Visitors to Pencader Heritage Museum were treated to the sounds of Revolutionary War-era fifes and drums as three colonial-inspired groups “mustered” there Friday night for a joint performance.
The museum, near the intersection of Old Baltimore Pike and Del. 72, is located on the historic Cooch’s Bridge Battlefield, the site of Delaware’s only Revolutionary War battle. Two-dozen colonial soldiers who fell during the battle are thought to be buried in unmarked graves somewhere on the battlefield.
“It’s in honor of those brave solders that we perform here tonight,” said Chris Mlynarczyk, commander of the 1st Delaware Regiment.
The Newark-based 1st Delaware Regiment Fife and Drum Corps was joined by Monumental City Fife and Drum Corps from Baltimore and the Bristol County Fifes and Drums from Rhode Island. The groups performed separately and then joined together for a few songs during the one-hour patriotic concert.
For the Bristol County group, Newark was just one stop on its tour of Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Director Jenay Evans founded the group in 2000 with the modest goal of playing “Yankee Doodle” in her hometown’s Memorial Day parade. The organization quickly grew and now tours different areas of the country each summer. The group has performed in Williamsburg, Jamestown, Disney World and as far away as Mount Rushmore and London.
“We work hard making money doing parades and put that toward our annual trip,” Evans explained.
This was the group’s first time performing in Delaware, and the significance of the Cooch’s Bridge site wasn’t lost on Evans.
“It’s fantastic,” she said. “That’s why we do what we do – we love history and we love music.”
Meanwhile, the colonial spirit at Pencader will continue next month when the museum hosts its annual Battle of Cooch’s Bridge memorial service at 10 a.m. Sept. 7, followed by a Revolutionary War re-enactor encampment from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 7 and noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 8.