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The Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums

Raised by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in the Capitol building in 1778, the Virginia State Garrison Regiment came into being. Its field musick, the fifes and drums, were well uniformed and outfitted. According to the Williamsburg public stores records, the field musick numbered some twenty-four players.

Today’s corps of fifers and drummers was raised in 1958 to support the reenactment militia programs presented in the Historic Area for the education and enjoyment of visitors to Colonial Williamsburg. The young members are drawn from a waiting list of applicants, who usually spend nine years in learning their art both formally and phonetically, and graduate from the senior corps when they graduate from high school.

Presenting some six hundred and fifty public performances each year, the Fifes and Drums of Colonial Williamsburg (the Field Musick of the Virginia State Garrison Regiment) are an important living artifact, easily recognizable as the embodiment of Colonial Williamsburg’s living history programs.

All of the music, both on this recording and in the Historic Area itself, has been researched and documented as authentic to the period. The arrangements are by staff members and corps members.