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8.559132 - SOUSA, J.P.: Music for Wind Band, Vol. 6 (Royal Artillery Band, Brion)
John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)
John Philip Sousa personified turn-of-the-century America, the comparative innocence and brash energy of a still new nation. His ever touring band represented America across the globe and brought music to hundreds of American towns. John Philip Sousa, born 6 November 1854, reached this exalted position with startling quickness. In 1880, at the age of 26, he became conductor of the U.S. Marine Band. In twelve years the vastly improved ensemble won high renown and Sousa's compositions earned him the title of "The March King." Sousa went one better with the formation of his own band in 1892, bringing world acclaim.
In its first seven years the band gave 3500 concerts; in an era of train and ship travel it logged over a million miles in nearly four decades. There were European tours in 1900, 1901, 1903, and 1905, and a world tour in 1910-11, the zenith of the band era.
The unprecedented popularity of the Sousa Band came at a time when few American orchestras existed. From the Civil War to about 1920, band concerts were the most important aspect of the U.S. musical life. No finer band than Sousa's was ever heard. Sousa modified the brass band by decreasing the brass and percussion instruments, increasing its woodwinds, and adding a harp. Sousa's conducting genius attracted the finest musicians, enabling him to build an ensemble capable of executing programs almost as varied as those of a symphony orchestra. The Sousa Band became the standard by which American bands were measured, causing a dramatic upgrading in quality nationally.
Sousa's compositions also spread his fame. Such marches as The Stars and Stripes Forever, El Capitan, Washington Post, and Semper Fidelis are universally acknowledged as the best of the genre. Sousa said a march "should make a man with a wooden leg step out," and his surely did. Although he standardized the march form as it is known today, he was no mere maker of marches, but an exceptionally inventive composer of over 200 works, including symphonic poems, suites, operas and operettas. His principles of instrumentation and tonal color influenced many classical composers. His robust, patriotic operettas of the 1890s helped introduce a truly native musical attitude in American theater.
The library of Sousa's Band contained over 10,000 titles. Among them are the numerous band compositions of Sousa including the marches and numerous other compositions. This new series, "Sousa: Works for Wind Band" seeks to record them for the world to hear.
[Track 1] Easter Monday on the White House Lawn (1928)
 The Golden Star (1919)
 Dauntless Battalion (1922)
 Sextet from The Bride Elect (1897)
 The Federal (1910)
- Three Quotations (1895)
 Liberty Bell (1893)
 The Gridiron Club (1926)
 La Reine de la Mer Waltzes (1886)
 The Chariot Race (1890)
 The Gladiator (1886)
 New Mexico (1928)
 The Picador (1889)
Program notes by Keith Brion are freely based on material taken from The Works of John Philip Sousa, Integrity Press with the express permission of the author, Paul E. Bierley. Notes are also adapted from R. Mark Rogers' score notes for his Southern Music publications. The introduction is extracted from Roger Ruggeri's program notes for the Milwaukee Symphony.
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