Optimists Lancers, Optimists Alumni
1962 - 2011
The fates were kind to both Sam and The Optimists Alumni that day in 2009 when he pulled his convertible into the driveway at The Legion to turn around. He could clearly hear the sound of our horn line rehearsing through the open door and he was immediately bitten by the drum corps bug once more. From the moment he walked in he was back and he never left again.
Sam began his drum corps life with The Etobicoke Optimists Lancers in the Fall of 1972 at the age of nine (just weeks short of their minimum age of 10). He was a proud member during those years playing Euphonium. Sam along with Baritone Kevin Casquenette even went on to compete in the ODCA Individuals Competition as a duet.
Sam was, in fact, second generation drum corps. He received his introduction while watching his Dad, Jack, play contrabass with Canada's Marching Ambassadors in Toronto in the 1960s. Sam was frequently at their rehearsals long before he was old enough to join a corps himself. Sam loved drum corps with a passion, (he drove to Michigan City Indiana in the middle of the night because he was working and missed going with us on the bus). He also brought the love of his life, his daughter Shannon, along on that trip. We clearly saw how devoted a Dad he was. The other member of his immediate family who loves drum corps is Sam's Mom Fran who was introduced to us soon after at our Legends II show. Sam also has sisters Debra in Toronto, Cynthia in BC, and two half brothers, Jim in Stewiac NS and Rick in BC.
So this is our salute to that "shy guy" on Third Baritone who rarely had much to say (ya right). We miss you already buddy and we will see you again so make sure you keep your chops in shape.