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Kids HomeThe 5 most asked questions from our youngest fans!

Are you British?

Our coats are red, but we are not British! 

While it is true that the British soldiers were often called ‘Redcoats’ during the American Revolutionary War, our coats are red for a completely different reason.  Since General George Washington didn’t have radios or walkie-talkies to tell the Soldiers in his Continental Army what to do during battle, he used musicians – Fifers and Drummers – instead.  They would play a certain song on the field, and the Soldiers would hear it and know what to do.  In order for George Washington to be able to do that very quickly, he had to be able to find the musicians in a hurry.  To make the musicians stand out in a crowd on the battlefield, they wore the opposite colors of the other soldiers.  Since soldiers in the Revolutionary War wore blue coats with red trim on the edges, musicians would wear red coats with blue trim on the edges.  You can still tell the difference between our musician’s coats and British coats because the British coats would have been more fancy than ours.

Is the drum major's spear sharp?

No, it is not sharp.  The spear that the Drum Major carries is called an Espontoon.  It is a copy of a weapon that was used by officers during the Revolutionary War.  But our Drum Major does not use it as a weapon.  It is used to tell the Soldiers in the Fife and Drum Corps what to do while they are marching. 

Are your uniforms hot?

Our uniforms are made to look like the ones worn by Soldiers in George Washington’s Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.  We wear black shoes, long trousers, a colonial shirt, a vest, a piece of leather around our neck, a coat, a wig, and a hat.  The uniforms were made to help protect soldiers on the battlefield.  For instance, the long pants, long sleeves, and piece of leather around their neck helped protect their skin in battle.  The clothes are made of wool, which lets us feel a little bit cooler than some other fabrics, but it is still pretty hot under all those layers! 

Do you practice a lot?

Yes, but we are used to it because we have been doing it for a long time.  We all played instruments before we joined the Army, so we all learned how to practice a lot before we got here.  We don’t just practice by ourselves though.  We all get together at work to practice with each other too. 

Have you met the President?

Some of us have, and some of us have not.  The Fife and Drum Corps is known as the Official Escort to the President.  That means that we are one of the musical groups in the Military that get to play for the President.  We have played for him in places like the White House, the Pentagon, the Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C. and lots of other places!

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