What could be more stirring than the brilliant high-pitched bell like tones of a glockenspiel on a clear blue day in June? Youngsters march, mothers sing, and not the occasional father snaps out a military style salute perhaps in memory of marching bands of long ago, when the Drum Corps marches by.
The glockenspiel is a musical instrument carried upright and shaped something like a lyre with metal bars attached. Sounds are produced by striking the bars with a mallet, creating ringing notes over a range of two octaves. Rhythm and beat are provided by bass, tenor, triple, and snare drums. Marching commands and cadence are called out by the Mace swinging Sergeant Major.
Rameses Shrine Drum Corps traces its origins to just after World War II when it was formed in 1946. Initially conceived as a marching unit within the Patrol, the Drum Corps became a full-fledged autonomous Unit in 1964. A that time it was separated from the Patrol and given its own slate of officers and bylaws.
Noble Ed Buscombe was a member of the Drum Corps in those early days of 1964, and some forty five plus years later one of our current members is none other than that same 90 year young Ed Buscombe. Now that’s dedication to the Corps!
Formed originally to assemble and parade at Headquarters activities, the Drum Corps has found a calling in performing in civic parades and events. Wherever there is a parade is an opportunity for the Drum Corps to participate. The Drum Corps are in great demand for Santa Claus Parades. Revenue from these parades allows the Drum Corps to join their brothers in contributing to the Canadian Shriners Hospital for Children located in Montreal and the Hospital Patient Transportation Fund in Toronto.
Rameses Shrine Drum Corps currently performs in summer and winter civic parades in Mississauga/Streetsville, Claremont, Newmarket, Pickering, Orillia, Aurora, Markham, Unionville, Mount Albert, Stouffville and Alliston. The unit also performs at the Varsity University Football fundraiser in the Fall, indoors at most Ceremonial induction events and at the children’s Halloween event.
Practices are held at Headquarters at 3100 Keele Street in Toronto on Wednesdays during the spring and fall. No musical experience or training is required of any Shriner in order to join the Drum Corps. Not only will the Drum Corps patiently provide the training, they will also provide the musical instrument!
Social events are an important part of the Drum Corps experience and spouses and kids are welcome at many of our dinners and functions during the year.
Drop by and see us sometime at our practices or at our business meetings. You won’t be disappointed in becoming affiliated with a very tight knit group of Shriners marching (hopefully in unison) for the cause.
If you would like to book our band for your civic parade or social function please contact our Parade Coordinator Bruce McKerracher