The OPTIMISTS is a brass and percussion ensemble based out of the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada. We were established in 2003 and have since evolved from a marching arts group into an entertaining stage ensemble with a repertoire of a variety of jazz, blues, R&B, rock, and more, guaranteed to have audiences tapping, clapping, and singing along. Entertaining others is the heart and soul of our group, and we thrive on the positive vibes audiences give us back.
Our band members have been playing, teaching, and arranging music for decades, with several participating in other ensembles and community concert bands/orchestras throughout Southern Ontario and the upper US.
In 2019 and 2017, we enjoyed standing ovations at the Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival in South Korea. In 2018 and 2016, our performances earned gold medals at DCI SoundSport competitions during the World Championship in Indianapolis. Our performances have delighted audiences and children at many festive parades throughout Southern Ontario. For 2023, the ensemble plans to head to the west to perform at the Calgary Stampede, as well as continue to perform at festive events.
Our history is embedded in performance excellence and calls back to a time when we were part of the precision marching art known as drum & bugle corps. Please visit our History page to learn more about our roots as the Toronto Optimists and the Seneca Optimists drum & bugle corps.
Book us for parades, festivals, concerts, and any activity that live music will enhance. For parades, we actually have our own custom made float that we will decorate to fit the occasion. Our performance attire varies on the weather and the occasion, but mostly we have a warm weather set, a marching band set, and a mummer set. You'll sometimes see us with hats that fit the festive theme's such as Santa hats, St. Patrick's Day hats, Canada Day hats, etc.
For more information or to book us, please contact us.
Read our Electronic Press Kit here.
If you have the time and an interest in sharing our dedication and enthusiasm, please contact us for more information on how to join. You are also welcome to come see us at one of our rehearsals or performances (see our Event Schedule).
We rehearse about twice per month alternating between facilities in the Greater Toronto Area and Kitchener. Each year or two, we take a trip to perform away from home like we have in 2017 and 2019 when we travelled to South Korea for the Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival.
Whether you are a seasoned brass or percussion musician, or simply just a bit rusty, we have a place for you in our ensemble. We aim to have fun, entertain, and improve our musicianship. Instruction is laid back and fun. If you are a beginner, this may not be the right place for you, but we can certainly help to point you to quality instruction. When it comes down to our schedule of rehearsals and performances, we understand and gladly accommodate the need for the balance of that with the regular demands of personal life.