Drummers Call Returns to Williamsburg May 20-21

Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes & Drums, along with fife and drum units from across the United States, will celebrate the tradition of military music during Drummers Call Weekend, May 20-21. A mainstay of the Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes & Drums program for almost 20 years, Drummers Call highlights the nation’s military and musical heritage by bringing together groups performing various periods of music including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this unique musical genre up close and in person and to celebrate the musicians who keep the tradition alive today. All Drummers Call events are free and open to the public.

The weekend begins with “Successful Campaign,”an evening of traditional, patriotic military music performed by the Colonial Williamsburg Fife & Drum Senior Corps and the Fifes and Drums of York Town at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20, at the Charlton Stage.

On Saturday, May 21, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes & Drums lead visiting corps from around the country in a Grand March and Review from the Capitol down Duke of Gloucester Street to Market Square. The musicians will congregate behind the Courthouse where each group will perform. Participating groups include:

  • Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums Jr. Corps
  • Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums Sr. Corps
  • Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums Alumni
  • Tryon Palace Fife and Drum Corps (New Bern, NC)
  • Central York Middle School Fifes and Drums (York, PA)
  • Stony Creek Fife & Drum Corps (Branford, CT)
  • Uxbridge Fife and Drum (Uxbridge, MA)
  • Fifes and Drums of York Town (Yorktown, VA)
  • Field Music of the American Revolution (musicians from various states)

Drummers Call concludes with the Williamsburg Military Tattoo, a torch-lit march down Duke of Gloucester Street at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, featuring the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums joined by the visiting units.

Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums

Founded in 1958, the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums perform in the Historic Area in daily programs from mid-February through December and during special programs observing major holidays. The Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums are comprised of youth from the local community aged 10–18. Enrollment for the fall 2022 recruit class is now open to rising 5th graders in James City and York counties, as well as the City of Williamsburg.

History of Fifes and Drums

During the American Revolution, one fifer and one drummer were deployed as a regular component of a company of 75 officers and men. Two boys, generally aged between 10 and 18, marched along with each company. Military field music acted as a melodic communication system that ordered the soldiers’ day and sent vital communications through the chaos of battle. A single fifer and drummer could be heard from nearly a mile off. For more information on the history of fifes and drum corps, visit https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/explore/fifes-and-drums.

Media contact:  Ellen Morgan Peltz

Colonial Williamsburg

[email protected]


The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation preserves, restores and operates Virginia’s 18th-century capital of Williamsburg. Innovative and interactive experiences highlight the relevance of the American Revolution to contemporary life and the importance of an informed, active citizenry. The Colonial Williamsburg experience includes more than 600 restored or reconstructed original buildings, renowned museums of decorative arts and folk art, extensive educational outreach programs for students and teachers, lodging, culinary options from historic taverns to casual or elegant dining, the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club featuring 45 holes designed by Robert Trent Jones and his son Rees Jones, a full-service spa and fitness center, pools, retail stores and gardens. Philanthropic support and revenue from admissions, products and hospitality operations sustain Colonial Williamsburg’s educational programs and preservation initiatives.

– CWF –

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