The  Optimists  Alumni  Drum  &  Bugle  Corps

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

. . . March On!

Our Members & Staff

The entries on this page are sorted by First Name, then Last Name. Click on a  photo to see a full-screen image.

This page will probably be a continual work-in-progress. We wanted to have photos of each corps member, together with a few words to indicate the corps with which they marched and the dates.

If you see a name that's missing or if have some words to add or a better photo to use, please email Bob Carell (toronto_optimist at rogers.com)

Our Members & Staff

Barry Bell
Barry Woods
Bob Carell
Brian Collingdon
Dave Bruce
David Johns
Dave MacKinnon
Debbie Bruce
Don Daber
Doug Darwin
Doug Roblin
  Eric McConachie
Glenda Roblin
Heather Hyslop
Jackie Nicholls
Joe Gianna
Joe Lasko
John Peachey
Judy Ferguson
Kathleen Gander
Keith Dearlove
Kimiko Yamada
  Kirstine Hyslop
Liz Dodsworth
Lorne Ferrazzutti
Matt Davis
Mike Lang
Peter Jones
Ric Brown
Rick Lang
Salima Ladak
Soo Lee
Yun Darwin
Photo of: Barry Bell

List of Names,   Top

Barry Bell

Eb Alto

Barry began his drum corps career in the Western Tech trumpet band. In 1958 he was appointed as the first horn instructor of the Toronto Optimists. Barry continued instructing the Optimists until 1969, when he took a well-deserved break from drum corps. Of course, Barry couldn't stay away from corps and began instructing other corps. Even today, in his 80s, he's still instructing! Through all of this he has stayed connected to the Optimists. He initially played Baritone in the Opimists Alumni and, in 2016, he switched to Eb Alto.

By the way, Barry is also a member of the DCI Hall of Fame and a gem of a human being who has touch the lives of so many people in the drum corps world.

Photo of: Barry Woods

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Barry Woods

Leprechaun

Barry marched with the Flying Dutchmen Junior corps before joining the Toronto Optimists in the 1970s, playing mellophone. After aging out, he worked in the equipment department of the Seneca Optimists. Most recently, he has marched with the Optimists Alumni. The photo shows Barry as our resident Leprechaun. By the way, Barry supplied us with the Mummers costumes which we wear in our Party Gras show.

Photo of: Bob Carell

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Bob Carell

Mellophone,
Webminder,
GCC Staff

Bob joined the Toronto Optimists in late 1962 and marched with them until 1967. He started out in the guard, usually carrying the Optimist Club flag. In 1964 he joined the horn line, playing soprano. During the 1976 and 1977 seasons Bob drove the equipment truck for the Seneca Optimists, helped out with feeding the ravenous hordes, etc.

Bob joined the Alumni Corps in 2004 playing Alto. Since 2008 he has played Mellophone. In addition to being a playing member Bob manages both the website and the photo gallery and is on the editorial staff of Grey Capsule Comments.

Photo of: Brian Collingdon

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Brian Collingdon

Euphonium

 
Photo of: Dave Bruce (2017)

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Dave Bruce

Euphonium
Show Coordinator

 
Photo of: Dave Johns

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David Johns

Photography,
Advertising,
GCC Staff

David was in the Toronto Region Trumpet Band from 1956 to 1958 when he joined The Don Mills Sky Raiders. He played snare from 1958 to 1960. He really wanted to join The Optimists and did so in the spring of 1961. David was a member of the colour guard that first year and from 1962-1964 he played base drum. He was Drum major for a short time in 1965. David helped Don Daber with publicity as a photographer until 1967.

Photo of: Dave MacKinnon

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Dave MacKinnon

Brass Arranger
and Instructor

Dave's connection with the Optimists goes all the way to the 1970s when he played mellophone with the Toronto Optimists and the Seneca Optimists. His teaching experience dates back to the 1970s when he was the musical director of the Ventures (Kitchener, ON). Since 1994 Dave has been Brass Supervisor of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, the 2016 DCI Champions. He has been Music Director, Brass Arranger and Brass Instructor of the Optimists Alumni since 2008.

Dave resides in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and has taught, written, and consulted for drum and bugle corps in Canada, the United States, Korea, and Japan for many years.

Dave is an active music judge for U.S. Scholastic Band Association, New York Field Band Conference, Ontario Drum Corps Association, Michigan C.B.A., and Indiana State Music Association.

Photo of: Debbie Bruce

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Debbie Bruce

Support Person

Debbie marched in the Colour Guard in 2007 to 2009 and is now turning her talents to the important role behind the scenes, helping make practices, parades and events run smoothly.
Photo of: Don Daber

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Don Daber

Member Emeritus

An integral part of the Optimists organization for over 40 years, serving as publicity director and photographer for both Toronto Optimists and Seneca Optimists. He's also served as Corps Director of Toronto Optimists.
Photo of: Doug Darwin

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Doug Darwin

Snare
Vice-President

Doug is our drum arranger and an all 'round good guy. Do I need to say more? OK, I'll add a bit.

Doug began his drum corps career in 1968 with the Scarborough Firefighters organization. He has been a snare drummer for most of his marching years although he played multi tenors with Oakland Crusaders from 1975 through 1977. Over the years Doug has been an instructor, arranger and designer, working with corps in Canada, the US, Japan and South Korea.

Doug was the executive director for the Kiwanis Kavaliers from 1988 to 2005, is a past president of the Ontario Drum Corps Association and was on the board of Drum Corps International for over 10 years. He has also been the director for the Northstar Youth Organization since 2008. Of course, he still likes to play and has been a member of both the De La Salle - Oakland Crusaders Alumni and the Optimists Alumni since 2011.

Photo of: Doug Roblin

List of Names,   Top

Doug Roblin

Trumpet

 
Photo of: Eric McConachie

List of Names,   Top

Eric McConachie

Photographer,
Support Staff

 
Photo of: Glenda Tokiwa

List of Names,   Top

Glenda Roblin

Support

 
Photo of: Heather Hyslop (2017)

List of Names,   Top

Heather Hyslop

Mellophone

 
Photo of: Jackie Nicholls (2017)

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Jackie Nicholls

Drum Major

 
Photo of: Joe Gianna

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Joe Gianna

Trumpet

Danforth Crusaders 1956-58; Toronto Optimists 1958-63 playing lead soprano. I also spent some years teaching together with Barry and some years with The Optimist Club of York Toronto (the Sponsoring body of the corps after the downtown Optimist Club, declared that they could no longer afford to sponsor the corps), a couple of years as president of the club, and was around when Seneca Optimists came into being and for a few years after.
Photo of: Joe Lasko

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Joe Lasko

Baritone

 
Photo of John Peachey

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John Peachey

Tuba

 
Photo of Judy Ferguson

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Judy Ferguson

Snare

Judy drummed in the Optimist Lancers from 1969 to 1974. She joined the percussion line of the Alumni Corps in November 2012, playing snare.
Photo of Kathleen Gander

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Kathleen Gander

Corps Secretary

 
Photo of Keith Dearlove

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Keith Dearlove

Sousaphone

 
Photo of Kimiko Yamada

List of Names,   Top

Kimiko Yamada

Trumpet

 
Photo of: Kirstine Hyslop (2017)

List of Names,   Top

Kirstine Hyslop

Soprano

 
Photo of: Liz Dodsworth (2017)

List of Names,   Top

Liz Dodsworth

Mellophone

 
Photo of: Lorne Ferrazzutti

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Lorne Ferrazzutti

Snare

 
Photo of: Matt Davis

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Matt Davis

Baritone,
Director at Large

For the past 20 years Matthew has played a musical instrument, including the piano, trombone and baritone horn. From 2003 to 2005 he marched in DCI with Dutch Boy. Matthew also played with East Coast Jazz who finished in 2nd place in Division 2 at DCI. He aged out in 2006. He is currently studying for a degree in Accounting from Conestoga College in Kitchener.
Photo of: Mike Lang

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Mike Lang

Baritone,
Treasurer

Mike was with Michael Power Knights from 1966-1969 and the Etobicoke Crusaders, 1969-1971. Over the years Mike has been a member of the Colour Guard as well as playing Euphonium, Contra Bass and Baritone. He's been a member of the Alumni Corps since 2002 and plays baritone.
Photo of: Peter_Jones

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Peter Jones

Drum Major

Peter Jones is currently the Arts Dept. Chair and Head of Music at Villanova College in King City, Ontario.

Peter is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. He has been involved with Drum and Bugle Corps since the age of 10. Peter started drumming with the Aurora/Newmarket Ambassadors Drum and Bugle Corps in 1978 and was a member of this organization until 1984. From 1985 to 1989 he was a member of Dutch Boy Drum and Bugle Corps (Kitchener, ON).

Over the past 35 years, Peter has taught more than 40 Drum Corps, Marching Bands, Winter Guards and Drumlines including The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (Canton, Ohio), Spirit Performing Youth Ensemble (Toronto, ON), Marshall University Marching Band (Huntington, West Virginia), The Wheaters Drumline (Rockford, Illinois), Dutch Boy Drum and Bugle Corps (Kitchener, ON), Avon High School Marching Band (Avon, Indiana), Westerville North High School Marching Band (Westerville, Ohio), Normal West High School Winter Guard, Normal (Illinois), and The Ventures Winter Guard (Kitchener, ON).

Photo of: Ric Brown

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Ric Brown

Bass Drum,
Business Manager
Corps President

Ric marched with the Toronto Optimists from 1969 to 1975 including guard, rifle, cymbals and bass drum. He had a management role with the Seneca Optimists in 1976 and was Assistant Director in 1977/1978.

He's an original member of Optimists Alumni Association and one of four founders of The Optimists Alumni Drum Corps.

Photo of: Rick Lang

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Rick Lang

Trumpet

Rick's history includes the Michael Power Knights 1966-1969; Etobicoke Crusaders 1970-1972 and Uncle John's Dirty Secret 1971-1974. He's been a member of the Alumni Corps since January, 2006.
Photo of: Salima Ladak

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Salima Ladak

Dancer

Salima started in drum corps with St John's. For many years she has been a Colour Guard instructor. This is her first year with the Optimists Alumni.
Photo of: Soo Lee

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Soo Lee

Trumpet

 
Photo of: Yun Jung Go

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Yun Darwin

Trumpet

Yun has marched with the Kiwanis Kavaliers Drum Corps. She is former Director of The Art Soldier from Seoul, South Korea and participated with them on their Canadian Magical Mystery Tour. Yun is extremey versatile, playing Bass or Cymbals or tenor or, as she's doing this year, trumpet.