Composer and bandmaster John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) was appointed director of the
U.S. Marine Band on October 1, 1880. After twelve years with the Marine Band,
retired to lead his own civilian concert band in 1892, which he conducted until
death in 1932.
Sousa, known as the "March King," composed over 120
marches as well as numerous operettas, suites, waltzes, instrumental solo pieces,
and vocal works. While he first received acclaim in military band circles with
1886 march "The Gladiator," he is perhaps best
known for his 1896 march "The Stars and Stripes
Forever," which was designated as the national march of the United States on
December 10, 1987.
The John Philip Sousa Collection, ca. 1880-1969 (bulk 1910-1930), contains numerous
photographs of Sousa, his bands, and other incarnations of the U.S. Marine Band,
well as bound volumes of Sousa band correspondence (1911-1931) and a band uniform
worn by Sousa.
The collection was compiled by Joe E. Ward, a University of Texas graduate who also
compiled the Ward Circus Collection and the Fred Waring Collection. It is arranged
in the order found in the detailed typescript catalog of the Joe E. Ward Collection.
The materials were divided into categories based on the format of the materials
to some extent, the subject or purpose of the materials. This inventory acts as
key: it provides only an outline of the categories and items in the collection
with their box locations. Thus this inventory must be used in conjunction with
typescript catalog, available in the Ransom Center Reading Room, in order to
identify and request specific items from the collection. Even though large items
were separated to oversize storage, references to these items appear in their
categories with a note indicating their oversize locations.