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Careers :: Fife Musician

Perform with The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps as a Fife Musician. The position requires the exclusive use of a 10-hole fife pitched in A-flat. Although fife experience is not required, it is preferred. The Fife and Drum Corps is comprised of 70 musicians whose main duty is the ceremonial support of military functions within the National Capital Region. Ceremonial duties are largely conducted outdoors and involve prolonged periods of standing and marching. The typical work schedule varies, but mainly involves daytime work hours with intermittent night or weekend commitments. The total travel time for the Corps may average a few weeks each year.


Please submit an audition portfolio that includes the following:

Information sheet

  • Height and weight
  • Date and place of birth
  • Social Security number
  • A current list of references (2 professional, 1 personal)

Cover Letter

  • The cover letter element is an opportunity to portray your personality; it should compliment, not duplicate, your attached resume.
  • Address to the Commander of The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
  • Detail what you, as an individual, can offer the organization
  • Mention specifically how your qualifications meet the requirements of the position
  • Include musical and non-musical experiences associated with teaching, mentorship, leadership,
    and other skills such as: arranging, recording, marketing, graphic design, etc.

A recent full-length photograph

  • Professional appearance/quality recommended
  • Please ensure entire body is visible - top of head, all limbs, hands, and feet.

1 page resume

  • Education
  • Performance / occupational experience
  • All prior marching experience
  • Additional information pertaining to this position

Letters of Reference

  • Two professional letters of reference included with your audition portfolio

High quality recording

Submit an unlisted YouTube videorecording consisting of 10 minutes of music and adhering to the following requirements:

  • The video image should only contain a view of the performer from head to toe.
  • The camera should be level with the performance surface.  Do not include extreme angles.
  • Professional appearance is highly recommended.
  • Ensure that your video functions and loads properly.
  • NOTE: Presence of a splice or edit within a selection will constitute elimination.       

Include the following selections performed on fife and/or piccolo:

  • The required piece, which can be found here.
  • Also include selections of your choice from either the standard fife repertoire or standard piccolo repertoire.  These selections should demonstrate contrasting styles, your musical proficiency and your technical ability.
  • Although not required, piccolo applicants are encouraged to include any fife playing in their 10 minutes of music.

The Pocket Companion is a compilation of fife tunes from multiple fife and drum corps sources. Please feel free to utilize this music for your audition packet.

Military applicants please include the following:

  • All required material
  • A copy of your ERB or service-equivalent
  • A letter of release from your Commander
  • Official Military photo - DA photo or service-equivalent
  • In addition to the DA photo, a full-length photo in uniform—professional appearance/quality recommended. Please ensure entire body is visible—top of head, all limbs, hands, and feet.

For additional general audition requirements, please click here.

Audition Portfolios must be submitted electronically, by email, prior to the deadline (11:59pm on due date).
All file names must include your first and last name.

In summary, all electronic portfolios will contain: 
1 page resume
cover letter
full length photo
2 letters of reference
1 link to unlisted YouTube audition video

Military applicants will also include:
DA Photo
Signed Letter of Release

All files should be emailed to at one time.  (Please do not submit files individually over a period of time.) You will receive an email confirming receipt of your audition portfolio.  If you do not receive this email within a few days of submission, please contact the audition coordinator. 



A select number of candidates will be invited to attend a live audition at Fort Myer. Due to U.S. Army regulations, your local recruiter will arrange to have all travel expenses for the audition paid for by the U.S. Army. [USAREC Reg. 11-1 Appendix B - 2 (d)6 and USAREC Reg. 37-17 Section 3-8 (b)1]. Due to the high visibility and unique requirements of the position, the audition itself will be a two-day process.

Day 1

On the first day, candidates will observe the Fife and Drum Corps during a Department of the Army retirement ceremony. 

Candidates may be dismissed from the audition based on their performance after any of the following assessments:

Marching Assessment:

  • Consists of fundamental instruction in the unit's specific marching and maneuvering techniques and an assessment of the candidate’s marching skills/adaptability. 

30-minute Standing Assessment:

  • The Fife and Drum Corps' ceremonial missions require standing in formation for extended periods of time. There will be a 30-minute standing assessment to determine if a candidate is physically capable of this task.

Day 2

Performance Assessment I:

  • Memorized selections which will be provided
  • Intro to fife demonstration
  • Sight reading

Performance Assessment II:

  • Prepared selections which will be provided
  • Marching demonstration
  • Personal interview
  • Marching and playing with with a section


For further information regarding fife auditions for the Fife and Drum Corps please contact:

Staff Sergeant Michael Dillman
Audition Coordinator NCOIC


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