JOHN PHILIP SOUSA ... A Timeline

6 Nov. 1854Born in Washington, D.C. Father born in Spain of Portuguese parents; mother born in Germany. Attended public schools and also studied privately in a small conservatory.
1868 (age 13)Enlisted as apprentice musician in U.S. Marine Band. Continued private study.
1872 (age 18)First published composition.
1873 (age 19)First published march.
1875 (age 20)Discharged from Marine Corps. Violinist in Washington theater orchestras.
1876 (age 21)Toured as conductor/violinist with vaudeville company.
1876-1880First violin section in Offenbach's orchestra at Phila.Centennial. Violinist in Philadelphia theater orchestras. Edited music for publishers.
1879 (age 25)First operetta. Conducted touring H.M.S. Pinafore company. Married Jane Van Middlesworth Bellis.
1880 (age 25)Conducted music variety show in Philadelphia. Appointed leader of U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C. . Leader for twelve years.
1886 (age 31)First published book.
1889 (age 34)Composed "The Washington Post" march.
1892 (age 37)Resigned from Marine Band, organized Sousa's Band. Moved to New York City.
1892-1896Toured United States extensively with Sousa's Band.
1896 (age 42)Composed "The Stars and Stripes Forever". Operetta El Capitan huge success.
1900Highly successful first tour of Europe with Sousa's Band. Sousa and his Band and Gustav Mahler and Vienna Philharmonic appear at Paris Exposition. Debussy is music critic at these events. Sousa introduces American ragtime in Europe.
1901, 03, 05Three more tours of Europe with Sousa's Band.
1910-1911Around-the-world tour with Sousa's Band. Takes entire year.
1914Moved to final home in Sands Point, Long Island, New York.
1917 (age 62)Joined U.S. Navy, trained bands at Great Lakes. Toured with "Jackie" band for Liberty Loan and Red Cross drives.
1919-1931Toured North American continent annually.
6 March 1931Died Reading, Pa. Buried in Washington DC


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