JOHN PHILIP SOUSA
“The March King”
1854 - 1932
77 years old
Sousa began playing the violin at
six years-old. He had perfect pitch.
When Sousa was 13 years-old, his father,
a trombonist in the Marine Band, enlisted
his son in the US Marine Corps as an
apprentice to keep John from joining a
circus band.
While John was an apprentice for
seven years, he learned to play all of
the wind instruments while
perfecting his violin skills.
John Philip Sousa married
Jane van Middlesworth Bellis in 1879
and had three children.
Sousa left his apprenticeship to join a
pit orchestra for a theater where he
learned to conduct.
John Philip Sousa
returned to the US
Marine Band as its
conductor in 1880
for 12 years.
Sousa organized his own band the
year he left the Marine Band in 1892.
They performed 15,623 concerts in
the next 29 years.
Sousa did not approve of the
recorded music industry. He thought
that people would lose their vocal
chords in the process of evolution like
apes losing their tails. John missed
seeing people on their steps singing
the old songs.
John refused to conduct
for recordings. He called
recorded music
“canned music.”
Soussa died of a heart attack at the
age of 77 years old. He had been living
in Sands Point, New York.
John Philip Sousa’s other talents:
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wrote 3 novels
a skilled horseman
a connoisseur of cheese
Trap shooter, included in the Trap shooter
Hall of Fame
Sousa’s Music
John Philip Sousa
the “March King,”
wrote 136
marches,
and the music to 9
operettas.
1888 Semper Fidelis
(Always Faithful)
March of the Marine Corps
1888 in History
• Sousa wrote Semper Fidelis
• The Great Blizzard of 1888 in the Eastern U.S.
• Vincent van Gogh cuts off his ear
1889 Washington Post March
1889 in History
• Sousa writes the Washington Post March
• Slave rebels take over the slave ship Amistad
1889 Stars and Stripes Forever
1896 in History
• Sousa writes Stars and Stripes Forever
• First movie theater opens,
10 cents for admission
In the 1890’s, Sousa
requested that a
Sousaphone be developed.
The sousaphone is known
as a marching tuba.
It coils around the player
with the bell pointing
forward so that the tone
may be heard above the
band.
John Philip Sousa was an
American composer and
conductor of the late
Romantic Era.
He was known mostly for his American
military and patriotic marches, which
gave him the name
“The March King.”
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John Philip Sousa PPT Example