Kentish Guards

Rhode Island Historic Militia
Chartered October 29th, 1774

Fife and Drum

The Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corp is a Regimental sized fife and drum corps. The Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps continue as one of the leading corps in the nation. Membership in the fife and drum is open to everyone, ages 14 and older. No prior musical experience is necessary, although it is helpful. The fife and drum meet at the Kentish Guards 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 Contact page.

The Corps plays a variety of music from the traditional fife & drum repertoire as well as authentic pieces; these include a medley of tunes taught by their original fife instructor of 1774, William Williams. The Kentish Guards Militia, being a legally constituted military organization, offers the KGF&DC many rare opportunities to play in military ceremonies: ceremonial inspections of the Kentish Guards by the state Adjutant General, at Gubernatorial Balls, and for visiting dignitaries. These are rare opportunities to experience the fife and drum musical tradition in its military context.

For further information, please contact us.

Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps
"Then and Now"

The Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps
is proud to announce the release of their CD,
"Then and Now"

This CD has been the result of many hours of work by the members of the fife and drum group, and especially our producer, Chris Lussier.

Listen to Sample Tracks
Brandywine | Ashworth's Quickstep

How To Order

Purchase in Person — $15.00

Purchase by Mail — $20.00 (includes shipping & handling)
Mail check, made out to "Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps," to:
The Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps
1774 Armory Street
East Greenwich, RI 02818-3747

Purchase by E-Mail — $20.00 (includes shipping & handling)
Send request to and mail check, made out to "Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps," to:
The Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps
1774 Armory Street
East Greenwich, RI 02818-3747

More About Then and Now
The names of the medleys and some of the tunes on the Kentish Guards Fife & Drum Corps' new CD, Then and Now, have their own history. Unfortunately there was not adequate space on the CD pamphlet to explore this dimension; an omission is remedied below. The CD items are listed below with little historical notes when known.

  • The Minute Troup, a 2005 composition, by KG Fifer Chris Lussier, that takes one minute to play. After an initial "fanfare" in 2/4-time, the body of the piece is in 3/4-time, a more historic time signature for a "trooping."
  • Parade Set, a recreation of a marching sequence with "street beats" between the tunes, The World Turned Upside Down being the tune said to have been played by the British Army as they marched to surrender after the Battle of Yorktown.
  • Squizzy's Lament, a medley of traditional F&D tunes assembled to honor KG Fifer, Steven Squizzero and his bride, Canada, on their wedding day, November 8, 1980.
  • Biddy/Happy/Garfield is a medley named after its composite tunes. Biddy Oats was a very popular tune in the U.S. Civil War; The Happy Fifer is a tune by the great fife-tune composer, Roy Watrous, who passed away in 2008. President Garfield's Hornpipe, a 19th Century fiddle tune, was written by Harleton "Harry" Carlton.
  • The Blarney Fife Medley, starting with The Blarney Pilgrim, a traditional Irish tune, is an oblique reference to Barney Fife, a character on the old Andy Griffith TV Show. The tune Genevieve's Waltz is a modern composition by Irish fiddler Manus McGuire, and is used here with his permission, as arranged by KG Fife Sgt. Chris Myers. The tune Mustah Foot is a 2004 composition by Sgt. Myers and refers to the condition of one of his feet after a fife and drum muster. The medley was first assembled in 2008.
  • Georgia Medley is a medley of tunes that refers to the State of Georgia, Marching through Georgia and Sherman's March, recalling when the Union Army marched through the state in the Civil War as led by General William Tecumseh Sherman. The KGF&DC has marched in Georgia, twice in Savannah's Saint Patrick's Parade, and has visited the monument and grave of Major General Nathanael Greene also in Savannah, as pictured on the cover on the CD.
  • Gallbladder Medley honors LTC Maurice Schoos, then the KGF&DC's Business Manager and principle bass drummer, who, in 1977, when the Kentish Guards were hosting the National Fife and Drum Muster, needed a gallbladder operation. The first tune, The Prince of Denmark's March, may also be known by its later name of Trumpet Voluntary; the drummers play the Twister, a modern drum setting. Governor King's March was probably not written for the RI Governor during the Dorr Rebellion; but the Kentish Guards supported Governor King in the Dorr War (a state rebellion in 1842) and thereby was awarded funds with which they built their armory in 1843. York Fusiliers appears to have originally been a British regimental march which gained popularity among American fifers in the late 18th Century; "fusiliers" would indicate a "light infantry" unit as a fusil is a smaller, lighter musket carried by light infantry and dragoons.
  • Kentish Guard Jig, a (1996) composition by John Benoit, one of the leading, living fife-tune composers, who honored the KGF&DC by naming the composition after them.
  • Blood on the Drum honors Drum Sgt James Enos' blister-worn fingers after having had to play in a parade the day after a weekend of jamming at a fife and drum muster. The tune, Hey! Johnny Cope, Are Ye Wauken?, refers to English General Cope who was surprised one morning by a Scottish Army; the tune is still used by Scottish regiments as a reveille call.
  • KG Then is comprised of three tunes that were among the first used when the KGF&DC was reorganized in 1966, and so are being played now as a memoir beginning in 2006. The tunes are all authentic to the American Revolutionary War, though the drumming is modern as little drumming documentation of that era exists.
  • Nobody's Gigge / Black Nag is named after the two tunes in the medley; both dances, the first dating from Elizabethan England (1604) and the second, only slightly younger, coming out of the Playford's collection of dances (1651). The drums play the modern settings, The General and Burns Moore Fancy 6/8.
  • Farewell My Rebecca, composed by Chris Lussier, honors Rebecca Matthews Corbett, "who found another love…"
  • Mich Mash Medley is a medley of popular F&D tunes selected by past KG Fifer, Skip Healy. The name of the medley was inspired by the Corps' trip in 1978 to the State of Michigan to play in Greenfield Village in Dearborn.
  • Black Watch Medley was arranged by the Swiss Colonials, who played it together with the KGF&DC at the muster in the Roman Amphitheatre in Windisch, Switzerland in 1992. The medley is named after its first tune and is comprised of very typical F&D tunes in the "American Style." The Swiss invented the use of fife & drum centuries ago. Its most well known contemporary Swiss utilization is the Fastnacht (Mardi Gras) festival, but this is seasonal; and so the Swiss adopted the "American Style" fife & drum to be able to play during the rest of the year.
  • Troop Step / KG March is another march sequence in which the Slow Scotch Troop is played as the KGF&DC executes the "troop step," a salute with the step taken on every other down beat. This trooping ends with the Kentish Guards March (called so by the KG's in 1774 when they adopted the widely known tune, Road to Boston, March to Boston, or Boston March, as their unit's march). The tune also seems to have been adopted by Major General Nathanael Greene as his signature march and was named as General Green's March in eight known manuscripts in the 1790 and early 1800's. It is possible that the tune originated as a French contra dance and, as such, appears in manuscripts in the 1770's and '80's as A Quick Step, Le Tembourin de Chartre, Anson's Voyage, or Farewell to Country Friends.

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