Fort Ticonderoga celebrates more than eight decades of Fife and Drum Corps performance with its annual Fife and Drum Corps Muster on August 6. The muster will highlight several Fife and Drum Corps from across the northeast and as far away as Michigan performing throughout the day. The muster will crescendo into a combined Fife and Drum Corps performance at 3:30 pm on Fort Ticonderoga’s Parade Ground.
This event highlights the role Fife & Drum music has played in the commemoration of American history. Fife and Drum Corps gained increased popularity during the American bicentennial celebrations. In 18th Century military life, fifes and drums served as one of the primary modes of battlefield communication and camp regulation.
Fort Ticonderoga formed its first Fife and Drum Corps in 1926 on the eve of the 150th anniversary celebrations of American Independence. The 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.
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.
Today the Fife and Drum Corps is comprised of Ticonderoga area high school students who are paid employees of Fort Ticonderoga, a private non-profit organization. The Fife and Drum Corps is part of Fort Ticonderoga’s Interpretive Department whose focus brings to life Fort Ticonderoga’s specific history through daily interpretive programs, historic trades and special events.
Fort Ticonderoga’s full schedule and information on events can be found online or phone (518) 585-2821. Fort Ticonderoga is located at 100 Fort Ti Road Ticonderoga, New York.
Photo: Fort Ticonderoga’s Fife and Drum Corps Performs at Fort Ticonderoga.