Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Sousa, John Philip

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SOUSA, John Philip, musician, b. in Washington, D. C., 6 Nov., 1854. He studied in the common schools in Washington, and had as instructors in music John Esputa and George Felix Benkert. At the age of twenty-six he became bandmaster of the U. S. marine corps, and held this position from 1880 until 1892. He has produced the following operas: “The Smugglers” (1879); “Désirée”(1884); “The Queen of Hearts” (1886); “El Capitan” (1893); “The Bride Elect” (1897); and “The Charlatan” (1898). He is best known, perhaps, for his marches, and the title of “The March King” has often been applied to him. Among his marches may be mentioned the following: “The Washington Post,” “High School Cadets,” “The Liberty Bell,” “Manhattan Beach,” “King Cotton,” “The Directorate,” “El Capitan,” “The Bride Elect,” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” He is also the composer of a great number of miscellaneous compositions and arrangements for orchestra and military bands, songs, etc. His compilation of “National, Patriotic, and Typical Airs of Every Land” was officially adopted by the navy department.