History of the Corps: 1990’s

During the 1990′s, the Corps performed 40-60 times a year throughout the State of Michigan and traveled east for an annual weeklong tour. On these tours, the Corps performed at various forts, musters and historical places. The Corps began focusing on strong discipline, music excellence and marching precision.

The performance season runs from April through October. New recruits are invited to join at the end of the season in October and are trained through January when the veteran members return for the new season.

The fifes play 2 piece, B flat, 10 hole McDonagh fifes made out of grenadilla wood. The drums are rope tension snare and bass drums. The music spans the 17th to 20th centuries with an emphasis on traditional fife and drum melodies from the Revolutionary War. Unique to the Corps are medleys containing three and four part harmonies and traditional tunes presented in contemporary settings.

The color guard has consisted of two Brown Bess muskets, two British hangars (swords), Commander-in Chief’s flag, Michigan flag, Canadian flag, 50 star American Flag, Betsy Ross flag, Grand Union flag, Bennington flag, Don’t Tread on Me (Gadsden)flag, Bunker Hill flag, Ft. Moultiere flag, 1 halberd and 1 espontoon.

In 1990, the Corps produced its first professional recording on tape.

In 1991, Jim Predhomme was named Director. On tour, the Corps performed at the Statue of Liberty. The Corps celebrated it’s 20th anniversary season by holding a reunion.

In 1993, the Corps reached it’s highest membership total at 57 members and performed at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the White House, and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery while on their Washington DC tour.

In 1994, the Corps hosted it’s first muster, attended by five Michigan-based corps – Plymouth Fife and Drum, Great Lakes Field Music, Tittabawassee Valley Fife and Drum, Midnight Riders Fife and Drum and 1st Michigan Fife and Drum Corps. This is the only time that all five Michigan corps have performed together in the same place. The Corps traveled to Deep River on tour. The Board of Directors decided because of the size of the Corps that they would not recruit new members for the next season.

In 1995, the Corps recorded it’s second professional recording on CD. The Corps purchased a new espontoon.

In 1996, the Corps celebrated it’s 25th anniversary season. The Corps held a 4th of July alumni picnic and organized the alumni to march in the Plymouth Fourth of July Parade as a separate unit. The Corps traveled to Washington DC and Colonial Williamsburg on tour and performed for both the Old Guard and the Colonial Williamsburg Corps. PFDC received a standing ovation from the Old Guard, a very proud moment in the Corps’ history. They also performed at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The “mini corps” was dissolved this year due to a lack of performances.

In 1997, Melissa Dyer, a nine-year veteran of PFDC, was selected for the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. Early in the performance season, Chris Williams, past President and long time supporter of the corps, passed away unexpectedly and the season was dedicated in his honor. The Corps purchased a new banner and a new truck. The Board purchased practice 10 hole fifes for the new recruits to use instead of using 6 hole fifes and then converting to 10 hole fifes. Jim Predhomme, Director, celebrated his 20th year with the Corps. The Corps traveled to the Statue of Liberty on tour, performed at the Fife and Drum Museum and at the Nathan Hale Muster. Nine experienced veterans graduated out of the Corps.

In 1998, the Corps traveled to Philadelphia and Niagara Falls on tour and performed at Independence Hall, Valley Forge and in the Hall of Fame Parade in Canton, Ohio. There were 47 performances throughout the season. The Corps introduced a one-person banner and continued to raise money for the Chris Williams Drum Fund. The Corps began plans to auction off the old drums and the order for the new drums was placed. Concerns over how long the uniforms would hold out were discussed.

In 1999, the Corps purchased new snare drums and dedicated an old snare drum to the Company of Fifers and Drummers in honor of Chris Williams as part of their Boston tour. The Corps played in a memorial parade in Capac for the release of a refugee in Kosovo to start the performance season. The Corps played at Greenfield Village as part of the second time only that the five major Michigan corps have played together. The Colonial Life Festival at Greenfield Village was then cancelled in the latter part of the season. The Corps ordered new one piece, 10 hole fifes from Cooperman as the old fifes were cracking and falling apart too much. The Board produced a new recruiting video to increase the recruiting efforts. A new Board position was added, Public Relations, in order to maintain the Corps web page. There were no graduating Corps members this year; a result of not recruiting in 1994. The Corps played new music written by the instructional staff and Chris Gale (Booher) celebrated her 10th year with PFDC.

History of the Corps  |   1970’s  |  1980’s  |  1990’s  |  2000’s | 2010’s