Fort Ticonderoga formed its first fife and drum corps in 1926 on the eve of the 150th anniversary celebrations of American Independence. The corps performed at the Fort each summer until the beginning of World War II. When the World’s Fair came to New York City in 1939, the fife and drum corps was a featured performer on May 10th, Fort Ticonderoga Day celebrating the 164th anniversary of the capture of the Fort by Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and the Green Mountain Boys.
In 1973, in preparation for the bicentennial, Fort Ticonderoga revived the fife and drum corps to perform daily during the Fort’s summer season. The fife and drum corps has performed every year since and has been featured performers at many major public events including the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games, the christening of the US Navy Guided Missile Cruiser USS Ticonderoga CG-47, and several Evacuation Day parades in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Fort Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps is equipped to represent musicians of the French Royal-Roussillon regiment of the French & Indian War era or as musicians of the 1st New York Regiment of the Continental Army reflecting the period of the American Revolution. Their daily appearance coincides with the Fort’s interpretive program and special event schedules.
Recordings & Publications
The fifes and drums of Fort Ticonderoga have recorded and released four collections of 18th and early 19th century music:
The Fifes and Drums of Fort Ticonderoga (1975; vinyl LP- no longer available)
The Fort Ticonderoga Corps of Drums - "Echoes within the Walls" (1992; cassette tape- no longer available)
The Fort Ticonderoga Corps of Drums - "On Hallowed Ground" (1999; compact disc)
The Fifes and Drums of Fort Ticonderoga - "The Heights of Carillon" (2008; compact disc)
Recordings on compact discs are currently available through Fort Ticonderoga’s Museum Store.