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July 15, 2009

World Famous Scout House

Filed under: Archives,July 2009,Opinion — John @ 11:51 am

Last week was the annual Preston Towne Centre Sidewalk Sale.  Again this year we were fortunate enough to have the Preston Scout House Alumni Band perform in Central Park on Saturday afternoon. It was no surprise when that was the biggest crowd of the entire sale.

I spent the first few years of my life living just a few blocks away from the home of the famous Scout House Band. In those days toy drums for kids were made out of steel. I had to have a new drum every year as I would pound a hole through the drum pretending I was a part of Scout House.

We later moved further away, but not far enough that the sounds of Scout House couldn’t reach our home. Thank God for bicycles. If mom couldn’t find me but she could here the band practise she knew where I was.

The alumni band is a thrill to listen to as well as to watch. Many of the members of this corp were members of the original band. Girls weren’t allowed in those days. Age has taken its toll on the agility of some of the present band members. I remember so clearly their style and trade mark. Hours of practise, gauntlet covered hands had to come shoulder high, and the knees had better be up.  I remember watching them practise, backs arched and hands waist high straight out in front of them, palms down. As the legs came up the knees had better touch the hands.

They had balance. I remember watching as they performed a slow march. Same marching style but everything was in slow motion. It was pure grace and beauty!

And the music. Their trademark piece “Waltzing Matilda” still sends a shiver down my spine.

You can read all about Scout House and there famous history on their website. http://www.scouthouseband.com/

Their corp song speaks volumes about their talent and dedication.

(to the music of Men of Harlech)

We’re the band from Scout House Preston,
And our pride you cannot question.
Our main goal is shear perfection,
Scout House on Parade

Music is our Keynote.
Precision is our aim.
At our best, when put to test,
Our honours we will rise up to maintain.
Hours of practicse, years of training,
We’ll admit we’re strict, but who’s complaining?
Our reward is just in being
Scout House on Parade

Drums and trumpets loudly ringing,
See those sun-tanned knees up-bringing.
Arms and gauntlets freely swinging.
Scout House on Parade

Here are some images that I managed to create during this recent performance. Thanks Scout House for the music and the memories.

Scout House On Parade




Showmanship and a crowd’s pleasure.

I looked for some new angles and views and found it in the glisening reflections of the instruments.

You had to be there, but this image was created while they were playing “Maple Leaf Forever.”

It’s not enough to be able to play your own instrument. You better be able to play your neighbour’s as well.

When they say precision they mean it. Detail!  Two members of the colour guard carry pistols. The guard on the right has her’s holtered on the right hip, while the guard on the left has her’s holtered on the left hip. Balanced in everyway.

In the original band it was mandatory for the drum major to be well tanned, and did they look good in white. 

This is when the tingle starts, when the glauks’ start with “Waltzing Matilda”!

Pucker Power!

A great performance and great day. Friends met in Central Park

And those that are young in more than just heart enjoyed the new splash pad.

Just like the old days, people meeting in Central Park for a band concert. Photography, it’s all about memories and good times.

til next time.



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1 Comment »

  1. Hi John,

    I find many photographers today using black & white effects to add interest, an element of mystery or to simply compensate for not capturing the right light in the first place. In looking over these pictures you have done exactly the opposite. You have captured all the bright colours, reflections and focused in on the key points of interest. Results only a professional can accomplish !

    Great Work !

    Matt Storch

    Comment by mattstorch — July 15, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

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