While the Ancient City’s compelling history has been told through nearly every creative outlet imaginable, there is one artistic channel that is being reintroduced to the community after more than four decades. Through years of unrivaled passion, rigorous practice, and fine-tuning, Michael Scott Thomas is finally bringing his Old City Drum Corps to life in St. Augustine. Formerly trained by world-renowned Master Drum Sergeant George Carroll in Bethesda, Maryland, Thomas moved to St. Augustine in 2007. After his arrival in the Ancient City, Thomas serendipitously found out that his decorated mentor had started St. Augustine’s original fife and drum corps in 1975.
In that spirit, Thomas says, “We are dedicating our mission to re-establishing what Mr. Carroll started and what St. Augustine has been missing for over 42 years.” OCDC’s mission is, “To feed the human spirit by sharing St. Augustine’s enduring history and culture, not only through performance and entertainment but by educating and informing the community about the importance of 18th-century martial music.” Utilizing their four core values, EXCELLENCE, INTEGRITY, TRADITION, and RESPECT, OCDC provides free public performances alongside the reenactment community and through educational programs facilitated by the National Parks Department as well as public and private schools in the area. With plans to keep OCDC alive and well for generations to come, Thomas plans to introduce a Junior Fife and Drum Corps for children 10 and up by the year 2020.
As a 501-c3, Not For Profit Charitable Organization, OCDC depends solely on monetary donations and grants to sustain their mission, to obtain period correct uniforms and equipment, and to provide a small stipend to their skilled and highly trained musicians. OCDC would like to thank community sponsors like St. Augustine Beach Civic Association, St. Johns Cultural Council, and various local businesses for making their free performances accessible to everyone in the community.