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Making the March KingJohn Philip Sousa's Washington Years, 1854-1893$
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Patrick Warfield

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037795

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037795.001.0001

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A Presidential Musician

A Presidential Musician

(p.100) Chapter Five A Presidential Musician
Making the March King

Patrick Warfield

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the first part of John Philip Sousa's tenure as leader of the United States Marine Band and shows how he worked to stabilize that ensemble's membership and modernize its repertoire. The following day after Sousa and his wife arrive in Washington in 1880, he enlisted in the Marine Corps for the third time, now as the band's seventeenth director, its youngest leader, and its first American-born conductor. Given the nature of Sousa's later fame, his appointment to the Marine Band seems only natural. But at this stage of his career he had never led a band or military ensemble. He was a published composer, but very little of his music was for ensembles of winds alone, and marches were not yet an important part of his output. Despite this lack of experience, Sousa's new appointment was little more than a fine-tuning of his career.

Keywords:   United States Marine Band, Marine Corps, military ensemble

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