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John Philip Sousa

Biography

Born: November 6, 1854; Washington D.C.   Died: March 6, 1932; Reading, PA  
American bandmaster and composer John Philip Sousa did more than anyone to elevate the status of the military wind band. Sousa's boyhood coincided with the American Civil War. The sounds of military bands were constantly in the air. His first musical training was on the violin, and his father instructed him on several wind instruments. At 13 the lure of a visiting circus was a powerful incentive for the boy to join up as a musician; however, his Read more astute father, himself a bandsman, caught wind of the lad's intention and procured an apprenticeship in the Marine Corps Band for his son. It proved to be a happy move for all involved. The young musician sharpened his skills in that musical organization called the "President's own." He composed his first march, Salutation, at 16.

At 18, Sousa began to play violin in various theater orchestras. In 1880, Sousa was appointed leader of the Marine Corps Band, which he would serve for 12 years, under five presidents. He now began to hit his stride with his own marches, turning out such classics as Semper Fidelis, The Washington Post, The Thunderer, and High School Cadets. In 1892 Sousa, resigning his position with the Marine Corps, organized his own band, known simply as Sousa's Band. Through national, European, and world tours, the band's success was nothing short of a phenomenon, Sousa receiving many honors and decorations from the royal families of Great Britain and Europe.

He continued turning out his series of comic operas, including the highly successful El capitan (1895). From his pen flowed songs, symphonic poems, and more marches, this period seeing The Liberty Bell (1893), King Cotton (1895), Hands Across the Sea (1899) and, most notably, The Stars and Stripes Forever (1897).

With the entry of the United States into World War I, however, Sousa laid aside civilian activity and assumed command of all naval bands. In 1920, he reorganized his band and resumed touring. Sousa died while en route to conduct a high school band in Reading, PA.

Among his other achievements was his role as a founder of ASCAP. He also helped develop the sousaphone, a large tuba which features in parade bands. Ultimately, his compositions are his monument. But particularly it is the marches which endure. Sousa was not afraid to invest his marches with beautiful melody and unusual harmonies, placing them above being merely parade music. Sousa continued to explore within his chosen field until the end and many from his final decade such as The Gridiron Club and Sesquicentennial Exposition are remarkable for their inventiveness and vitality. The composer himself mused upon what constitutes the perfect march, stating that "it should make a man with a wooden leg step out." In virtually all of his creations in this field, Sousa passed this standard with flying colors. Read less
Sousa: Music for Wind Band Vol 14 / Brion
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559730   Number of Discs: 1
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Sousa: Music For Wind Band, Vol. 11 / Brion, Royal Swedish Navy Band
Release Date: 12/18/2012   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559690   Number of Discs: 1
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Sousa: Music For Wind Band, Vol. 12 / Brion, Royal Swedish Navy Band
Release Date: 05/28/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559691   Number of Discs: 1
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Sousa: Music for Wind Band Vol 13 / Brion
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559729   Number of Discs: 1
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American Classics - Sousa: Music For Wind Band Vol 5
Release Date: 09/21/2004   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559131   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Stars and Stripes Forever

Browse 1-25 of 199 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Seiji Ozawa - The Philips Years: Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002185602 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
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  • 2.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
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  • 3.
    Classic Marches - Elgar, Verdi, Strauss
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4763772 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz,  Ron Goodwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Northey,  John Lanchbery,  Jorge Mester,  David Measham  ... 
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  • 4.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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  • 5.
    Label: La-la Land Records   Catalog: 1205 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Patrick Williams,  David Rose,  Norman Gimbel,  Ernest Gold  ... 
    Performer:  Bobby Bare
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  • 6.
    Sir Adrian Boult - The Complete Conductor
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 1927023 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gustav Holst,  Robert Simpson,  Sir Arthur Bliss  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Great Moments: Horowitz Live At Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 376860 Release Date: 11/11/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  George Szell
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  • 8.
    Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548417 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Isaac Stern,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Lyndon Woodside,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Oratorio Society of New York
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  • 9.
    Entendre / duoW [CD & Blu-Ray Audio]
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92171 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Zoltán Kodály,  Johan Halvorsen,  Adrien François Servais,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Arianna Warsaw-Fan,  Meta Weiss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  duoW
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  • 10.
    Dambusters! Organ X-plosion Vol II / Kevin Bowyer
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 8104 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jackson Hill,  Eric Coates,  Arthur Meale,  Arthur Willis  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Bowyer
    CD: $12.49
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  • 11.
    Famous Marches
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1342 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Abraham Holzmann,  Edwin Eugene Bagley,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Herman Starke  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Swift
    CD: $9.99
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  • 12.
    Best Of Pops / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 3580 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jacob Gade,  Leroy Anderson,  Victor Young,  Meredith Willson  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    On sale! $29.95
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  • 13.
    America The Beautiful - A Collection Of Patriotic Songs
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 72152 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stafford Smith,  Laurie Hochman,  Samuel Augustus Ward,  Morton Gould  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 14.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001831802 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Anton Webern,  Alban Berg,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Pilarczyk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Mihaly Székely,  Olga Szönyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 15.
    Carl Conducts... Classical Festival Favourites
    Label: Carl Davis Collect   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    Solti Centenary Concert / Gheorghiu, Pape, Gergiev
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101668 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  René Pape,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Matilda Paulsson,  Tereza Gevorgyan  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Cristian Macelaru
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Orchestra for Peace
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  • 17.
    Solti Centenary Concert / Gheorghiu, Pape, Gergiev [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108073 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  René Pape,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Tereza Gevorgyan,  Matilda Paulsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Cristian Macelaru
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Orchestra for Peace
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 18.
    100 Best Organ Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 332452 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolas Kynaston,  Nicholas Kynaston,  Noel Rawsthorne,  Lionel Rogg  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Menuhin Festival Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservato  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 19.
    100 Famous Marches
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 1072 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Julius Fucik,  Charles Beisterling,  Harry L. Alford,  Roland Forrest Seitz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  "President's Own" United States Marine Band,  United States Army Band,  United States Navy Band  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 20.
    Celebrating The American Spirit / Clurman, Essential Voices USA
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92162 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Gilberston,  Jake Heggie,  Stephen Paulus,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Ron Raines,  Kelli O’hara
    Conductor:  Judith Clurman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Essential Voices USA
    On sale! $16.99
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  • 21.
    Organ Extravaganza! / Kevin Bowyer
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1187 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeremy Nicholas,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Charles Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Bowyer
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  • 22.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
    CD: $69.99
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  • 23.
    Imaginary Landscapes - Sounds of America [20-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 44290 Release Date: 07/03/2012   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Scott Joplin,  Ferde Grofé,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Rifkin,  Ralph Grierson,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Barry Tuckwell  ... 
    Conductor:  Timothy Foley,  George Sponhaltz,  Felix Slatkin,  Ferde Grofé  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Great American Main Street Band,  Southland Stingers,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 24.
    American Salute
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11191 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dudley Buck,  Edwin Eugene Bagley,  Louis Panella,  Charles Parker  ... 
    Conductor:  Larry H. Lang,  Jack Stamp
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    The United States Military Academy Band
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 70062 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Philip Egner,  Traditional,  Gioachino Rossini,  Turlet  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Military Academy Band
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