The  Optimists  Alumni  Drum  &  Bugle  Corps

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

. . . March On!

Common Goals and Greatness

Submitted by: Kevin Matthew

Inspirational comments from brass instructor Kevin Matthew on the Saturday, May 31, 2003, BBQ and the Sunday, June 1, 2003, alumni corps rehearsal

Well, I think it is my turn to give my personal report on this group. I have been with the Toronto Optimist for 5 months now. In that time, I have gone from hearing a group that sounded like a lopsided bunch of lead soprano players and couple of other horn players to, this past weekend, a real horn-line. A horn-line with 3 sections in the Sopranos, two sections in the Mellophones, 3 sections in the baritone line and of course, "The Contras". I love the Contras!

I got three chills this weekend while teaching, once during a chord sequence during warm-up. The boys were listening and accomplished a balanced chord that was the prettiest thing I have heard you play. Once, again, during the new tune "Battle Cry", and once upstairs in a room full of people who met each other, 40 to 50 some years ago. I had never heard your corps song before and didn't know that you had one. I looked around to see everyone singing the song, except for a few Newbee's. (Including myself)

I asked a few people when they had last sang this song. Except for a couple that said 4 or 5 years ago at another reunion, most said 40 some years ago. All they needed was the first couple of words and then they remembered it like it was yesterday that they had last sung it.

To hear people around me talking about when their "next sectional is", and at "who's house", it simply blew me away! I have taught for over 12 years now and have never heard any of my students say those words. I see something special happening here that I have never seen happen before.

A common goal, to be great once again!

Well, you are on the path to greatness. All I can offer you now is a bit of advice.

  1. Decide what you want.
  2. Take action -- desire is not enough.
  3. Figure out what's working for you, and drop what isn't.
  4. Continually change your approach until you achieve what you want.

You can use this advice in all aspects of life. Of course there's much more to this formula than these simple steps. But this is a great foundation from which to start.

To achieve greatness, requires goals and practice!

Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this!

Kevin Matthew