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Program Notes

George Washington Bicentennial March

march (1932)

John Philip Sousa, composer

To commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Washington, a Bicentennial Commission held a gala celebration. The climax of the celebration was an impressive ceremony at the Capital Plaza on February, 22, 1932, for which Sousa composed the George Washington Bicentennial March. In this affair, one of two final appearances before his death, Sousa conducted the combined bands of the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps in the new march. Although written at the very end of his career, this brilliant and inventive march is one of Sousa’s finest accomplishments.

Keith Brion, Yale University

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