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Sousa, John Philip

Born: 1854 AD
Died: 1932 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Composers, Conductors

1854 – He was born on the 6th day of November this year in Washington, D.C. He was known particularly for American military marches. Because of his prominence, he is known as "The March King".


1861 – At age six, he started his music education, playing the violin, as a pupil of John Esputa and G. F. Benkert for harmony and musical composition.


1868 – His father enlisted him at an early age of 13 in the United States Marine Corps as an apprentice.


1875 – John served his apprenticeship for seven years, until this year, and apparently learned to play all the wind instruments while honing his mettle with the violin.


1879 – He married Jane van Middlesworth Bellis. They had three children.


1880 – Several years later, John left his apprenticeship to join a theatrical orchestra where he learned to conduct. He returned to the U.S. Marine Band as its head in this year and remained as a conductor until 1892.


1896 – He wrote 136 marches; his first and one of his most popular was :the Gladiator March” in this year.


1892 – He organized his own band this year.


1900 – It toured widely, and in this year, represented the United States at the Paris Exposition before touring Europe. Sousa repeatedly refused to conduct on the radio, fearing a lack of personal contact with the audience.

1902 – He wrote one of his novel “The Fifth String” a young violinist makes a deal with the Devil for a magic violin with five strings. He wrote

five novels and a full length autobiography, Marching Along, as well as a great number of articles and letters-to-the-editor on a variety of subjects.


1929- He was finally persuaded to do so in this year and became a smash hit.


1932 – He died on the 6th day of March this year.