The Optimists Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Waterford Show Ponderings
by Gord LeFevre
Gord's personal impressions of how the in-door show in Waterford, Ontario on May 14, 2005 affected him.
One question that has been dogging my thinking for sometime now is when are we going to develop an all-for-one and one-for-all feeling and passion for The Optimists Alumni Drum Corps. The answer to this question was provided last Saturday at the show in Waterford.
I believe we became The Optimists Alumni Drum Corps in more than name only in the stairwell of Waterford high school just before we went on stage to perform. For the first time since I have been a member of the Alumni Corps, we sang the Corps song with passion and dynamics. I took this as a sign that something magical had happened to coalesce a diverse group of people from many different drum corps and bands into a unit that each member could identify with and be proud to be part of. I also felt that we were about to give our best performance of our short history. I wasn't disappointed.
A key factor for me and, I suspect for you, for fuelling one's interest and desire to be in the Corps is having fun. I had more fun than a flea in a dog pound last Saturday. This was due to a lot of little things that in retrospect spelled FUN for me; for example:
- We went about our business the entire day without getting our shorts in a knot. I was very impressed with how our set-up/practice time on stage was managed and I thought the decision to have the horn line sit down for the drum solos was inspired. This is not due to the fact that I'm a drummer but more to the point that I thought it helped to keep everyone loose and was a very practical solution to a logistics problem. The next time we are faced with a similar situation, we could build on this inspiration by having the horn line turn around slightly to look at the drumline. Just a suggestion, don't hang me from a Willow tree.
- There was sufficient down time that allowed me to pursue two very important personal pastimes: Watch other Corps do their thing during their set-up/practice time on stage; Have a dynamite Chinese scoff at Yin's with Tom May, Scott Butcher and Karen Pogson;
- There was a post-show party. Beer and drum corps tall tales! What a great combination! I must remember to pack hip waders for the next post-show party.
- The route I selected to get from the high school in Waterford to the Best Western in Simcoe after last call at the post-show party somehow wound through Vern and Jennifer Johansson's lovely home on Main Street , Waterford . More beer and drum corps tall tales! Hip waders would have been useless here without a snorkel!
- The Corps kicked it up a notch (just like the old days) to deliver an awesome performance. I thought our horn line was outstanding. What a great feeling and pleasure it is to be associated with this horn line! The drumline served notice too that it has regained its focus and touch and executed the best it has in a few months. Fun is executing your show well.
I may be hallucinating on too much of Yin's green tea but it appears to me that we are a much different Corps than we were even a few weeks ago. We seem to be developing a new personality, one that I like and one that the audience relates to as well.
I sense we are playing for the audience now rather than playing at them. We are relaxed, confident and starting to demonstrate to the audience that we are having fun performing for them.
On Saturday, in the stairwell, I believed the Corps was relaxed, confident and ready to perform. I wasn't disappointed.
I'm having fun.