Follow the Drum...

Drummerby Terry Wellman, Inspector of Musick

It has already been a busy year for NWTA Field Musick. We held our first joint School of Music with the Field Musick of the Brigade of the American Revolution's Northwest Department at Warsaw, IN on March 23-24. Both organizations were well represented. The NWTA had nine musicians present and the BAR had eight, including Main Department Inspector of Musick, Gary Vorwald, who flew in from Long Island.

Much time was spent honing music and marching skills. Vorwald gave two lectures -- the first was a slide presentation on the duties of the Field Musick and the second lecture was on Samuel Dewees, a fifer who was with the 11th Pennsylvania Line Regiment. Both presentations were well received. (Anyone interested in a copy of Dewee's memoirs, "The Revolutionary life and times of Capt. Samuel Dewees", should contact me at events this summer.)

We held an impromptu taptoo ceremony in the gym on Saturday evening. All of us played through the music manual together. Drummer Alan Hackert of the 2nd Continental Lt. Dragoons held his own, playing alongside NWD veteran drummers Jeff Conklin and Mark McFarland on sight-reading some very challenging drum passages. Fifers Linda Ambrose and Shilo Weisenburger also played through this difficult material very well.

Guards drummers' Scott Abig and Eric Klapmeier made a fine showing. The 3rd New York was well represented by drummer Sheila Davis and Fifer Kara Jorstad, and last but not least, First Level Drummer Brett Sawyer towed the line for the 2nd Virginia.

All of our musicians did a great job representing the NWTA that weekend and the Alliance membership should be proud of them.

Before we parted for home, the BAR musicians and their leaders had many good words to say about their NWTA counterparts. We made some new friends, some of whom we'll see again when we take our trip out east in July/August. I've since received word that some of NWD musicians may be joining our ranks. Perhaps we'll see them at some of our events this season? I encourage all to welcome them.

Musicians from various organizations performed together at the NWTA The School of Musick in Warsaw, Indiana last March. The NWTA musick performed very well alongside several well-seasoned musicians from the BAR NWD.Band of Music

School of Command

I have received word that Coldstream Guards' drummer Scott Abig did an excellent job in my absence on Sunday, May 5th at the School of Command. Drummer Abig provided cadences, calls and counts for the various squads that were present at the school. Scott saw his first anniversary as a drummer at Vincennes this year. He has done an excellent job in the past and I see that he is continuing in that mode.

Grave Rededication

Several Field Musicians joined other NWTA members at a Continental Veteran's grave rededication in St. Charles, IL on Saturday, May 11th. Drummers Alan Hackert, Eric Klapmeier and Brett Sawyer joined fifer Shilo Weisenburger and myself at the ceremony for Private William Bennett (1758-1846).

Bennett served his country in various units for nine years. Some of his time was spent in the New Hampshire and Massachusetts lines. The celebration was sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Bernie Kazwick served the part of Chaplain while wearing his Continental Officer's (Washington) uniform.

Clay Tollefson served as officer of the guard with rankers Rusty Ayers, Ernie Klapmeier, Mike Sawyer, Gary Weigel, Bill Hess, Dave Nordin, Bill Snow and several others. Marvin Rasch and "Big Pink", both of the 3rd New York, were also on hand. Marilyn Hess, Kathy Rasch, Deb Baddorf, Cathy Tollefson, Sue and Jessica Wellman happily withstood the low 50 degree weather.

After the ceremony we were treated to a luncheon by the DAR where we gave a fashion show for our hosts. All of us enjoyed the day and it helped to prepare us for the upcoming season. I would like to thank all of the forementioned individuals for attending and enduring the cold weather. As a result of our well-received participation in the rededication we may be invited to do more activities with the DAR in the future.


A statement that I hoped would never come true did at Vincennes. While we were assembling for the Bennett dedication at my house, I said "I hope this is not a dress rehearsal". Unfortunately with the passing of Bill Burke that Friday, it was just that. Drummers Robert Brookover of McCarty's Company and Sean Jackson of Keller's Company joined Fifers Charles Brookover also of McCarty's, Margaret Eiden of the 8th Foot, Guards' drummer Scott Abig and myself in mourning at the Sunday Morning Funeral Salute to the late Bill Burke.