For centuries, writers and arrangers have used popular folk music to add to the diverse repertoire of fife and drum music. Bruce and Emmett, The American Veteran Fifer, Roy Watrous, John McDonagh, and so many others borrowed music from their time and created new music that worked within the idiom of martial music.

It is in this same vein that we introduce the 2024 Company of Fifers and Drummer’s Junior Camp theme, “American Bandstand: Fife and Drum Through the Decades". Celebrating some of the many unique arrangers and writers of our community, we are challenging the notion that fife and drum music from yesteryear should be the only tunes played on the muster field. Tunes and songs from George M. Cohan, Louise Jordan, Frank Churchill, George Leybourne, Simon and Garfunkel, Led Zeppelin, and others have been carefully selected to give the impression that perhaps they have always belonged.

I can’t wait to share all of the wonderful work that has been done so far. I think you’ll fully enjoy this year’s camp!

In the Ancient Spirit,
Brendan D. Mason