The corps practicing near the new building

History of the Corps

The Fifes and Drums of York Town was originally formed in 1976 by the County of York as part of the Bicentennial Celebration of the American Revolution. The Corps continues its mission to preserve and present Revolutionary War era fife and drum music to expose the public to this historically unique and important art form. Our focus remains on teaching youth with the aspiration of developing an appreciation of their history in the Unites States of America. We hope that in teaching them the rudiments and drill of 18th Century Field music and then tasking them with performing for the public, we will grow confident and competent young men and women who carry on the traditions of our forefathers as well as growing into young leaders who embrace history as a means to forge our future. As the hometown corps of the place where American independence was won, our purpose takes on special meaning.

The Corps Today

Today, The Fifes and Drums of York Town is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a membership of almost 60 youngsters. Members of the Fifes and Drums of York Town have performed at prestigious venues such as the Jefferson Memorial, the United States Capitol, Gettysburg Battefield, the Virginia Governor's Mansion, the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. As this year progresses we are preparing nearly 100 performances at locations across the eastern seaboard. Both Junior and Senior members can be seen and heard weekly during the Spring, Summer and Fall in historic Yorktown. See the Corps in action: Here's a recent performance at Mount Vernon.

Joining the Fifes and Drums of York Town

The Corps is actively seeking new members from our community and we conduct one recruit class annually. Young men and women must be between the ages of 10 and 18 and no prior musical experience is required. Members are selected (in order) from our first-come / first-served waiting list. There are three levels of ability: Recruit, Junior, and Senior. The goal of all members is to reach Senior status, to parade and wear the Regimental uniforms reminiscent of the 18th century musicians who served in the Continental Army here in Yorktown, Virginia. To reach this goal, each member, both fifers and drummers, must be able to read music, learn a minimum of 24 tunes, and march and perform in frequent public appearances. Corps members are taught by professional instructors and are provided the opportunity of attending musters of similar corps throughout the United States.

If you are excited by our American heritage and want to pursue excellence as part of our organization, the Fifes and Drums of York Town wants to hear from you! Please contact us at recruit-chair@fifes-and-drums.org.

Corps Performances

Most Corps performances are free and open to the public. The Corps is also for hire and available for corporate and private events. To find out more details of hiring the Corps please email: performance@fifes-and-drums.org.


The Fifes and Drums of York Town is funded in part by the generous support of the York County Arts Commission, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Celebrate Yorktown Committee, and by individual donors who are interested in preserving our American heritage.

VA Comission for the Arts York County Arts Commission National Endowment for the Arts