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Fife Group

The practice of using fifes as a military signaling instrument is a centuries-old practice from Europe, and was also a staple of the American Army from the Revolutionary War through the 19th Century. Not only did these instruments signal commands on the battlefield, they were also used to indicate hours of duty, formations, and to lift morale.

The fife is traditionally a transverse 6-hole wooden instrument. Fife Musicians of the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps play on 10-hole fifes made from grenadilla wood with metal joints and accents. These modernized instruments enable the performance of traditional fife music as well as a wider array of more intricate and chromatic arrangements.

Members of the Fife Group come from all backgrounds, from traditional fife and drum to classical music training. The fellowship of these talents allows for the Fife Group to maintain the best of American fife culture and to embrace the future of this time-honored tradition.

Bugle Group

Although the earliest Continental musicians used trumpets, the Bugle gained popularity through the turn of the 19th century. By the war of 1812 bugles were in use by the American Army and, like fifes and drums, were signal instruments. The bugle was half the length of the trumpet of the day, was coiled and had a comparatively mellow tone. This design meant that bugles could only sound calls in one key.

Bugle Musicians perform on uniquely designed instruments that bridge the gap between the first Army bugles and the modern day trumpet. Like the traditional bugle, it is tightly coiled and has a conical bore facilitating the mellow sound. The design of the instrument incorporates a single valve, allowing the musicians to perform not only signal calls but to play in multiple keys, serving an integral role in the arranged music of the Corps' shows and parades.

Drum Group

Steeped in tradition, the Old Guard Drumline is a living example of the origins of modern rudimental drumming. The drumline employs a conglomerate of styles to include traditional American rudimental drumming of the 18th & 19th centuries, Swiss, Scottish, and some modern rudimental concepts. The ensemble has been influenced by some of the great names of traditional rudimental drumming to include: Earl Sturtze, Bobby Thompson, Les Parks, John S. Pratt and Nick Attanasio, and it has also been influenced by some of the modern greats as well.

Members of the Drumline come from a variety of different musical backgrounds to include traditional fife and drum, drum and bugle corps, Scottish pipe band, and orchestral. It is these broad stylistic influences that make the drumline so unique.

The line performs on handmade rope-tensioned snare and bass drums designed specifically for their performance demands. The snare drums employ a Kevlar head and measures 17" in diameter by 20" long. The bass drums measure 26" in diameter and 18" across the shell. All drums are emblazoned with the Regimental Colors of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) flanked by the campaign streamers for all battles the Old Guard participated.

Historical Trumpets

The Historical Trumpets perform repertoire from the Baroque and early Classical eras on vented instruments accompanied by side drum or timpani. In their presentation, Setting the Watch, signals and art music depict the role of the trumpet throughout America and Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries.  The group has performed at the Maryland Early Brass Festival, Ellsworth-Smith International Trumpet Competition, International Trumpet Guild Conference, and U.S. Department of State.  Members of the ensemble have studied with Barry Bauguess, Susan Williams, and Dr. Edward Tarr.

Historical Flutes

The Historical Flutes perform repertoire from the Baroque and early Classical eras on one-keyed replicas from the 18th century.  In their presentation, The Favoured Dance, the role of dance music dating from the court of Louis XIV to the American Revolution is showcased.  The group has performed at the National Flute Association National Convention, Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair, Wildacres Flute Retreat, and U.S. Department of State.  Members of the ensemble have studied with Dr. Amara Guitry, Stephen Preston, and Rachel Brown.



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