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Program Notes

El Capitan


John Philip Sousa, composer

John Philip Sousa was the composer of fifteen operettas, of which the best known is El Capitan. This march appears in the second act performed by a male chorus. Produced in 1896, the opera concerns a Peruvian viceroy of the sixteenth century who disguises himself as a notorious bandit to thicken the plot. In 1899, Sousa increased his band to more than a hundred musicians for Admiral Dewey’s victory parade and this march was used to salute the returning Spanish-American War veterans.

—Band Music Notes


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