Bob's "Connecticut Connection" Home page | Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes & Drums | Corps' Schedule Page | Join our Corps! Online Membership Application| NEW ! Photo Gallery | Contact Bob Castillo

fife drum

fife drum

Purchase our music by clicking on the link:

Music of the American Revolution CD

Purchase 0ur CD or download individual tracks at either of our retailers.

What can we do for you?

We have the capability to run a full Rev-war period encampment complete with Field Music, Artificers, Rangers and Artillery ... demonstrating ... the use of the fife and drum in performing the Camp Duties as well as providing simple entertainment for the men and their families in the evenings; the military drills; the activities and functions of the women and families who moved with the camp in wartime or who were present in the camp during training days or musters; musket and artillery firing (with some audience participation). At some point in the day, we often stage an alarm coming into the camp and resulting in a rousing call to arms!

In 2015, we performed this kind of event at Historic Deerfield, The Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, Conneccticut, and the Hempsted House in New London, Connecticut. In previous years, New Windsor Cantonment, Shaftsbury, Vt, Heritage Plantations on the Cape, the battlefield in Old Saratoga, and Montauk Point, were among our venues.

Depending on your requirements, we can develop a two, four, or six-hour program tailored to suit the history of your specific site.

If you have an interest in bringing an event like this to your site, Click here to Contact Bob Castillo directly
or Click here to Contact our Business Manager, Kaitlin Lindhardt

fife drum

Muster Cake Recipe !!!

  • 1 pkg gingerbread mix
  • 1 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup raisins

Combine dry mix and applesauce, then add raisins. DO NOT FOLLOW PACKAGE MIX DIRECTIONS or add any ingredients.
Spread in a greased 8" x 8" pan. .
- Bake 25 minutes at 350. Let cool.
Cut into bars,9 even pieces each and individually wrap in seran wrap or foil.

If each member makes and brings TWO of these cakes on Sunday, we should have enough for all of our guests. . EVERYBODY! ~ Please bring the cakes to the Muster, Sunday morning.
Music please bring 1 or 2 bags of ice on Sunday morning.
RANGERS, please bring one bag of ice on Saturday..

Donald E. Hogberg

Donald E. Hogberg, 61, a long-time member of the Nathan Anciente Fifes & Drums lost his very long battle with cancer on Dec. 7, 2016. He was born September 27, 1955. Don began his "career" with Nathan Hale as a Bass Drummer, but I had the pleasure of "converting" him to Snare Drum DURING a long, long, Corps bus-trip to perform in Philadelphia. He took to playing the snare drum like a duck takes to water. The last time Don was able to play his drum with us was during the celebration of the Corp's 50th Anniversary. Here he is on the business end of the second snare drum from the left.

50th nh drummers

He was employed in the Electrical Engineering field having last worked for Brookwood Laminating.

He also enjoyed tinkering with trains and loved riding his motorcycle. His daughter, Amber L. Hogberg of Plainfield, was also a member of our Corps.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 238 W. Town St. Norwich, CT. 06360.

Memorial visiting hours will be held Sunday (12-18-16) from 1-4PM at Dougherty Bros. Funeral Home 595 Norwich Rd.(Route 12) Plainfield.

Bob Castillo

The Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes and Drums Celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2015

What a Great Muster and Encampment and Party!

Thanks to eveyone for all the work you did to help bring this off.


This is what we do and who we are! WOW!




Looking sharp, Kyle!



It is my solemn duty to inform you that there are now

Days to endure before
The 2013 Deep River Ancient Muster !
July 21, 2018

AND ..................

Days to endure before
The 2013 Nathan Hale Ancient Fife & Drum Muster !
July 23, 2017
AND ..................

Days to endure before
The 2013 Westbrook Muster !
August 26, 2017

fife drum

fife drum

fife drum

You can now navigate our Web Site Quickly.
Just use these handy links to the areas you want to view.

fife drum

Last Update .......July 18, 2017 at 5:48 PM.., local time in Hampton, Ct.

Please note: This page is updated on an almost DAILY basis so check back often for the latest.

fife drum

See something wrong? Have something that should be added? NOW?

Then, Contact Bob Castillo RIGHT NOW / RIGHT HERE!

fife drum

New Members Welcomed!

Nathan Hale is also trying to locate the many, many former members who may be lurking out there in cyberspace. If you were ever a member of any of our units, please provide as much of the information requested below as possible.

  • Please enter your name:
  • Address:
  • Telephone Number:
  • Email Address:

    When were you in the corps?:

    Which Unit were you in?

    If a member of the musick, what instrument(s)?:

    What do you think of this website?

    It's Great! It Stinks! Ho Hum!

    Do you think you might like to re-join us in our ongoing adventure(s)?

    NO! It Sounds Like it might be fun! YES!

    Drop a note telling us a little about your life after Nathan:

    Thanks for your input

    Bob Castillo

If you have an interest in joining us, arranging for an appearance at your event, or simply desire more information, feel free to write to: Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes And Drums, P.O.Box 776, Coventry, Ct. 06238.....
or... Contact Bob Castillo by e mail

Where and When to See the

Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes & Drums Corps


For the convenience of our members and associates, this site also lists our internal events such as meetings, practices., etc.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ..I need to be informed of any changes in a TIMELY MANNER. If I get NADA for input, NADA is what this site is going to be worth in terms of values to our membership,

fife drum

Our Official Schedule

Color Code

Parades & Performances are in Blue Meetings are in Bright Red Practices are in Black Comments are in Green

Executive Committee Meetings will run from 4:30 PM until approximately 6:00. Location: Carla's House Until Further Notice.

fife drum

2016 Scheduled Events

  • Sunday,September 25, 2016, Huntington House, Scotland, CT RANGERS ONLY

  • Sunday,October 2, 2016 Practice at our Headquarters, e-mtg 5:30, 6 P.M. Lessons for beginners. 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. "ish" for the rest of us

  • Sunday,October 9, 2016 Practice at our Headquarters, 6 P.M. Lessons for beginners. 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. "ish" for the rest of us

  • Saturday, October 15 2016 Moodus Muster, Parade steps off 12:00 Noon from Rehab Center. Shuttles from field to start of parade.

  • Sunday,October 16, 2016 Practice at our Headquarters, 6 P.M. Lessons for beginners. 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. "ish" for the rest of us

  • Sunday,October 23, 2016 Practice at our Headquarters, 6 P.M. Lessons for beginners. 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. "ish" for the rest of us

  • Sunday,October 30, 2016 Practice at our Headquarters, 6 P.M. Lessons for beginners. 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. "ish" for the rest of us

  • Sunday,November 6, 2016 Practice at our Headquarters, e-mtg 5:30, 6 P.M. Lessons for beginners. 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. "ish" for the rest of us

  • Sunday,November 13, 2016 Practice at our Headquarters, 6 P.M. Lessons for beginners. 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. "ish" for the rest of us

  • Sunday,November 20,Annual Meeting

  • Sunday,November 27, 2016 Practice at our Headquarters, 6 P.M. Lessons for beginners. 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. "ish" for the rest of us

  • Sunday, December 4, 2016, Christmas in the Village ... Coventry at Meet Me on Main. 12 Noon - about 4:00 PM

2017 Scheduled Events

  • June 17, 2017 Waterbury, CT Parade, Mattatuck Drum Band Anniversary Parade

Practice Format ...

IN warm weather, We will meet on the grounds of the Nathan Hale Homestead according to the following schedule
Beginning instruction will continue as before.
We will used this added time to work on our performance.
You might consider using bug repellant and sun screen to your best advantage.
Each session is going to be structured as closely as possible to this outline :

· 6:00 to 7:00 P.M. Beginner's Individual Instruction
· 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. "ish" Full Corps Practice

Yes, beginning students will be free to leave after their lessons. Yes, performing members will be free to wait until 7:00 P.M. to arrive for a one-hour practice.

Beginning students will be allowed to remain for the entire practice, if they so choose. Performing members are, likewise, welcome to come early.
If, for any reason, a member cannot attend a scheduled practice,
it is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to contact either Jimmy Clark or Bob Castillo or Ruth McGinley so arrangements can be made
to adjust the schedule for the practice accordingly.

We have a lot of work to do, musically, in preparation for the coming year, so It is most important that everyone attend as many practice sessions as possible, making due allowance for family, school, work, and church. As you sort your priorities, we ask that you place the Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes and Drums a tight 5th place.

Bob Castillo, Music Master
Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes and Drums, Inc
P.O.Box 776
Coventry, Ct 06238

fife drum

fife drum

Photographs on this site..
As any frequent visitor to our web sites knows, I am quite fond of posting photos and videos of our recent events.

The thought has crossed my mind, just recently, that possibly some of you may not be comfortble with your photos being posted here.

So, If you ever see a photo (or Video) here, that you would rather NOT share with the rest of us, please let me know & I will remove it immediately.

To Opt OUT: Click here

fife drum

fife drum

NEW! Check out our Photo Gallery. Click Here to Visit the Gallery

I will keep adding to it throughout the season. If you HAVE a picture or Pictures you would like included just send them to me...

fife drum


Please Note: These videos take about two ticks and one tock longer than forever to load onto your machine ...but they are well worth the time. I am sorry they do take so long, but, I had nothing to do with the design of the internet... or your PC for that matter.. You can download the individual clips by right-clicking and choosing to "Save Target As ..." to some place on your own hard drive. By doing so, you can avoid the annoying interruptions that occur while downloading and playing on the fly while online.

And now ...From the 2010 Drummer's Call, Old Sturbridge Village ... The two video links below were provided by Monica Bullock.

First part of the viedeos

Second part of the viedeos

And now ...From the 2010 Lebanon Encampment

Saturday & Sunday on Lebanon Green

And a link to another terrific photo gallery by Monica.

Two Days of Photos of the Event.

... And now ...From the 2010 Westbrook Muster ...

The video link below will take you to the Muster Field at Westbrook, Ct. The last "unit" to enter the field is tradionally known as F-Troop. No two are ever alike. They are made up of (A) people who just finished marching the parade with their own units, (B) fifers & drummers of corps that are not among the corps formally participating in the particular muster, or (C) fifers & drummers who are currently not members of ANY corps. The best way to experience F-Troop for yourself is to make your way back to the beginning of the parade route after you get into the field with your own unit! You will find yourself surrounded by members of all of the above and you will then proceed to march the parade again .. this time playing tunes from the "traditional" repertoirre. where do you learn all of these tradional tunes? By sticking around after ALL the corps have completed their "stand piece" and everyone goes back out on the field for the monster/muster jam session. As you watch this video, (lousy sound track) the troop is playing the Downfall of Paris. Note the variety of "uniforms" or lack thereof. Note the ages of these happy people. 9 to 90 !

F-Troop, Westbrook Muster 2010

Drummer's Call at Old Sturbridge Village 2010


What a Beautiful day! Ed, Carla, Brett, John, Patti, Jim, Natalie, Michelle, Junior,and all of you wonderful youngsters ... Thanks for making it happen! Everyone pitched in. Everyone helped us put on an excellent parade & on-stand performance. Monica, I can't wait to see the photos & videos you recorded today. Here are a few of the pictures I snatched during the day.

Carla, relaxing ,

Nice Fire! We cooked our dogs and burgers on this later in the day. ,

Photographer at work. (Thanks, Monica) ,

Brett describing the finer points of sword drill. ,

Wonder if this "relaxing" is generic? ,

. Watching the other corps performing. ,

My daughter, Michelle and her hubby, "Junior". ,

Training, training, training. ,

Going On-Stand and looking sharp!
The following photos taken by my friend Roland Benoit.

Going On-Stand and looking sharp! ,

Going On-Stand and looking sharp! ,

. Comments on our Encampment & Muster 2010:

I learned that our friend, Marty Sampson, from the California Consolidated Drum Band brought her UMBRELLA all the way from Chico, California to have handy at our muster. She really got hosed a couple of times right here on this Flag Lot. So, I am certain we owe it to this umbrella, that the rains defied all forecasts and gave us a beautiful day for our Muster. .

Marty with her rain-stopping California Umbrella! ,

All of our guests really put on some exceptional performances and it was quite obvious they were having a great time.. Carla, there is no way I can thank you enough for all you did in accommodating the Tittabawasee Valley Fife & Drum Corps. And what a performance they gave us.! I got a video of their entire show as well as the Connecticut Valley Field Music.. Both of these videos are pretty long so I am going to have to figure out a way to get a link on line.

And here they are!

Connecticut Valley Field Music on Stand.

Tittabawasee Valley Fife & Drum on Stand

If anyone has a video of our corps on stand at the Nathan Hale Muster, please try to get it to me.

Congratulations to our new members who took the step forward to the drum head and picked up their dollars! That step will, in time, lead you to friendships all over this country and abroad as you attend other musters within the fife & drum community. If you experienced the jam session on the field after the formal presentations were over, you saw fifers and drummers of all ages from a lot of corps out there playing traditional tunes together. The best definition I have ever heard of what is happening out there is the title of a poem ... "An Ancient Muster is a gathering thing". I can honestly tell you that except for three people on this planet, the best friends I have, I met on muster fields in my 73 years. I wish you the same good fortune.

I have the photos online at



Sudbury Muster & Colonial Faire, Septmber 25, 2009

Sudbury Muster and Colonial Faire
Informal Group of Nathan Hale Corps Members

Sudbury Muster and Colonial Faire
Rebecca crashed ... !! trashed ????
What is going on here?

Mark showing the same symptoms as Rebecca!
What was in that cider?????

Sudbury Muster & Colonial Faire
September 25, 2009
Kentish Guards Entering to Champlain Quick Step

Sudbury Muster & Colonial Faire
September 25, 2009
Kentish Guards, Performance

Sudbury Muster & Colonial Faire
September 25, 2009
Kentish Guards Exit playing Pleasures of Spa

Sudbury Muster & Colonial Faire
September 25, 2009
Grand Replubic and Cap

Sudbury Muster & Colonial Faire
September 25, 2009
Grand Replubic Finale & Exit

Sudbury Muster & Colonial Faire
September 25, 2009
Scanning the Scene

Drummer's Call at Old Sturbridge Village, Septmber 13, 2009

Sturbridge Village Martial Musicians

Blackstone Valley Martial Musicians

Gabby working the water pump detail.

Our Fire Tender and scenes around our encampment

Peter Emerick, short clip at start of presentation

Muster 2009 at the Nathan Hale Homestead

Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes & Drums ... Opening the Muster

Nathan Hale 2009 Stand Piece, Alumni Medley, Marquis of Granby Entrance

Marquis of Granby Jr. Ancient Fyfe & Drum Corps, Windsor JR Ancient F&DC Entrance

Windsor Stand Piece

The rest of Windsor F&DC Performance

The Grand Jolification A.K.A. The Jam Session

Westbrook 2009 Muster

Geese Eaters from Basel Switzerland playing first Medley

Geese Eaters from Basel Switzerland playing second Medley

Geese Eaters from Basel Switzerland playing third Medley

Miscellaneous Clips

F-Troop, Deep River Ancient Muster 2009, Clip #1

The "Troop", Playing York Fusiliers.

This clip and the next one give a pretty good example of "What the heck is an F-Troop? " Answer: members of all different corps who have just marched the parade with their own units, running back to the beginning of the parade route and now massed together playing "traditional tunes".

F-Troop, Deep River Ancient Muster, 2009, Clip #2

The "Troop", Playing Sailor's Hornpipe.

Christmas in Coventry, CT Parade, 2007

MIlford,Ct Parade, June 2008, Clip #1

MIlford,Ct Parade, June 2008, Clip #2

Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes & Drums
2008 Encampment and Muster

Informal Music

If you are NOT a snare drummer, you will probably find this next section long and BORING.
You will not hurt my feelings if you skip it completely..

Note for drummers: Two weeks previous, I gave this youngster his first ever snare-drum lesson. I chose to do it
in the manner in which, I believe, drummers were taught during the War for Independence

... See me do this? ... Now, YOU do it...

Also; from clues in Benjamin Clark's Drum Book 1797, I learned that the drag rudiments (single & double drags), the Three-and-a-two ... (lesson 25), and the short rolls ... 3-stroke,5-stroke, 7-stroke ), etc were taught very early on in the process, along with drum beatings that used these first rules. So; I have been teaching the "Rules for the Drum" in that order... long before addressing the development of the Long Roll. This seems to be working very well. You can watch the actual progression during the video.

Nate's Second Drum Lesson ... EVER!

fife drum

fife drum

If you got this far looking at the videos, AND ... you are really, really bored, you might want to view these little clips of me (Bob Castillo) drumming !

LongMarch. ...

In this first clip, I play The Long March or Open Beating Number 4 from the Massachusetts Collection, followed by Open Beating Number 3 and Open Beating Number 2.

HalfTime ...

In this second clip, I play the following:
The Connecticut Half-Time, An Irish Lilt, (original composition), The Rudimenter by Earl Sturtze, The Downfall of Paris (with a horse-fly attack!), The Army 2/4 with the fillers, Crazy Army 2/4 with the fillers by Ed Lemley, Billy Budd by Eddie Classey, Some original stuff ripped off the top of my head on the fly, The Happy Fifer by Eddie Classie, and Ol'Dan Tucker (all THREE parts)..

fife drum


For the Good of the Corps

I would like for each member of The Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes & Drums to take this little test to determine if YOU might be getting stressed out.
I am not sure exactly how it works, but this is amazingly accurate.

Read the full description before looking at the picture.

The picture below has 2 identical dolphins in it. It was used in a case study on stress levels at St. Mary's Hospital. Look at both dolphins jumping out of the water. The dolphins are identical. A closely monitored, scientific study revealed that, in spite of the fact that the dolphins are identical, a person under stress would find differences in the two dolphins. The more differences a person finds between the dolphins, the more stress that person is experiencing. Look at the photograph and if you find more than two differences

you may want to take a vacation.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .


Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway..

I HAVE TO ASK ... Maybe, there is someone out there in the Nathan Hale extended family reading these words , who just might have a hidden (or repressed) passion for announcing stuff for the corps at some of our events. I am not suggestiing any of you quit your day jobs to do this, but if you think you might like to help us out in this way, PLEASE, make your desires or interests known to me.. (Bob Castillo at

If you have an interest in joining us, arranging for an appearance at your event, or simply desire more information, feel free to write to: Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes And Drums, P.O.Box 1776, Coventry, Ct. 06238.....
or... Contact Bob Castillo by e mail

Feel free to visit our WEB SITE

The Tune "Yankee Doodle" was digitized for us by Mr. Kerby Lovallo, and is from our own CD ...


Page Created and Maintained by Bob Castillo

fife drum