Learning History through Music

The Middlesex County 4-H Fife & Drum Corps (MC4HFD) is the original junior level fife and drum corps of Massachusetts, formed in 1972, and consistently performing ever since. The fife and drum corps is a current 4-H club within the University of Massachusetts Extension youth program, which makes it unique in both its leadership and operation. There is an experienced team of instructors, as well as very strong parent involvement, but it is the youth within the corps that decide on music to be performed, events for the season, and their levels of involvement within the group. All members share a love of music and history, and are proud to continue the tradition of fife and drum, by first learning and then teaching the next group of recruits. The corps participates in parades and civic ceremonies each year, including the re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party in December, the Veteran’s Day Flag Retirement Ceremony at the famed Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and for over 30 years, the Middlesex County 4-H Fifes & Drum Corps have been the Honor Corps for the Concord Patriots’ Day parade, saluting each group as they proceed over the historic North Bridge to commemorate the start of the American Revolution.


Boston, Lexington and Concord are just some of the sites of famed events of the American Revolution that are in our backyard. MC4HFD participates in a variety of ceremonies and parades commemorating and teaching about this history. Many of our members are history buffs!


The musicians in MC4HFD range in age from 8 to 18. They either play fife, snare drum or bass drum. Instruction is provided at all levels from absolute beginner to accomplished. Recruits participate in events as color guard (flag bearers) until they are ready to play as members of the line.


Fife and drum is a warm, welcoming community full of camaraderie and traditions. MC4HFD participates in many Musters (fife and drum gatherings) in lots of locations near and far, including internationally. Many former members have gone on to join adult corps.