Calendar of Events 2017

Who Were the Loyalists?

In 1776 a group of Colonial citizens living in the British 13 colonies (now the United States) declared their political independence from Britain. Many living in the Colony did not agree with this declaration, and sided with the King.
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History - History of Fifes and Drums


In the 18th and 19th century music played an important role in armies of Europe, and consequently in the armies in North America. An average British Regiment had two musical groups within it, a corps of drums and a regimental band. Historically, a corps of drums was the primary communication tool for an army. Each full regiment was allocated 22 fifers and drummers, who were known collectively as the Drums. This corps entertained the soldiers with popular music, played music for formal military ceremonies and regulated the soldier's day with duty calls. From daybreak to sunset, the fife and drum played a critical roll in the smooth running of the army.


The British regimental band was a musical group that included brass, woodwind, string and percussion instruments. This group was usually financed by the Colonel of a regiment and would be used for formal occasions, parties and dances in the officer's mess. There is no record of a Loyalist regiment having a regimental band, at least until after the war (Queen's Rangers had a band at Fort York in 1793).

It is known that all Loyalist regiments formed during the American Revolution had corps of drums. A Loyalist Regiment's Corps would have played as important a roll as any in the regular British Army. In fact, it is likely that regular regiment drummers would have been appointed Drum Majors for Loyalist regiments. After the war, these musicians settled with their regiments in what is now Central and Eastern Canada.