Play music meant to be heard

Cadets in our music program use all the skills and discipline taught at Valley Forge—which they need while playing for presidents and royalty around the globe.

Music Program

Music Program

Music at Valley Forge Military Academy & College has, and always will be, one of the top-tiered extracurricular programs offered. Combining the five cornerstones from the institutions mission statement, the Music Department adapts Academic Excellence, Personal Motivation, Character Development, Physical Development, and Leadership to the philosophy of music.

The music program at Valley Forge includes The Regimental Band, Heraldic Trumpets, Choir, and Field Music unit. The Regimental Band, which includes our Heraldic Fanfare Trumpets, has played for presidents and royalty at both military and civilian events across the globe.  The band led and marched in the London New Year’s Day Parade, the largest parade of its type in Europe, marched in both the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Veteran’s Day parade, as well as the Philadelphia Veteran’s Day Parade. Valley Forge Military Academy & College offers a wide range of musical experiences to our students. Each elite musical unit has a particular focus, with an international reputation to match. Our Regimental Band and Herald Trumpets have performed at the White House, for Royalty, and for US Presidents. Our Field Music participates in parades up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

The Regimental Chorus consists of members selected by audition from the Corps of Cadets.  The Chorus has performed at the White House, the Pentagon, Philharmonic Hall, Lincoln Center, with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music, with the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall, and the London International Choral Festival.

For more information on any of the musical groups at Valley Forge Military Academy & College please contact WO2 Bandmaster Phil Evans RM at (610) 989-1252 at pevans@vfmac.edu.

  • WO2 Philip Evans RM (Ret’d)
    WO2 Philip Evans RM (Ret’d)
    Director of Music Valley Forge Military Academy & College
Regimental Band

Musical opportunities abound at Valley Forge Military Academy.

Our exceptional music program includes a Regimental Band, which has played at the White House and at the London Parade on New Year’s Day, as well as a Regimental Choir which has performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Cadet band members range in age from 14 to 21 years and are drawn from all over the world. They receive both music theory and instrumental instruction and are able to travel and acquire performance experience in a variety of settings. Most importantly, however, band members receive an excellent education at Valley Forge, both musically and academically and can receive financial support for their efforts.

The Coronation Heraldic Fanfare Trumpeters are the brass members of the Valley Forge Regimental Band. These band members routinely perform prior to Sunday Chapel services on campus throughout the year and they provide regal significance to special school functions such as military “dining-ins” and the opening of new facilities.

The Band has appeared in the inaugural parades of several U.S. presidents and has performed at the inaugurals of virtually every Pennsylvania governor since the founding of the institution in 1928. The Band has also presented a concert at a formal White House dinner and appeared with the famed Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. They have also performed with the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra.

The Band maintains a busy schedule, playing daily for the Corps formations at Valley Forge, as well as for regimental reviews, weekly parades in the fall and spring, three formal concerts on campus, the annual Military Tattoo, and many outside concerts and parades for civic and charitable organizations.

Special engagements include the annual performance at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg and the Devon Horse Show, appearances with the Philadelphia Phillies, numerous appearances at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Constitution Center, and Philadelphia’s Union League.

The Band has also performed in the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade and has traveled to Europe several times to perform:

  • January 1996, the Band performed in Paris and London,
  • March 1998, the Band traveled to Holland, Belgium and Germany to perform,
  • January 2000, the Band opened the Lord Mayor’s Parade in London on New Year’s Day,
  • June 2004, the Band performed in the American Celebration of Music in France & Belgium.
  • January 2009, Herald Trumpets and the Band performed at the annual New Year’s Day Parade in London
  • The Regimental Band and Donald Trump at his Country Club at Bedminster NJ for the Dedication of the Stars and Stripes to all Service men and women serving their country.
Regimental Choir

One of the premier music groups at Valley Forge Military Academy & College, the Regimental Choir is open to all cadets who enjoy making music and wish to broaden their educational experience.

The Regimental Choir have already performed the National Anthem for a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game (with more than 45,000 screaming fans in attendance!) and will enjoy their second Trans-Atlantic tour to London to participate in the London International Choral Festival, to which they were invited by Lord Roger Bramble, Deputy Lord Lieutenant to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The group has a prestigious performance history, including venues like the White House, the Pentagon, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, and the Academy of Music where they performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

In their spare time, the Regimental Choir provides music for VFMAC’s annual Military Tattoo in November, the Holiday Concert in December, and the Spring Concert in May. They also perform weekly for Sunday services in the Chapel of St. Cornelius the Centurion on the VFMAC campus.

Herald Trumpets

Coronation Heraldic Fanfare Trumpets

Members of the Regimental Band, the heraldic trumpets produce a majestic fanfare tone of varying pitches. The band members behind these magnificent instruments are on call to perform for Presidents, Supreme Court Justices and Governors on a regular basis.

The Coronation Heraldic Fanfare Trumpeters routinely perform prior to Chapel services at the school each Sunday throughout the fall and spring, and they provide regal significance to special school functions such as military “dining-ins” and the opening of new facilities.

These trumpets were introduced at the Valley Forge Military Academy & College in 1953 by COL D. Keith Feltham, Valley Forge’s Director of Music from 1949 to 1976.

The late LT General Milton G. Baker, founder and superintendent of VFMAC, presented the eight original fanfare instruments to the school’s Regimental Band more than 40 years ago. In 1965, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Association presented an additional three trumpets after the Band had made its 18th consecutive performance at the annual show in Harrisburg.

In 1989, the Presser Foundation, located in Bryn Mawr, PA, funded the purchase of eight additional fanfare trumpets. Today the collection consists of the full complement of voices, which consists of six B-flat soprano trumpets, six B-flat tenor trumpets, two G-bass trumpets, and two E-flat soprano trumpets.

The original eight heraldic fanfare trumpets have been used on numerous ceremonial occasions associated with royalty:

  • at Westminster Abbey to herald the Coronation of King George VI,
  • at St. Paul’s Cathedral to herald the Royal Silver Wedding Ceremony,
  • at the wedding of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, and
  • at Westminster Abbey for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Field Music

The Valley Forge Field Music group was formed in 1956 as its own “company” or unit, and its members live together in the same barracks and with the same tactical officer. Members of Field Music range in age from 14 to 20 years.

Valley Forge upholds the traditions of Field Music, which is older than American patriotism. Throughout history, soldiers have used music to communicate with one another.

At Valley Forge, Field Music has inherited the traditions of Drum & Bugle Corps. The oldest elements are found in drum beats, with certain rhythmic patterns signifying a particular command. Later, with the introduction of brass instruments, especially the trumpet and bugle, more precise communiques could be delivered… It is the bugle that tells the soldier to get up in the morning, to “charge” into battle, or to lower the colors. At a day’s end, it is the familiar sound of Taps that tells the soldier his day is done.

The school’s Field Music group has made numerous appearances throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and has served as the official honor guard for the city of Philadelphia in the welcoming of visiting leaders and dignitaries.

Field Music plays regularly for parades and formations both on- and off-campus. With Field Music, cadets are able to become competent musicians within a short period of time and contribute their talents to this gifted unit.

If you like music, teamwork, and a wide range of activities, the Field Music is for you.

Valley Forge Military Academy and College

WO2 Philip Evans RM (Ret’d)
Director of Music Valley Forge Military Academy & College

WO2 Phil Evans was born in Barnstaple, North Devon, England, on the 21st of February 1967. At the age of 5 he started his musical career learning to play the oboe at his school, St Michaels, Tawstock, in Devon. During his time at school, Phil performed concerts on stage and the radio and studied under ‘Jimmy’ Green who was once the principle oboist of the LSO and the LPO.

At the age of 11 Phil joined the local Royal British Legion Band as the principle oboist and it was here that his love of military and wind band music started. After watching the Royal Marines Band on TV during the FA Cup final Phil decided to try for a musical career in the Royal Marines. He succeeded at the auditions and was accepted to join as a flautist and saxophonist as there were no vacancies for an oboist. He accepted the offer and joined in September 1983.

After finishing his training in 1986 he was drafted to the Staff Band of the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal, Kent. After a year with the Royal Marines School of Music (RMSoM) Band he was drafted to the Band of HM Royal Marines Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), subsequently returning to the Band of HM Royal Marines RMSoM and when the Band at Deal closed in 1996 he went back to the Southwest again to the Band of HM Royal Marines Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC), Dartmouth. During his time at BRNC Phil was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant. While at Dartmouth, Phil was the Sub-Aqua Diving Officer for the College training some 250 students to dive.

During 1998-99 he attended the year long Bandmasters course at the Higher Training Department of the Royal Marines School of Music in Portsmouth. As a Royal Marine’s career progresses, musicians and buglers return to the Royal Marines School of Music to undergo further musical training to qualify them for higher rank. This culminates in a place on the Student Bandmasters’ Course that is widely recognized as one of the most demanding courses of its type. Students study all the main music disciplines; the orchestral and contemporary wind band repertoire and they work with renowned figures from the world of music. WO2 Phil Evans passed the courses with a superior pass and was awarded the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music diploma in Conducting and Bandmastership.

After the course he was drafted back to BRNC and also was promoted to Colour Sergeant. During this time he became very involved with the Big Band and played to a variety of audiences around the country. He led the Big Band in a CD recording called ‘Dancing Men’ which featured one of the finest jazz trombonists, Mark Nightingale. This Big Band CD recording was a first for the Band at Dartmouth, and it has been a great success.

In April 2003 Phil was given the position of Bandmaster to the Volunteer Band of HMS Collingwood and during his time with the Band they won the Best Concert Band in the Royal Navy twice, performed for the Second Sea Lord, Fareham Mayor and also traveled with the Volunteer Band of HMS Nelson to the Rhine Valley in Germany for a musical tour.

During his time at HMS Collingwood, Phil was promoted to WO2 Bandmaster but very soon after his promotion he was drafted to the Supply Department of the Royal Marines Band Service and then to the Headquarters of the Royal Marines Band Service.

For the remainder of his career, Phil was the Bandmaster for the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Portsmouth “The Royal Band”.

He now holds the position of the Director of Music at Valley Forge Military Academy & College, Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA where he lives with his wife Francesca and his three daughters, Natalya, Yolanda and Giselle.

Thanks!