The  Optimists  Alumni  Drum  &  Bugle  Corps

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

. . . March On!

Post-GAS Ponderings

Submitted by: Gord LeFevre

Thoughtful comments from tenor drummer Gord LeFevre on the May 1st GAS weekend

Life without goals is like a ship without a rudder. You may get to your destination eventually but the trip is likely to be circuitous at best and not a lot of fun. Some of us need goals more than others. Some of us don't need goals and would take comfort in a Yiddish turn of phrase, "Goals, smoals, as long as you get there". My problem is I'm a charter member of the group that needs goals. I have the attention span of a gnat and tend to get antsy when I lose focus. If I were to have had the misfortune of going through today's school system, I would be diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Syndrome and provided with Ritalin as a snack food. The point is that I need goals to keep me challenged and focused. This is why I was relieved and happy to learn that we have applied to perform at the DCA championships in Scranton, PA, in September, 2005.

I was concerned after GAS that there would be no more mountains to climb as an Alumni Corps and that we would quietly and unobtrusively fade from the Alumni-Corps scene not unlike the one-hit rock band, "The Oneders", from the movie, "That Thing You Do". I should have had more faith in our membership and our executive, a significant factor, in my opinion, in all of The Optimists' achievements, past and present.

Assuming we will be invited to participate at the DCA championships, an honour in its own right, I believe we now have the major goal we need to keep us interested, challenged and focused on continuous improvement. I think most of us would agree that we have far from peaked and that we are more than capable of going to the next level. What an inspirational and motivating goal we now have: Playing in front of a rabid, knowledgeable drum corps crowd with the Alumni Corps of some of the past legendary Junior A Corps! Gadzooks, I'm tingling all over at the thought of this.

These past twelve months have been fun. I have had the opportunity to socialize and play with Alumni members from all Optimists' eras and from other fine drum corps and bands. What a blast this has been!

Looking back on the past year, it occurred to me that my tenure in the drumline has been like licking honey from a thorn. It has been a very challenging, rewarding and, at times, frustrating experience to be a part of the Optimists drumline. I have noticed a peculiar pattern in my development: Every time I smugly think I have achieved all my goals, I humbly find out at the next practice that I'm not as good as I think I am, that there is something else that I need to learn and master and that I need to keep working as hard as I can to enjoy the privilege of playing in this talented line.

I think the best is yet to come.

Best regards, Gord