JOHN PHILIP "THE MARCH KING" SOUSA - TYPED MANUSCRIPT SIGNED - HFSID 43787
Sale Price $680.00
JOHN PHILIP SOUSA
He signs a typed manuscript praising Willow Grove Park, where his band performed annually for many years.
Typed manuscript signed: "John Philip Sousa", 1 page, 8¼x9. New York, New York, no date. On letterhead of Sousa and his Band, in full: "The established success of Willow Grove as a home for concerts depending upon the beautiful in music is a cause for congratulation to every American who takes an interest in the art development of our country. Willow Grove has become an institution in which the innocency [sic] of the entertainment provided and the purity of the purpose of its founders cannot but appeal to all. It is difficult to imagine how a day can be more pleasantly spent than to view the flowers and scenery, observe the thousands of pleasure seekers and music lovers and listen to the best efforts of the musical combinations that give performances in the park during the season. The aesthetic atmosphere appeals alike to the refinement of the young and the old, and the auditor, in the words of our beloved Longfellow, must but feel when present at a concert on a velvety evening in summer: 'That the night shall be filled with music/And the cares that infest the day/Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,/And as silently slip away.'" Ink strikeovers in Sousa's hand. Not addressed to anyone, this letter seems to have been the draft of a promotional piece written by Sousa for the Park. JOHN PHILIP SOUSA (1854-1932) was Bandmaster of the U.S. Marine Band from 1880-1892, when he organized his own band and began touring the U.S. and overseas. In 1898, the year before he wrote this letter, Sousa was planning to take his band on a European tour, but the outbreak of the Spanish-American War forced him to cancel his plans. Sousa instead composed a patriotic pageant, The Trooping of the Colors, with which he toured the U.S. with great success. On November 30, just two months after he wrote this letter, he led the Sousa Band in a victory parade for Admiral George Dewey in New York City. Sousa composed about 140 military marches, including "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (1896). WILLOW GROVE PARK, in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, was a popular destination for Philadelphians from the 1890s until after World War I. Its operator Philadelphia Rapid Transit, offered free concerts by leading bands and orchestras, hoping to recoup the costs by ridership on its trolleys and private turnpikes. Such leading conductors as Victor Herbert and Walter Damrosch were featured there, with John Philip Sousa's band perhaps the most popular annual attraction. Sousa, often booked for several weeks, wrote many of his marches for and at Willow Grove Park. Lightly soiled. Bottom portion removed. Fold creases not near signature.
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