About the Civil War Field Music School at Fort McHenry

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TRAIN AS A CIVIL WAR FIELD MUSICIAN in a School modeled on the School of Practice, Governors Island, New York, circa 1861. Participants will your new skills at the closing ceremony and dress parade on Sunday afternoon, open to the public.


LIVE AS A CIVIL WAR SOLDIER from Reveille to Extinguish Lights. From 8:00 pm Friday until 3:00 pm Sunday, the schedule for all activities will be completely regulated by bugle, drum, and fife. Military volunteers provide a 24-hour guard.


Registration for the school includes hearty period meals and housing (see below).


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.


What Else to Expect

General Information:

  • During the course of the weekend, military volunteers of the FMS will provide a 24-hour guard to ensure the safety and security of all participants and respond to any needs for assistance.
  • Civilian volunteers will serve five full Civil War-style meals, from breakfast on Saturday through dinner (lunch) on Sunday.
  • From 8:00 pm Friday until 3:00 pm Sunday, the schedule for all activities will be completely regulated by bugle, drum, and fife.

Meals:

  • Five full period-style meals prepared and served by FMS volunteers. From breakfast on Saturday through dinner (lunch) on Sunday, you will be well fed.
  • All plates or bowls, cups, and utensils will be provided. But you may bring a tin cup for your personal use.
  • Please bring your canteen for water.

Housing:

  • Housing for musicians will be divided by gender, with male and female participants assigned to separate areas. Housing will consist of either tenting, the period barracks inside the fort, or another area of the fort, depending on numbers and availability.
  • Please check back for more detailed information.

Uniforms:

  • Either Union or Confederate uniform may be worn by musicians and infantry volunteers.

Closing Ceremony:

  • The closing ceremony of the School will take place at 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon and is open to the public. Family and friends are invited to attend and see all participants demonstrate what they have learned during the course of the weekend.
  • Please note, however, that the time/schedule is subject to change, as planning for the event continues. Please check back for any updated information.

All of this information, plus more, such as directions, uniform guidelines, and information about what to bring or NOT bring, can be found in the Welcome Packet on the Registration page.