Colonel John Chester

Fife and Drum Corps

Instructional Staff of the Corps:


Amanda Avery Amanda began playing the fife at age 7 when her father Art Hutchinson took over as director of Col. John Chester Fife and Drum Corps. She is a 5 time Connecticut State and 4 time Northeastern Champion in the Junior Ancient Female Fife Class. After graduating from college, Amanda took over the role of Lead Fife Instructor where she mentored the corps to 13 consecutive Connecticut State Championships.

She has been instructed by some of the best fifers in the drum corps world. They include Gail Kowalski, Peter Degree, Jim Pomian, Jim Shea, Kathy Hutchinson and most recently Tishka Musco. Amanda has been playing and marching with the Connecticut Patriots since joining them in 1998. She is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University where she obtained a Bachelors in Education. Amanda is currently working in the insurance industry and lives in Middletown with her husband Ken Avery of Stony Creek Fife and Drum.

Brendan started playing snare drum in the Col. John Chester Drum Corps when he was 7 years old. He started competing with the Corps soon after joining and won the Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hudson Valley and Northeastern States Championships many times. He is the current Northeastern States Senior Snare Drum Champion Brendan performed with the world famous Top Secret Drum Corps for their trip to the Sydney, Australia Military Tattoo. He currently teaches the Connecticut Patriots drum line, the Col. John Chester drum line and the Cheshire High School Marching Band drum line. He is a member of the Connecticut Patriots Fife and Drum Corps and the Grand Republic Drum Corps. Brendan has become know for his innovative drum compositions for the Connecticut Patriots and the Col. John Chester Drum Corps, and wrote a number of the drum parts on the recent Madison Street Project recording, The Last Hour.Brendan has taught for several years at the Jr. Fife and Drum Camp.


Don Mason Don began playing bass drum in the Connecticut Yanks Drum Corps in 1965 and played with the Corps until it disbanded in 1976. After attending College, Don joined the Connecticut Patriots Sr. Fife and Drum Corps, where he has played since 1980. Don has competed for many years in individuals, duets and quartets, as well as with the Corps. 

Donís family has long been active in drum corps; he met his wife Patricia in the Ct. Patriots and their children, Brendan, Colin, Peter and Maureen have all participated in the Fife and Drum Camp and are currently in the Connecticut Patriots. 

Don joined the Connecticut Valley Field Music Corps where he plays a bass drum that is more than 100 years old. Don teachers Bass drum in the Patriots, the Middlesex County Volunteers from the Boston area and the Col. John Fife and Drum Corps from Wethersfield, CT. He is a past president of the Connecticut Fiferís and Drummerís Association and has taught the bass drum section at the Fife and Drum Camp for many years.

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