Episode 75: Stars and Stripes Forever

Cover of the sheet music of "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa. (Image via Wikipedia)
Cover of the sheet music of “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa. (Image via Wikipedia)

Today marks the 118th anniversary of the public debut of John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Here are some things you may not have known about the march and about Sousa:

One: Sousa’s father was a trombonist in the U.S. Marine Band. When Sousa was 13, his father enlisted him in the Marine Corps to join the band to prevent him from joining a circus band. In 1880, Sousa returned to the Marine Band as its conductor. He stayed with the band until 1892, after which he formed the Sousa Band, which toured until 1931.

Two: Before writing “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” Sousa wrote such notable marches as “The Washington Post,” “The Liberty Bell” and “Manhattan Beach.”

Three: “The Stars and Stripes Forever” was written on Christmas Day 1896 following the death of David Blakely, the manager of the Sousa Band. In 1987, the U.S. Congress designated the song as the National March of the United States of America.

Our question: The Sousaphone, an instrument requested by Sousa, is closely related to two other instruments, what are they?

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