"To perpetuate the American Heritage of fife and drum music, encourage the development of young fifers and drummers, and promote a greater understanding and appreciation for the historical significance of the Lewis & Clark Expedition."
- Taken from the LCFDC By-Laws, 1992
The Lewis and Clark Fife and Drum Corps takes it's name from the famous explorers Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who along with the Corps of Discovery, spent five days in St. Charles in May of 1804 as they made final preparations for their expedition across the territory acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.
The Corps was founded in 1992 by the late John Dengler and the South Main Preservation Society as a way to share the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the history of the City of St. Charles.
The Corps members wear the dress uniform of field musicians and color guard from the 1st US Infantry during the period of 1804-1810. The bearskin-crested round hats are adorned with a deer tail, black leather cockade, and eagle. The red wool coats worn by our fifers and drummers sometimes cause them to be mistakenly identified as British "redcoats." Historically, field musicians wore coats made in the reverse colors than the infantry so that they could be easily distinguished on the battlefield. For this reason, our Color Guard wears blue coats with red trim, while our musicians wear red coats with blue trim.
In our history, the Lewis and Clark Fife and Drum Corps has performed all across the midwest and other places throughout our nation including Washington, D.C. and Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, and even as far as Ludwigsburg, Germany. They have performed at the US Army Ball, and many parades. They travel to and perform at several rendezvous, encampments, festivals, and living history events, and attend the Annual Midwest Conference of Fifes, Drums, and Pipes. They can be seen and heard throughout St. Charles and the surrounding area, particularly along Historic Main Street.
Meet our Instructors
Peter Bringe, Fife Instructor
Peter Bringe joined our corps back in the beginning of 2004 during the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. After being in our corps for over six years, he helped start the Western Plains Fife and Drum Corps in Elizabeth, Colorado. He became our fife instructor shortly after moving back to the St. Charles area and continues to perform fife with various historical units. In the past, he enjoyed the opportunity to regularly attend the Company of Fifers and Drummers' Junior Fife and Drum Camp and the Deep River Ancient Muster, both in Connecticut. During his time there, he became a certified instructor of "Core Technique and Exercises for Fife, Piccolo, Flute" by John J. Benoit. Peter also enjoys singing folk songs and playing other instruments, such as fiddle, guitar, Irish flute, penny whistle, and gaita gallega.
Braden Rhoads, Drum Instructor
Braden Rhoads was a member of LCFDC from 2007-2014. He served in Color Guard from 2007-2011, and as a drummer from 2011-2014. While in the corps, he performed for high-ranking military officials for the 237th Army Ball and participated in both the 2012 Fife and Drum National Muster in Michigan, as well as the Deep River Ancient Muster in Deep River, CT. He was also a member of the St. Louis Caledonian Pipe Band from 2005-2015, in which he traveled nation wide for competitions, band and solo. He competed in numerous solo competitions and never placed lower than second. Braden performed with the world-renowned band The Chieftains at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, and he performed numerous times with the Celtic band Gaelic Storm at the Pageant. He attended yearly workshops that were taught by Old Guard members and well-known Scottish drummers.
Janelle Stone-Heffner, Color Guard Instructor
Janelle Stone-Heffner joined the corps during the summer of 2004 during the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the color guard position, where she contributed over the years by updating several of the section commands. After graduation in 2007, Janelle attended Webster University where she earned bachelor's degrees in education and American history. During that time, Janelle participated in and directed the Living History Reenactors Fife and Drum Corps, which was an adult corps comprised mostly of retired members of LCFDC. Although Janelle is not musically inclined, she has a long-standing appreciation for it as well as a passion for historical authenticity, marching technique, and military history. In addition to fife and drum, Janelle has been a reenactor of the French and Indian War time period for 16 years and continues to participate in living history events with her family and local groups. In addition to working with the corps, Janelle is a hobbyist portrait photographer and also works as the accounts receivable team lead at Foundation Care Pharmacy.