but we still have a ways to go".
Vern has repeatedly told me that the corps always had this intangible advantage over all of our competitors and that was the ability at the very last moment to take the bar and raise it just one more level above anything that could have previously been imagined.
This will probably be my last article before the show and I want to thank all of you for your dedication in ensuring the opportunity for some of us old guys to have one more chance to rise above the competition and be the best that we can be.