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).
Administrative Committee Candidates
President: Corinne Mitchell (Incumbent)
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. In 2017 Corinne joined the instructional staff for the William Diamond Junior Fife and Drum Corps. Corinne serves as the Business Manager for the GRFDC. Corinne has been active on the Company of Fifers & Drummers boards since 2015: Executive Committee in 2015-2017, Secretary 2017-2019, and became President in 2019.
1st Vice President: 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. During her time on the Executive and Administrative Boards, Judy has 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. Judy has been 1st Vice President since 2019.
2nd 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 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 and 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 and Drummers Camp.
Treasurer: Paul Joseph, CPA, MBA, MST
Paul Joseph is a fifer with the Ancient Mariners and is a Certified Public Accountant with over 20 years of experience in taxation of investments.
Secretary: Pam Perry (Incumbent)
Pam Perry has been a fifer with the Connecticut Blues Fife & Drum Corps since 2008 and since 2016 serves as the corps treasurer. Pam has been the Secretary for the Company of Fifers & Drummers since 2019. Pam grew up in Wallingford, Connecticut and began fifing in 1975 as a member of the Yalesville Jr. Ancient Fife & Drum Corps and under the tutelage of Eleanor Borek. She is also a past member of the St. Peter’s Drum Corps and the Yalesville Sr. Corps. Pam holds a degree in Accounting from Quinnipiac College and has worked in several accounting positions since beginning her accounting career in the 1980’s. Pam currently works full-time handling the accounting, payroll and office functions for her family’s business, Andrews-Perry Construction, an excavation services business located in Burlington, CT where she and her family reside.
Executive Committee Candidates
Matt Alling (Incumbent)
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 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 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.
Kara Evans (Incumbent)
Kara Evans has been involved with fife and drum since 2000 and continues today with the Bristol County Fifes & Drums. Her love of history led to a BA in Cultural and Historic Preservation with minors in history and music from Salve Regina University. Kara has put that degree to work over the years at several small museums and historical societies on many aspects of public history. To name a few, she has worked at the Newport Restoration Foundation, the International Yacht Restoration School, Coggeshall Farm Museum, and most recently (pre-pandemic), assisted with field trip education plans at both the East Providence Historical Society and the Providence Independence Trail. In her past two years on the Company of Fifers & Drummers Executive Committee, Kara worked on the Jack O’Brien Fife Auction which was done as two successful fundraising efforts. She also researched an exciting new museum acquisition, the William Jennings Bryan FreeSilver Fife from the Jack O’Brien Collection. Kara has a natural tendency towards curiosity and she loves to research for the thrill of discovery. She hopes to serve another term and to help curate some more exciting museum objects for the Company collection. With fife and drum being such a major part of her life, Kara would love to give back to the Company of Fifers & Drummers Museum by offering her experiences working in historical museums.
Kyle Forsthoff (Incumbent)
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.
Ashley Gustafson (Incumbent)
Ashley Gustafson has been a fifer with the Connecticut Blues since 2006 and found her passion for fife and drum after joining Col John Chester in 1993. Ashley is an active member of both corps and participates in various events and committees. Recently she has been appointed Assistant Director of Col John and focuses much of her work on recruitment, fundraising and marketing for the corps. Ashley is a small business owner and runs a wedding and family photography business full time. She hopes to use her experience marketing and running her own business over the last 10 years to continue to help the growth of both Col John and the Connecticut Blues. Ashley is excited to take this experience and also use it to help further the success of The Company of Fifers & Drummers.
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.
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 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 & Drummers Junior Camp and has presented multiple clinics and workshops. 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 and 2018 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.
Unlike most in the community, Tanya discovered the world of fife and drum as an adult when her son, John, joined the William Diamond Juniors in 2008. Tanya started to volunteer with William Diamond within a couple months of his joining and then learned to fife a couple years later. She was hooked
She is the Director of Junior Camp and passionately believes that the key to perpetuating this amazing musical heritage is through the next generation. Prior to becoming the Camp Director, she served as Camp’s Assistant Director and as a chaperone.
With her son, she founded The Finger Lakes Fife & Drum Corps in 2015, a youth corps located in Ithaca, NY, where she also served as its Director from 2015 - 2019. For many years, Tanya was on the Executive Board of the William Diamond Junior Fife and Drum Corps. She was the treasurer, event manager, and managed public relations for this very active, large corps.
Tanya has an extensive background in public relations and non-profit board management. Currently, she lives in New York City where she volunteers for a variety of nonprofit organizations including the Alzheimer’s Association.
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 can translate well to the work of the Executive Committee.
Bill Ralston (currently alternate)
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.
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.
Jim Willey (Incumbent)
Many of you know me from the muster field or jam session, but may not know my fife and drum background. Like many of us, I began at a very young age and became interested in fife and drum with my family after my older sister Phyllis joined the Village Volunteers. I joined the corps at the age of nine and soon graduated to the snare drum line. During my 15 years with the corps, I served in several official capacities, including on the Executive Board, as the drum section leader and twice received the corps' "Marcher of the Year" award.
In 1988, I was part of a group of 10 original members who formed the Adamsville Ancients of Delmar, New York. I serve as the corps' Director and have run the day-to-day operations of the corps for the past 33 years since the corps’ founding. I was also responsible for organizing three successful musters hosted by the corps in the early 1990s. Since 1995, I have helped the corps organize and host our annual No Foolin' Jam Session each spring. It is important to me and our corps that we support The Company and its member corps whenever possible, and have made it our goal to attend every National Muster of The Company since our corps’ founding.
I was first elected to The Company's Executive Board in 1993 and served three two-year terms on the Board in the 1990s. I also became a Life Member of The Company during this time. In July 2018, I was appointed to serve the remainder of a vacated term on The Executive Board and was honored to be re-elected to the Board in 2019. With your support, I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving The Company on the Executive Board and to continue the positive work that has been achieved in recent years.