Our Mission

To provide music, history, discipline, leadership, and responsibility training free of charge to local youth ages 10-18.

About Mountain Fifes & Drums

The Mountain Fifes & Drums, a 501(c)(3) youth music program founded in 2001, is a living history community service program for boys and girls ages 10-18. The mission of the Mountain Fifes & Drums is accomplished by teaching 18th century military music and history through practice and performance on wooden fifes and rope-tensioned drums. Fifes and drums were the chosen instruments for military communications during the American Revolutionary War in which enlisted Continental Army musicians were instrumental in the successful coordination of American forces. The goal of every Mountain Fifes & Drums practice is to teach the same military discipline, leadership, drill, bearing, customs, and courtesies expected in the Continental Army.

Developing Skills Through Experience

Success is measured as each recruit acquires rank and position through the successful completion of musical competencies and the consistent demonstration of strict behavioral standards. There are 9 achievable ranks dispersed into 3 groups: Recruits, Junior Corps, and Senior Corps. A point system is used to both recognize accomplishments and identify patterns of poor behavior. Responsibilities are added as the musicians move up in rank.

Joining Mountain Fifes & Drums

There are around 50 kids currently in the program. New recruits are selected from our waiting list each August. No musical skills are required to join. Kids are eligible to join following 4th grade graduation, and they are expected to remain in the program until high school graduation. Rehearsals are held every Monday night throughout the year.


The Mountain Fifes & Drums provides 25-35 annual public service performances. We were one of three Fife and Drum Corps, nationwide, selected to perform at “America’s 400th Anniversary” held at Jamestown, Virginia, celebrating 400 years since the first permanent English Settlement in the New World. We have received congratulatory letters from our California Governor and First Lady, and our accomplishments have been entered into the official United States Congressional Record.

Leadership Team

Board of Directors

  • Carola Caldwell
  • Mark Gilliland – Treasurer
  • Joy Hatch – Director
  • Craig Phillips
  • Scott Wilhite – Director

Program Directors

  • Joy Hatch – Director
  • Scott Wilhite – Director
  • Michael Caldwell – Assistant Director
  • Daniel De Young – Assistant Director
  • Julia De Young – Assistant Director
  • Nole Lilley – Assistant Director
  • Rob Pellandini – Assistant Director
  • Frank Richter – Assistant Director
  • Joanna Slusser – Assistant Director
  • Kyle Wilhite – Assistant Director