JOHN PHILIP SOUSA

Thanks to Bob Thayer,in his help in getting the photo

6th November 1854 --- 6th March 1932

John Philip Sousa byname THE MARCH KING (born 1854, Washington, D.C., U.S.A--died 1932, Reading, Pa.), American bandmaster and composer of military marches. The son of an immigrant Portuguese father and a German mother, Sousa grew up in Washington, D.C., where from the age of six he learned to play the violin and later various band instruments and studied harmony and musical theory first with John Esputa and then with George Felix Benkert. In 1867 he began to follow the career of his father as a trombonist, but later he took engagements as an orchestral violinist and served as a conductor. He also began composing.

In 1868 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as an apprentice in the Marine Band. He began building his formidable reputation as a bandmaster of great precision through his leadership (1880-92) of this group, which he raised to the highest standard of performance. In 1892 he formed his own band, a carefully selected group capable of equal virtuosity in both military and symphonic music; with it he toured the United States and Europe (1900- 05) and finally made a world tour (1910-11).

Sousa composed 136 military marches, remarkable for their rhythmic and instrumental effects. They include the famous "Semper Fidelis" (1888), which became the official march of the U.S. Marine Corps, "The Washington Post" (1889), "The Liberty Bell" (1893), and "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (1897).

Between 1879 and 1915 he wrote 11 operettas, of which El Capitan (1896), The Bride Elect (1897), and The Free Lance (1906) were particularly successful. He wrote at least 70 songs, 11 waltzes, 12 other dance pieces, 11 suites, 14 humoresques, and 27 fantasies. In the 1890s he also redeveloped a type of bass tuba called the helicon (q.v.), made to his specifications and eventually called the sousaphone.

During World War I he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and took charge of the band-training centre at Great Lakes Naval Base, in Illinois. For the U.S. Department of the Navy he compiled National, Patriotic and Typical Airs of All Lands (1890). He wrote three novels, an instruction book for trumpet and drum, and an autobiography, Marching Along (1928).

Copyright 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica

Last Updated on 27th December 2002
By Steven

And now for the Music

This piece is dedicated by Scott Anderson, to the terrible tragedy that befell the American people (Steven, I can say from the people of the U.K all our thoughts go with you.) Let Scott know your thoughts on this piece, contact (hi_desert01@hotmail.com"> Scott, Click Here.

(2709) "King Cotton." yet another beautiful piece sequenced by Scott Anderson Large file please click here for pkunzip.exe.

(2710) "The Thunderer" a wonderful piece sequenced by Scott Anderson Large file please click here for pkunzip.exe.

(2645) "The Liberty Bell" another beautiful piece sequenced by Scott Anderson Large file please click here for pkunzip.exe.

(2646) "The Washington Post". Squenced by Scott Anderson Large file please click here for pkunzip.exe.

(2647)"Monty Python theme" Sequenced by Scott Anderson

(2285) "Stars and Stripes Forever."(resquenced on Sept 2002) a beautiful piece sequenced by Scott Anderson Large file please click here for pkunzip.exe.

(2374)"Semper Fidelis" another beautiful piece sequenced by Scott Anderson Large file please click here for pkunzip.exe.

(1762)"Flag of Freedom March" Sequencer Unknown

(1761)"El Capitan March" (my thanks to Scott Anderson for the info) Sequencer Unknown

(1760)""The Liberty Bell March" Sequenced by R.Reid

(1759)"The Chantyman's March." (my thanks to Scott Anderson for the onfo) Sequencer Unknown

(1758)"The Boy Scout March" Sequencer Unknown

(1757)""Ben Bolt" march, composed in 1888 (info kindly supplied by Scott Anderson)" Sequencer Unknown

(1755)"The Congress March" Sequencer Unknown

(972)"The Occidental March" Sequenced by R.Reid

(973) "The Rifle Steveniment" Sequenced by A.Simms

(51a) The Conquette Seq by R Reid

(52a) The Royal Welch Fusilers (1930),to commemorate the alliance between American and British marines who fought together in China in 1900.(Info kindly supplied by Paul Kupelian)Large file please click here for pkunzip.exe seq by ?

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