Study Guide Materials

Marcus Neiman & The Sounds of Sousa Band

Kent State University - January 29th, 2006

Program Notes


Star Spangled Banner (Key/Sousa) - On September 14, 1814, while detained aboard a British ship during the bombardment of Ft. McHenry, Francis Scott Key witnessed at dawn the failure of the British attempt to take Baltimore. Based on this experience, he wrote a poem that poses the question "Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave?" Almost immediately Key's poem was published and wedded to the tune of the "Anacreontic Song." Long before the Civil War "The Star Spangled Banner" became the musical and lyrical embodiment of the American flag. During the latter war, songs such as "Farewell to the Star Spangled Banner" and "Adieu to the Star Spangled Banner Forever," clearly referencing Key's song, were published within the Confederacy.

On July 26, 1889, the Secretary of the Navy designated "The Star Spangled Banner" as the official tune to be played at the raising of the flag. And during Woodrow Wilson's presidency, it was chosen by the White House to be played wherever a national anthem was appropriate. Still the song was variously criticized as too violent in tone, too difficult to sing, and, by prohibitionists, as basically a drinking song. But on its side "The Star Spangled Banner" had a strong supporter in John Philip Sousa who, in 1931, opined that besides Key's "soul-stirring" words, "it is the spirit of the music that inspires." That same year, on March 3, President Herbert C. Hoover signed the Act establishing Key's poem and Smith's music as the official anthem of the United States.

Die Fledermaus (Strauss/Cailliet)

An operetta is literally a “little opera”, originally a play with overture, songs and dances, but which has evolved into something indistinguishable from opera except for being set to “light music”. We all know what that means, but are hard-pressed to define it, except by example. The classic examples are (would you believe?) the music of Johann Strauss Sohn. Die Fledermaus (1847) is his best known, and unquestionably best loved, operetta, the third of a series of stage works that he embarked upon at the prompting of Offenbach, no less. Like so many works now firmly embedded in our affections, it had a distinctly chilly reception, getting the chop after a measly 16 performances in Vienna. 

The overture is firmly in the tradition established by Rossini and continued in our century by the likes of George Gershwin, which is a “trailer” for the goodies in store. It even starts with a traditional audience “shutter-upper” (so, be warned!), succeeded by a veritable cascade of melodies so mouth-watering that one can only wonder what it would have taken to please those miserable Viennese, 150 years ago. It does, though, make considerable demands on the performers, who must be alive to its many and extreme changes of pace: not generally a feature of his waltzes and polkas, these are the key to much of the hair-raising excitement of this incredibly entertaining music.

ACT I. Vienna, 1890s. Through the windows of the Eisenstein home floats the serenade of Alfred, a tenor still in love with his old flame Rosalinde, now the wife of Gabriel von Eisenstein. Adele, a chambermaid, saunters in reading an invitation to a masked ball; Rosalinde, bedeviled by a headache and believing she has heard Alfred's voice, enters but finds only Adele. The maid asks for the evening off to visit a "sick aunt," a plea her mistress dismisses. Alfred steps into the room and begins to woo Rosalinde, who resists his verbal blandishments but melts on hearing his high A. The suitor leaves as Eisenstein and his lawyer, Blind, arrive from a session in court: Eisenstein has been sentenced to a fortnight in jail for a civil offense. No sooner does he dismiss the incompetent advocate than his friend Falke comes to invite Eisenstein to a masquerade, suggesting he bring along his repeater stop-watch, which charms all the ladies, so he can accumulate pleasant memories to sustain him during his confinement in jail. Rosalinde joins Adele in a bittersweet farewell to Eisenstein before he goes off to prison, got up, to his wife's surprise, in full evening dress. Sending Adele to her "aunt," Rosalinde receives the ardent Alfred. Their tête-à-tête is interrupted by the warden Frank, who mistakes Alfred for the man he has come to arrest. Rosalinde persuades Alfred to save her name by posing as her husband, and Frank carts him off to jail.

ACT II. In an antechamber at the palace of Prince Orlofsky, the nobleman's guests, Adele and her cousin Ida among them, await the arrival of their host. Orlofsky enters, quite bored — even with Falke's promise of a comedy of errors. The prince proclaims his guests free to do anything that suits their fancy — "Chacun à son gout." Adele, dressed in one of Rosalinde's most elegant gowns, laughs off Eisenstein's suggestion that she resembles his wife's chambermaid. Frank enters, and Rosalinde, also invited by Falke, arrives disguised as a temperamental Hungarian countess; she is soon wooed by her own reeling husband, whose pocket watch she steals to hold as proof of his philandering. Rosalinde agrees to sing a song about her "native" land, a spirited czardas, after which the guests move on to a magnificent dining area to toast the joys of wine, good fellowship and love. Champagne flows, and the guests dance wildly until dawn. When the clock strikes six, Eisenstein staggers off to keep his appointment at the jail.

ACT III. Moments later at the prison, Frosch, a drunken jailer, tries to keep order among the inmates, who are unable to sleep because of Alfred's singing. Frank arrives, still giddy with champagne, followed shortly by Ida and Adele, who, thinking him a theatrical agent, believes he might further her stage aspirations. Frank, hearing someone at the door, hides the girls in a cell and then admits Eisenstein, who has come to begin his sentence. The new prisoner is surprised to learn his cell is already occupied by a man who claims to be Eisenstein and who was found supping with Rosalinde; to obtain an explanation from the impostor, Eisenstein snatches a legal robe and wig from his astonished lawyer. No sooner is he disguised than Rosalinde hurries in to secure Alfred's release and press divorce charges against her errant husband. With her would-be paramour, she confides her flirtation to the "lawyer." Enraged, Eisenstein removes his disguise and accuses his wife of promiscuity, at which Rosalinde whips forth the watch she took from him at the ball. Orlofsky and his guests arrive to celebrate the reconciliation of Rosalinde and Eisenstein, singing a final toast as Eisenstein is taken away.

ENCORE - El Capitan March (Sousa).Written in 1896, it is one of the perennial Sousa (1854-1932) favorites, this march has enjoyed exceptional popularity with bands since it first appeared.It was extracted from the most successful of the Sousa operettas, El Capitan.El Capitan of the operetta was the comical and cowardly Don Medigua, the early seventeenth-century viceroy of Peru.Some of the themes appear in more than one act, and the closing theme of the march is the same rousing theme which ends the operetta.

This was the march played by the Sousa Band, augmented to over a hundred men and all at Sousa's personal expense, as they led Admiral Dewey's victory parade in New York on September 30, 1899.It was a matter of sentiment with Sousa, because the same march had been played by the band on Dewey's warship Olympia as it sailed out of Mirs Bay on the way to attack Manila during the Spanish-American war.

CORNET SOLO - Bride of the Waves (Clarke) - In America, in the small towns and burgeoning industrial metropolises of the turn of the “last” century, cornetists were heroes.Small girls and boys would flock to hear them and their bands, resplendent in paramilitary costume, filled the Sunday-park air.Herbert L. Clarke (1867-1945), certainly the most famous cornetist of his time, would in his long career conduct ensembles with such bizarre names as the Huntsville Leather Company Band of Ontario.

Clarke was probably one of the two best-known players in cornet history.Proud of his Yankee heritage, he was born into a musical family in Woburn, Massachusetts, where his organist father assured all his sons through training in several instruments apiece, but tried to dissuade them from pursuing musical careers.Nevertheless, Herbert and his trombonist brother Ernest were to become famous soloists, first in Patrick Gilmore's historic ensemble (then conducted by Victor Herbert), later with John Philip Sousa.

At one time, Clarke was Sousa's highest-paid soloist, but despite efforts of the great man to keep him permanently, Clarke's band leading and composing interests were to take him on long sojourns.Much to Sousa's frustration, in fact, Clarke insisted on retiring from solo performance on the cornet at age 50 (a cut-off point he had set for himself in his youth - that on one might ever say to him, “he doesn't play as well as he did in his prime.”)A composer of 240 works, Clarke brought the curiously rigid form of the cornet solo as far as it could reasonably go in harmonic interest and wealth of musical ideas.

Clarke recorded most of his 50-odd solo cornet compositions, including Bride of the Waves (recorded five times, the earliest in 1904), Sounds from the Hudson (1904), Caprice Brilliante (1908), Southern Cross (1911), and Stars in a Velvety Sky (1911).The solo was also performed, with Clarke as soloist, on Sousa's 1906 concert season tour.

Our soloist:

Erik Svoboda, a native Clevelander, earned his bachelor of music degree from The University of Michigan and has master of music degree from The Kent State University.

He has performed with Arkansas Music Festival, Blossom Music Festival, Blossom Concert Band, and Summit Brass Institute.

He was the featured cornet soloist the “Sounds of Sousa Band” at the 2000 Ohio Music Education Association professional conference Palace Theatre performance.During the summer of 2001, he is performing at the Lake Placid Music Institute in Lake Placid, New York.

His recent releases include the “Celebration of Brass and Organ” with the Heritage Brass Quintet. He has worked with trumpet students in the Cleveland area and has been on the staff with the Willoughby Fine Arts Association for the past 17 years.

ENCORE - King Cotton (Sousa) - It is a curious fact of the music world that marches written for fairs and expositions almost always fade into oblivion.Two notable exceptions are Mr. Sousa's King Cotton and The Fairest of the Fair.The former was written for the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, and the latter for the Boston Food Fair of 1908.

Mr. Sousa and his band had great drawing power at fairs and expositions and were much sought after.But, officials of the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta attempted to cancel their three-week contract with the Sousa Band because of serious financial difficulties.At Mr. Sousa's insistence, they honored the contract, and at the first concert they became aware of their shortsightedness.Atlanta newspapers carried rave reviews of the band's performance.For example:

... The band is a mascot.It has pulled many expositions out of financial ruts.It actually saved the Midwinter Fair in San Francisco.Recently at the St. Louis and Dallas expositions Sousa's Band proved an extraordinary musical attention, and played before enormous audiences.It is safe to predict that history will repeat itself in Atlanta, and that the band will do the Exposition immense good.A great many people in South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia have postponed their visit to the Exposition so as to be here during Sousa's engagement, and these people will now begin to pour in.

Sousa's latest march, “King Cotton,” has proved a winner.It has been heard from one end of Dixie to the other and has aroused great enthusiasm and proved a fine advertisement for the Exposition. The Sousa Band did indeed bring the exposition “out of the red,” and the same officials who had tried to cancel Sousa's engagement pleaded with him to extend it.King Cotton was named the official march of the exposition, and it has since become one of the perennial Sousa favorites.

Vocal Solo - Habanera from Carmen (Bizet/Hall) - George Bizet (1838-1875) composed his opera Carmen following the old tradition of setting operas in Spain, more than 20 in Seville alone. It opened in 1875 at the Opera Comique in Paris. The story-line is more complicated than Prosper Merimée's novel; more characters were added and stereotypes exaggerated by the libbrétists Meilhac and Halevy.   The original story had to be adapted to conform to the conventions and expectations of the audience accustomed to bourgeois melodrama. The result was a little too shocking for the family theater (Carmen was a public enemy, a threat to law and order, conjuring revolutionary ghosts, and inevitably had to die in the end, something unseen in the Opera Comique) but also a little too diluted and denaturalized for the purist, who considered it basically a French opera imbued with Spanish gypsy motifs, perhaps a Spanish reflection of a moment in French history, after the failed revolution of the Paris Commune. It was not a success, initially. Nevertheless, Carmen would soon become the most popular opera of all time and the Spanish Gypsy the enduring symbol of the eroticized romantic construction of Spain, as can testified by the numerous versions and resurrections of Carmen, on stage, on screen, even on ice. Amazingly, as to this day Carmen is still often claimed, in academic discourse and in popular culture, to represent the pure -unmediated- spirit of Spain.

Bizet based his Habanera—the name identifies a dance supposed to originate in Havana, Cuba— on what he thought to be a folk song; it actually was written by Iradier, a Spanish composer. In the opening scene, Bizet has the gypsy Carmen, on break from her job at the cigarette factory; sing it to taunt the soldier Don Jose, just arrived for his guard duty. Her sultry song comparing love to a beautiful bird is punctuated by the chorus—almost as a Greek chorus with the refrain “Prends garde a toi!” (“Young man, take care!”) While setting the stage for the story of the good soldier driven mad with desire, Carmen's torch song also sets an eternal standard for sexiness and abandon.

The arrangement performed was specially arranged for Marcus Neiman & The Sounds of Sousa Band by Percy Hall.

ENCORE - I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady - In adapting Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion for the musical-comedy stage the highest standards were applied to every aspect of the musical theatre text, lyrics, music, choreography, direction, Cecil Beaton's costuming and Oliver Smith's sets to create as near perfect a production as human ingenuity and imagination could contrive. The result was, as the critic William Hawkins said, "a legendary evening", or, in the words of Brooks Atkinson, "one of the best musicals of the century ... close to the genius of creation." With these and similar critical accolades as a springboard, My Fair Lady went on to become the greatest commercial triumph the American theatre had known up until that time. On 13th June, 1961, it became the longest-running production in Broadway history, outdistancing the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical play, Oklahoma!, which had held that record up to then. By that time it had been seen by over three million patrons, and had earned almost forty million dollars; the long-playing recording by the original cast sold over three million discs at a price of fifteen million dollars; the motion-picture rights were sold for over five million dollars. The national tour of a second company begun on 18th March, 1957, stayed on the road several years, breaking box-office precedents in city after city. Numerous companies were formed to present it throughout the civilized world, including the Soviet Union in 1960.

The selection comes to the fore as Pickering exuberantly praises Liza's triumph, while Liza herself nostalgically recalls the pleasures of that evening with I Could Have Danced All Night.

Our soloist:

Denise Milner Howell, mezzo-soprano, is a performer who is equally at home on the opera, musical theatre or concert stage.She is currently an associate artist with Cleveland Opera where her main stage work in includes RIGOLETTO (Countess Ceprano) and IOLANTHE (Celia).Ms. Howell has also performed with Cleveland Opera on Tour in AN AESOP ODYSSEY and LA CENERENTOLA.Other solo engagements include performances with Chautauqua Opera (PIRATES OF PENAZANCE, SUOR ANGELICA), Tanglewood Festival (George Crumb's MADRIGAL IV), and Buffalo Philharmonic (CARMEN).In Northeast Ohio, Ms. Howell has appeared with The Sounds of Sousa Band, and Carousel Dinner Theatre (CAMELOT).She can be heard in a CD release on the North/South recording label singing “Sappho Songs” by Ira-Paul Schwarz.

Ms. Howell currently serves on the voice faculty of the University of Akron.In the past, she has also taught at the Hochstein School of Music in Rochester, NY and the State University of New York College at Fredonia.Ms. Howell earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in music education from Long Island University/CW Post College, and a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from New England Conservatory of Music. She lives in Medina, Ohio with her husband, Gregg, and their two sons, Miles and Wesley.

Suite - People Who Live in Glass Houses (Sousa) - Sousa wrote this unique and lively suite in 1909, the year before the Sousa Band's world tour.The band had already established an international reputation having performed from coast to coast on numerous tours in The United States and throughout Europe on four very successful tours.While the suite is very attractive, entertaining and playable, it was not published until 2004, by Col. John R. Bourgeois (former director of the United States Marine Band).The suite is characteristic of the countries or regions in which the various drinks originated: The Champagnes; The Rhine Wines; The Whiskies; and, Convention of the Cordials.There is speculation that the suite was Sousa's musical commentary on social drinking!

ENCORE - Raider's March from Raiders of the Lost Ark (Williams/Lavender) - Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is the spectacular, cliff-hanger, breathlessly-paced, non-stop action/adventure film of the early 1980s. It was an immensely successful summer box-office hit. The film was conceived by producer George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. (Significantly, this was the first full collaboration between the two legendary American film-makers.) Screen-credited Lawrence Kasdan's script for the film was based on a story by collaborators George Lucas and Philip Kaufman.

Harrison Ford, who had starred in Lucas' Star Wars (1977), took the role of the globe-trotting, adventurous, comic-book hero/academic archaeologist with a leather jacket and bullwhip when Tom Selleck declined the role and chose instead to pursue his TV career as Magnum, P.I. (Tim Matheson, Nick Nolte, and Peter Coyote were also considered for the role, and Sean Young was tested for the role ultimately accepted by Karen Allen. Selleck later appeared in a Raiders knock-off film titled High Road to China (1983).)

The swaggering, two-fisted character with a fear of snakes was designed to be flawed yet cocky, with frequent boasts: "Trust me." The character was originally named Indiana Smith, but it was changed by Spielberg. [Note: "Indiana" was the name of Lucas' dog. The swashbuckling character of Indiana Jones was loosely based on an early 19th century Italian archaeologist named Giovanni Belzoni, who became famous for exploring and excavating treasured Egyptian sites. The name was also a playful variation of Steve McQueen's name in Nevada Smith (1966).] This was the first of three Indiana Jones movies - created as a tribute (by Lucas) in wide-eyed homage to the episodic Saturday matinee, cliff-hanging thrillers, westerns, and adventure serials of yesteryear in the 1930s and 40s, with their strong-jawed heroes.

The arrangement for band was done by Paul Lavender.

Broadway Selections - Wicked (Schwartz/Bocook) - Long before Dorothy dropped in; two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two unlikely friends end up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch makes for the most spellbinding new musical in years. WICKED, the untold story of the witches of Oz, features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Academy Award winner for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and book by Winnie Holzman ("My So Called Life," "Once And Again" and "thirtysomething"), and is based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire.

It is interesting to note that Mr. Sousa always featured “new” music on his concerts and particularly enjoyed bringing current popular melodies to his listeners.

ENCORE - Hail to the Spirit of Liberty March (Sousa) - It was with great pride that Mr. Sousa and his band represented the United States at the Paris Exposition of 1900.It was their first overseas tour.A statue of George Washington was unveiled on July 2, but the highlight of the Paris engagement was the unveiling of the Lafayette Monument on July 4.It was presented on behalf of the children of the United States by Ferdinand W. Peck, commissioner of the Paris Expo, as President Loubet of France looked on.The monument portrayed Lafayette on horseback offering his sword to the American cause in the Revolutionary War and was draped with a huge American flag.At the unveiling, the Sousa Band gave the first performance of the march composed specifically for that moment:"Hail to the Spirit of Liberty."Immediately after the ceremony, the band made one of its rare appearances in a parade as it marched through the main street of Paris.

Rag - That Flying Rag (Pryor/Laurendeau/Sigmund) - Although his name is no longer well known, Arthur Pryor (1870-1942) was once one of America's most important musical figures. He was the world's greatest trombonist, a celebrated conductor, and the composer of some of the most popular tunes of the early 1900s. Additionally, Pryor was a pioneering phonograph recording artist, an educator, and a founding father of several major musical organizations. Indeed, during the height of his career (and many years thereafter), Arthur Pryor's reputation and influence in the music business rivaled that of even John Philip Sousa's.

But perhaps Arthur Pryor's greatest contribution to American music was his work as a composer and unabashed promoter of the emerging ragtime style. Pryor wrote several early syncopated "hits," arranged or adapted many works of others for band and orchestra performance, and used his prominent position with the Sousa Bandand later his own band and orchestraas a "bully pulpit" for the dissemination of this exciting new style.

Arthur Willard Pryor was born in St. Joseph, Missouri in September, 1870. Although at that time, "St. Joe" was still a frontier region, from the very beginning of life he was surrounded by music. His father, Samuel, was the town bandmaster, and young Arthur displayed a natural talent for music. As a child he mastered the cornet, alto horn, valve trombone, drums, violin, bass viol, and piano. He also soaked up the exhilarating new rhythms emanating from the African-American sections of towna new style called "rag-time." Not surprisingly, this section of Missouri was also the point-of-origin for most of the giants of the classic rag styleCharles L. Johnson, Percy Wenrich, James Scott, and of course, Scott Joplin.

But the catalyst for Pryor's brilliant career arrived rather inauspiciously one day, in the form of a dilapidated slide trombone given to Samuel Pryor as payment on a debt. In 1880s America the valve trombone or tenor horn was a common sight in brass bands, but the slide trombone was an exotic rarity: no one in St. Joe had any idea how to play it. Indeed, since the days of Mozart and Beethoven its use had been confined to the grand realms of the symphony orchestra. There were no symphonic orchestras in Western Missouri (in fact, there were hardly any the entire United States), but out of curiosity, Sam told his son to figure out how to play it. Intrigued, fifteen year old Arthur eventually managed to play the horn using only the top one-third length of the slide. Five years later, he discovered from a man in a poolroom that he could use the entire length of the slide (encompassing the standard seven positions)and that, oh yes, the slide had to be oiled too! As a result of his lack of "correct" initial instruction, Pryor had inadvertently developed a completely new technique of slide trombone playing using "alternate positions." And it was this innovationcombined with ten hours a day of practicethat enabled him to achieve a unimaginable degree of speed and fluidity on this instrument. Soon Pryor was a hit at county fairs, and was hailed far and wide as "the Boy Wonder of Missouri."

We know that That Flying Rag was recorded by Arthur Pryor's Band in November of 1911, but no actual publication date is available and we assume that the piece was written about that time.

ENCORE - Fairest of the Fair (March) - The Fairest of the Fair is generally regarded as one of Mr. Sousa's finest and most melodic marches. Its inspiration came from the sight of a pretty girl with whom he was not even acquainted. It was an immediate success and has remained one of his most popular compositions.It stands out as one of the finest examples of the application of pleasing melodies to the restrictive framework of a military march.

The Boston Food Fair was an annual exposition and music jubilee held by the Boston Retail Grocers' Association.The Sousa Band was the main attraction for several seasons, so the creation of a new march honoring the sponsors of the 1908 Boston Food Fair was the natural outgrowth of a pleasant business relationship. In fairs before 1908, Mr. Sousa had been impressed by the beauty and charm of one particular young lady who was the center of attention of the displays in which she was employed.He made a mental note that he would some day transfer his impressions of her onto music.When the invitation came for the Sousa Band to play a 20-day engagement in 1908, he wrote this march.Remembering the comely girl, he entitled the new march The Fairest of the Fair.

Because of an oversight, the march almost missed its premiere.Nearly three months before the fair, Mr. Sousa had completed a sketch of the march for the publisher.He also wrote out a full conductor's score from which the individual band parts were to have been extracted.The band had just finished an engagement the night before the fair's opening and had boarded a sleeper train for Boston.Louis Morris, the band's copyist, was helping the librarian sort music for the first concert, and he discovered that the impost important piece on the program — The Fairest of the Fair — had not been prepared.

According to Morris's own story, the librarian, whose job it had been to prepare the parts, went into a panic.There was good reason; considerable advance publicity had been given to the new march, and the fair patrons would be expecting to hear it.In addition, the piano sheet music had already been published, and copies were to be distributed free to the first five hundred ladies entering the gates of the fair. Morris rose to the occasion.He asked the porter of the train to bring a portable desk, which he placed on a pillow across his lap.He worked the entire night, and the parts were nearly finished when dawn broke.Both were greatly surprised by the appearance of Mr. Sousa, who had arisen to take his usual early morning walk.When asked about the frenzied activity, they had no choice but to tell exactly what had happened.

There were many times in the life of Mr. Sousa when he demonstrated his benevolence and magnanimity, and this was surely one of them.After recognizing Morris' extraordinary effort and remarking that it was saving the band from considerable embarrassment, he instructed him to complete his work, and to take a well deserved rest, even if it meant sleeping through the first concert.

With no one the wiser, Louis Morris — hero of the day — was asleep in his hotel as the Sousa Band played The Fairest of the Fair for the first time on September 28, 1908.Mr. Sousa did not mention the subject again, but Morris found an extra fifty dollars in his next pay envelope — the equivalent of two weeks salary.

VOCAL SOLO - La Donna Mobile from Rigoletto - Verdi (1813-1901) was commissioned to write a new opera by the theatre La Fenice (Venice in 1850), when he was already a well known composer with a certain freedom of choosing the works he would prefer.His choice was Victor Hugo's Le roi s'amuse, explaining that “it contains extremely powerful positions ... the subject is great, immense, and has a character that is one of the most important creations of the theatre of all countries and all Ages.”It was a highly controversial subject and Hugo himself had already had trouble with censorship in France, which had banned production of his play after its first performance nearly 20 years earlier (and would continue to ban it for another 30 years).

Much correspondence and positioning took place, but the opera was finally written, produced and staged in November of 1851 in Venice.The opening was a complete triumph, and the Duke's cynical aria “La donna 'e mobile,” was sung in the streets of Venice the next morning!

ENCORE - Nessum Dorma from Turandot - Puccini (1858-1924) - Turandot is the beautiful cold-hearted femme fatale princess who lures love-struck princes to their death. Anyone who wants to marry her is asked three riddles: If he answers them right he gets to marry her, but if he doesn't he is beheaded. This is stated at the very beginning of the opera as "the law" ("La legge è questa:"). It is not so much a government decree as a mythopoetic law, almost like a magic spell, which no one in the kingdom not the emperor, not Turandot, not the ministers can go against.In the first act Calaf, the "Unknown Prince", rings the gong, signifying his declaration as a suitor to Turandot. In the second act he correctly answers the three riddles. According to the law, Turandot now has to marry him, even though she doesn't want to. But instead of claiming his prize, Calaf now poses a riddle of his own, saying to her: Tell me my name before morning, and at dawn I shall die. ("Dimmi il mio nome, prima dell'alba! E all'alba morirò!") The aria "Nessun dorma" is near the beginning of Act 3. At the end of Act 2 Turandot hasn't yet figured out all this love poetry business, and still thinks that she just has to get someone to reveal the Prince's name and then she can chop off his head. So she puts out a decree that no one in Peking is allowed to sleep until the name is revealed.

Our soloist:

Tenor Daniel J. Doty has appeared throughout the Midwest with orchestras and opera companies. A participant of the Opera and Music Theatre Festival of Lucca, Daniel spent six weeks in the Tuscan village of Lucca, Italy singing operatic arias at various venues associated with Lucca's most famous son Giacomo Puccini. He has appeared with symphonies in Muncie, IN, Urbana, IL, Marion, OH and community bands in Medina and Wadsworth. Daniel has previously appeared with Marcus Neiman & the Sounds of Sousa Band on the Lock 3 stage in Akron for their 9/11 celebration. Mr. Doty holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Bowling Green State University. He has taught music in the public school systems of Ohio and Illinois. He also an ordained minister and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL. While earning the Master of Divinity, Mr. Doty served as pastor of the Ashkum United Methodist Church, Ashkum, IL. Currently Senior Minister at Trinity United Church of Christ in Wadsworth, Ohio, Mr. Doty resides in Wadsworth with his wife Amy and their children Kristian (16), Sean-Michael (13), and Kaetlyn Noel (3).

Dixieland - At a Dixieland Jazz Funeral (Spears) -

John Philip Sousa believed that soloists were an important element in an entertaining musical program. Soloists not only helped provide a personal connection between the band and the audience, but also added a sense of variety (which helped keep the listener involved) by shifting the interest around the band both visually and aurally. Sousa historian Paul Bierley suggests that Sousa "knew from his own experience that solos contributed to the individual musician's confidence and poise by affording him a direct appeal to the audience. Also, the depth of the band's talent was revealed." Sousa featured solo performers from nearly all of the sections in the band at one time or another and regularly presented virtuosic performances by vocalists and instrumentalists performing on the violin and 'cello.

John Philip Sousa observed, "Jazz will endure as long as people hear it through their feet instead of their brains."Interesting enough, Sousa's interest in Jazz began with ragtime.He programmed it sparingly during the late 1890s in the United Sates and found that his audiences loved it.And, it was Sousa who was initially responsible for the popularity of ragtime in Europe.He joined a few classical composers who experimented with ragtime and jazz by composing several compositions in the style.From concert programs, we also know that he featured ragtime and Dixieland ensembles with his band.

The Jared Spears “At a Dixieland Jazz Funeral” is more a traditional approach to the style, featuring the small solo ensemble in two moods of the style (the first being a funeral wake, taking the recently departed soul to the cemetery for burial and the second, being the uplifting party for the spirit).

Characteristic - Hot Trombone (Fillmore) - Ohio composer Henry Fillmore (1881-1956).The eldest of five children, Fillmore had an outstanding singing voice and was encouraged to sing in Sunday school by his father, who often rewarded him with a fifty-cent fee. He dabbled with piano for several years and then learned to play flute, violin, and guitar with amazing ease. He was fascinated most of all by the slide trombone, an instrument which his father, a partner in the Fillmore Brothers religious music publishing business, considered too evil for any righteous person to play. His mother, however, believed that practicing trombone might help keep Henry out of mischief, and she secretly saved enough money to buy a second- hand instrument for her son. For a time, he worked in his father's publishing business, but left in 1905 after an argument concerning the ``evils' of band music and the problems in Henry's personal life he had fallen in love with Mabel May Jones, an exotic show dancer. After a proposal by mail, the two were married and both found employment with the Lemon Brothers Circus, launching him on a career as musician and bandmaster.

Fillmore's “characteristics” or trombone “smears” had their origin in the African American minstrel shows of the early 1900s.These dance-like compositions featured the comical antics of the trombone “running” their slides from high to low or low to high in song-like fashion.Clearly ragtime and jazz oriented, these works found their way into the concert band repertoire of such composer/performers as Arthur Pryor, Herbert L. Clarke, and of course, John Philip Sousa.It was said that Sousa almost always included at least one characteristic every season during his final years.

Patriotic - Summon the Heroes (Williams/Lavender) - Written for the 100th anniversary celebration (1996) for the modern Olympic games, John Williams' Summon The Heroes (arranged by Paul Lavender) contains all the “Williams” excitement one can ask for in a composition.The games took place in Atlanta, Georgia and was the composition was premiered on July 19th, 1996.

ENCORE - Washington Post March (Sousa) - During the 1880's, several Washington, DC, newspapers competed vigorously for public favor.One of those, the Washington Post, organized what was known as the Washington Post Amateur Authors' Association and sponsored an essay contest for school children.Frank Hatton and Beriah Wilkins, owners of the newspaper, asked Sousa, then leader of the Marine Band, to compose a march for the award ceremony.

The ceremony was held on the Smithsonian grounds on June 15, 1889.President Harrison and other dignitaries were among the huge crowd.When the new march was played by Sousa and the Marine Band, it was enthusiastically received, and within days it became exceptionally popular in Washington.

The march happened to be admirably suited to the two-step dance, which was just being introduced.A dancemaster's organization adopted it at their yearly convention, and soon the march was vaulted into international fame.The two-step gradually replaced the waltz as a popular dance, and variations of the basic two-step insured the march's popularity all through the 1890s, and into the 20th century.Sousa's march became identified with the two-step, and it was as famous abroad as it was in The United States.In some European countries, all two-steps were called “Washington posts.” Pirated editions of the music appeared in many foreign countries.In Britain, for example, it was known by such names as “No Surrender” and “Washington Grays.”

Next to “The Stars and Stripes Forever,”“The Washington Post” has been Sousa's most widely known march.He delighted in telling how he had heard it in so many different countries, played in so many different ways and often accredited to native composers.It was a standard at Sousa Band performances and was often openly demanded when not scheduled for a program.It was painful for Sousa to relate that, like “Semper Fidelis” and other marches of that period, he received only $35 for it, while the publisher made a fortune. Of that sum, $25 was for a piano arrangement, $5 for a band arrangement, and $5 for an orchestra arrangement.

Today, at a community room in Washington, a spotlight illuminates a life-size color portrait of the black-bearded Sousa, resplendent in his scarlet Marine Band uniform.This is the John Philip Sousa Community Room in the Washington Post Building.It is the newspaper's tribute to the man who first gave it worldwide fame.

ENCORE - The Stars and Stripes Forever (March) is considered the finest march ever written, and at the same time one of the most patriotic ever conceived.As reported in the Philadelphia Public Ledger (May 15, 1897) “ ... It is stirring enough to rouse the American eagle from his crag, and set him to shriek exultantly while he hurls his arrows at the aurora borealis.”(referring to the concert the Sousa Band gave the previous day at the Academy of Music).1

The march was not quite so well received though and actually got an over average rating for a new Sousa march.Yet, its popularity grew as Mr. Sousa used it during the Spanish-American War as a concert closer.Coupled with his Trooping of the Colors , the march quickly gained a vigorous response from audiences and critics alike.In fact, audiences rose from their chairs when the march was played.Mr. Sousa added to the entertainment value of the march by having the piccolo(s) line up in front of the band for the final trio, and then added the trumpets and trombones join them on the final repeat of the strain.

The march was performed on almost all of Mr. Sousa's concerts and always drew tears to the eyes of the audience.The author has noted the same emotional response of audiences to the march today.The march has been named as the national march of The United States.

There are two commentaries of how the march was inspired.The first came as the result of an interview on Mr. Sousa's patriotism.According to Mr. Sousa, the march was written with the inspiration of God.

“I was in Europe and I got a cablegram that my manager was dead.I was in Italy and I wished to get home as soon as possible, I rushed to Genoa, then to Paris and to England and sailed for America.On board the steamer as I walked miles up and down the deck, back and forth, a mental band was playing 'Stars and Stripes Forever.'Day after day as I walked it persisted in crashing into my very soul. I wrote it on Christmas Day, 1896.”2

The second, and more probable inspiration for the march, came from Mr. Sousa's own homesickness.He had been away from his homeland for some time on tour, and told an interviewer:

“In a kind of dreamy way, I used to think over old days at Washington when I was leader of the Marine Band ... when we played at all public functions, and I could see the Stars and Stripes flying from the flagstaff in the grounds of the White House just as plainly as if I were back there again.”

“Then I began to think of all the countries I had visited, of the foreign people I had met, of the vast differences between America and American people and other countries and other peoples, and that flag our ours became glorified ... and to my imagination it seemed to be the biggest, grandest, flag in the world, and I could not get back under it quick enough.”

“It was in this impatient, fretful state of mind that the inspiration to compose 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' came to me.”3

The march evolved over its first few years of performance.Mr. Sousa would premiere a new march and place it as an encore on the program.It must be remembered that The Sousa Band was a concert band and performed in concert halls, opera houses, theaters, and other large rooms.Mr. Sousa would verbally make changes on the march to his players during this time.After the march was “broken in” the changes would become standard for future performances.It would also seem logical that changes the musicians themselves did, either through intention or simply performance, would also be added to the march.

There are many reasons why the “authentic” Sousa style does not appear on most editions of the march today. Prime among them are the simple fact that most publishers will not go into that much detail for the interpretation of a “march.”Another probable cause is that Mr. Sousa was an entertainer and did not want the competition to “lift” his composition's unique performance quality.

ENCORE - God Bless America (Irving Berlin)In 1918, Irving Berlin produced Yip, Yip Yaphank, an all-soldier show at Camp Yaphank. God Bless America was one of the songs in that show, but Berlin decided to delete it from the production. In 1938, Kate Smith asked Berlin to write a song for her to use in her Armistice Day radio show. Unable to write anything that satisfied him, he remembered the song from Yip, Yip Yaphank and gave her, free of charge, exclusive performing rights. She first performed it on her radio show on November 10, 1938, the last peacetime Armistice Day this country celebrated before World War II.

In 1939, both major political parties used God Bless America in their Presidential nominating conventions. Kate Smith recorded the song for Columbia and it became immensely popular. It was heard or sung at rallies, balls, and athletic events nation wide. Berlin was a passionate patriot and did not want to profit from this patriotic song. In 1939 he copyrighted it in the names of Gene Tunney, Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., and A. L. Berman and stipulated that all proceeds go to the Boy and Girl Scouts.

This stately and reverent song represents the thoughts of the multitudes of immigrants such as Berlin, himself, who were grateful to this country for giving them the opportunity to transcend the limitations of their old world origins.

Israel Baline, the son of a Jewish cantor, immigrated to the United States from Russia with his family in 1893. Here, he spent his early years in great poverty. In 1904, he worked as a singing waiter in Chinatown and Bowery cabarets of New York City. After a printer erroneously printed his name "Irving Berlin" on a piece of music, he chose that name for his own. In 1911, he achieved success pioneering ragtime with Alexander's Ragtime Band (originally titled Alexander and his Clarinet) and Everybody's Doin' It.

In his incredibly successful career, he produced over 1500 songs including those from such memorable Broadway hits as The Cocoanuts, Ziegfield Follies, This is the Army,Annie Get Your Gun, and Call Me Madame. His White Christmas has been the best-selling piece in all of music history except perhaps for John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever. All this is particularly remarkable considering that he could not read music and could play the piano only in the key of F-sharp. That fact kept his fingers mostly on the black keys, but his special piano could automatically transpose a feature he controlled with a lever under the keyboard.

"It's an interesting case.During WW 1, Berlin was stationed at an Army base on Long Island, and wrote a "Soldier Show" to raise money so they could build a canteen.This was in 1918."God Bless America" was to end the show, but he didn't think it was strong enough and filed it away.Twenty years later, Kate Smith came to him and asks him for a new patriotic song.He couldn't come up with anything that satisfied him, so finally he took that old song out of his files, played it for her, and said, "It's not much, but if you like it it's yours."Kate responded, "Irving, not much? You've written a new Star Spangled Banner!"And the rest is history.

1 Research done by Elizabeth Hartman, head of the music department, Free Library of Philadelphia.Taken from John Philip Sousa, Descriptive Catalog of His Works (Paul E. Bierley, University of Illinois Press, 1973, page 71)

2 Taken from program notes for the week beginning August 19th, 1923.Bierley, John Philip Sousa, page 71.

3 Ibid., page 72