Presenter Comments

* Please note the Sounds of Sousa current address is:  The Sounds of Sousa Band, c/o Marcus Neiman, 4756 Gateway Drive, Medina, OH 44256

From: Dorothy Jones [] 
Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 9:09 PM
To: Marcus Neiman

Subject: Hudson Concert

Dear Marcus,

What could be more American than Sousa on a summer night? The "Sounds" were excellent as always!

Enjoyed the variety but the marches are still my favorites. The cornets were really crisp in "Sound Off".

Many thanks to you and your marvelous musicians.


From: [] 
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2006 10:45 PM
Subject: (no subject)

Dear Marcus,
Must tell you how much my friends and I enjoyed your concert! Shirley is a KSU music major and was thrilled to return and reminisce about her experiences there. I have always thought that any musical program needs variety to be successful and your selections were a perfect example. Special praise to your oboeist. She has a sweetness of tone I was never able to achieve.

Your band is outstanding because of the wealth of individual talent perfectly blended. Mr. Sousa would be pleased! Thank you for carrying on his legacy. Please keep me informed of future concerts by the Sounds of Sousa and the Medina Community Band.

Performance date:  October 7, 2001

I want to express my sincere appreciation for your wonderful concert this past Sunday in Alliance.  I would like you to know that I have received dozens of calls from our members saying how much they enjoyed the concert.  (Sometimes I get a few calls)  I admire the flexibility of the band in making the changes on the spur of the moment.  It is very rare (if ever) that we have had standing ovations in the middle of a concert, and that happened many times, Sunday.

Thanks again for bringing joy to our community on a sorrowful day.

Betty L. Davis, president

Letter dated May 21, 1996

Thank you - Thank you - Thank you! T'was the experience of a lifetime!

I continue to be flooded with universal kudos from nearly everyone I bump into.  People I don't even know are grabbing me by the arm as I walk through the grocery store, and two little old ladies ran off their porch yesterday (as my band practiced on the neighborhood streets for our Memorial Day Parade) to tell me how much they enjoyed the concert; when are you going to bring the Sousa Band back to Bellevue?  Still others have mentioned that although they were unable to attend the performance, they heard it was a great, great event.  Support and public recognition of the junior high band has grown exponentially in the past few months what an unexpected surprise!

I continue to be amazed at what we accomplished!  Just two people: you and me set the plan in motion, recruited a boatload of superb "worker bees" and some fine musicians - all brought together via a love for music and recreating the Sousa magic and the thing snowballed into a whopping success.  It's true when they say, "Give me a long enough lever and I can move the world."

You had everything organized to a "T," and the rehearsal was enjoyable for all.  As much as the audience enjoyed the show, the musicians enjoyed it more!  For 15 minutes after our community band rehearsal last night, the 7-8 Bellevue musicians gushed at how thankful they were to be a part of it.  One of them read me a "letter to the editor" another Bellevue musician wrote to our town paper; she has played in bands since the 1930s and this Sousa concert was clearly, for her, one of the hallmark music events of her life.

The kids got some great teaching in the masterclasses, which, by the way, did exactly what I had hoped:  not only did they learn a lot of "meat and potatoes" ideas which they can instantly use, but more importantly, it also opened my youngster's eyes to the possibilities that there is so much more to learn that they weren't ever aware of.

The best comment I heard was from Don Behm, the head of the American Legion, M.C. at literally every parade and patriotic function in Bellevue for the past 40 years, and a retired Bellevue teacher. He met me at the stage after the concert and with a minute-long vice-grip handshake and tears in his eyes, said, "Buchanan, this concert did more for patriotism in Bellevue than a whole bunch of Memorial Day Parades!" 

Jeff Buchanan, band director
Bellevue Junior High School

September 25, 1996

I felt immediately drawn to you for your very great spirit and would have loved for you to be presented as you were, with even more publicity.  Your performance is so sympathetic to the spirit of Sousa that I would love to be able to shout it to the world.  Without a doubt, your own vitality (and that of the members of your band) is very dedicated to be able to put on the kind of show you do.  There is no doubt in my mind that your desire to bring the arts to young people is so important and it has colored my life and my desire to do the same.

Patricia A. Corbett
Corbett Foundation

Performance date:  October 5, 2001

"Thank you" is not adequate enough to you and members of your band for braving the very bad weather and showing up at Middfest for our opening night, plus giving such a great performance.  You and and soloists gave a wonderful, uplifting performance and set the spirit of patriotism, hope, faith and strength which we need at this time.

Virginia Ritan, our executive director, conveys her heartfelt thanks to all your members for braving the weather and giving such an outstanding wonderful, professional, and enthusiastic opening concert to another successful Middfest.

Clare A. Easton, contract negotiator

I feel compelled to share with you some personal impressions and general reactions received after your spring visit to our public schools.

Your consistent professionalism was a model to our teachers and our high expectation of student performers was an inspiration to our students.  Needless to say, our performing students could not hope to replicate the skill of Sousa's own professionalism, but after rehearsing with you, they felt as though they could.  They "loved the experience" and really liked you "as a person" whom they learned to respect and admire.  We are deeply appreciative of your generous gift of expertise that culminated in a productive, informative, entertaining assembly for students.

Staff and students have told me that they enjoyed your energy, your enthusiasm, and that Sousa seemed real because of the colorful costume and mannerisms which captured the persona of America's great "March King." Always the consummate educator, you presented this spirited, optimistic, and patriotic composer so convincingly that I couldn't help noticing the special sparkle you created in the eyes of young listeners.  As Sousa himself said, "A march should make a man with a wooden leg step out."  You created that mood for us and left our toes tapping and our spirits uplifted as well.

Billigene A. Garner, Arts Education Director