Happy Birthday, Mr. Sax and Mr. Sousa!

John Philip Sousa Adolphe Sax

220px-Adolphe_SaxToday we wish very happy birthdays to Adolphe Sax and John Philip Sousa, two musical pioneers who changed the course of music history and instrumental music as we know it.

Adolphe Sax (1814-1894), renowned instrument inventor, is known for inventing the saxophone, which continues to be one of the most popular and versatile musical instruments of our time. He also developed the saxhorn, a brass instrument that later led to the creation of the flugelhorn and modern euphonium.

Elmer_Chickering_-_John_Philip_SousaThe “March King” John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) served in both the United States Marines and Navy, eventually heading both the Marine and Navy bands during his renowned military career. He wrote 136 marches, of which The Thunderer, The Liberty Bell, and The Stars and Stripes Forever are some of his most well-known. After leaving the Marines, he went on to conduct The Sousa Band, his own band that he organized and toured with from 1892-1931. Mr. Sousa also developed the sousaphone, a low brass instrument similar to the tuba, with a large bell that points outward over the rest of the band.

C-_Users_GreggWe look forward to presenting our own Sousa Band Festival, celebrating the life, music, and legacy of John Philip Sousa on May 31, 2015. Participating bands will perform his music at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and also take part in a clinic with Professor Anthony J. Maiello, Associate Director and Professor of Music at George Mason University School of Music. Looking forward to a fantastic festival!

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