Fife & Drum Corps

Musicians were an important part of the 18th-century military. Fifes and drums played from sunrise to sunset and served as a primary mode of communication from commander to troops during battles. The high-pitched sound of the fife made it the perfect instrument to be paired with the drum, as it could be heard over the noise of combat. Music also served more mundane functions in daily camp life by signaling meals, drills and inspections.

“The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes.”

-- English conductor Sir Thomas Beecham

Tryon Palace brings this music to life during special events and programs held throughout the year. Comprised mostly of volunteers, the Tryon Palace Fife and Drum Corps has a stellar reputation of recreating 18th-century military tunes, and is easily one of the most visible and popular programs at Tryon Palace.

If you are interested in joining the Tryon Palace Fife and Drum Corps, or wish to book the Corps for a special event, please contact us by email at


  • Minimum age 10. No maximum!
  • Musical experience is not required, though certainly helpful.
  • Expectation of practicing several hours a week on your own, in addition to beginner and group rehearsals.
  • To earn a uniform, recruits must have memorized and be able to perform a minimum of six songs while marching.


The Corps rehearsals take place Sunday afternoons from 1-3 pm in the Daves House.  The average “recruit” (with no experience) can be in a uniform, performing and marching, within six months.