Home / About MHS / Internships /Summer 2013 Opportunities / Fife & Drum Corps Intern


Fifa & Drum InternTitle:  Fife & Drum Corps Intern

Department:  Historic Fort Snelling; Historic Sites division

Supervisor:  Program Manager

Hours:  Eight hours /week - 120 hours per semester

Timeframe:  Summer 2013 (June-August)

Status:  Paid

Location: Historic Fort Snelling, Saint Paul, MN

Project Summary: The intern will work with the other musicians on staff, as well as mentoring youth intern & volunteer musicians. They will memorize and play music as an ensemble. Learn and follow commands for marching choreography. They will learn discipline in terms of rehearsal as a group and on their own. And they will learn basic job requirements; good attendance, work ethic, subordination, etc.

Ideal degrees:   Music. Specifically percussion &/or wind instruments. Classes in anthropology, history, sociology, African American studies, American Indian studies, education, &/or theatre are a plus.

Student Qualifications:  Can be an undergraduate student, or a graduate level student, with a passion for music.  Must possess the following:

Base Program Requirements

  • Strong ability & willingness to mentor youth interns & volunteers
  • Ability to walk five miles and stand in heat, cold, or rain for hours at a time
  • Ability to listen to and follow instructions well
  • Willingness to wear uncomfortable clothing, footwear, and head gear for extended periods
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds
  • Ability to attend all training sessions and rehearsals
  • Commitment to arrive at work on time
  • Willingness to maintain costuming requirements (wear proper hairstyles, shave facial hair, wear hats when outdoors, wear neck stocks, button clothing completely, wear uncomfortable shoes, wear clothing according to period conventions [for example, trousers pulled up to proper waist level, etc.])
  • Willingness to maintain period conventions and mannerisms (salute staff portraying officers, show deference to and take instruction from staff portraying NCOs, use proper doors depending on class portrayed)

General Musical Performance Requirements

  • Minimum of three years’ performance experience on percussion or woodwind instrument
  • Ability to read musical notation
  • Ability to sight-read mid-level arrangements
  • Willingness to learn and adapt to arrangement changes
  • Ability to differentiate between and maintain consistent tempos
  • Ability to understand and perform changing dynamics
  • Ability to blend with other musicians in all sections
  • Interpretation skills necessary to describe music, period uniforms and instruments, and military music history to visitors during daily Music Lesson and informal conversations with visitors
  • At least one year previous experience marching in time to music while playing
  • Ability to march five miles in heat, cold, or rain
  • Ability to stand at attention for extended periods
  • Willingness to learn and march drill patterns for performances
  • Previous experience performing with other musicians in a band, orchestra, or ensemble
  • Willingness to practice a minimum of three hours per week outside of formal rehearsal time
  • Commitment to attend all scheduled rehearsals and performances
  • Understanding that as a member of the corps, individuals are representatives of the Minnesota Historical Society, Historic Fort Snelling, and U.S. military history
  • Desire to present Minnesota’s early military history and recreate martial music as described in U.S. Army manuals covering various time periods
  • Willingness to learn and perform other music or instruments as required by program
  • Proven ability to follow instructions and work as team player
  • Demonstrated patience to perform with musicians of various talent levels
  • Desire to learn maintenance and tuning techniques for period-appropriate instruments


  • Performance experience with flute, clarinet, recorder, or other woodwind instrument
  • Willingness to learn and master 6-hole fife techniques
  • Willingness to learn the full range of fife (three octaves)
  • Ability to play whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes at various tempos, plus trills and other techniques as instructed
  • Willingness to learn multiple parts (first, second, or third fife)
  • Ability to perform solo or in concert with others.

Or Drum

  • Minimum of three years’ drumming experience using traditional grip
  • Willingness to perform and march with period-appropriate instruments
  • Ability to carry period-correct snare (leg) drum or bass drum
  • Experience with rudimental drumming techniques
  • Familiarity with all 40 rudiments recognized by the Percussive Arts Society
  • Ability to play double-stroke open rolls and closed rolls
  • Experience playing or willingness to learn 5-, 6-, 7-, 9-, 10-, 11-, 13-, 15-, and 17-stroke rolls
  • Knowledge of and ability to play flams, drags, paradiddles, flamadiddles, flam taps, inverted flam taps, pataflaflas, Swiss Army triplets, ratamacues, and singles
  • Willingness to learn other rudiments as instructed
  • Understanding of the concept of listening toward center, matching stick heights, matching styles, and adjusting stroke spacing to drum in precise unison
  • Willingness to learn multiple parts (bass and snare drum, and in some cases, duplicate arrangements) and switch between parts with little or no advance notice

Student Responsibilities:

  •  Conduct rehearsals with youth interns & volunteers, specifically in a mentoring capacity
  •  Perform with other musicians in daily program musical demonstrations
  • Appropriately care for instruments, uniforms, and other program use materials
  • Transcribe & write musical parts to compliment existing period pieces

Knowledge intern is expected to gain:

  • Learn to mentor other musicians
  • Memorize & play music in an ensemble
  • Learn and follow commands for marching choreography
  • Learn discipline in terms of rehearsal as a group and on own
  • Learn basic job requirements; good attendance, work ethic, subordination, etc.
  • Learn transcription and writing of music to complement existing music

Additional Materials Required:

  • Will need to perform a musical piece during audition/ Interview process.

For more information or to apply, please visit the Internship Program Application Process page. Applications for this position close on April 14, 2013.