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Mountaineer Fife & Drums

This ensemble, led by George Willis, director of percussion studies at WVU, plays a mix of military music, traditional folk songs and folk songs from Appalachia. The ensemble was founded by Willis in 2014.

According to Willis, the ensemble is particularly unique as it is one of the only Fife and Drum Corps in Appalachia. There is a similar ensemble located at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

The fife and drum corps tradition is rooted in the military, where the drum was used as a communication tool.

“Essentially the Revolutionary War and the Civil War use the drum as a communication device,” Willis said. “So no walkie talkies, no way to tell somebody 100 yards away to do something, so play a drum, it’s really loud.”