Date: December 2001
Creator: Hemberger, Glen J.
Description: For over one hundred years, the music-going public has reflected on the life and influence of America's “March King,” John Philip Sousa. His popularity as a bandleader was unprecedented, and his reputation as an entertainer captivated the imagination and intrigue of a nation. Sousa's fame was attained through the high standards showcased by his unparalleled concert organization, the Sousa Band. He is interminably linked to the march, and for his seventy-seven years he proved to be its prolific and outspoken champion. Sousa's songs, however, were among his favorite works, and their presence on concert programs reinforced a variety of programming that was the hallmark of his success. The Sousa Band served as a cultural and musical ambassador, and annual transcontinental tours brought music to people where they lived. Sousa's songs were highly anticipated concert features, and were presented by soprano soloists known as the “Ladies in White.” A chamber winds instrumentation, rather than employment of the full-forces of the Sousa Band, allowed for an appropriate musical balance between instruments and voice. The “Forgotten Songs of John Philip Sousa Project” involved the research, editing, and performance of songs housed in the Sousa Archives for Band Research at the University of Illinois. ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries