Don Mills Sky Raiders, Toronto Optimists
Dave marched with the Don Mills Sky Raiders in 1959 and 1960. In 1961 he moved to the Optimists and stayed with us until he aged out in 1965.
Dave started his time in the Optimists playing Baritone (or Bass-Baritone as it was then called to distinguish it from the smaller Baritones that were used in the early days). Dave played Euphonium in 1964, when Whaley Royce released the Euphonium. In 1965, when Optimists purchased their first set of matched horns, including their first Contrabasses, Dave moved to Contra.
Bill Thorne remembers the 1965 contras (Bill Thorne, Paul Thompson and Dave). When Optimists marched on the field before a show the horn players held their horn, mouthpiece up, in their right hand while they swung their left arm. The early contras were heavy and, at first, the guys carried them with both hands; however, they had a plan.
Dave, Bill and Paul embarked on an exercise problem. At the end of July, in Hamilton, they marched onto the field, just like the other horns. Their right arm, holding the vertical Contra, was extended, and they were swinging their left arm, just like everyone else. Needless to say, jaws dropped. It also enhanced Optimists reputation as a bunch of "tough guys".