The Village Volunteers Fife & Drum Corps
Founded in 1956, the Village Volunteers is a family corps based in the Albany, NY area. Members range in age from 10 to 50-plus, with a repertoire of some 60 tunes. An average season may include parades from St. Patrick's to Veteran's Day, musters throughout the Northeast, and summer weekends performing at such sites as Fort George, Ontario.
The Village Volunteers saw the light of day in 1956 as the Village Fire Fifers, under the sponsorship of the Delmar Fire Department (NY). The idea came from Bob and Theresa McLean, who learned fifing and drumming from a church-run fife and drum corps in New York City. Moving to the Albany area, they wanted to join a corps; finding that there weren't any, they decided to start one themselves. After initial commitments to the fire department had been fulfilled, the corps became independent and adopted its present name.
Originally an all-male senior corps, it became a family corps in the late 1960's. When the McLean's moved on, management became an executive board drawn from, and elected by, the membership. Musicians have always been trained by experienced members of the corps. In 2006, the Village Volunteers celebrated the 50th anniversary of an unbroken history of fifing and drumming with Jam Session/BBQ and 18th Century Dance. (photos of the event)
The Village Volunteers are proud to be a founding member of The Company of Fifers and Drummers, an international organization of corps. The Village Volunteers include members from as far as 40 miles from Albany. We welcome anyone, adult, teen, or child, interested in joining the Village Volunteers, whether as a musician, color guard member, or in a supporting role.
|* Sharing from his earlier days with the corps, Ray Hauley, a former member, has posted a series of articles drawn from his experiences with the Village Volunteers. You can read these memoirs on the Monthly Articles page at Ray's personal website, HauleyMusic.com. The first article of the series is May 2010.|