The Washington Post

Concert Band

The Washington Post

Genre:
Concert March, March
Grade Level:
Mittel-/Oberstufe
Performance time:
00:04:19
Publisher:
Rundel
Size:
DIN A4
Info:
Full Score + Parts
Order Number:
MVSR2414
Release Date:
2004

Info

In the company history of “The Washington Post“, one of the major American newspapers, the following entry is shown under the year ‘1889’: “On June 15, at an essay awards ceremony on the mall, United States Marine Band leader John Philip Sousa introduced ‘The Washington Post March’, which he wrote especially for the newspaper. It became a popular hit and is still a marching band favourite today.” This short note in a way describes the rise of John Philip Sousa to a leading military bandmaster and prominent composer in the United States. While on tour in St. Louis with the variety show “Our Flirtations”, for which he had composed the music, Sousa learned that he was considered as leader of the United States Marine Band in Washington, D.C. His father Antonio accepted the position by proxy, as his son had difficulties to be released from the show. Finally, on October 1, 1880, John Philip Sousa became the fourteenth leader of this fine band and the first to be born in America. His predecessor, Louis Schneider, had been discharged as “unfit for duty”. Taking over the baton of the United States Marine Band meant for Sousa conducting a military band for the first time, and he consequently approached music in an essentially different way than his predecessors. He augmented, improved and replaced the band’s library, and also changed its instrumentation. In the years to come Sousa undertook considerable efforts to ameliorate the musical standards of the band. Rehearsals became very strict with him, and less capable bandsmen gradually left the band. As a reformer, Sousa was exceptionally successful in another important realm too, as his concerts began to attract discriminating audiences in place of those unsophisticated crowds who had attended concerts previously. As a marching unit, the United States Marine Band’s reputation spread rapidly. Its services hence were much in demand. In those years John Philip Sousa also composed his first operettas. The first one of his early stage productions, however, “The Smugglers”, was abandoned after a short run only. As leader of the Marine Band John Philip Sousa largely contributed to the band’s repertoire by writing a number of fine marches. The first one to really establish his reputation among military bands was “The Gladiator”, written in 1886. Finally some time between 1889 and 1891 a “March King” was born, probably shortly after the event taking place in Washington in 1889 where “The Washington Post” was performed for the first time. In addition, “The Washington Post” became widely known at that time, as it especially suited the “Two Step”, a popular new dance. Sousa’s march was being used for dancing all over the world, and it was even published in non-authorized editions in various countries under fancy titles.

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