It is time again for member corps to vote Company of Fifers & Drummers Board of Directors. The Company Board of Directors is comprised 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).
Members 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).
The deadline for receipt of the ballots is prior to the Company of Fifers and Drummers Annual General Meeting on April 8, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. If sending via U.S. Postal Service, please mail by April 5th. If delivering in person at the meeting, please deliver to Shannon McClure on April 8th by 1:00 p.m. Results will be announced at the end of the General Meeting.
As always, we appreciate your support of the Company of Fifers & Drummers and greatly appreciate your corps providing input for this election cycle.
In the spirit,
Chair, CFD Nominating Committee
Company of Fifers & Drummers
Administrative Committee Candidates
President: Kevin R. Brown (Incumbent)
Kevin has been active in the Fife and Drum community for some forty-six years, having joined the Ancient Mariners in the middle of the 1970 season. Since then he has been chief of the Mariners Boarding Party, Secretary of the Corps and served as Commodore and Business Manager for twenty-four years. He was also involved in the development and maturation of the relationship with the Swiss Mariners which ushered in the Swiss/American fife and drum era. He’s also one of the Corps’ Drum Majors and is an integral part of the Ancient Mariners Chanteymen. In 1994, the Corps bestowed upon him the honor of Five-Star Admiral, the highest rank achievable in the Mariners. He stepped down from the office of Commodore/Business Manager after the 2009 season, having led the Corps through its Fiftieth Anniversary. To this day he is still a member of the Corps’ Admiralty and is enjoying his Five-Star position.
During the aforementioned time he was Director of the Junior Colonials Fife and Drum Corps of Westbrook. He is avidly involved in helping at the Deep River Ancient Muster and is part of the announcing crew. Through all of this he has stayed active in the Company.
Back in the 1980’s he was involved in the remodeling process that occurred after the Company’s initial purchase of the building and property. Sometime later he then accepted the role of Assistant Building Manager under Norm Ott. He stayed in that position for a few years before stepping down due to business constraints, but remained a member of the house committee.
He was elected as a member of the Executive Committee some twelve years ago. Six years ago he was nominated for and elected to the Second Vice President seat. He then became Building Manager at the Company Hall where he was involved in the remodeling of the kitchen. He is also one of the registered bartenders at the building and serves as a member of the Building Use Committee. He was elected President in April of 2015. It was at this point that the physical health of The Company Hall and Museum reared its ugly head. Snce then, with the guidance of building manager Dan Riley, those problems are being resolved.
He has brought back former members of the Executive Committee in advisory positions. Others have been brought onboard with their expertise in many areas to build a new and more interactive website, develop business plans and operating budgets. He has worked to bring the Board of Trustees back to the required number of members, as well as custodians for the Endowment Fund which is ongoing.
With help he has recognized the need to inform and include those Corps across the country that are out of the local area. Plans are being developed to reestablish this inequity and to include them as part of The Company of Fifers and Drummers family.
So, as you can see, The Company is on the move in a positive direction to rebuild its member base and to give support to the musical genre' and the musicians who play it.
I can promise you that with my reelection, we will continue to strive to make our organization what our forefathers hoped it would be.
Most of all it is important for all member Corps to participate in this election. When your Company representative receives the ballot which is mailed at the end of February, have them review it with your Corps members, then fill it out and return it by the April 15th deadline. Show your support for The Company by taking part and voicing your opinion. We need all the support we can get to accomplish the goals set forth.
Without your help and confidence it will not happen. Remember, it is your Company of Fifers and Drummers.
1st Vice President: Mark Logsdon (Incumbent)
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 has had a long association with the award-winning Stevenson High School Marching Band Drum Line and is currently senior drum instructor there. As a private instructor, Mr. Logsdon has as many as 60 students per week. 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 32 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.
Second Vice-President: Scott Mitchell
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 and formed playing relationships with many of the significant figures in this genre. 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 has an ongoing interest in providing educational resources to the fife and drum community: He has held a recurring role as lead drum instructor for the Company of Fifers and Drummers Junior Camp; Presented “Practical Perspectives on Field Drumming” at the 2014 USARD convention; and presented a workshop "Essential Elements of 'Ancient' Rudimental Drumming" in Basel Switzerland in 2016. Scott is currently the Director, drum instructor, and arranger for the Grand Republic Fife and Drum Corps, and is a senior drum instructor for the William Diamond Junior Fife and Drum Corps.
Scott has supported the Company of Fifers & Drummers most recently by serving as the team lead for the Company of Fifers and Drummers web site redesign, implemented the 2016 Company Survey, and has facilitated a strategic planning session for the Executive Committee.
Treasurer: George B. Carteris
I began as a novice fifer with St. Benedict’s Junior Ancients [Bronx, NY] in October 1962. In September 1969 I was selected as Sergeant Major of the corps and in 1972, I took over as fife instructor of the senior competition fife line. I remained a full member of the corps through October 1973 when I aged out of junior corps eligibility.
During my later years, while still in St. Benedict’s, I also played with two senior ancient fife and drum corps. In 1968 and 1969, I played with the New York Regimental Fife and Drum Band and in 1970, The Chippewa Fife and Drum. I was the Chippewa fife instructor during the final two years; up to when they disbanded in September 1975. In 1975, I again played with the NY Regimentals until they retired the end of that year.
Early in 1976, I joined the Bethpage Colonials as a player and their fife instructor and music director. Although, I chose to cease participating in drum corps competitions in 1992, I have remained a playing member to support the corps at parades and musters whenever possible.
At the request of old friends from St. Benedict’s and the Regimentals [who had become members of the Ancient Mariners] I joined the Mariners and was initiated at Westbrook in August 1976.
I spent many years teaching fife lines other than St. Benedict’s and the Chippewas; they include the Mt. Kisco Ancients [1972-1980], Nathan Clarke F&D [1975-1983] and Our Lady of Refuge F&D [1977-1984]. Along with several other St. Benedict’s alumni, I organized and taught the Bronx Mercenaries F&D Club [1996-2012]. Additionally, I was also a fife judge for the New York State, Nassau-Suffolk and Northeastern States Championship associations from 1975 through 2002.
Company Trustee as well as my long time friend, Bill Pace asked me [around 1992] for some financial assistance for the company. I arranged to cover total publication costs of the Ancient Times for several years as well as paid-off the existing mortgage on the museum in 1996. During this period, I also ran several music workshops for fifers. In 1998, I had 300 copies of ‘John McDonagh’s Fife Instruction Manual’ printed and donated to the Company store. I’m also proud to note that I have been a Life Member of the Company since 1993. I was inducted into the NYS Fife, Drum & Bugle Association Hall of Fame in 1995 and I am featured in the bicentennial edition book of “Who’s Who in Drum Corps.”
My interest in music goes beyond the scope of fife and drum. My wife [also a fifer] and I have been subscription ticket holders to the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center since 1991 and attend a few operas each year as well. In the mid 1990s, I attended night school at the Julliard School of Music studying composition and music theory.
Noting that the position I am up for is Treasurer, I should say that my working career has been accounting/finance in the advertising industry; 40 years at several of the most regarded “Madison Avenue” agencies. I have been Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at three major agencies since 1989. When my high school [Cardinal Hayes] organized an Alumni Association in 1981, I was elected Treasurer and held that position for 11 years. Over those years we were successful raising many millions of dollars from Alumni. I was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in 1993.
I have been an admirer of the Company and especially its founders from the beginning; I was at the very first company function, the World’s Fair Muster in the fall of 1965. I have served the Company in the past and will be happy to continue doing so in the future.
Secretary: Corinne Mitchell (Incumbent)
Corinne began fifing in 1996 with the Sudbury Ancient Fife and Drum Company, 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 Tattoo’s. In 2009 Corinne joined the Grand Republic Fife and Drum Corps and became the Fife Section Lead in 2014. Corinne serves as the Business Manager for the GRFDC.
Corinne is the Radiation Safety Officer at Harvard University and has a B.Sc. in Physics and M.Sc. in Radiological Sciences & Protection.
Executive Committee Candidates
Matt Alling has been marching with the Ancient Mariners since 2010 and prior to that was a member of the Milford Volunteers, where he also served on the executive board. He has also marched with the Pipes and drums of the Milford Irish Heritage Society, Taggart Pipes and Drums (served as president of the organization), Scotch on the Rocks, and New Haven Gaelic Pipe Band. Early in life, Matt marched with the Connecticut Classics Drum and Bugle corps from 1981 until the corps folded in 1984.
Since July of 2001 Matt has been very active with the Company of fifers and drummers, spending close to 1000 hours at the museum since then researching and cataloging the entire drum collection, with the help of photographer Haley Armstead. During this he has uncovered a lot of information about the collection that was either not previously known, or had not been made public knowledge. During his time working with the drums at the museum he has taken in donations of 57 new drums for the collection. These donations now put the collection at just under 200 drums. In addition to cataloging the drums, Matt is using his research on the drums and is currently writing a book to Identify American rope tension drum makers. He has also written several articles appearing on the Fielddrums.com blog site regarding his research and cataloging process of the drum collection.
Matt is the owner of Connecticut Pro Percussion, where he builds and restores drums and makes calfskin drum heads. The business was established in 2011 and in the time since opening he has done restoration and consultation work with The Vicksburg Museum, The Museum at West Point Military Academy, The Museum of History – Toronto Canada, The Louisiana State Museum, and the Southern Illinois State University Museum. At the time, Matt is hoping to take on a more active role in the Company of Fifers and Drummers as it moves into the future.
Haley Armstead (Incumbent)
Haley has been a member of the Fife and Drum community for 15 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
Roberta Armstead (Incumbent)
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 and the Vice President. 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 over protected 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.
Ken Avery (Incumbent)
Ken Avery started in fife and drum when he was 6 years old with the Deep River Jr Ancients playing the bass drum. Ken was instructed by Terry Malcarne while in the Jrs. Then he joined his father, Mark Avery snare drummer and Grandfather George Avery color guard in the Stony Creek Fife & Drum Corps. When joining Stony Creek he was instructed by the past Company Presidents David Hooghkirk and Joe Mooney. Since joining “The Creek” Ken has served many positions in the corps including Executive Board, Secretary, Vice President, President and currently Corresponding Secretary/Business Agent. Ken is also a member of the Grand Republic Fife & Drum Corps. Ken is also currently the Chairman of the Company of Fifers and Drummers Tuesday Night Concert Series.
Judy Barrows (Incumbent)
Judy Barrows has been involved in the fife and drum community since she started with the Junior Colonials of Westbrook in 1969. She stayed active with the Jr. Colonials through 1977, and after a short stint with the River Valley Colonials, she joined the Connecticut Blues in 1979 as the drum major. Judy married Cliff Barrows in 1984, and had two children, Jessica and Peter, who also were members of the Junior Colonials. Currently, Judy and Jess play fife, and Jess’s husband, Josh Salazar, Cliff and Peter are snare drummers with the Connecticut Blues.
Judy has instructed a number of fife and drum corps and individuals over the years. She has taught drum majors throughout Connecticut, as well as beginning fifers with the Jr. Colonials.
From 1979 through 1993, Judy was the subscription manager for the Ancient Times making sure that the subscription list was current and accurate. Over the past year as a member of the Executive Board, Judy had been involved with building maintenance, and has started a program with the local high schools where students are going to be doing community service on the museum grounds and building.
Sara Brown (Incumbent)
Due to Sara’s strong family involvement in fife and drum, her personal journey began in 1997, at the age of 15. She joined the Deep river Junior Ancients and learned to play the fife. As a member and beginner fifer she quickly learned the music gaining a place in the fife line within her first year. In 1999 she joined the Westbrook junior Colonials and graduated from the corps in 2000. Due to her enrollment at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire beginning in August 2000, she joined the Connecticut Blues on a “college student schedule”. She played in the fife line for 2 seasons, leaving the Blues in 2002 to join the Connecticut Patriots fife line, where she is currently a member.
Fife and Drum has given her opportunities that she would not have otherwise had. She has participated in musters, parades and competitions all over the east coast including a most recent trip abroad to Basel Switzerland. The Connecticut Patriots have developed a wonderful friendship with the Rhine River Rebels and she has been blessed to be given the opportunity to play with them both here in the United States and in the city of Basel. In 2007 she decided that it was time to give back to the fife and drum community. This was clearly a hobby of hers and one that she will have for the rest of my life. It was time to show her appreciation for everything that fife and drum has given her over the years. She was elected Treasurer of the Deep River Ancient Muster and held that position for six consecutive years. In 2014, Sara served as the President of the Deep River Ancient Muster and in 2015 she served as the Vice President. In 2011, she was elected by you to serve as the Secretary of the Company of Fifers and Drummers. This is an organization that I have grown up with and a building that is like a second home to her and her family. Due to extenuating circumstances, Sara took over the Treasury of the Company in 2011 in order to help the Company through quite a difficult transition period. She held both Secretary and Treasurer positions for two years. In 2013, she was elected as Treasurer and have served this organization in this facet for two years. Then, finally in 2015 she was elected as Secretary and has served in that capacity for two years. This year, Sara looks to be elected as an Executive Committee member and continue to serve you, the Company of Fifers and Drummers!
Stephen A. Johnson (Incumbent)
Steve grew up watching the Deep River Ancient Muster and has been a Fife and Drum enthusiast ever since. Steve joined the Samuel Comstock Fife and Drum Corps as soon as he was age eligible in 1977. He learned the Bass drum and was an active member of the color guard until he moved to Old Saybrook in 1979.
His first adult corps was the Sailing Masters of 1812 from 1987 to 1988. Steve then joined Higganum Haddam Fife and Drum Corps in 1989 and learned Snare and Bass Drum and carried a musket until 1990. Next he joined the Westbrook Drum Corps, playing both snare and bass and also carried his musket from 1991 to 1998. Finally joining the Ancient Mariners Connecticut in 1999 to present, marching in the Boarding Party and recently joining the Chanteymen.
In addition Steve is also the corps delegate to the Company of Fifers and Drummers for the Junior Colonial Fife and Drum Corps from Westbrook and is their marching instructor. Steve is currently serving as an Executive Committee Member.
Brendan Mason (Incumbent)
Brendan started playing snare drum in the Col. John Chester Drum Corps when he was 7 years old. He started competing with the Corps soon after joining and won the Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hudson Valley and Northeastern States Championships many times. He is the current Northeastern States Senior Snare Drum Champion Brendan performed with the world famous Top Secret Drum Corps for their trip to the Sydney, Australia Military Tattoo. He currently teaches the Connecticut Patriots drum line, the Col. John Chester drum line and the Cheshire High School Marching Band drum line. He is a member of the Connecticut Patriots Fife and Drum Corps and the Grand Republic Drum Corps. Brendan has become known for his innovative drum compositions for the Connecticut Patriots and the Col. John Chester Drum Corps, and wrote a number of the drum parts on the recent Madison Street Project recording, “The Last Hour”. Brendan has taught for several years at the Jr. Fife and Drum Camp.
Laura Mason started out in fife and drum corps as Laura Degree back when she was 6 years old. Laura's parents play the fife, and Laura's mother Heidi Squires Degree taught the Westbrook Junior Colonials Fife and Drum Corps fife line throughout Laura's childhood. Laura also grew up in the muster town of Deep River, Connecticut. Laura joined the Westbrook Junior Colonials in 1993 and has been playing ever since. In 2005 Laura joined the Connecticut Patriots Fife and Drum Corps from Plainville, Connecticut. With the Patriots, Laura grew closer to her now husband, Brendan Mason, performed in a variety of venues, and travelled to Switzerland.
Through her experiences and friendships in fife and drum, Laura has learned the importance of carrying on the tradition, and is excited to continue to spread the spirit of the Company of Fifers and Drummers.
By day, Laura is a Special Education teacher for students with severe autism at Bear Path School in Hamden, Connecticut.
Dan Riley (Incumbent)
Dan first started in fife and drum in the 1980’s with the Warehouse Point Fife and Drum Corps. Then in 1989 he joined the Windsor Locks Fire Department, and played with the now defunct Windsor Locks Fire Department Fife and Drum Corps. He played snare until he joined Lancraft in 1994. He took up the bass and played with them on and off until 2008. July of 2008 took him to the Ancient Mariners where he is currently active. Over the last 20 years he has worked for his father at Riley Electrical LLC. With the recent expansion of the company he has been placed in a full management position and is no longer in the field. For the last 2 years he has served on the Executive Committee for the Company. He has been volunteering his time at the Company Hall doing electrical work as needed throughout the building. He rewired the entire kitchen and the upstairs men’s room. He says a lot more needs to be done to keep the building in conformity with the local codes, and is asking for your support to continue the positive direction of the Company.
Marty Sampson (Incumbent)
Currently acting curator of the Museum of Fife and Drum, Marty is a member and director of the California Consolidated Drum Band, Los Angeles Fifes and Drums, an honorary member of the Deep River Drum Corps and the Civil War Troopers, and plays with the Uxbridge Grenadiers whenever and wherever possible. During her terms on the Executive Board of the Company of Fifers and Drummers, Marty has worked to improve communications and promote greater involvement in the Company.
Marty came to the fife after many years as an orchestral oboist. She graduated and received her teaching credentials from UCLA, then moved to Chico, CA and taught music, math and computers at Concow School. She received a Master’s Degree from CSU, Chico in oboe performance, and served for many years as Principal oboe and solo English horn with several northern California orchestras. Now retired from teaching, Marty spends time fifing on both coasts, as well as reenacting many historical eras and crewing on tallships.
Donna VanDerMeulen (Incumbent)
I have been a member of the Coldenham Fife and Drum Corps for 35 years. I am now the Director/Fife Instructor. I enjoy all of my duties from sewing buttons and uniform parts to booking parades and anything else that needs to be done.
I have enjoyed every minute of my Fife and Drum experience. I could not imagine not having it as part of my life. I plan vacations and time off around various musters and events throughout the year. I have met so many great friends over the years.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my three terms on the Executive Board. I look forward to attending all of the meetings and many events during the year. During the last election I also took on the task of Chairperson of the Nominating Committee. I also help out by sending thank you notes for all donations that are given to the Company. I look forward to all that a fourth term would allow and helping out where ever my services are needed. I have also been the Corps Delegate since we rejoined the Company of Fifers and Drummers.