The story of the The Field Music School began in 2002 as a location to train field musicians in the Civil War re-enacting community. Led by a team of Civil War re-enactors, including Jari Villanueva, Don Hubbard, Stephan Southard, and several others, the concept of the event was based off of the 19th century School of Practice on Governors Island in New York Harbor. Over the last two decades, the school has changed leadership, locations, and names, but it continues to thrive well into the future. Starting in 2017, the school also began marching as a field music contingent in the annual Remembrance Day parade, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
In 2020, nearly twenty years since its founding, the school decided to shorten its name to the current "The Field Music School" and began expanding beyond the Civil War period by introducing a new, modern-style workshop, entitled HarmoniCon, held in Yorktown, VA. This event is open to ALL field musicians, for both kids and adults ages 11 and up, regardless of time period, uniform, etc. You can learn more about this event by clicking here or by clicking the menu tab above entitled "HarmoniCon". It is the goal of the school to hopefully also begin another period-style school for 18th century as well. Stay tuned for more info in the coming years.
The Field Music School endeavors to develop and promote quality field musicians, ages 11 and up, in the living history community, by providing engaging, professional instruction in a historical setting; an immersive, musical environment; the knowledge to educate the public about the critical role of martial music; and the nurturing of new and continual friendships that will last a lifetime.
The Field Music School seeks to expand its name, reputation, and historical and musical research, creating additional interest across the nation and the world, as students aim to perfect the lessons they receive from renowned instructors and continue to promote the School’s efforts within their home-based units and local events, including exposing the general public to the important role field music played during America's 18th and 19th century military history.
Here are a few comments from past attendees of the school:
"Interesting, talented, knowledgeable, and committed faculty." (Volunteer)
"The chance to talk to very experienced musicians." (Drum student)
"Playing with musicians that want to do period correct music and represent fife and drum in a historically accurate manner." (Instructor)
"First rate instruction, companionship, historical accuracy." (Bugle student)
"Thanks again for sharing your time and incredible talents with us this weekend. You know it was a success when we just did not want to leave." (Fife student)
"Instructors were very talented in not only performing but also teaching. Very good choice of teachers; worth the money and time spent." (Drum student)
"The caliber of the instructors is unmatched anywhere else... (the School) was well run. Looking forward to next year!" (Infantry volunteer, parent of a fifer)