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John Phillip Sousa Program Notes and Sheet Music

John Philip Sousa (November 6, 1854 – March 6, 1932) was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era known primarily for American military marches. He is known as "The March King" or the "American March King", to distinguish him from his British counterpart Kenneth J. Alford.

Sousa was born in Washington, D.C., on November 6, 1854. He began his musical training at an early age, playing the violin and cornet. In 1868, he joined the United States Marine Band, where he served for 12 years. During his time in the Marine Band, Sousa composed his first march, "The Gladiator".

In 1880, Sousa left the Marine Band to form his own band. The Sousa Band quickly became one of the most popular bands in the world, touring extensively and making numerous recordings. Sousa was a gifted conductor and showman, and his concerts were always well-attended.

Sousa composed over 100 marches, as well as a number of other works, including operettas, symphonic poems, and orchestral suites. His most famous marches include "The Stars and Stripes Forever", "Semper Fidelis", and "The Washington Post".

Sousa was a tireless promoter of American music, and he is credited with helping to popularize the march as a musical genre. He was also a pioneer in the use of new technologies, such as recording and radio, to promote his music.

Sousa died in Reading, Pennsylvania, on March 6, 1932. He was 77 years old.

Sousa was a major figure in American music, and his legacy continues to be celebrated today. He is considered one of the most important composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his marches are still performed by bands all over the world.

Sousa's marches are known for their catchy melodies, driving rhythms, and patriotic themes. They have been used in a variety of contexts, including movies, television shows, and sporting events. His marches are a beloved part of American culture, and they continue to be enjoyed by people of all ages.

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