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Performing with The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps as a Fife Musician requires the use of a 10-hole fife pitched in A-flat, but fife experience is not required for the audition process. 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. TheCorps' work schedule varies, and involves daytime work hours with intermittent night, weekend, and travel commitments. Applicants are pre-screened for qualification, and a select number of candidates will be invited to attend a live audition at Fort Myer, Virginia.

Civilian Applicants: If selected for the live audition, your local recruiter will arrange to have audition travel expenses 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]. Civilian Applicants ARE NOT under obligation to enlist unless they are offered a position with the Fife and Drum Corps.

To Apply for the Live Audition:

Please submit a Pre-screening portfolio that includes the following:

1) Information sheet

  • Height and weight
  • Date and place of birth
  • A current references - 2 professional, 1 personal
  • Unlisted YouTube Recording Link

2) 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, will offer the organization
  • Mention specifically how your qualifications and experiences meet position requirements

3) A recent full-length photograph

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

4) One page resume

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

5) Two Professional Letters of Reference

6) Video Recording

  • The video image should be level and contain a view of the performer from head to toe
  • Professional appearance is highly recommended
  • Ensure that your video functions and loads properly.
  • 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.
    • Selections of your choice from fife or piccolo repertoire. Selections should demonstrate contrasting styles. Baroque and Classical styles are recommended for piccolo. The FDC Pocket Companion can be found here, and may be utilized for your application video. Also available are FDC instruction materials from our Juniors' Workshop, found here.

7) MILITARY APPLICANTS: Please also include the following:

  • All required material
  • A copy of your SRB 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. Please ensure entire body is visible—top of head, all limbs, hands, and feet.

ALL APPLICANTS: Email materials to at one time. Please do not submit files individually over a period of time. You will receive an email confirming receipt of your portfolio; if you do not have confirmation within 24 hours of submission, please contact the audition coordinator. Portfolios must be submitted by email no later than 11:59pm on SEPTEMBER 26, 2019. All file names must include your first and last name.

General Qualifications can be found here.


A select number of candidates will be invited to attend a live audition at Fort Myer 21-22 November 2019. For civilian applicants, local recruiters 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, and will include the following:

  • Observing the Fife and Drum Corps in a Department of the Army Retirement Ceremony
  • Marching Instruction and Assessment
  • 30-minute Standing Assessment
  • Memorized selections which will be provided
  • Prepared selections which will be provided
  • Sight reading
  • Marching and playing with a Fife Section (Fifes are provided for use at live audition)
  • Personal interview

Candidates may be dismissed based on their performance after any assessment.


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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