About HarmoniCon


HarmoniCon, supported by both the Fifes and Drums of Colonial Williamsburg and the Fifes and Drums of York Town, is a seminar of classes and workshops on everything from music theory to personal and ensemble practice techniques. If you are brand new or an experienced performer come learn more about this musical genre. Classes on recruitment and retention, fund raising, drum majoring, and educational programming as well.

The origin of this event stems back to the late 1990's, when musicians Jari Villanueva and Don Hubbard created an event for Civil War re-enactors based on the the 19th century School of Practice on Governors Island in New York Harbor. For nearly 20 years, the National Civil War Field Music School has taught the style, technique and history of field music during the American Civil War. In 2009, Gina DeAngelis took this idea even further with Fife Mojo, a learning weekend at Colonial Williamsburg that combined history, musicianship and corps-building into a one-day workshop. Now, in 2020, these two ideas come together.

Why "HarmoniCon"?! Harmonicon was a musical publication in Britain from 1823-1833 that explored music in all its forms and genres. It was a newsletter that reviewed musical compositions, concert and opera performances, news of contemporary musicians and composers, with research articles on music theory and the science of sound.

Come and learn from some of the most talented and passionate musicians, drum majors and musical directors in the hobby today! Come to learn, and leave with a renewed passion. In the Ancient Spirit!

The Field Music School endeavors to develop and promote quality field musicians, ages 11 and up, in the living history community, by providing engaging, professional instruction in a historical setting; an immersive, musical environment; the knowledge to educate the public about the critical role of martial music; and the nurturing of new and continual friendships that will last a lifetime.

The Field Music School seeks to expand its name, reputation, and historical and musical research, creating additional interest across the nation and the world, as students aim to perfect the lessons they receive from renowned instructors and continue to promote the School's efforts within their home-based units and local events, including exposing the general public to the important role field music played during America's 18th and 19th century military history.

What Else to Expect

General Information:

  • This event is open to all fifers and drummers, ages 11 and up (no age restriction).
  • This event is, however, limited to the first 75 registrants. Sign up now!
  • No historical attire is required for this event - come comfortable!
  • Music stands will be provided, but feel to bring your own if you wish.
  • There will be short concerts by some participants and staff outdoors, weather permiting.

COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • This event is limited to 75 participants plus staff and instructors, which is within Virginia's current gathering ban.
  • Please plan to wear a face mask when indoors.
  • Vapor shields for the fife classes will be provided by Yorktown F&D.
  • If and when outdoors, plan on 6-feet social-distancing guidelines.
  • Periodic cleaning/disinfecting will take place.


  • Lunch will be provided Saturday. This will include a sandwich, pasta salad, bag of chips, apple, cookie, and a bottle of water. If you have any dietary needs, please let us know on the registration form or by emailing us via the contact page.
  • Light refreshments will be provided Friday evening.
  • Coffee, tea, and some snacks will be available Saturday and Sunday mornings.
  • Please bring a water bottle with you during the weekend.


  • Housing for this evening will not be provided; however, there are several Bed and Breakfasts in the village and numerous hotels available between Yorktown and Williamsburg.
  • Being the event will be in November, lodging will be in off-season prices, and thus cheaper.


  • No historic attire is required for this event, but for those who wish it is encouraged.

All of this information, plus more, such as directions, uniform guidelines, and information about what to bring or NOT bring, can be found in the Welcome Packet on the Registration page.