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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Fife and Drum Corps wants to expand membership
Alex Watt, 12, plays the fife at Fort George during the Fife and Drum Corps open house on Sunday. Julia Sacco
From left, Peter Alexander, Thomas Forsyth, William Alexander and Alex Watt of the Fort George Fife and Drum Corp showcased their talents during the open house on Sunday. Julia Sacco
Peter Alexander and Thomas Forsyth drum away at Fort George during the Fife and Drum Corps open house on Sunday. Julia Sacco
William Alexander and Alex Watt showcase their musical talents at Fort George during the Fife and Drum Corps open house on Sunday. Julia Sacco
William Alexander, 17, plays the fife at Fort George during the Fife and Drum Corps open house on Sunday. Julia Sacco

The optimistic sounds of drum beats and the whisper of fifes welcomed guests as they entered Fort George on a recent Sunday. 

The Fife and Drum Corps open house allowed all those interested to take a close look at the musical re-enactors in action.

Still dealing with the aftermath of COVID, drum major Peter Alexander hopes more kids will hear about the corps and help rebuild the group to a full size. 

“We are trying to get our max back up to about 20, which is usually about what we can handle,” said Alexander. “All of the resources are still here. The teachers are still here.” 

The corps is in search of players aged 10 to 12, but exceptions can be made within a year or two under the minimum for an especially eager player. No music experience is needed. 

The group is now down to four members, including 17-year-old Thomas Forsyth, a member since 2016.

“I had done a lot of youth programs before, but I found with this program that it just consistently got better every year,” said Forsyth.

“The opportunities, the work experience and the ability to get to know how to work in a government system at a very young age is something that you cannot get from any other program.”

Playing with the corps at Fort George has its perks besides incredible experience in musical education.

“It does turn into a job and, by the time you turn 15, it is a paid position,” said Alexander.

“The volunteer hours that you put in prior to that can go toward your community volunteer hours for high school.”

The Fife and Drum Corps practises every Sunday between 1:30 and 2 p.m. Anyone interested in joining can contact Alexander at peter.alexander@pc.gc.ca.

 

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