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John Philip Sousa

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John Philip Sousa was born in 1854, the third child of ten. He was born in Washington, D.C. His parents were immigrants. John

Antonio Sousa was his dad. He was originally from Spain, even though his parents were Portuguese

in origin. His mom, Maria Elisabeth

Trinkhaus came to America from Bavaria.

John was a talented youngster. At the tender age of 6 he was studying music. He learned to play many types of instruments; the

violin, piano, cornet, alto horn, flute, baritone. Like his father, who played the trombone in the U.S. Marines Band, John, too, learned to play the trombone. John also spent time studying voice.

John was a rather mischievous

teen. At the age of 13 John tried to run away to join the circus. Dad was not all that impressed

with John and made him enlist in the Marines. While in the service he published "Moonlight on the Potomac Waltzes". That was his first published composition and the beginning of a very successful career. After spending 8 years in the Marines, he was discharged.

John found the love of his life in 1879. Jane van Middleworth Bellis became Mrs. John Philip Sousa that year. Together they travelled to Europe four times. On one voyage back, John was inspired to write the "Stars and Stripes Forever". Three of their trips to Europe were for performances, another trip was as a vacation. While they were on vacation Sousa's promoter, David Blakely died.

In 1892 John named his band "Sousa's New Marine Band". Needless to say, Washington was not pleased with the name and Sousa had to rename his band. He had a couple of great tours with the Marine Band but was convinced to go into the civilian sector to create another band.

As stated earlier, Sousa was a prolific writer. He wrote 135 songs and conducted many , many more. His most memorable song was "Stars and Stripes Forever". It is song that many children remember by singing " be kind to your web-footed friends...". In his lengthy career he conducted



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