Donald Heminitz, Music Director, Fife
Donald has studied orchestral flute since 1998 under teachers Karen El-Chaar and Joel Behrens, a former member of the USMA Band at West Point and student of John Wummer, former Principle Flute of the New York Philharmonic. Donald graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
He began playing fife in 1999 as a Civil War re-enactor in eastern Pennsylvania. He has since earned the "Most Improved Fifer" Award in 2004 from the Don Hubbard Field Music School and the title "Master Fifer" in 2006 after testing his skills with George Carroll.
In 2006 Donald performed on Good Morning America with the 3rd New Jersey Field Music and in 2009 participated with the Camp Chase Fifes and Drums in Chillicothe, Ohio in the recording of their fourth album, Echoes From the Past. In 2010 Donald performed with the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums (MCV) in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo held in Sydney, Australia, and on July 4th he appeared with MCV on stage with the Boston Pops. Later that year, he joined the 85ème Régiment de Saintonge in a re-enactment at Fort George in Ontario, Canada and in early 2011 in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. He followed that with another performance with MCV in the Sweden International Tattoo in Malmö, Sweden in May 2011. Donald has fifed up and down the East Coast of the US, along with Arizona, California, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and numerous other states. He performed recently in the NHL 2016 Winter Classic Alumni Game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
Donald currently teaches privately via Skype, with students across the country and Scotland. He was the fife instructor for the BSA Venture Crew 1861 Fife and Drum Corps of Maytown, PA from 2005 - 2010 and the Fifes and Drums of the Lincoln Minute Men of Lincoln, MA from 2010 - 2012. He also taught fife at the 2015 War of 1812 Fife and Drum Camp at Fort McHenry and has been a member of the faculty of the National Civil War Field Music School since 2009. Donald currently serves the National Civil War Field Music School as Music Director.
Outside of music, Donald was a historical interpreter at Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts from 2011 - 2015. He currently is a maritime artisan on Mayflower II, where he assists with the sailing, rigging, and maintenance of the ship. He is also taking part in the ship's current, multi-year restoration project in Mystic Seaport, CT in preparation for 2020, the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival to New England.