DCAT Chorus



The DCAT Purr-spective

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The Newsletter of the Drum Corps Alumni of Toronto - June 2019

DCAT (Drum Corps Alumni Toronto) is an organization dedicated to the preservation and joy of Drum & Bugle Corps camaraderie, bringing together past members, relatives, friends, and associates in a social environment for the purpose of companionship and musical activities.

You'll Never Walk Alone

by Sandy Hale

Recently our DCAT Chorus was asked to perform at two Celebrations of Life. We performed admirably and with much sincerity on both occasions, but there is no doubt that we missed the lovely soprano notes of those we celebrated - Edna Kingsley and Marion Shearer. We hold the memories of their voices and their friendships as gifts that we can treasure.

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." — Dr. Seuss

The Chorus also said 'good-bye' to former member Eddie Robinson and friends of the Chorus, John Broome and Harvie Partridge. How fortunate we are to have had their music in our lives.

The 'drum corps' world creates strong and life-long bonds. Even though I was never part of a drum corps, I believe I have found similar bonds of friendship as a member of the DCAT Chorus. I never quite understood why we held hands when we sang 'Walk Alone', until I sang this song with my Chorus friends at a Celebration of Life. Now I understand.

G.A.S. April 5-7 2019 Binghamton, N.Y.

Sometimes the best laid plans...

by Sandy Hale

Music Director, Wyatt Gill, designed a great show for us to perform at the Friday night show in Binghamton. We started to learn the new music well in advance of the show, but then 'the wheels fell off the band wagon'! We knew that we would miss a month of rehearsals because G.A.S. was scheduled for early April instead of May. However, we did not count on missing so many rehearsals due to problems created by the Wednesday Weather Witch and the evil Lord of Laryngitis and Influenza! Wyatt therefore determined that the originally planned repertoire would not be ready to go by April. Before we knew it, a new show was in the works, one which would highlight the wide variety of music sung by DCAT during the past 24+ years. It was necessary for Wyatt to rearrange some of the music because the original scores were written for a larger chorus, with much different voicing. Wyatt also gave the 'old music' a new sound by correcting a few long-standing errors and omissions. More importantly, he challenged us to learn how to SELL our music to the audience by engaging and connecting with as many people as possible. His animated demonstrations were quite helpful and apparently – we met the challenge! Our Friday night performance was rewarded with standing ovations after almost every song.

Chorus in coloured ties

Our show began with "On the Square" and included favourites such as "Over the Rainbow" and "Wonderful World". June Beaumont helped our performance become multi-dimensional by creating a fabulous steed for 'Parky' to ride during the 'William Tell Overture'. I suspect that 'Silver' will reappear at some time in the future. Our finale - 'My Way' - brought the house to its feet once again. We all were very proud of our performances.

Parky and Silver

Thank you, Wyatt, for your leadership and creativity, your patience and sense of humour. You make us want to make our good music BETTER and our better music THE BEST!

Chorus group photo

Saturday Talent Show

by Annie Watson and ‘Parky’ Parkinson

John 'Parky' Parkinson took notes during the talent show on Saturday. Here are some of his thoughts about the performances:

Parky had the honour of carrying the Canadian flag during the Opening Ceremonies, which included the National Anthems, conducted by our own Rick Dixon, and John (Duke) Terreri. Scout House band, conducted by Nancy Weller, played 'Waltzing Matilda', their signature number, followed by 'Waterloo Fanfare' (a great drum solo) and Colonel Bogey March. This garnered much audience participation. Dan Fitzpatrick, of the Yankee Rebels, performed a French Horn solo which was executed extremely well. The New Yorkers and friends, a small group, played 6 numbers. Mike Delvecchio of Caballeros fame performed a soprano solo ('he still has the chops' says Parky). Skyliner drum line presented a tribute to Joe Fontana, who is ill and unable to attend. The Class Brass conducted by Rick Dixon entertained with the addition of Doug J., W. Gill, John F., Dave C., Mark and Diane B., Brian C., and John M. They performed 3 numbers "very, very well". The Silver Leaves played like a dance band at times and involved the audience playing 'Sweet Caroline', which was a lively number well received. Two women from Yankee Rebels presented a very humorous interpretation of 'My Favorite Things". There were outstanding performances by ST. Lucy's with Jimmy Russo D.M., Yankee Rebels southern medley with invited guests Wyatt, Doug J and Mark Beauchamp, St. Joe's (always a crowd pleaser), followed by Archer Epler 22 horns. There were 14 in the drum line playing 'Abide with Me', Lord and Master', 'On the Boardwalk', 'Men of Harlech' with Scout House Drill Team and the Sousa March. This had the crowd standing and cheering.

The Saturday talent show always concludes with a mass horn line playing the Drum Corps Anthem, 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. This day’s performances were a true showcase of talented musicians. It is a privilege to be part of such a group.

Tales From The Tundra

by Annie Watson

Now that winter has finally departed (I hope), I offer some thoughts on the past few months.

It is wonderful to be “back in the swing of things” with the Chorus. January through March was not a productive or happy time for me. Illness was controlling everything I did and I was unable to do what I wanted to do. As the time for G.A.S. grew closer, it became apparent that we would not be able to attend. My mind was a jumble of happy and sad thoughts in a battle between the emotional side and the practical side. Being part of the DCAT Chorus at G.A.S. was always an overwhelmingly joyous occasion for Joe and I.

What did I miss by not going to G.A.S.? I missed the smiling faces of all the friends we have made over the 25 years. I missed the sound of drum corps. That is a sound you cannot describe for the “outside world”! I missed the laughter and the craziness of the entire weekend, feeling like a kid again, doing things out of the ordinary for 4 glorious days. I missed the sing-songs in the bar, and shopping at Boscov’s. And I missed learning new music – really! What did I not miss? I did not miss that first rehearsal after a 6 hour drive, trying to remember all the new lyrics and choreography and mostly, I missed the Saturday evening when I would realize that it is almost over and it will be another year before we do it again. Obviously, the positives outweigh the negatives. What a wonderful and fun activity. I am so proud to be a part of it.

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you." — Walt Whitman

Until next time... Annie in the Tundra

Chorus News

We are all very pleased to have Ellie Cameron back in the Alto section! Ellie is working hard to regain strength and mobility. Being able to get back to regular rehearsals with the Chorus is a big step for Ellie. Well done! We are not sure if Dave is pushing you from behind or pulling you ahead, but it is working! Good job, Dave.

Gord Irvine recently suffered a major hip injury while attempting to ‘shed a little light’ on things at home. We are glad to know that Gord is doing well, and hope that he will reconsider changing light bulbs in highly hung fixtures in the near future!

We all missed seeing Annie and Joe Watson at G.A.S. 2019 and know that it must have been so disappointing for them to miss the weekend. They are both however, back in the swing of things, taking part in rehearsals and organizing social events. Good for you both!

On The Schedule


  • Saturday July 20, 2:30 PM at Scarborough Retirement Residence
  • Wednesday August 14, 6:30 PM at Sunnybrook K Wing
  • Sunday September 15, Time TBD at Scarborough Civic Centre

DCAT Chorus Celebrates 25 Years

We can look forward to celebrating our 25th Anniversary on Saturday, September 28th, from 1 to 6 PM. The celebration will include a ‘pot-luck’ lunch and many opportunities to re-visit DCAT events through the years, with photos, videos, stories and personal remembrances. Please mark your calendars.

The event will be held at Royal Canadian Legion 101, at 3850 Lakeshore Boulevard W.

More details will be provided later.