The Windsor Optimist Youth Band was founded in 1966. In 1997 the band traveled to Germany where they competed in an international competition. The band performed at a number of venues and was awarded first place in both the marching band competition as well as the concert band competition. This not only gave the band international experience but also made them known all across Canada.
In 2003 the band entered the Calgary Stampede Parade, also an international competition. They took home all four awards they were eligible for. Best Community Band, Best Color Guard, Best Canadian Band, and Best Band overall. This had never been done before in the history of the parade and made the band a household name across the country.
The band was invited back to Germany in 2007 for a ten year reunion, but financial restrictions prevented them from going. They instead traveled to Florida where they performed at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.
2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the band.
Mr. Seguin has been Director of the Windsor Optimist Youth Band since 1982. He has a keen interest and commitment to the musical development of young people, and is currently Superintendent of Education at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board. He has taught music at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary school levels. Conducting credits include the International Youth Symphony, the United States Collegiate Wind Ensemble, and the University of Windsor Wind Ensemble. As a performer, Mr. Seguin has played with the Windsor Symphony, Windsor Light Music Theatre, St. Clair College Music Theatre program, the Windsor Brass Ensemble, jazz project Trio Caliente, and most recently with the horn band “Nemesis”.
Mr. Harris has dedicated his time, skills and knowledge to the band for over 20 years. As a professional musician and instructor, he brings a lot to the table and even kids who join the band with no musical knowledge soon gain many musical skills necessary to be a percussionist. He also provides lessons to anyone who maybe interested in learning more about being a drummer.
Mrs. Grisch originally started out as a member of the Colour Guard in 1998 where she eventually obtained the role of Guard Sergeant. She became the Optimist Band’s Colour Guard Instructor in 2011. Her love of kids, music, and this organization, made returning to the Band a natural progression. Lisa creates and teaches the choreography for all parade songs each season and also designs our uniforms and flags.