Fife & Drum Corps

The Fife & Drum Corps is the field music for The Independent Company of Kentish Guards.  In 1774 the Kentish Guards had 2 fifers and 2 drummers, as befitting a company sized group of 100 or so men.  For more information on the history of fife and drum music as well as that of the Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps, please go here.  Over time, the instrumentation took on several forms, and was formally reorganized into a regimental sized fife & drum corps in 1966.  The Kentish Guard Fife & Drum Corps is also a member of The Company of Fifers and Drummers, an organization devoted to the preservation and continuation of fifing and drumming in America. Membership in the fife and drum is open to all males, ages 14 and older.  No prior musical experience is necessary, although helpful.  The fife and drum meets at the Armory, 1774 Armory St. in East Greenwich, RI on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.  All are invited to stop by the Armory during rehearsals.  For directions to the Armory, see the contacts page.

The uniform worn by the KGF&DC is that worn by the Kentish Guards during the period between 1790 and 1820, and re-adopted by the Kentish Guards in 1928. The musicians wearing tricorns, and the militiamen wearing the bear fur crested light infantry helmets. The original uniform of the Kentish Guards, according to the best information available, was a red coat with green facings, white waistcoat and trousers. The musicians would have been wearing "reversed colors" ie; green coats with red facings, as was the military custom of the day. The Kentish Guards decided to re-adopt the Federal period uniform because of the recognition factor of the red, white and blue color scheme.

The corps plays a variety of music from the traditional fife and drum repertoire, as well as authentic pieces written for the original Kentish Guards fifers and drummers.  The Kentish Guards, being a duly constituted military organization offers the KGF&DC many opportunities to play in the "military tradition".  The KGF&DC plays for the ceremonial inspections of the Kentish Guards militia by the state's Adjutant General, at Gubernatorial Balls and other official ceremonies.  This offers a unique opportunity to experience fife and drum music at its traditional military roots.

There are only 5 fife and drum corps in the United States that are a part of actual military organizations.  The Kentish Guards, Pawtuxet Rangers and Gloucester Light Infantry in Rhode Island , the Second Company Governor's Foot Guards in Connecticut, and the Old Guard of the 3rd U.S. Infantry in Fort Meyers, Virginia. The Kentish Guards is the official fife and drum corps of the Centennial Legion of Historic Military Commands.
KGF&DC Sudbury, 2002


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