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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:30 am 
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One of the New Year traditions in Australia (apart from my birthday, ahem) is the presentation by the ABC, our national broadcaster, of the Edinburgh Tattoo. It's been going since I can remember! I quite enjoy it, so usually tune in. It reminds me of all the times I've enjoyed in Edinburgh. Ahh, The School of Scottish Studies. The Edinburgh University collection. Sandy Bell's....

It always reaches us a bit late. Recorded sometime in summer, Scottish time, but presented here, about 6 months later, in summer, Australian time. Perhaps the video tapes are still making their way here by square-rigged sailing ship? Round the Horn...

Tonight, I was taken by the "Middlesex County Volunteer Fifes and Drums". Sweet playing I thought. Massed groups of fifes aren't always sweet.

I found them again on YouTube. And hearing the announcer saying "Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore" in the German presentation is priceless!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGTn6p4AwF8


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:04 pm 
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It's interesting that an Australian posted a video from Scotland with German announcing (or is it Dutch?) of a fife & drum corps from Connecticut. I grew up in Middlesex County and last saw these folks probably 15 years ago in Essex at a celebration of a battle (a defeat) in the Revolutionary War.

Connecticut is pretty much the fife and drum capital of the world. There have been many postings over the years about musters in and around CT. Several posters, among them Fyffer and David Migoya, are or have been fifers.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:04 pm 
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chas wrote:
Connecticut is pretty much the fife and drum capital of the world. There have been many postings over the years about musters in and around CT.

Just some websites of interest:
http://www.deepriverct.us/Pages/DeepRiv ... bdocs/DRAM
https://www.mcvfifesanddrums.org/
https://companyoffifeanddrum.org/museum/


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:23 pm 
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As always, the perfidious faux-New Englanders at our southern border are scheming to yet again betray the glorious Commonwealth. They're not only content to root for New York teams and try to steal our beloved Patriots, now they're trying to claim our musical heritage as their own.

The Middlesex County Volunteer Fifes and Drums are from Middlesex County, Massachusetts, not Connecticut! :swear:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:57 am 
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Gulp. I'll admit to assuming that they were from Middlesex, England....

Which, on sober reflection, given that Middlesex England has for some time been subsumed by Greater London, was probably not all that likely...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:19 am 
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bigsciota wrote:
As always, the perfidious faux-New Englanders at our southern border are scheming to yet again betray the glorious Commonwealth. They're not only content to root for New York teams and try to steal our beloved Patriots, now they're trying to claim our musical heritage as their own.

The Middlesex County Volunteer Fifes and Drums are from Middlesex County, Massachusetts, not Connecticut!

Isn't the Perfidious the state bird of CT? :poke:

Best wishes.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:10 pm 
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bigsciota wrote:
As always, the perfidious faux-New Englanders at our southern border are scheming to yet again betray the glorious Commonwealth. They're not only content to root for New York teams and try to steal our beloved Patriots, now they're trying to claim our musical heritage as their own.

The Middlesex County Volunteer Fifes and Drums are from Middlesex County, Massachusetts, not Connecticut! :swear:


Oops, my bad. Lemme plead CRS; I've been living south of the Mason-Dixon line for almost 40 years now. I'm not sure anyone down these parts has heard of a fife-and-drum corps, let alone a muster.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:32 pm 
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Terry McGee wrote:
I found them again on YouTube. And hearing the announcer saying "Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore" in the German presentation is priceless!

I was trying to remember why that tune sounded so familiar, and then realized it's on the latest LĂșnasa "Cas" album, sung by Daoiri Farrell. Probably an old standard for the regulars here, but I hadn't heard it before. Might have to learn it now.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:03 am 
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Chas, the cane fife was alive and well South of the Mason-Dixon line. http://www.folkstreams.net/film-context.php?id=86

Bob

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:53 am 
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Thanks for the link, seanduine. That was a really cool story.

I looked, and there is a fife-and-drum corps in Maryland, but all the posts I saw on their facebook page had them playing in Pennsylvania.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:38 pm 
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Being from Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA, I can attest that the towns of Lexington, Bedford and Concord are awash in fife and drum corps, in the form of "Minutemen" or "Volunteer Corps", which consist of hobbiests today, who do American Revolutionary War re-enactments, like the Battle of Lexington and Concord, which happened on April 19th at the Lexington Green and the Concord Bridge (the culmination of Paul Revere's famous ride), and march in various local parades. During the war these corps were volunteer militia, and used guerilla fighting tactics which the Redcoats (British) had not encountered.

I bought a plastic fife at age 8 at the National Park at Concord Bridge. I forget who made it, but they sold a lot of them, and it was what, for the most part the re-enactors used in the 1970s. Here it is, purchased in 1975, at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. It is playable over 2 octaves and reasonably in tune. Interestingly the plastic tube (delrin? no idea) appears to have been drilled and reamed from solid stock, as the bore is a bit offset from the outside of the tube:

Image

And here is the home page of the Bedford Minutemen, pictured in front of the Concord Bridge, where they battled the Redcoats with "The shot heard 'round the world.":

http://www.bedfordminutemancompany.org/

I hear from a friend that the Minutemen are having a hard time finding recruits these days. Re-enactment is not as popular as it once was.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:27 pm 
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yes, Chas.....i was. Long long time....and long long ago. lol

Middlesex (as they are known) is an exceptional outfit that is, as far as I know, the only for-pay civilian group (other than the Old Guard F&D of the U.S. Army). They get very talented people to play, they march beautifully and look wonderful. I've always admired them from their first years.
I believe a fair bit of the tunes were arranged by an old friend, John Benoit, if I'm not mistaken. Not sure he still does this or not. I last saw them in Connecticut at a muster a few years ago.

I've been away from competitive fifing for many years, especially since I moved from the east coast c.1988. I taught corps in Illinois, Missouri and Michigan for a time, but pretty much stopped once I moved to Colorado in 1999. Not to mention having lost nearly all high-frequency hearing in my left ear as a result.

My music library was sort of vast. You can find a fair bit of it on FaceBook where I have a page of my music collection, ie arrangements, compositions, etc. SoundCloud also has downloads of the solo recording I did for fife many years ago in the late 1970s, the first of its kind. I think I was about 17 years old.

I'm glad Middlesex went to that very prestigious tattoo overseas. They deserve the recognition.


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