The Colonial Musketeers Junior Fife and Drum Corps of Hackettstown, NJ was established in 1975 in honor of the United States Bicentennial. Our uniforms mimic those worn by Washington's Continental Marines of 1776, and we've been keeping the songs and feelings of the colonial period alive through our music and performances for 42 years.
Fifes and drums were historically used during war and battle to direct troop maneuvers through specific songs and drumbeats. They were also used to rally the troops in camp settings for drills, mess call, and other military needs. Today, we perform for veterans events, commemorations, parades, military tattoos, and musters to bring the specific sound of military music to events.
The instruments we play are modern replicas of traditional colonial fifes and drums from the Revolutionary War period. We play a wide range of music incorporating traditional colonial and Civil War era songs as well as modern medleys and compositions. Over our 42 years, we have performed across the United States, Canada, England, and Europe. Currently, we operate in the Tri-State area playing in New Jersey, New York, & Connecticut.
In 2003, the Colonial Musketeers were dubbed "The Pride of Hackettstown" as we symbolize our community, our history, and musical tradition, and we seek to carry that legacy through for another 42 years.
The Corps Today
The Colonial Musketeers is open to students ages 8 to 21 looking to learn fife, snare drum, and bass drum. No musical experience is necessary. We staff professional instructors to teach all levels from beginner to advance.
The Corps offers every active member a scholarship fund that grows based on the amount of events and rehearsals the member participates in. The scholarship is awarded to members upon high school graduation.
The Colonial Musketeers is a non-profit organization run by a board of trustees. The only non-volunteers are the professional instructors hired for musical instruction. Funding for the Corps comes through performing at parades, concerts, fundraising, and donations.
The Corps practices every Friday evening from 7 pm to 9:30 pm in the Community Center on Main Street in Hackettstown, NJ.
Music Director/Fife Instructor: Kelly Felson
A Colonial Musketeers alumni, Kelly Felson is an elementary & middle school music teacher, and the Colonial Musketeers' current music director. She has played fife since 1998, and began teaching with the Corps in 2009. She became director in 2012, and teaches all fife levels from basic instruction to advanced techniques. Kelly plays a myriad of instruments, specializing in flute and fife. She also teaches the majority of our marching techniques and parade formations.
Fife Instructor: Abby Belcastro
A Colonial Musketeers alumni, Abby Belcastro has been playing fife since 2001. She began teaching with the Corps in 2011 and teaches all levels from basic instruction to advanced techniques. When she's not playing with the Colonial Musketeers, Abby also plays fife with the 2D NJ Brigade Civil War Company A, as well as playing bassoon in the Chapel Concert Band of Lincoln Park, NJ. She assists in the instruction of marching techniques and judged fife and drum's NJ States in 2017.
Drum Instructor - Beginners: Sean Sullivan
Drum Instructor - Intermediate & Advanced: Bob O'Connor
Board of Trustees
Presidents: Anita Stearns & Pam Rolser
Vice President: Chris Morpeth
Treasurer: Chrissy Shauger
Board Members: Louisa Melendez, Jen O’Leary, Keith Alder