John Phillip Sousa

Timeline created by ttroyano
In Music
  • John Philip Sousa was born John Philip So in 1854

    1854: Born Washington, DC, Nov. 6. John Philip was 3rd of 10 children of John Antonio Sousa (born in Spain of Portuguese parents) and Maria Elisabeth Trinkhaus (born in Bavaria). John Philip's father, Antonio, played trombone in the U.S. Marine band. He grew up around military band music.
  • John Philip begins to study music at age 6

    John Philip begins to study music at age 6
    1860: Began musical study around age six, studying voice, violin, piano, flute, cornet, baritone, trombone and alto horn.
  • At age 13 John Philp enlists in the U.S. Marines

    At age 13 John Philp enlists in the U.S. Marines
    1867: His father enlisted him in the Marines at age 13 as an apprentice after he attempted to run away to join a circus band.
  • At 21 Sousa leaves the Marines & begins his professional career.

    At 21 Sousa leaves the Marines & begins his professional career.
    1875: Discharged from Marines. Began performing (on violin), touring and eventually conducting theater orchestras. Conducted Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore on Broadway.
  • Sousa assumes leadership of the US Marine Corp Band at age 26

    Sousa assumes leadership of the US Marine Corp Band at age 26
    1880: Returned to Washington in September to assume leadership of the US Marine Band.
  • The President's Own Marine Corp Band

    The President's Own Marine Corp Band
    1880-1892: Conducted "The President's Own", serving under presidents Hayes, Garfield, Cleveland, Arthur and Harrison. After two successful but limited tours with the Marine Band in 1891 and 1892, promoter David Blakely convinced Sousa to resign and organize a civilian concert band.
  • Sousa's Concert Band

    Sousa's Concert Band
    1892: The first Sousa Band concert was performed September 26 at Stillman Music Hall in Plainfield, New Jersey. Two days earlier, bandleader Patrick Gilmore had died in St. Louis. Nineteen of Gilmore's former musicians eventually joined Sousa's band, including Herbert L. Clarke (cornet) and E. A. Lefebre (saxophone). The original name of the band was "Sousa's New Marine Band", but criticism from Washington forced the withdrawal of the name.
  • Sousa writes, "The Stars & Stripes Forever" at age 42

    Sousa writes, "The Stars & Stripes Forever" at age 42
    1896: Sousa's promoter David Blakely dies while Sousa and his wife are on vacation in Europe. On the return voyage, Sousa receives the inspiration for The Stars and Stripes Forever.
  • Sousa embarks on his first world tour at age 56

    1910: World Tour: New York, Great Britain, Canary Islands, South-Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Hawaii, Canada.
  • Sousa joins the Naval Reserve during WWI, at age 62.

    1917: During World War I, Sousa joins the US Naval Reserve at age 62. He is assigned the rank of lieutenant and paid a salary of $1 per month.
  • Sousa joins the Naval Reserve at age 62.

    Sousa joins the Naval Reserve at age 62.
    1917: During World War I, Sousa joins the US Naval Reserve at age 62. He is assigned the rank of lieutenant and paid a salary of $1 per month.
  • Sousa championed the cause of music education.

    Sousa championed the cause of music education.
    1919-1932: After the war, Sousa continued to tour with his band. He championed the cause of music education, received several honorary degrees and fought for composers' rights, testifying before Congress in 1927 and 1928.
  • Sousa dies at age 77

    1932: Sousa dies at age 77 on March 6th, after conducting a rehearsal of the Ringgold Band in Reading, Pennsylvania. The last piece he conducted was "The Stars and Stripes Forever".
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    The Life of John Philip Sousa