Special Sub-Topic: Sousa Favorites
|Any Fourth of July celebration just would not be the same without this one.|
The Stars And Stripes Forever. Written on Christmas Day 1896. Without doubt the most popular march ever written. Volumes could be written about this march alone.
The others which still enjoy great popularity even to this day were not even written by Sousa. "National Emblem" was composed by E.E. Bagley (1857-1922); "Chimes of Liberty" by Edwin Franko Goldman (1878-1956), and "American Patrol" by W.F. Meacham (1820-1869).
|This was written in 1889 and dedicated to a newspaper that sponsored an essay contest for school children.|
Washington Post. It is also worth noting that it was well suited to the two-step which was becoming popular at that time.
The others were written by Sousa as well, but were soon nearly forgotten.
|This was written in 1893 for a then popular New York summer resort.|
Manhattan Beach. In the trio section, clarinet arpeggios suggest ocean waves on the beach then the final strain crescendos and decrescendos to suggest a band playing while the stroller walks along the beach.
|This one was not addressed to any particular nation, but to all America's friends abroad. When it was published the sheet music carried this line from a play by Frere--"A sudden thought strikes me--let us swear an eternal friendship".|
Hands Across the Sea. When this march was first played by the Sousa band it was so well received that the band had to play it three times.
|Written in 1888 and dedicated to the officers and men of the U.S. Marine Corps.|
Semper Fidelis. Now known as the "Official March" of the U.S.M.C.
|The strains of this march from 1896 were extracted from one of the more successful Sousa operettas.|
El Capitan. In a deviation from the norm of most Sousa's marches; there is a meter change at the trio, but no break strain.
The other titles were from some of his other operettas as well, but this one still enjoys exceptional popularity even today.
|Marches written for fairs and expositions never seem to do well, but this was a notable exception written in 1895 for the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta.|
King Cotton. Citing financial difficulties, the organizers of this exposition tried to cancel the contract with Sousa, however Sousa insisted that they honor the three week contract. Due to in enormous popularity of Sousa's band, and the immediate success of this march, the exposition was quickly brought out of "the red".
|This is another successful exposition march written in 1908 for the Boston Food Fair. Sousa's inspiration came the beauty and charm of a certain young lady who was employed at an exhibitor's booth in previous years.|
The Fairest of the Fair. Sousa was always an admirer of feminine beauty although he never became acquainted with his source of inspiration. The march was an immediate success and an example of the use of pleasing melodies in the frame work of a military march.
|This march was dedicated to Columbia Commandery No.2, Knights Templar, of Washington D.C, and composed on the occasion of the 24th Triennial Conclave of the Grand Encampment held in October of 1889.|
The Thunderer. The identity of the "thunderer" in this march was never revealed, but it was felt that this unknown person was a fellow Mason. This was also the favorite march of Sousa's wife.
|This march as adapted as the theme song to "Monty Python's Flying Circus", a popular BBC comedy program.|
The Liberty Bell. Composed in 1893 and untitled until Sousa received a letter from his wife telling how their son marched in a parade honoring the return of the Liberty Bell to Philadelphia. It turned out to be a big financial success for Sousa.
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