History of the Corps: 2010’s

Tour 2010 was an exciting trip to New York, New Jersey, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. The Corps performed at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. In New York City, the Corps went to ABC Studios for a broadcast of Good Morning America. A performance at Morristown National Park and Lebanon Park in New Jersey rounded out the schedule.

The next part of the trip continued south to the Nation’s Capitol with stops at Washington Crossing State Park and Monmouth Battlefield State Park. The Corps visited the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, Arlington National Cemetery/Tomb of the Unknown, Fort McHenry, the Lincoln Memorial, and the World War II Memorial.

In 2011, the Corps travelled to Freezer Jam in Bourbonnais, IL. Tour 2011 included performances at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA, Boston, MA, Fort Ticonderoga, NY and Bennington, VT. The Corps celebrated the 40th anniversary of PFDC with a performance and reception of alumni at the Plymouth Historical Museum, where they experienced the Corps’ first exhibit at the Museum. A reunion picnic brought together Corps and alumni from all over the country to celebrate 40 years of PFDC excellence.

In 2012, the Corps participated in Freezer Jam in St. Charles, MO. A highlight of the performance season was participating in the Bicentennial Commemoration of the War of 1812 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The Corps travelled to Quebec for Tour 2012, performing at Fort Chambly, Promenade Samuel-De Champlain, LaCitadelle de Quebec, and Artillery Park in Quebec City.

Tour 2013 featured a trip to Pennsylvania and Deep River Connecticut. Performances in Pennsylvania included Fort Pitt, Valley Forge, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Franklin Square, Historic Rittenhouse Town and Fort Mifflin. A highlight of the Tour was the Corps’ participation in the Deep River Tattoo and Muster in Connecticut, and a trip to the Company of Fifers and Drummers Museum.

In addition to all of the wonderful performance locations, Tour 2013 was memorable for the heat. A picture of the Corps made national news when they performed at Independence Hall.

In 2014, the performance season started early with two mini-corps performances — the first at the Redford Library, followed the same day at the Plymouth Historical Museum. Freezer Jam was local this year in Ann Arbor. Over the Fourth of July weekend, the Corps performed 6 times — Plymouth, Northville, the exciting Tiger game performance, Algonac, Cass City, and a mini corps at the First Church of the Nazarene. The Corps performed a total of 51 times this season. Tour 2014 was named the Presidential Tour, and included performances at Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s residence), Mount Vernon (George Washington’s residence), Kenmore House (Home of Betsy Washington Lewis, sister of George Washington), Fort Ligonier, Berkley Plantation, St. John’s Church, and Patriot’s Colony. The Corps performed with the Old Guard, at Colonial Williamsburg, and with the Fife and Drum Corps of Yorktown. The Corps also had the honor of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

The 2015 performance season began with PFDC hosting Freezer Jam at Stevenson High School in Livonia, Michigan. Tour 2015 saw the Corps travel to New York City and Washington DC. In New York City, the Corps performed at the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge Park. A notable and moving performance by the Corps was at the National September 11th Memorial in New York City. The Corps continued the tour in Washington DC and performed at the U.S. Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, and World War II Memorial. A highlight of the Tour was performing at the Twilight Tattoo at Fort Myer, and meeting members of the Old Guard.

In 2016, PFDC traveled to Old Fort Niagara, in New York, and stayed overnight in the historic fort and performed for a huge crowd the next morning.  From there, the Corps traveled to Groton, Connecticut, and performed at Fort Trumbull and Fort Griswold, then onto Old Sturbridge Village, the Company of Fifers and Drummers, Old North Bridge, Buckman Tavern, and Fort McClary in Kittery Point, Maine.  The Corps then traveled to Vermont, and performed at the Bennington Battle Monument.  The last part of the Tour ended with a muster at Fort Ticonderoga, where many memories and friendships were made.

In the Spring of 2017, PFDC fife instructors Ed Ungerman and Audra Pieknik started the PFDC dinner/dance fundraiser, Turning Through Time.  It was meant to replace many of the smaller fundraisers the Corps had throughout the year, and consolidate fundraising into one big event.  The first year was a great success, and it was attended by many PFDC alumni and members of the community, who had a great time!  It was decided that it would continue as an annual fundraising event every spring.

In 2017, the Corps returned to Fort Ticonderoga and visited the friends made during the prior Tour.  From there, the Corps traveled to Washington Crossing Park, historic Fort McHenry, the Maryland State House, and the Annapolis Maritime Museum.  The Tour ended with a moving and memorable performance at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

The Corps participated in several new local events at the start of the 2017-2018 season, in order to increase visibility in the community and help raise membership.  The City of Plymouth started a “Pumpkin Palooza” in October 2017, and the Corps participated in this fun community event.  The Corps also performed for Veteran’s Day at Pioneer Middle School in Plymouth, volunteered to ring the bell at the red kettle for the Salvation Army at various locations through Plymouth and Canton, and participated in Wreaths Across America in December at the Riverside Cemetery in Plymouth.  PFDC welcomed a new staff member, Jessica Rollinger-Kelly, who is a Corps alum, to be a guard instructor.  The Corps had a busy performance season before embarking on Tour 2018 to Philadelphia and Deep River, CT.  Along the way, the Corps performed at Fort Ligonier, Valley Forge, and Independence Hall.  The Corps enjoyed performing at the 65th Annual Deep River Ancient Muster, and also performed at the Custom House Maritime Museum and Old Saybrook, before returning home.

In 2019, the Corps was able to purchase a new equipment truck to replace the old worn out truck that had needed many repairs.  The purchase was due to the generous support of the Margaret Dunning Foundation of Plymouth, the Wilcox Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Plymouth.  PFDC was able to obtain the truck in time to drive it on Tour 2019 to Fredericksburg, Virginia.  From there, the Corps performed at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Highland, spent time with the Old Guard, and performed at the Yorktown Battlefield and the American History Museum of Yorktown.  PFDC also welcomed a new staff member, Elizabeth Manning, a Corps alum, to be a fife instructor.

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