Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
August 1
Did You Guess?
Can You Guess?
What Else
Happened
Today?
August 1, 1892-John Philip Sousa, at age 37, left the U.S. Marine Corps Band to form his own 100-piece marching band.

John Philip Sousa was born Nov. 6, 1854. His father played trombone in the Marine band, so he grew up around military band music. Sousa's music education began at 6.  He played violin, piano, flute, cornet, baritone and trombone.  At 13 Sousa ran away to join a circus band.  This caused his father to enlist him in the Marines as an apprentice.
Sousa was discharged from the Marines in 1875. He began performing on violin, and turned to conducting theater orchestras.  He met his wife, Jane van Middlesworth Bellis, during Broadway rehearsals for Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore.

In 1880 Sousa returned to the Marines where he conducted "The President's Own", under 4 presidents until he left to form his own band in 1892. 


John Philip Sousa    1854-1932
Sousa's band became one of the most eagerly anticipated entertainment events for a small town.  Sousa wrote his marches (he said they were "easy" to lure people to his concerts so that he could play classical pieces for them as well.  Sousa returned to public service during WWI at a salary of $1/month.

Sousa dies at age 77 in 1932, after conducting a rehearsal of the Ringgold Band in Reading, Pennsylvania. The last piece he conducted was "The Stars and Stripes Forever".

A partial list of Sousa's works follows.  135 Marches, 15 operettas, 11 suites,  70 songs, arrangements and transcriptions of 69 classical pieces.
Sousa's Band in 1910
1858 - Hans Rott, Austrian composer, was born.

1847 - Guido Papini, Italian violinist and teacher, was born.

1873 - Henri Verbrugghen, Belgian-American conductor, violinist and composer, was born.

1942 - Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) was born.

1960 - Chubby Checker's The Twist was released.

1963 - Rapper Coolio (real name Artis Ivey) was born.

1981 - MTV made its debut at 12:01am. The first video to be shown was Video Killed the Radio Star (music sample track 1) by the Buggles.

1993 - First performance of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's Concerto for Horn and String Orchestra.  (See Her Music Here!)
This instrument is often seen in parades. Can You Guess what it is called?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
The instrument is a sousaphone.  It was developed for marching by the J.W. Pepper Company and named for Sousa.
Sousa Marches
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