We are a new fife and drum corps for young people who live in the Finger Lakes region. We practice in Ithaca, NY, but our members are young people, ages 8-18, from anywhere in the greater Finger Lakes area. No experience is necessary!
Members of fife and drum corps do amazing things that others will never have the opportunity to do (see below in our History). We visit historical places, play in unique parades and events, and become friends with other young people of all ages!
Once our members learn the basics, they play instruments similar to those from the Revolutionary era: the six-holed wooden fife and the rope-tension snare drum. In addition, we play the rope-tension bass drum.
We perform a wide variety of our nation's historical fife and drum music in parades, historical events, and ceremonies. If your young person likes music, history, uniforms, and marching, this is the perfect activity!
Being a member of a fife and drum corps is an experience your child will remember forever. Join us for music instruction, friendships, and fun!
The Finger Lakes Fife and Drum Corps was founded in the fall of 2015 by the mother-son fifing team of Tanya and John Morrisett. In August 2015, the Morrisetts moved from Boston and discovered that greater Ithaca no longer had a fife and drum corps. That needed to change!
Because of fife and drum, the Morrisetts have had amazing experiences, been to amazing places, made wonderful friends, and have been a small part of keeping alive American history through music. Here's a taste of some of the unique things they've done:
The Morrisetts are thrilled to share the fife and drum tradition with the greater Ithaca area. Join us!
Who we are
Tanya Morrisett - Director
For many years, Tanya was the Business Manager and Treasurer for the William Diamond Junior Fife and Drum Corps of Lexington, MA. There, she was also a substitute fife instructor. She is a fifer with the Menotomy Minutemen of Arlington, MA, is a member of the Bluff Point Quahog Diggers Band, and has fifed with the Sudbury Ancient Fyfe and Drum Companie. Tanya is the Assistant Director for the Company of Fifers and Drummers Junior Fife and Drum Camp, a nationwide annual summer camp for young fifers and drummers. She holds a Masters Degree in Elementary Education and has been a board member for many historical, educational, and fine arts non-profit organizations in the greater Boston area.
Allen Reed - Musical Director & Fife Instructor
Allen has been fifing for over 40 years. Originally a flute player from upstate New York, Allen joined the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps where he fell in love with the fife. He was a member of the Old Guard for 12 years. There, in addition to fifing, he arranged a wide-variety of music for the Old Guard. Additionally, Allen has been a fife instructor in the Maryland area for youth corps and has continued to play the fife. He currently sings in choruses and teaches privately.
John Morrisett - Fife Instructor
John has played the fife for more than half of his life. He's played for the William Diamond Junior Fife and Drum Corps, the Menotomy Minutemen of Arlington, MA, and the Sudbury Ancient Fyfe and Drum Companie of Sudbury, MA. He currently plays fife for the Bluff Point Quahog Diggers Band of New England. In addition to playing the fife, he plays the flute and piccolo. John has taught flute privately and taught fife for the William Diamond Juniors.
Michael Sparhuber - Drum Instructor
Michael Sparhuber serves as the Percussion Instructor and Administrator in Cornell University's Music Department. A 2012 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, he has performed solo, chamber, and orchestral works across three continents, incorporating a wide range of repertoire, instruments, and styles.
While enrolled at Curtis, Michael performed under conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Simon Rattle, and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. His primary teachers included Don Liuzzi, Principal Timpanist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Robert van Sice, a pioneering marimba soloist and pedagogue.
Following graduation, Michael also undertook administrative positions with arts organizations, including Curtis, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Music Conservatory at Roosevelt University. While living in the midwest, he performed with the Northshore Concert Band, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and with several ensembles in the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.
In 2007, Michael appeared as a soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, following a first-prize win in their Young Artist Auditions. A native of Brockport, NY, Michael completed Preparatory Diploma programs in percussion and music theory at the Eastman Community Music School.
Mike McLaughlin - Drum Instructor
Mike has been playing the drums for as long as he can remember. He is a member of the Finger Lakes Pipe Band. where he has been the Drum Sargent for several years. In addition, he was the Wellsboro High School percussion coordinator for many years. In both of those positions, he has taught many people to play the drums!