The  Optimists  Alumni  Drum  &  Bugle  Corps

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

. . . March On!

Up From The Basement (Volume 3)

Submitted by: Ted Wilson

More inspiring comments from Ted after the Sunday, April 27, 2003, alumni corps rehearsal

So yesterday despite the warnings of the World Health Organization I loaded my trusty contra in my truck and headed off on my monthly journey to downtown Toronto for corps practice.

I had absolutely no fear of SARS but I was truly nervous about the fact I had not been very diligent in my practice schedule at home and I was nervous about how bad I might be. Or worse how much better everyone else might be.

I pulled in to the parking lot and as I walked towards the building I saw a person standing there talking to some of the guys, who I instantly recognized and in an instant my fears went away as I knew I was going to get to associate with one of the greatest musicians I ever met while I was in Optimists.

Paul Thompson is truly one of best contra players I ever heard and now he is joined up with the rest of us which will take Jason and I from" wanna be" contra players to the real deal.

Paul started to warm up and when he bellowed out low C on his horn one of the old legion vets ran to the window and looked out onto Lake Ontario to see if a lake freighter was passing by.

Yesterday was truly the most fun I have had since we started this reincarnation of what we used to be. The whole level of sound and execution of the horn line has increased dramatically and the look in the eyes of those watching us was evidence of how much better we were.

Brian Byrne was there watching as well and when we played Devil Moon I could see his eyes glisten. Then I realized there were a couple of young girls present and I realized quickly that it wasn't the music that had Brian's attention.

Brian brings new meaning to our motto " THE LEGEND LIVES ON".

At the end of the day as we prepared for ensemble you could tell that Vern was eager to demonstrate his talent of wildly flailing his arms in the direction of the horn line leading us all down memory lane.

Vern managed to get us through three numbers before having to take a rest. Guess he is going to have to do some more practice at home in front of his stereo with the volume cranked to the limit before next rehearsal.

As for myself I am definitely going clean up my act and practice more at home This whole thing is starting to get really good and I don't want to get left behind.