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Program Notes

The Fairest of the Fair

march (1908)

John Philip Sousa, composer

Frederick Fennell, arranger

One of Sousa’s favorite sayings was, “A horse, a dog, a gun, a girl, and music on the side, that is my idea of heaven.” When all of his march titles are examined, Sousa’s appreciation of the fairer sex is obvious. In this instance, the subject was a pretty girl who worked at the annual Boston Food Fair. Even though the “March King” never met the young lady, her memory inspired the title when he was preparing a new march for the food fair in 1908. The Fairest of the Fair is generally regarded as one of his most melodic and best-written marches.

—March Music Notes, Norman Smith


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