Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps
Making Martial Music at Fort Ticonderoga
History of the Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps
Fort Ticonderoga formed its first fife and drum corps in 1926 on the eve of the 150th anniversary celebrations of American Independence. The Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps performed at the Fort each summer until the beginning of World War II. When the World’s Fair came to New York City in 1939, the fife and drum corps was a featured performer on May 10th, Fort Ticonderoga Day celebrating the 164th anniversary of the capture of the Fort by Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and the Green Mountain Boys.
Revival of the Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps
In 1973, in preparation for the bicentennial, Fort Ticonderoga revived the fife and drum corps to perform daily during the Fort’s summer season. The fife and drum corps has performed every year since and has been featured performers at many major public events including the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games, the christening of the US Navy Guided Missile Cruiser USS Ticonderoga CG-47, and several Evacuation Day parades in Boston, Massachusetts.
Recordings & Publications by the Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps
The fifes and drums of Fort Ticonderoga have recorded and released four collections of 18th and early 19th century music:
- The Fifes and Drums of Fort Ticonderoga (1975; vinyl LP- no longer available)
- The Fort Ticonderoga Corps of Drums – “Echoes within the Walls” (1992; cassette tape- no longer available)
- The Fort Ticonderoga Corps of Drums – “On Hallowed Ground” (1999; compact disc)
- The Fifes and Drums of Fort Ticonderoga – “The Heights of Carillon” (2008; compact disc)
- Recordings on compact discs are currently available through Fort Ticonderoga’s Museum Store.
Fife & Drum Corps Events
Crazy Crow Trading Post’s event calendar features a “Fife & Drum Corp” event category that is growing fast. Fife & Drum Corps Events
About Fife & Drum Corps
Fife and Drum Corps events are an International phenomenon. Fife and Drum Corps are a musical group that consists of flutes or fifes and drums. In the US, fife and drum corps specializing in colonial period impressions with wooden fifes and wooden rope tension snare drums and bass drums are known as Ancient Fife and Drum Corps.
Most fife and drum corps events include marches in parades, concert performances in festivals and state fairs, and expositions. Many Fife and Drum Corps events take place at Forts of different eras that dot the US (Fort Ticonderoga, Old Fort Niagra, etc.). Some fife and drum corps focus on interpreting a specific time period and spend some time portraying field musicians of the era at living history events. Still others perform together at musters, particularly in the Northeast, but also nationally.
The typical uniforms of the Ancient Fife and Drum Corps is a representation of some American Revolutionary War American military uniform. Often seen are tricorn hats, waistcoats, knickers or knee breeches, ruffled cuffs, neck stocks, buckled shoes similar those by the Continental Army and Marines. More recently, American Civil War uniforms have risen in prominence with uniforms and instrumentation based on actual Civil War units.