The Theatiki Fife and Drum corps from the Bradley-Bourbonnais area will be hosting the 23rd Annual Midwest Conference of Fifes, Drums, and Pipes on Saturday, February 3rd, at the Larsen Fine Arts Center at Olivet Nazarene University. Known as “Freezer Jam,” this traveling annual conference draws fife and drum corps from across the midwest to learn new skills, collaborate, and celebrate a vibrant community and shared love for historical music.
The conference will feature classes designed to expand the skills and knowledge of participants and will close with a public concert at the Larsen Fine Arts Center. Fife and drum corps will regale audience members with both historical tunes and modern arrangements as the corps perform as individual units before culminating in a massed music performance featuring all of the attending corps playing collectively on stage.
The Theatiki Fife and Drum Corps was founded by Dave King in 2001 to commemmorate the early French influence along the Theatiki – known today as the Kankakee – river. The corps members wear historical clothing depecting civilians from the mid 1700s, including French blue waistcoats, burgundy wool coats, and tricorn hats.
Fife and drum corps in America today reflect the nation’s early history, when fifers and drummers were used to communicate commands to military troops, keep pace during marches, and entertain the troops after a long day. Corps of today help preserve history by bringing the ancient tradition of fifing and drumming to life.
The afternoon concert is open to all members of the public. The concert will begin at 3:30PM at the Larsen Fine Arts Center. This event is free to the public, though freewill donations will be accepted. These donations go directly toward the perpetuation of the unique Freezer Jam event and help give Midwestern musicians the opportunity to learn and fellowship together each year.