Who are the Village Volunteers?
The VV, established in 1956, is a charter member of the Company of Fifers and Drummers
, and exists today as a family-oriented corps based in Delmar, NY. We are an all-volunteer organization of musicians who wish to keep alive the rich heritage of our country's early martial music.
What are the age limits for membership?
You must be at least 10 years old by May, due to our insurance stipulations and because of the stamina needed to march in long summer parades. There is no upper limit; we've had marching members in their 70's.
Do I have to know how to play fife or drum to join?
No, we teach you both to play and to march. There is no charge for weekly lessons. You march in the color guard until you're ready to play in public. Also, you can be a permanent color guard member, or help out behind the scenes, instead of playing.
How much does it cost to be a member?
There is no charge to be a member and there are no dues. Sometimes the corps goes on a trip; part of the cost is met by the corps and part by you (but this is not the norm). Otherwise, you provide your own black dress shoes and white dress shirt (or 18th century style if possible, but not necessary). The rest of the uniform is provided by us. You also pay for your own sticks and/or fife, which we will make available to you. We lend out our own drums as well.
When do you rehearse?
Sunday afternoons from fall through spring; occasionally in summer as announced. See our Calendar
for dates and our Rehearsal Information
page for location and times.
My children want to join, but I can't be active.
What are my responsibilities as a parent/guardian?
You need to provide for your children to get to rehearsals and performances ready to participate, encourage them to practice regularly, and accompany them on corps trips (or arrange for another adult corps member or some other responsible person to accompany them). We also ask that, from time to time, you help to keep the corps running, for example, making calls to members, helping the quartermaster with equipment, carpooling to a parade.
What is the Rank System?
The Rank System is a list of songs and requirements for a marching member to master in order to qualify for either fife, snare or bass. See the Rank Music
Page for the complete list in rank order or see the Sheet Music
for a large list of all of our sheet music as well as many other songs from the Company of Fifers & Drummers
How does the Rank System work?
To pass rank for a given instrument, members must perform all of the songs, or requirements listed under that rank, presented before a higher ranking member. For ranks through Corporal, songs must be memorized, since the songs from those ranks are generally used in parades and performances. By passing the rank of Private, members have earned the right to march and perform with the corps on that instrument. Members are expected to continue working toward at least the rank of Corporal. This is to their benefit, since we typically perform all of the tunes from Private to Corporal in a given season.
Our Rank Lists may be seen on our Rank Music Page
What are a marching member's responsibilities?
To practice regularly if a musician, keep your uniform and equipment (and instrument, if a musician) in good order, come to rehearsals, and be present at as many performances as possible.
Who's in charge?
An executive board made up of adult member officers elected annually by the membership, and "corps representatives" elected annually by and from the under-18 membership. The corps operates under a constitution and bylaws, and is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization under the laws of the State of New York.
How can I join?
The best time for a beginning musician to join is in early fall, when lessons start. But we will consider new members at any time, especially if you're an experienced fifer or drummer. Students at Capital District colleges who belong to corps elsewhere are welcome to practice with us. You can email, write, or call , or stop by on a Sunday afternoon:
For details about how to reach us, to come to a rehearsal, or to see us perform check out the following pages:
Current Marching Schedule