~ Ancient Fifes and Drums ~
~ ~ WHO WE ARE ~ ~
~ ~ ~ What We Are ~ ~ ~
Ancient fifers and drummers are not reenactors but are traditional musicians whose music, dress, and drill retain vestiges of their eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century military heritage. Wooden, rope-tensioned drums remain a constant in Ancient instrumentation, less so the traditional six-hole wooden fife, but thus equipped, Ancient corps are a welcome feature in parades, pageants, and historical commemoratives throughout New England and beyond. Musters, a social musical event unique to the Ancients, are held each summer as well and are free for the public to attend and enjoy. The Connecticut Valley Shore area, where it all started in the mid-nineteenth century, continues to boast the largest number of resident ancient corps, but they can nonetheless be found in several states in the northeast, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey, as well as scattered throughout the midwest and elsewhere. The ancient style of fifing and drumming has also been adopted overseas, most notably in Switzerland.
WHERE WE WERE ~ ~ ~
Each town in the Valley Shore Area of CT (the Inverted L or T that is formed as the Connecticut River drains toward the Sound, was once home to at least one if not more Ancient style fife and drum corps, many of which survive to today. Even upriver towns not shown here (Enfield, Warehouse Point, Windsor, for example) have or at one time had Ancient corps in their towns.
This blog is devoted to a better understanding of today’s Ancient community by identifying and preserving the history and traditions that have made us what we are today. Read a page, check out the posts, make a comment, and write about your own Ancient experience. Have a question about an old fife or drum? or an old drum corps? Ask, and we will try to find an answer. See something at auction that piques an interest? Share it with us here. Got a story or reminiscence of days gone by? Post it here, we’d love to hear it, even if it is only from yesterday. . . it’s all part of what makes the Ancient community tick.