The Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps

Williamsburg's musical tradition

The Corps marching down Duke of Gloucester Street.

Photo courtesy Chelsea Goldstein

The Corps marching down Duke of Gloucester Street.

Kelsey Huckinsq, Reporter

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Every year when summer rolls around, the tourism in Williamsburg, Virginia picks up. With Busch Gardens, Water Country, Colonial Williamsburg and the Historic Triangle, and the Outlet Mall, a local can obviously see why so many people come to visit. Colonial Williamsburg is one of the largest attractions in the area, and it has one specific thing that sticks out: Fifes and Drums.

Fifes and Drums is a tradition that has been continued throughout the years with marches, events, and tours. The musicians preserve a good sense of what it was like to live in colonial times, when they march through the streets and do a daily performance. The shopkeepers step outside their shops when the Fifes and Drums passes by to watch, just as they would’ve done in days gone bye, to pay their respects to the Corps.

The Fife and Drum Corp of Colonial Williamsburg is a nationally renowned program. It is always a huge hit among tourists, and large crowds of visitors always gather around their performances this time of year. Because the Corps march down Duke of Gloucester street from the Governor’s’ Palace to the Capital, many tourists will follow them down the street until they stop playing.

Beyond the draw it provides for tourists, the Corps also gives jobs to local kids in the area. There is the Junior Corps and the Senior Corps, and membership depends on age, experience, and talent.  These groups perform during the week and occasionally on weekends. Some of the teenagers in the Senior Corps end up with Senior Leadership positions as well.

Henry Gaston, Fife Section Leader of the Williamsburg Corps, said,”Fife and Drum has been an amazing lesson in leadership, time management, respect, commitment, and friendship. I’ve had the opportunity to be in charge of 60 or more lower-ranking members since 2014. It’s allowed me not only to grow and develop, but also to travel across the United States, visiting military tattoos and musters all across America.”

Photo courtesy Chelsea Goldstein
The Corps performing during this past weekend’s event.

This past weekend, May 19th-21st, the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps hosted Drummer’s Call, a large event where Fife and Drum Corps from all over the nation come and play in Colonial Williamsburg. This is both a large tourist event and a learning experience for all of the Fife and Drum Corps that attend it.

 

The regular season performances are every weekday at 4:45 beginning at the Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg.

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The Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps