The Towpath Volunteers Fife & Drum Corps

The Towpath Volunteers Fife & Drum Corps
The World Returns to USA in 2023!

The Towpath Volunteers will again be hosting the World Fife and Drum Friendship Festival!

Friendship Festival Updates

Last Updated: August 17th, 2023

Facebook Festival Page Follow US on Instagram

Contact Us

The World Fife and Drum Friendship Festival

Schedule of Events

Friday September 1, 2023

Creative Environment Children's Learning Center 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Saturday September 2, 2023

Parkwood Heights Senior Living Community 9:00 - 11:00 AM
The Towpath Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps, and our special guests, will be performing for the residents and the public at this performance. After the performances, their will be a meet and great. This event is free and open to the public.
Macedon Heritage Festival on the Erie NOON - 9:00 PM
The Towpath Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps will be hosting the World Fife and Drum Friendship Festival at the Macedon Heritage Festival on the Erie at Lock 30, located off Route 350 in Macedon. The groups will be performing the opening ceremonies at Noon - 1:00 PM. They will be performing again from 4:00 - 5:00 PM. The groups will be marching down Stone Street to the Festival Grounds strarting at 8:00 PM being led and surronded by Torchlight. In attendance will be our friends from Belgium, France and Italy, and the Camden Continentals from Camden, NY. All activities are free to the public.

Sunday September 3, 2023

Marion Wayne County Bi-Centennial Celebration 9:30 AM - Noon
Marion will be holding a Bi-Centennial Celebration with a short parade, starting at 9:30 ending at the Marion Town Park. Following the parade, each corps will be performing, followed by a a group concert with all 4 groups. In attendance will be our friends from Belgium, France and Italy.

Sodus Bay Lighthouse Sunday Concert 2:00 - 4:00 P.M.
Bring your own seating for the lawn and enjoy performances by the corps from France, Belgium and Italy along with the Towpath Volunteers from Macedon. The Concert is free. Refreshments are available for purchase at the Lighthouse Concession Area.

Perinton Center Park Amphitheater 6:00 - 8:00 P.M.
Bring your own seating for the lawn and enjoy concerts by the corps from France, Belgium and Italy along with the Towpath Volunteers from Macedon. This will be followed by a group performance of the 4 corps combined. The Concert is free. There will be Food and Beverages available for purchase.

Monday September 4, 2023

Oswego: Historic Fort Ontario 11:30 - 3:00 PM
Enjoy this International event as the Towpath Volunteers and 3 European corps parade through Fort Ontario, an American historic bastion fort situated by the City of Oswego. Bring a picnic lunch and lawn seating. There is a small admission fee to the fort. What better way to end this fabulous weekend then a historic performance and a historic location!

Meet Our Performers

Towpath Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps
Towpath Volunteers

Towpath's involvement with these European groups started with an invitation to perform at the European Fife and Drum Festival held in Saint-Tropez, France in September of 2011, and, was perhaps the greatest single event the corps has ever been a part of. With the Towpath Volunteers in attendance, the festival was able to call itself a World Fife and Drum Festival. Since then, the Volunteers have performed in Italy twice and in Belgium. The Volunteers hosted the initial World Fife and Drum Friendship Festival in Macedon in 2015.


Trommelfluit (DRUM FLUTE) is a group that wants to keep alive a historical form of music: the fiddle and drum music. Their regions have been the setting for wars and conflicts in the past centuries. From this comes a form of music that accompanied the armies of that time to and on the battlefield. From the sixteenth century up to and including the Napoleonic era, this music was played on drums and small, sharp-sounding flutes, called fifes. After all, one had to compete with the noise of war in terms of sound volume. About ten years ago the members of the folk group Kadril took the initiative to revive this tradition of fiddle and drum music for the Kattentoet in Ypres . This is how Trommelfluit was born, a music group with a very limited set of instruments: drums and flutes. Trommelfluit goes out several times a year to revive and beat these beautiful melodies with preference given to historical or traditional events. This is an image that is no longer of this time, but which many spectators feel this is the music from the old rich processions, roundabouts and processions from their regions. The music goes hand in hand with the various styles of other monuments, buildings and market squares in Flanders like no other. The group copies the uniform of the Swiss De Salis regiment as authentically as possible. For the Swiss serving in the French army, the "justaucorps" had a typical red colour. These troops were famous or rather notorious and during battle their opponents compared them to a sturdy red brick wall impossible to crack. The different regimental companies could be distinguished by the amount of buttons on sleeves and pockets and by their colour. Those of the De Salis regiment were silver and metallic. On the upturned sleeves there were three buttons and on the pockets five. The large wide brimmed hats came from a "sombreria" or Spanish haberdasher from Santiago de Compostela. The ostrich feathers were brought directly from South Africa by the group Kadril after a concert tour there. The banner of the De Salis Regiment was also reconstructed. Like all French flags in those days it bore the typical white cross. In the four quarter parts of the flag one sees 4 wavy flames alternately in yellow and black. Thus the banner is nothing more than a historic copy of the original and has no up-to-date or ideological meaning. Trommelfluit has done this intentionally because in the past so many who followed a "banner" were later on bitterly deceived in what they had once believed in. Unfortunately this still applies today. When those who are curious and try to find some hidden meaning in the banner keep asking: "Where are you from?", the question more or less is left unanswered. “We’re from everywhere and every era. Our unity is forged by music of traditional origin and our feeling of togetherness.”


The Fifres et Tambours de Saint-Tropez were created in 1991 by the musicians who accompanied the Bravade de Saint-Tropez and who also wanted to play outside of traditional festivals. They created their costume by taking inspiration from the uniform of the sailors of yesteryear and composed a repertoire of original pieces. The fifes, small transverse flutes in cane from Provence, are made according to ancestral methods by the musicians themselves. The drums have Napoleonic type strikes punctuated by the bass drum. The Fifres et Tambours de Saint-Tropez host on request all kinds of parties, ceremonies and celebrations in Provence and beyond. The Fife Festival is held each year in a different region from all over Europe. The Fife and Drums of Saint-Tropez has hosted the Fife Festival three times 1991, 2000 and 2011. In 2011, they were the first festival to have a corps from the United States (The Towpath Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps of Macedon, NY).


The group of Fifes and Drums of the City of Ivrea seems to derive from the ancient tradition of Ivrea districts’ carnivals of 15th and 16th century. Some pieces of their repertoire bare the names of the five different parishes of the old quarters of the city. The music is also due to the ancient tradition of military bands that accompanied armies through the countryside of Europe. Once lost the military connotation, this musical accompaniment was adopted to give rhythm to the pace of a carnival procession, composed in the mid 800’s mostly by people in military uniform and of modest proportions. At the beginning of the 20th century the Group consisted of few musicians, who appeared in rare photos: only three or four fifers and drummers, some in civilian clothes. But in 1908, the centenary edition of the Carnival, the group was composed by a macebearer, five pipers, five drummers, a bass drum carrier and a bass drum player. In that period the "Committee for the reorganization of the fifes and drums" was formed by the music teacher Angelo Burbatti, transcriber of all the music, by Pietro Cavallo and Nicola Viglio. Over time the number of players increased until, in the years following the First World War, it reached the number of 6/8 fifers, and 8/10 drummers, in addition to the bass drum carrier and the player. This headcount has remained largely unchanged since very recently and currently includes 15 fifes, 15 drummers, the carrier and the player of the bass drum. Some sonatas of the repertoire were inspired by the marches of the Piedmontese army led by the Prince Emanuele Filiberto, restorer of the Savoy State in the sixteenth century. Then other pieces were added to the repertoire, cheerful and lively folk dances of Piedmont, some marches typical of the Napoleonic period and other music of Risorgimento (the period of Italy’s unification, dated 1861). The bond between the Group and the historic Carnival of Ivrea is indissoluble; the Group is the soundtrack of the party. There’s no doubt that the Fifes and Drums are the most loved and followed component of the Carnival of Ivrea. On the official memorandum of the Carnival that relates the highlights of the ceremony, it was reported that "without the music of this precious group, the Carnival of Ivrea could not begin nor end. "They are "a heritage to which all Ivrea and Canavese are linked with great feeling of affection and identification."


In the mid 1800’s, within the Town of Taberg, NY Taberg Fife & Drum Corps was created under the direction of Alanson White. The Continentals are the longest playing Fife and Drum Corps in New York State. The group mainly playing at political; rallies and patriotic celebrations. In 1945 the band moved to Camden and renamed the Camden Continentals. The corps is currently directed by Randy Waterman.

Meet Our "Star Spangled Banner" Sponsors

Chapin Fine Violins IFreeze

Walmart Fig Hollow


Purple Painted Lady

Meet Our "Senior Corps/Spirit of 76" Sponsors

ABX J&J Heating Lyons National Bank Seneca Food Foundation Alpco Nortera

Meet Our "Little Drummer Boy" Sponsors

Community Bank Floyd Frey, Inc. Morrison Dr. Richard & Jean Constantino Best Western Waste Management CT Nails Kitten Around Black Button Distilling Reliant Credit Union

Meet Our "Junior Corps" Sponsors

Chapman Insurance Delmonicos Steak House McArdles Restaurant Sally McPike Triphammer Bierworks Flaherty Perrotta Facinelli Tractor Supply Company Star Cider Marketview Liquor Lisa's Liquor Barn

Towpath Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps Inc.
PO Box 31 Macedon, New York 14502 *
©Towpath Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps Inc. 2020