James Clark belongs to a fife and drum band called Connecticut Valley Field Music. You can learn more about the band at their website. Visit their Facebook page to see lots of photos of the band in action and to hear a sample of their music.
The book Connecticut’s Fife & Drum Tradition, published by Wesleyan University Press, is available for purchase from major books sellers online and off such as Amazon.com.
Here are some audio files where you can listen to sample music from the Connecticut Valley Field Music band:
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This week on Fieldstone Common, Marian Pierre-Louis interviews James Clark, author of Connecticut’s Fife & Drum Tradition.
The state of Connecticut boasts an extensive and active community of fife and drum groups. This musical tradition has its origins in the small military bands maintained by standing armies in Britain and Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries—the drum was especially important as it helped officers train soldiers how to march, and was also used to communicate with troops across battlefields. Today fifers and drummers gather at conventions called “musters,” which may include a parade and concerts featuring the various participating corps. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest muster ever was held in Deep River, Connecticut, in 1976. Musician and historian James Clark is the first to detail the colorful history of this unique music. This engaging book leads the reader through the history of the individual instruments and tells the story of this classic folk tradition through anecdotes, biographies, photographs, and musical examples. JAMES CLARK is a founding member of the Connecticut Valley Field Music, a fife and drum band based in Middletown, Connecticut. A true advocate of this music, Clark gives lectures and demonstrations to a wide array of audiences around the state, across the nation, and in Europe.
Connecticut’s Fife & Drum Tradition with James Clark. Musician and historian James Clark is the first to detail the colorful history of this unique music. This engaging book leads the reader through the history of the individual instruments and tells the story of this classic folk tradition through anecdotes, biographies, photographs, and musical examples.
28 Feb. 2013 at 1pm EST
Down East Schooners and Shipmasters with Ingrid Grenon. Nothing is more iconic of Maine than the image of a majestic vessel—masts raised—gliding through the fog on the dark North Atlantic. In this collection, author Ingrid Grenon presents the most important and incredible stories from the decks of Down East’s schooners, revealing how these remarkable vessels and Down East Maine are tied together.