Eastern School of Field Music
At Ft. Delaware, DE
2003 Report

This event replicates two days in the life of a Field Musician in training at the Civil War era Field Music School held at Governors Island, NY. We camped (in barracks) in a real restored Civil War Fort, Fort Delaware, which was a major seacoast defense, as well as a large Confederate POW camp.

This camp is a very intense weekend of training in the instrument of your choice (Fife, Drum, or Bugle) with nationally renowned top caliber Music Instructors. Also included is the training in the history andproper use of Field Musicians in camp and in battle, Customsof Service, drill beats, tunes and calls as well as battlefield signals, marching beats and many tunes. The schedule encompassed non-stop activities for the weekend, and was fully regulated by bugle, drum and fife, as was the real school. There was even some free time for a game of rounder. There was always a jam session going on in between scheduled activities.

As Civil War Music re-enactors, we seek to honor and pay respect to the brave legions of men, boys, and women who struggled for so long to preserve our nation and heritage. Completion of the school has enhanced our ability to better serve our home unit (12th US Regulars) as more authentic and better- trained Field Musicians. The Musicians also had the opportunity to pass the different rank requirements of the International Association of Field Musicians. Everyone receives a certificate of accomplishment at the completion of the 2-day event. Attendance at the school is open to any novice, intermediate, or advanced Field Musician with his or her own instrument and complete Civil War uniform, ages 11 and up. There is a separate section for beginner musicians. This event is open to both Federal and Confederate musicians. All participants must be able to accurately portray a civil war soldier.

These are some of the comments from the Field Musicians of the 12th US that attended the 2003 Eastern Field Music School:

Pvt. Drummer Mike Boris:
" I enjoyed the personal instruction that I received at the school. It was a great learning experience. Living at Fort Delaware made me feel like I was back in the days of the Civil War."

Pvt. Drummer Charlie Poltenson Jr.:
"This was a wonderful experience. It was concentrated instruction where you can advance at a rapid rate. There was also a real feel for garrison life for the musician. The exposure to all aspects of fieldmusic is more than you can get at a reenactment. I would love to go again and would encourage others to do the same. Fantastic!"

Pvt. Fifer Paul Terry Jr.:

" I enjoyed meeting the other musicians. After a long day of training, sleeping on the cots in the barracks felt really good."

Pvt. Bass Drummer Ethan Terry:
" I learned a lot from the instructor and received an award for the "Most Improved." "

1st Sgt. of Musicians 12th US Peter J. Boris:
"The experience that you receive in the two days of intense (but fun) training, is a great life time memory. To have Civil War Field Musicians from all over the US come together and be able to be instructed by some of the most knowledgeable in Civil War Field Music history is an incredible experience. It's one thing for a person to read about the Civil War in the history books, but it's another thing to hear the authentic tunes echoing off the walls of the Fort as you are playing them. These are the tunes that they may have heard when they were marching into battle, maybe on their way to Gettysburg, or Antietam."

On December 18th 2003, the event organizer, Don Hubbard passed away. His dedication and hard work in organizing the Field Music School will be remembered and paid tribute to him by the renaming of the school to " The Don Hubbard School of Field Music". Don was very involved in many different youth activities. He was a very generous man, and will truly be missed. For more information on the " Don Hubbard Field Music School", please refer to the website www.fieldmusicschool.com.

Last Updated on 4/3/04


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