Scout House Alumni turns 80 in 2018, still in step with times

After winding up 2017 with a lively Christmas banquet and long service award ceremony, Preston Scout House Alumni Band will be celebrating the 80th anniversary of its founding in 1938 with community-oriented performances and special events scheduled throughout 2018.

The band, originally the bugle band of the 1st Preston Scout Troop, begins twice-monthly rehearsals in mid-January to prepare for a local and regional performance schedule that will include the Scout House Spring-Ahead free family concert on April 15, Preston’s Canada Day parade July 1, Warriors Day concert for Preston’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 126 in early September and annual Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11.  The band’s repertoire will include songs popular with members and audiences in years past.

Scout House will include the community in several special events proposed to help celebrate the band’s 80th anniversary, including: the annual Spring Ahead free family concert in mid-April; a Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours social evening; performing the National Anthem at the May meeting of Cambridge City Council and updating council members on Scout House activities and plans; display of banners in downtown Preston marking the anniversary year; requesting the province of Ontario name a bridge on Highway 401 in honour of Scout House twin brothers who died in World War II; a flash mob performance in connection with a Cambridge festival or special event; a children’s colouring contest, with prizes to be awarded during the Scout House annual barbecue on Canada Day weekend; a special concert for Preston seniors, in conjunction with a vintage car display;  and inviting drum corps and other friends to attend events on Canada Day weekend, including a Friday evening social, 80-year memorabilia display at Preston Scout House building, Saturday afternoon concerts by Scout House groups and others, giant catered barbecue the day before the July 1 Canada Day parade.

Recipients of Scout House long service pins, traditionally presented during the Christmas banquet, included the first five-year members of Preston Scout House Cadets, the group initiated in 2012 as a drum line to help mark the organization’s 75th anniversary year in 2013.  Five-year pins were awarded to 15 people, including eight members of the Cadets organization.  Two people received 10-year pins and seven received pins for 15 years involvement. 

The multi-unit organization offers individuals of any age the opportunity to “Arrange the soundtrack of your life” in marching arts activities starting as young as age 8 and continuing throughout life.  These units are:

  • Preston Scout House Cadets drum and bugle corps for young men and women up to age 22, Silver Award winners at the 2016 Drumline Ontario provincial championships
  • Preston Scout House Alumni Band is for those over age 18, performing vintage tunes and other popular selections at events in the Cambridge area
  • Silver Leaves Brass Ensemble and percussion accompaniment, an award-winning group which performs at drum corps and community events throughout the year
  • Magic of Scout House competitive winter guard, established in the fall of 2014 and undefeated in its first three seasons of North East Color Guard Circuit contests
  • Heritage Drill Team, with members wearing tight black shorts, knee socks, short-sleeved burgundy tunics, white gauntlets and Aussie hats as in the 1950s and 1960s.

For more information about Preston Scout House Band Inc. activities, contact telephone                     519-653-3376, email or visit the Web site at: