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Sousa, John Philip

Born: Washington, DC, 6 Nov 1854
Died: Reading, PA, 6 March 1932
Nationality: American composer, conductor and writer

Known as the "March King." He was an apprentice in the US Marine Band, then played the violin in theatre orchestras before turning to conducting. In 1892 he formed the popular Sousa's Band (which continued until 1931). Sousa had great impact on American musical tastes and achieved worldwide fame; the sousaphone, made to his specifications, was named after him. He was best known as a composer of marches, including "The Washington Post" (1889) and "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (1897), which have a vigorous melodic line. Sousa wrote much vocal music: his operettas, e.g. "El capitan" (1895), had considerable success. He was also famous for his band arrangements.

 

 


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