The Daily Item
WASHINGTON — With a worldwide audience watching as the president strolled down Pennsylvania Avenue, the daughter of a Mifflinburg couple marched in an American Revolution era uniform just a few paces away from the commander in chief during the inaugural parade for the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
Army Staff Sgt. Kerrin D. Kampa, daughter of Paul and Carol Kampa, of Mifflinburg, is a member of the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, one of the Army’s premiere musical organizations, located at Fort Myer, Va. The Fife and Drum Corps is one of the first marching elements in the inaugural parade, and is the only unit of its kind in the armed forces. It provides historic, patriotic music with 10-hole fifes, hand-made rope-tensioned drums and single valve bugles. Dressed in colonial-style, tricorn hats, white wigs and red greatcoats, these soldiers bring distinction to official ceremonies and civic functions, with nearly 500 performances annually.
Kampa, a 2001 graduate of Mifflinburg Area High School is a fife instrumentalist for the Fife and Drum Corps.
The Fife and Drum Corps is recognized as the “official escort to the president,” which unit members hold in high esteem.
“When I auditioned for a position in the Fife and Drum Corps, I knew that the inaugural parade is one of the most visible missions,” said Kampa, who also earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 2005 from Penn State University, University Park. “I am proud to represent the U.S.A. as a musical ambassador and to keep the Fife and Drum Corps tradition alive.”
These musicians are soldiers who specialize in traditional field music from original 18th and 19th Century sources. They commonly play tunes such as “Washington’s Artillery March,” “Downfall of Paris,” “Duke of York’s March,” and “Yankee Doodle,” but preparation for the inauguration took additional practice.
“We learned new music, arranged by Corps members, to play for the inaugural parade,” said Kampa. “All of our performance music in memorized and our test out for memorization was just before Thanksgiving. We also have several marching rehearsals with the full Corps.”
Kampa has just over one year of military service, and has been with the Fife and Drum Corps the entire time.