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1973 Dutch Boy Cadets

     
 

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Repertoire:The Happy Wanderer / O Du Lieber Augustin / Beer Barrel Polka / Auf Wiedersehn / Edelweiss / Lilli Marlene

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The Cadets starts to distance their association with the Flying Dutchmen and begins to compete against them at the Junior B level.
 
Season Highlights:
"C" Class Canadian Champs, Midwest U.S. Parade Champs
 
 
Corps Director:Don Scott

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Teaching Staff
Brass:Mike Schuster
Percussion:Tom Baggett
Visual:Kirk Hughes (Designer)
Auxiliary:

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Support Staff:Support Staff - Leo Podhornik
President - Reg Atkinson
Board Member - Alf Wild

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Drum Major:Stephen Vanderkolff
Brass:Soprano: Mark Fries, Ron Hoekstra, Doug Huras, Wayne Podhornik, Craig Schelter, Brad Schneider, Brian Scott, Jamie Scott
Mellophone: Brenda Mainprize
Flugelhorn: Rick Jones
Baritone: Paul Clarke, Rick Hoekstra
Contra: Rob Dunnington
Percussion:Snare: Paul Gregory, Terry Ibele, Craig Pauley, Greg Schwab
Tenors: Jamie Berg, Tim Collins, Monty Pauli
Bass: Andy Hastings
Cymbals: Bill Mainprize
Tymp: Al Bieronski
Auxiliary:Barb Berg, Lynn Cameron, Cheryl Hughes, Joan MacDonald, Darlene Thompson, Jean Trumper, Kim Gruber
Unknown:Ed Devlin
  
32 of 80 marching members registered for this year
 
     


Submitted by Rob Dunnington, a former member of Dutch Boy Cadets to DCI news, July 2004

(Ed. note - Rob shares his memories of horn instructor Mike Schuster.)

Angels watching over us

This was the end of a very frustrated year for the Dutch Boy Cadets, for Kitchener, Ontario. We had just moved up a class in 1973 and we paid our dues by doing so. We didn’t win any shows, the drill was more difficult and we had some problems with the music ... all the things that you have to go through to move up in the drum corps world. Our horn instructor, Mike Schuster, was always a guiding light in these frustrating times, trying to keep our spirits up.

 

In 1972, when Mike first came to our corps, we didn’t know how much he knew about the corps or even drum corps in general. Mike was 33 and had a great business going and was successful with the German polka band he played in every Oktoberfest.

 

When we had section practices and it was hot, he almost always let us practice in the shade for at least three hours -- which three hours depended on how practice was going. One minute he'd be yelling at us to get this one part of the song right and the next he'd be telling us jokes. During winter all day rehearsals, he would order 16 pizzas for us and pay for it himself.

 

One day in late May, four of us and Mike were sitting around the practice hall talking about drum corps and he said, "What's this show coming up in a few weeks, the Shriners International? Do you think there will be any good corps there?"; We all looked at each other and sat there. We all wondered, "Is he serious?"; I spoke up and said, “There might be one or two there.”

 

He looked at all of us and said, “You guys know damn well this is the best show of the year. Do you wanna go?” Well, you don t have to ask us twice. ‘Sure!,’ we all said at once. We went to the show and on the way home Mike stopped at a pizza joint that we went to a lot and bought us a late-night snack. We were looking for some money to pay our own portion and Mike said, “Hey guys, it’s on me.” This is the kind of thing Mike would do.

 

Some of the older guys would get away with playing practical jokes on him. We got into St. Clair Shores, Mich., a day early for a show and Mike was going to meet us the next day. We had practiced that day and things were going well. Before we went to sleep that night, we were told that Mike would be possibly arriving that night. So we had his sleeping bag laid out and wanted to make sure things were just right.

 

We were outside talking when one of the guys came up with a 2 ½-foot dead fish from the lake and put it in Mike’s sleeping bag and thought nothing more of it, until the next morning. The air conditioning had broken down around three in the morning and the smell in the building was absolutely gross. Our corps director told us that Mike had spent the night at a local motel. Needless to say, we all pitched in and bought Mike a new sleeping bag.

 

Mike was a great influence on a great number of us. At one practice he said, “I wish I was your age again so I could march in this drum corps. The crowd loves you guys and that’s what this is all about -- being a crowd pleaser. I don’t care what the judges tell me. All you should worry about is that the people that pay to see you like you.”

 

Everyone who knew Mike liked Mike. He always let you know where you stood with him and he was a lot of fun to be around. To all of the horn line, he was like an older brother that you could always count on.

 

In September of 1973, we were told that we were going to Munich, Germany, the next year for Oktoberfest. There were a few guys that were going to quit until they heard that and everyone was excited, especially Mike. That October, we had our Oktoberfest in Kitchener as usual. There was the parade that goes from one end of Waterloo to the other end of Kitchener, and numerous concerts in a variety of halls around town.

 

The last night of Oktoberfest we were all dancing to Mike’s band at one of the halls and we all had a great time. At the end of the night, we all shook hands with Mike and said our good-byes. Little did any of us realize how much meaning that would have for us the next morning.

 

I had just gotten home from church when the phone rang. It was my section leader and he told me I had better sit down because he had some bad news. He took a few minutes to compose himself and finally told me that Mike was in a car accident heading home from the hall. I was, to say the least, stunned. I asked how bad Mike was hurt. Again, there was an even longer silence. He then told me that Mike was dead. He said our corps director had just called him and told him what happened and asked him to call his section.

 

When I hung up the phone I went into a rage like I had never done before. I cried for three hours before my parents could talk to me and ask me why I was so upset. It was the first time that I had to deal with death and I flew off the handle.

 

The police said that he fell asleep at the wheel and there was no alcohol in his system.

 

We had an honor guard at Mike’s funeral. Since our rehearsal hall was two blocks from the church, we all met there and marched down to the ceremony. Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the church.

 

Thirty-one years later I still think about him frequently. His shouting, his laughing and even his face are still as vivid now as they were then. The feelings that I have now recounting the short time Mike was with us still brings tears to my eyes, as it always will. They are tears of sadness for someone who left before he should have.

 

They say these things happen for a reason, but I’ll be damned to figure this one out.

 

Although people die every day in this world, as long as they are thought of, no one ever truly dies, do they?


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