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
March 4
Did You Guess?
That famous composer and band leader was none other than John Philip Sousa!

Extra Credit Answer--both are named
Katherine.  Yes, I really can spell "coming," but I needed the "k" for the color clue.
Can You Guess?
A very famous composer of band music conducted the Marine Band from 1880 to 1892. Can you guess who that composer was?

If you've been koming to my website for a while you know a little about me. Extra credit if you can guess the connection between this composer's first operetta and my wife.
1678 - Birth of Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi in Venice.  Click Here to download violin sheet music by Vivaldi from Virtual Sheet Music.

1791 - First performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No.27, the composer performing.

1870 - First performance of Tchaikovsky's overture Romeo and Juliet.

1877 - First performance of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.

1878 - Premiere of Tchaikovsky's Symphony
No. 4.

1905 - Premiere of Alexander Glazunov's Violin Concerto, with violinist Leopold Auer

1948 - Singers Hank Williams Jr. and Stevie Nicks were born.

1959 - Johnny Horton was #1 on charts with The Battle of New Orleans.

1964 - Singer Lenny Kravitz was born.

1968 - Leanna Sterios, conductor of the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, was born.

1995 - Premiere of Christopher Rouse's Symphony No. 2. Houston Symphony Orchestra, Christoph Eschenbach conducting.

1999 - The Backstreet Boys' album Millenium sold 1.3 million copies its first week.

2004 - Premiere of avant garde composer Rolf Wallins Act by The Cleveland Orchestra
Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated President of the United States March 4, 1801.

Jefferson was an avid amateur musician.  As part of his early education he learned to read music and to play the violin, and by age fourteen he was capable of writing down his favorite fiddle tunes.  He claimed to have practiced the violin three hours per day, and became quite good on the instrument, so good in fact, that the Royal Governor invited him regularly to play.
Go to the U.S. Marine Band Web Site
Thomas Jefferson
"Mr. Jefferson played, I believe, very well indeed, but not so well as to stand comparison with many other persons.  No amateur violinist could hope to equal a professor."

That is how Ellen Randolph Coolidge, Thomas Jefferson's granddaughter, described his playing.

We know that he bought a violin in 1768 for 5.  It is believed that he owned several violins during his life, and one of them may have been an Amati.
Jefferson shared a love of music with his wife, Martha Wayles Skelton.  He bought a pianoforte for her during their engagement. In his 1858 biography of Jefferson, Henry S. Randall reported a Jefferson family story of how music sealed their courtship:

Two of Mr. Jefferson's rivals happened to meet on Mrs. Skelton's door-stone. They were shown into a room from which they heard her harpsichord and voice, accompanied by Mr. Jefferson's violin and voice, in the passages of a touching song. They listened for a stanza or two. Whether something in the words, or in the tones of the singers appeared suggestive to them, tradition does not say, but it does aver that they took their hats and retired, to return no more on the same errand!
"The President's Own" United States Marine Band has roughly 160 members, including:

5 officers
A drum major and assistant drum major
Roughly 130 musicians
22 full-time professionals working in administration, library, music production, operations, public affairs, recording, stage managing, and supply
13 Marines from the Fleet Marine Force who work with administration, supply, and the stage managers

The Marines also maintain a Chamber Orchestra and several Chamber Ensembles.  You can view the Marine Corps Band website by clicking HERE.
On this date in 1801 Jefferson was innaugurated President of the United States.  The United States Marine Band played at the innaugural.  Jefferson enjoyed them so much that he declared them "The President's Own," and the nickname remains with the band to this day.
Jefferson spent many an hour playing the violin, and Colonial Williamsburg's Bill Barker enjoys some practice time himself.  Click the Picture to go to the Colonial Williamsburg web site.
Click the Picture to go to the U.S. Marines Band Web Site.
US Marines Band
Glazunov Violin Concerto, by Vengerov
This recording even contains The Thunderer March actually conducted by Sousa himself!
What Else
Christopher Rouse Symphony 2
Find Violin Music by
Antonio Vivaldi you can Download to Your Computer
from Virtual Sheet Music
Rouse Symphony No. 2 by the Houston Symphony
A Very Good Recording of the Glazunov Violin Concerto by Vengerov!  Sound Clips at Amazon!
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Broadway: The American Musical 3PK DVD