Corps History

In 1991, John Bosworth, a veteran of the legendary U.S. Air Force Pipe Band and U.S. Air Force Band, had an idea for a new type of fife and drum corps—one that combined rudimental drumming with modern drum corps literature and fife music from many periods. Together with other musicians from diverse backgrounds he formed the American Originals Fife and Drum Corps. Although the corps’ uniform was inspired by the U.S. Navy’s formal dress uniform of 1812, the corps chose not to recreate any specific historical military unit, or adhere to the music of any defined time period. Instead, in true American fashion, the corps sought to draw from history while embracing the innovation of modern musical arrangements.

The American Originals Fife and Drum Corps now offers an extensive repertoire of American music, spanning the times from the American Revolution, through the Civil War, and into the sounds of the 21st century. Selections from the Broadway stage and the Big Band Era, as well as folk tunes brought to America from many countries, enrich the corps’ musical range. This novel approach to fifing and drumming has entertained audiences not only in the United States, but also in Canada, Switzerland, Germany, and The Netherlands.

...And it continues with Pride.

For more than 24 years, each one of the corps’ performances has been introduced with the words, “Ladies and Gentlemen, with pride, the American Originals.” The all-volunteer members of the corps are inspired by pride to execute a difficult musical and marching program. Corps members range in age from teens to seniors, and practice many vocations; but all feel the true family spirit that permeates this unique organization. From its home in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, the corps marches out to present American music to audiences worldwide, always aspiring to be complete entertainers; leaving fans standing, clapping, and calling for more.

Board of Directors

Georgia Graves


Georgia has taught and marched with many corps and has had 11 national champions in color guards through the years. Georgia a is a long-time member of the American Originals. She owns a Telecom company providing superior VoIP telephone equipment and carrier services. She is a well-known local community business leader and has been the Volunteer Chairman of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Mike Mallonee

Business Manager

Mike has held many leadership roles, including Director of the American Originals, and is an expert snare drummer with 26 years of performing excellence with the Corps. Professionally, he has been the Advanced Senior Faculty Research Assistant for University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and is currently the Senior Water Quality Data Manager for the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin and a publisher author in his area of expertise.

John Marshall


John has been a dedicated member of the American Originals for 8 years, playing bass drum and now snare. At 24 years old, he shares his 19 years of passion for drumming with the Linton Hall Fife & Drum Corps as the Assistant Drum Instructor. He will graduate in May 2018 from George Mason University with a BA in Accounting with a future goal of becoming a CPA.

Paula Debes Reese


Paula has had an extensive background with many musical instruments, including the piano and flute. She began playing the fife in 2011 along with her two daughters. Over the years, she assisted other young people to nurture their love for the fife instrument. She is the Fife Instructor for the Linton Hall Fife & Drum Corps and the Assistant Fife Instructor for the American Originals. Professionally, she is the Assistant Dean of ASL and Interpreter Education at the Northern Virginia Community College. She has performed sign language for distinguished guests of the college including the President of the United States.


Kirk McLean

Drum Instructor

Prior to Kirk's military career, he became an accomplished snare drummer and at the early age of 15 began writing drum music for several junior drum and bugle corps. He auditioned for the Commandant’s Own, the United States Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps at 18 years old. He is proud to have been selected to perform for the President of the United States dinner honoring the Apollo 11 astronauts for the Lunar Landing. Additionally, he marched with the City of Washington Pipe Band which was rated the Best Bagpipe Band and Drum Corps Band in the United States. Professionally, Kirk held the position as Manager of Government Procurement and Contract Administration for Blue Cross and Blue Shield—managing the largest single contract for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of $27 Billion.

Madeline Billhimer

Fife Instructor

Despite her young age of 28, Madeline has dedicated 22 years to The American Originals Fife & Drum Corps. Today she is not only the key soloist for the corps and an exceptional performer, but also serves as the corps' Fife Instructor. Through her years in school, she loved to play the baritone sax and is currently in a local DC Band. She also has a robust customer base as a Professional Dog Walker.

Paula Debes Reese

Assistant Fife Instructor

As the Assistant Fife Instructor, Paula provides an opportunity for individuals of any age to learn the fife. Her efforts and dedication have helped to develop strong, confident and passionate fifers.

Georgia Graves

Drum Major

Georgia is humbled and proud to be the Drum Major of the American Originals since its inception.

Scott York

Business Advisor

Scott is President of York Consulting Group, LLC and former Chairman of the fastest-growing county in the United States; he served 16 of his 20 years on the Board as Chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Scott is regarded as one of the key political leaders who has guided the successful growth of the Dulles Region in Northern Virginia.

Dick Janes

Musical Advisor

Dick has had a distinguished musical career as a teacher, composer and performer. He has been a Professor of Percussion for Catonsville Community College, a Teacher of Instrumental Music for Baltimore County Maryland, and currently is a Professor of Percussion for River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida. Dick has taught and performed with numerous orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, taught and performed with drum and bugles corps including the Yankee Rebels Drum and Bugle Corps, and was the Musical Director of the American Originals for 14 years. He is now the Corps' Musical Advisor.

Julie Fanning

Media Advisor: Website

Julie is a seasoned design and communications professional. Her capabilities as a creative director include web & print design, writing & editing, illustration, publishing and marketing. Her creativity also extends to music, as she is lead vocalist for a Northern Virginia-based blues rock band.

Howard Lansat

Media Advisor: Photography

Howard is a seasoned professional with an extensive background in photography. He is known for his innovative approach to his art and is the photographer of choice by celebrities, sports teams, politicians, private jet companies and well know businesses in the Washington Market Place.


Representing the Washington, DC metropolitan area since 1991

Corps Achievements

55th Presidential Inaugural Parade - Washington, DC

A Parade Salute to World War II Veterans - Washington, DC

National Memorial Day Concert: U.S. Capitol West Lawn - Washington, DC

Let Freedom Ring: Liberty Bell Ceremony - Philadelphia, PA

A Capitol Fourth: U.S. Capitol West Lawn - Washington, DC

Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni Drum Corps Show - Wildwood, NJ

Library of Congress Salute to the PBS Series "Liberty The American Revolution" - Washington, DC

Tambouren- und Pfeiferfest 1994 - Gossau, Switzerland

VKB Tattoo 1994 - Basel, Switzerland

Return of National Guard Troops from Bosnia Performance 1998 - Dulles International Airport

World War II Victory Parade - Brattleboro, VT

2001 Black Tie 'N Boots Inagural Ball - Washington, DC

Concert for the International Standards Organization at the United States Capitol - Washington, DC

July 4, 1996 Kick off Celebration at National Archives - Washington, DC

Concert for the World Congress on Information Technology at the Library of Congress - Washington, DC

2001 Battle of Georgian Bay - Ontario, Canada

Air Force Band Concert at the Washington Monument - Washington, D.C.

Tambouren- und Pfeiferfest 1998 - Solothurn, Switzerland

American Embassy Performance 1998 - Bern, Switzerland

VKB Tattoo 1998 - Basel, Switzerland

Committee for Dulles Airport 30 Year Gala Celebration

America's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration - Plymouth, MA, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Parade - New York City, NY

St. Patrick's Day Parade - Washington, DC

Deep River Ancient Muster - Deep River, CT

Washington Bullets Halftime Show at US Air Arena - Capitol Heights, MD

Yorktown Muster - Yorktown, VA

DCA Championships and World Drum Corps Hall of Fame Exhibition 1996 - Rochester, NY

1995 DCA Percussion Championships - Wilkes Barre, PA

Yankee Rebels Dixie Stinger - Baltimore, MD

Reily Raiders Shamrock Festival - Willow Grove, PA

Brass Reunion - Haverford, PA

Serenade in Brass - Harrisburg, PA

Presidents Cup Golf Tournament with President George Bush - Manassas, VA

Leadership Fairfax Annual Dinner - Reston, VA

Northern Virginia's Political Delegation Gathering - Wolf Trap, VA

Washington Airport Task Force and Committee for Dulles' Salute to Gerald Greenwald, Chairman of the Board, United Airlines

2006 Rochester Marine Tattoo - Rochester, NY

2009, 2011 Canadian International Military Tattoo - Hamilton, Ontario

2009 World Music Contest - Kerkrade, Netherlands

2010 U.S. Army Old Guard 50th Anniversary Tattoo

2012 Scottish Festival and Highland Games - Fergus, Ontario

2014 Profiles in Music - Hosted by the Hanover Lancers Alumni

St. Patrick's Day Parade, Baltimore MD - 2014, 2015, 2016

Cherry Blossom Festival Parade - Washington, D.C., 2015

Apple Blossom Parade - Winchester, VA, 2015, 2016

Havre de Grace July 4th Parade - Multiple years

Union County July 4th Parade - Multiple years

Leesburg, VA July Parade - Multiple Years