It is time again for the Member Corps to vote for the Company of Fifers & Drummers Board of Directors.
The Company Board of Directors is composed of an Administrative Committee (5 officers) and an Executive Committee (10 officers). The Administrative Committee has specific responsibilities for running the Company and the Executive Committee oversees Company activities, helps carry out the mission of the Company and reports to the body of the Company (corps delegates at quarterly General Meetings).
Member Corps are asked biennially to elect the Board of Directors by voting for candidates selected by the Nominating Committee. Below is a list of members in good standing who have expressed interest in specific Board of Director positions. A short biography about each of these individual candidates is available below (listed in alphabetical order).
Administrative Committee Candidates
President: Bonnie Safyurtlu (Incumbent, currently Executive Committee member)
Bonnie Safyurtlu has been in fife and drum since she was a young girl and her cousins invited her to come with them to rehearsal for the Towpath Volunteers in Palmyra, NY. From there, she was hooked and never stopped playing the fife. Bonnie played with the C.A. Palmer fife and drum corps (Palmyra, NY) and went on a trip to London with them to participate in the July 30, 1989 International Muster co-hosted by the 1st Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps and held at the Honorable Artillery Regimental Headquarters. This was a great opportunity to see other US fife and drum corps such as 1st Michigan, the Middlesex County Volunteers (MCV), C.W. Dickerson Field Music, and The Colonial Musketeers as well as groups from Europe. When she moved to Massachusetts, it was the perfect opportunity to join MCV and she played with them until moving to California. Though there were fewer opportunities to play out west, she did some playing with the California Consolidated Drum Band in Northern California and now lives in Southern California and plays with the Los Angeles Fifes and Drums. Bonnie has also performed with MCV as an alumni for events such as the Basel Tattoo, Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s Salute to Australia, the Sweden International Tattoo, and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Bonnie works in the biopharmaceutical industry as a regulatory affairs professional, which requires teamwork and leadership skills that have translated well to the work of the Executive Committee.
1st Vice President: Roberta Armstead (Incumbent, currently Executive Committee member)
I was a member of the Chester Fife and Drum Corps for 13 years, the president for 12 and the alternate delegate to the Company for the last five years. I am currently a member of The Deep River Senior Fife and Drum Corps. As a mother of three I originally started as a corps mom, which only lasted like three weeks, before I was artfully persuaded to learn to play the fife. After mastering the scale and a few tunes, I was asked to join the Bass Drum line. After stumbling through Paradiddles, flamacues, and triplets I decided that Point was my place to be. In 2007 my daughter Haley attended The Company of Fifers and Drummers Junior Fife and Drum Camp. As an overprotective mother of my baby I volunteered to be a daytime chaperone. Since 2008 I have been head daytime chaperone and snack donation coordinator for JRFDC. Through volunteering with JRFDC I became familiar with the Company of Fifers and Drummers and John and Gigi Hanewich. Shortly after my first year volunteering, The Company sponsored a Juniors Day which my daughter attended. John asked if I would stay and help out with preparing and serving lunch, thus beginning my three hour tour that has now lasted eight years. Over these eight years I have helped Pam in the kitchen through many jams, concerts, work parties and other Company functions. When the need arose in 2010 for someone to take over the Company Store I jumped on this opportunity because I was eager to become more involved in the Company.
2nd Vice President: Kyle Forsthoff (Incumbent, currently Executive Board Member)
A resident of Rhode Island, Kyle Forsthoff is currently the Artist/Teacher in Percussion at the University of Rhode Island. Kyle is a member of both the Kentish Guards and Grand Republic, and an instructor with the William Diamond Juniors. He is also an active member of the Archives Committee and performed at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo as a member of the Middlesex County Volunteers in 2018.
Secretary: Emily Barone
Emily Barone is a native of Baltimore, MD, where she joined her first fife and drum corps, Monumental City Ancient Fife and Drum Corps. Her musical journey began with piano lessons at age seven from her grandmother and Santa Fe Opera Company singer, Valerie Murphy. Emily began her studies on flute at age nine and began playing fife at age 12. She is very grateful for her family’s involvement in her musical education. She attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music and received a Bachelor’s of Music in Flute Performance and in Music Education, as well as a minor in Early Music. Her principal teachers have included Ms. Sara Nichols and Ms. Laurie Sokoloff on flute/piccolo, Ms. Gwyn Roberts on baroque flute, and Mr. Donald Heminitz on fife. Emily has a true passion for fife and drum music as well as flute music of all ages. She is grateful for the opportunity to have learned fife and flute simultaneously and is passionate about her involvement in both communities. Emily has been a Fife Instrumentalist in the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps since 2016.
Emily is very interested in staying active in the American fife and drum community. She spends time performing with many fife and drum corps, as well as reenacting. Emily plays with the Confluence Ensemble, Grand Republic Fife and Drum Corps, as well as many other corps. She traveled to Scotland with the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes & Drums to perform in the 2018 Edinburgh Military Tattoo. She is an avid music historian and is in charge of the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps Center for Martial Music. She is very invested in fife pedagogy and instructs the George Mason University Patriots Fife and Drum Corps with Shane Nickels, as well as instructs privately. Emily is the Fife Instructor of the Frederick Town Fife and Drum Corps in Frederick, MD.
Executive Committee Candidates
Haley Armstead (Previous EC Member)
Haley has been a member of the Fife and Drum community for over 20 years. She joined Chester Fife and Drum Corps when she was six years old and started learning the fife. When a need for more snare drummers arose, she took on the challenge. At the age of seven she marched in her first Deep River Muster as a snare drummer. While she was a member of the Chester Corps, she was assistant drum sergeant for three years and drum sergeant for one year. She also held the position of secretary for one year. In 2012 she began competing in fife and drum competitions, where she earned medals for individual and duets. During the Connecticut Fifers and Drummers Association state competition she won Junior Female Snare Drummer in 2012. In 2007, she attended her first Company of Fifers and Drummers junior fife and drum camp, and attended the Tuesday night concert at the Company Hall. That was the first time she had ever been to the Company Hall and knew right away she wanted to be involved. Since then she has participated in clean up days, helped with jam sessions and summer concerts. She has also been very active in helping to run the Company Store at musters. This year she is co-chair of the Tuesday Night Concert Series and is organizing a Junior Day as part of the Company’s 50th anniversary. Since she aged out of the fife and drum camp in 2012, she has returned for the past two years as a Green Team intern. She has helped to engage all the new campers in recycling to make musters a green event. Last year she was a member of the DRAM committee, where she learned a lot more about the behind the scenes work of organizing a fife and drum muster. In 2013, she resigned from the Chester Fife and Drum Corps and joined Deep River, where she is currently Business Manager. With your help she is looking forward to learning more about the running of the Company and to help encourage more participation by young people such as herself. She is extremely excited to see what the future holds for the Company
Clyde has been a resident of Clinton for the last 53 years. He grew up in Branford, where he started his love of drum corps with the Stony Creek Jr Comp. Corps and played in Eisenhower’s 2nd inauguration parade. After high school he joined the Navy and upon returning home married and started his family. Clyde joined the Sailing Masters 1812 in 1970. While with them he served at times as business manager and Fife Lt. During that time his 3 children were brought up in drum corps in the Deep River Jrs. And two of them are still involved today. In 2015 Clyde joined Westbrook Drum Corps where he has served as fife Sergeant and is currently Quartermaster. He has been the corps representative to the Company for the last 3 years.
Aaron joined the Deep River Jrs and began drumming under the instruction of Terry Malcarne in 1983. During his time in the Jrs, from 1983 to 1994, the corps performed with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the opening ceremonies for the GHO golf tournament, traveled to London to perform in the New Years Parade as well as a performance at Royal Albert Hall, and numerous trips all over the US. In his final year with the Jrs, the corps took home first place in the Northeastern Competition as well as being a part of the first place duet and quartet drum groups.
Once Aaron aged out of the Jrs in 1994, he took over as bass drum instructor and it is a position that he holds with great pride to this day.Aaron is an active member of the Ancient Mariners in the snare drum line.
Marc Bernier is a Chanteyman, Musician, Chef, and Sailor with a diverse musical and professional background.
No stranger to sea music audiences, he spent over 5 years as a Mystic Seaport Chanteyman. As part of the Seaport Interpretation Department, he presented music programs for both educational and social functions. He has worked as a musician and educator for the Clearwater program on the Hudson River, and has sailed as cook, deck hand, and entertainer on numerous traditional sailing vessels from the coast of Maine to Chesapeake Bay.
As an accomplished percussionist, he is much in demand to play Frottoir (rubboard) with many of the Northeast’s most highly respected Cajun and Zydeco bands, and he has played the Bodhran with several prominent Irish music performers.
When accompanying himself on songs he is equally at home with Guitar, Mandolin, and Tenor Banjo. Marc has also been active in Connecticut’s Fife & Drum community since his teenage years, when he began playing in various traditional and progressive ensembles. His notoriety as a fifer has brought him invitations to perform throughout North America and Europe.
Matt has been a dedicated fifer for the past fifteen years. Beginning his career as a Civil War reenactor in 2008, Matt then joined the Milford New Hampshire Fife and Drum Corps. The next year, Matt attended the Jr Fife and Drum Camp and was introduced to ancient fifing and drumming. He was a camper for five years and an instructor since 2015.
In 2011 Matt joined the Bluff Point Quahog Diggers Band and in 2015 joined the Grand Republic Fife and Drum Corps, both of which he continues to play with today.
In 2018, Matt Performed in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo with the Middlesex County Volunteers. In 2022, he performed in Basel, Switzerland with The Grand Republic Fife and Drum Corps.
Matt currently works at the Cooperman Fife and Drum Company in Vermont making drumsticks, fifes, and other percussion instruments and accessories.
Mark Logsdon (Incumbent, Currently Second Vice President)
Mark Logsdon has been director of the renowned 1st Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps since he and his late wife, Mary, founded the group in 1974. He had a long association with the award-winning Stevenson High School Marching Band Drum Line where he taught for 33 years. Mr. Logsdon continues to provide private lessons to percussionists from the school. His students are consistent award winners and several have gone on to pursue professional careers. He holds the distinction of having had former students play with every major Michigan university marching band, The Old Guard (U.S. Army) Fife and Drum Corps, and many other out-of-state colleges and universities.
Mark began playing professionally in 1961. His "Top 40" band was one of the top five bands in the metro-Detroit area until it was disbanded in 1981. Mark has toured in the UK, Canada and many states, including 38 consecutive tours of the Boston area during Patriot's Day festivities in April. With experience producing and recording, Mr. Logsdon has worked on movie sound tracks, commercials and CD projects. In fact, the 1st Michigan's recordings are available on the web via most of the download music websites, including spotify and itunes.
Mark is currently a 1st Vice President of the Company of Fifers & Drummers and helped found the Michigan Music Association in 1972. He regularly serves as advisor, consultant and clinician for bands, fife and drums corps and instrument manufacturers on a national and international basis.
Mark is the Drum Major instructor for the Company of Fifers & Drummers Camp.
Corinne Mitchell (Incumbent, Currently President)
Corinne began fifing in 1996 with the Sudbury Ancient Fife and Drum Companie and performed at the International Muster in Switzerland the following year and was soon tapped to teach new fifers for Sudbury. From 1999-2010, Corinne played with the Middlesex County Volunteer Fife & Drum Corps. While in MCV she served on the Executive Committee and again instructed new fifers. With MCV she went on multiple International Tours and performed at multiple Military Tattoos. In 2009 Corinne joined the Grand Republic Fife and Drum Corps and became the Fife Section Lead in 2014. Corinne was the lead fife instructor for the William Diamond Junior Fife and Drum Corps from 2017-2022. Corinne serves as the Business Manager for the GRFDC. Corinne has been active on the Company of Fifers & Drummers boards since 2015: Executive Committee 2015-2017, Secretary 2017-2019, and President 2019-2023
Scott Mitchell (Incumbent)
Scott Mitchell began drumming 40 years ago with traditional American fife and drum corps. He played with a variety of historical groups during the US bicentennial celebration (1976-1983), and was a founding member of the Middlesex County Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps. He studied drumset with Alan Dawson, Fred Buda, Bob Gullotti, and Bob Moses in Boston where he earned a BM in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music.
Scott relocated to Connecticut in 1997 to immerse himself in the fife and drum community. There, he has played with The Ancient Mariners and The Sons of the Whiskey Rebellion. He has instructed and arranged for groups throughout New England, co-authored two books of musical arrangements, and his arrangements have been published by the Company of Fifers & Drummers. Scott is currently the Director, drum instructor, and arranger for the Grand Republic Fife and Drum Corps and a member of Fasnachtsgesellschaft Olympia 1908 in Basel, Switzerland.
Scott has an ongoing interest in providing educational resources to the fife and drum community: He has served multiple times as the lead drum instructor for the Company of Fifers & Drummers Junior Camp and has presented multiple clinics and workshops internationally.
Scott has supported the Company of Fifers & Drummers by serving as the team lead for the Company of Fifers and Drummers website redesign, implemented the 2016, 2018, and 2021 Company Surveys, and has facilitated strategic planning sessions for the Executive Committee. Scott was 2nd Vice President for The Company from 2017-2019 and has been on the Executive Committee since 2017.
Bill Ralston (Incumbent)
Bill has been involved in fife and drum since the early 60's. He was a Bass drummer and fifer in the Stony Creek Fife and Drum Corps in the 60's-80's and was their Business Agent during Bi-Centennial. He has played with Fifes and Drums of Old Calaveras (Angelas Camp, CA 80-81), Connecticut Patriots Fife and Drum Corps (Fifer 87-90), was a founding member “Fort Sutter Fife and Drum Corps”, Sacramento, CA where he was a fifer and bass drummer from 1980-1983, and was a founding Member of “Ameri-Clique” 1990, playing piccolo & marching color guard through the present day. In 1985 he was a ringer for the Kentish Guards, acting as a Bass Drummer in the Motion Picture "Mr. North." Bill chairs the docent committee and has been a docent for 40 years. He was on the Company's Executive board from 88-91, and 97-2001. He periodically volunteers in the Museum Archives and has created exhibits for the museum. Bill has contributed to the Ancient times, has served as a delegate and/or alternate for Stony Creek, CT Patriots, and Ameri-Clique.
Bio to come
Billy White (Incumbent)
Billy White grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia, began learning the fife from his father at age 7, and was a member of The Fifes and Drums of Colonial Williamsburg from 1984 to 1992. After graduating from the Williamsburg Corps, he briefly worked on staff as a fife instructor and performed as a balladeer in the taverns at Colonial Williamsburg.
Since 1994, Billy has served in The US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps rising through the ranks as a fifer, librarian, historian, music arranger, Drum Major, Fife Section Leader, Fife Group Leader, Operations Sergeant Major and the Corps Sergeant Major. He was a founding member of The Old Guard’s fife ensemble and baroque flute ensemble.
Billy has been an active musician beyond the Old Guard as well. He co-founded the celtic music band Edsall Road in 1996, which performed throughout Northern Virginia for 15 years and released two recordings. In 2019, he founded Confluence, a contemporary fife ensemble, which released its first recording "Throw Another Fife on the Fire" in May 2019.
Billy is on the Board of Directors of The Washington Tattoo, active in the Colonial Williamsburg and Old Guard Alumni Associations, and teaches workshops and private lessons on fife.