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Fife and Drum Corps preps for upcoming showcases

The Parthenon

Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:04

The John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps will perform Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Heritage Farm and Museum for Heritage Day.

The group is lead by Wendell Dobbs, who is a flute professor at Marshall University. For the upcoming show, they will perform music from the era of the War of 1812.

“We try to limit ourselves to music that was around during the era of Chief Justice John Marshall,” Dobbs said. “We have several French tunes since they were very important during that time period as well as a few frontier tunes.”

Dobbs founded the John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps in 2007. He said the idea came about after several alumni flute majors were given positions in The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps in Washington, D.C.

At the time of its formation, Dobbs was the John Deaver Drinko Fellow and he was able to get the corps up and running through their support and funding.

“My favorite thing about being in the fife and drum core is how authentic it is,” said Greg Fifer, a business major. “Everything from the music we play to the uniforms and even the way our drums look. It kind of takes you back in time.”

For the past six years, the corps has grown in popularity. Its membership ranges from 13-18 members each year.

“I have been with the fife and drum corps for six years, and I have loved every minute of it,” said Kayla Ariyan, a music education major. “Being in the group has allowed me to travel to so many different places. I am most excited for out upcoming trip to New Orleans for the National Flute Convention.”

The John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps was chosen to play at the 2013 National Flute Association Convention in New Orleans. They will be the only fife and drum corps performing at the event.

“This will be a great experience for everyone in the corps regardless of their major,” Dobbs said. “For the flutist in the group, they will get to experience the National Flute Association, and everyone else will get to experience New Orleans. It’s a win-win.”

The group also played for the National Flute Convention in 2009 in New York City.

“It’s such a great opportunity for us,” said Madelyn Mazzeo, a music education major. “Not many other universities offer a fife and drum core.”

Along with the flute conventions, the group has played at several local events including Assessment Day, the Fountain Ceremony and football and basketball games.

Josephine Mendez can be contacted at

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