Musical Contributions Lead to July 4 Event Success

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Musical Contributions Lead to July 4 Event Success

By: Rebekah Bjork | July 6, 2018

The Historic Fort Snelling Fife and Drum Corps is a student-staff musical ensemble dedicated to representing the fort’s history through music. The goal of the Fife and Drum Corps is to gain a national reputation by performing throughout Minnesota and participating in fife-and-drum musters and clinics across the country.

Founded in 1971, when the historic site opened, the corps took a hiatus after only a few years. Music duties at the fort were handled by the interpretive staff, but their performance opportunities were limited. The full corps was revived in 2014 using staff musicians and student volunteers. The musical repertoire now spans from the Revolutionary War through World War II, including the years when Fort Snelling was an active post of the United States Army.

The Fife and Drum Corps program at the Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote runs from February through August each year. Through this program, students age 14 and older have the opportunity to volunteer as musicians and perform in concerts and field shows in the fort, from late May through mid-August. The corps also performs in concerts and parades in the Twin Cities area. Students are trained and led by fort staff with fife and drum experience.

Corps members learn period duty calls and military music, depict one of the earliest military musical units in the state, share music history with Historic Fort Snelling visitors, perform at historic sites and in area parades, and serve as musical ambassadors for the Minnesota Historical Society and the State of Minnesota.

On July 4, 2018, the Historic Fort Snelling Fifes and Drums gave 11 musical performances during the Independence Day Celebration at Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote. A few members also gave informal concerts on period instruments during their break time. Many coworkers and visitors praised the volunteer musicians' contributions to the success of this event.

Thanks to all staff and volunteers who helped make the July 4th celebration at Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote memorable!

Photo by Karadin