Summer Trip
July 16 - 19, 2015

     The Fifes and Drums of York Town Summer Trip 2015 took the Corps to some familiar places and some new sites. Starting off with a favorite, our Corps members spent a morning with the U. S. Army Old Guard in small ability group practice sessions. Following the lessons, we were treated to an Old Guard performance on the lawn and we performed our field show in return.
     We left Fort Myer en route to the United States Military Academy (USMA) where we would perform for the first time. A little history: West Point was first recognized as an important strategic site during the American Revolution when General George Washington had fortifications built there in 1778 and moved his headquarters there in 1779. In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson established the United States Military Academy at West Point, which continues its mission today to educate and train leaders of character and honor to serve in the United States Armed Forces, making West Point the oldest continuously occupied military post in America.
     We started the morning with the entire Corps conducting our educational show with music and speeches at the USMA Visitor Center. Next, the Senior Corps members had a unique opportunity to rehearse with the U. S. Army Hellcats, the Army band at West Point. We thought the Senior Corps would rehearse to perform alongside the Hellcats at the lunch formation for the Cadets, but it turned out that The Fifes and Drums of York Town Senior Corps were the major part of the performance accompanied by a Hellcat bugler, snare drummer, and bass drummer. That was a surprise and a privilege, and we are grateful to the Hellcats for having such trust in our Senior Corps members and to our Senior Corps members for meeting the challenge with grace and skill.
     As long as we were there, we took time to tour the Academy. We had a rare opportunity to go into the Cadet Mess Hall, after which we traveled to the Cadet Chapel and to Fort Putnam. Fort Putnam, part of Fortress West Point, is one of the forts that protected the Great Chain across the Hudson River used to block British Naval ships and supplies from using this water route to Canada during the Revolutionary War. It was nice to slow down and see a little bit of history, but eventually it was time to move on to another Corps favorite: Deep River, Connecticut.
     For the first time in several years and certainly for most of our members, we performed at the Deep River Tattoo on Friday night. It was a great end to a great day! But, we were up again early the next day for the Deep River Parade, muster and jam session. This year we stayed right in Old Saybrook and were able to let the Corps members stay at the jam session or go back to the hotel pool. Everyone had a grand time at both locations.
     Just when you think we did all we could possibly do in a long weekend, our bus driver, Brian, decided the best place for a rest stop on the long trip back to Yorktown, VA, was New York City! Members were treated to a few minutes of city life before piling back on the bus and calling Summer Trip 2015 a success!

Fort Myer

West Point

Deep River

Along the way

Photos by S. Hicks and S. Utne.

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