The musicians in Washington Crossing Fife & Drum Corps come from a variety of backgrounds, but they join together to share the music of our nation’s history with the community of today. Volunteer Mary Jane Beck shares how the Fife & Drum Corps uses music to bring people together.
“I started helping at the park with school groups during Colonial Days about five years ago. We’ve lived in the area for 40 years and I’ve always enjoyed history and being active. Volunteering gave me a hands-on way to be involved.
When Stacy put out a flier in 2018 looking for people to join the Fife and Drum Corps, I thought it would be a good challenge for me. I’ve always played instruments and been interested in music – I even thought of pursuing a musical career at one point. I’d never played the fife before, but I can read music, so that helped.
I can’t say enough about Stacy. She’s patient and puts in a lot of time. She really gives it her all.
Over the past four years we’ve blossomed into a very nice, loyal group. We’re all devoted to providing appropriate music for events at the park. We practice twice a week, and we never stopped during COVID. We might have practiced even more during that time. People were home and looking for ways to connect and be involved. Playing together online via Zoom kept us in touch and ready to go once things reopened.
I really enjoy playing music as a group. As a lifelong musician, it’s something I’ve missed. My favorite activity with the corps was crossing the Delaware in General Washington’s boat at the 2021 Crossing rehearsal. It was a bucket list moment for me. It’s also wonderful when we play at the Yardley Christmas and Memorial Day parades. It’s like we belong to the people of the town. They are so happy to see us and cheer us on. It feels good to know that the community appreciates what we’re doing.
Being a member of the Fife and Drum Corps has been a very worthwhile experience. I’ve done a lot of different things in my life, and I haven’t always wanted to stick with them. I’m sticking with this because I enjoy it so much. And, as with most things that are worthwhile, the best thing you can do for yourself is doing something helpful for others – you get much more in return.”
To learn more about joining the Fife & Drum Corps or volunteering at Washington Crossing Historic Park visit: https://www.washingtoncrossingpark.org/about/volunteer/