Connecticut Valley Field Music is a fife and drum band of approximately fifteen playing members. We play rope-tension snare and bass drums and wooden fifes. The group’s uniform is based on the musician’s uniform of the U.S. Army, ca. 1862. For over thirty years the members of the Connecticut Valley Field Music have been developing possibilities in the genre of traditional music for fifes and drums.
In 1988 with the urging of friend Dave Pear, John Kalinowski attended a pre-CT Valley Field Music social group gathering at the home of Jim Clark. The group consisted of two fifers and four snare drummers. In the following year, they marched their first parade at the Westbrook Muster. That was the official start of Connecticut Valley Field Music.
Sample Track – Hart’s Medley
- Frog in the Well
- Moonlight Quickstep
- Old Zip Coon
- The Red-Haired Boy
When President Lincoln called up the troops in 1861, training field-music groups became part of the general activity. Col. H.C. Hart’s New and Improved Instructor for the Drum (1862) is among the most interesting of the contemporary texts. The drum beatings are notated in a strange “code” very much like one of the systems used in Basel to this day. The exact lineage of this notation is unknown to me. The final beating in this medley later became known as the Connecticut Halftime, made famous when J. Burns Moore published his The Art of Drumming in 1934. -Jim Clark