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Jon Philip Sousa Jon Philip Sousa was born on November 6 1854 His parents were Jon Antonio Sousa and Maria Elisabeth Trinkhaus He was the third of ten children He grew up with music His father even played trombone in a military band At only age six Sousa began the study of violin voice piano flute cornet trombone and the alto horn Jon Sousa enjoyed his studies of music At age thirteen he tried running away to join a circus band After finding him his parents were so afraid that he would run away again that they sent him off to the military While in the military he published his first composition called Moonlight on the Potomac Waltzes In 1875 Sousa was discharged from the military and began performing with his violin Soon after that he began conducting orchestras He conducted Gilbert and Sullivans HMS Pinafore on Broadway In February of 1879 he met Jane Van Middlesworth Bellis during a rehearsal They fell in love and were married on December 301879 Throughout the 1880s and 90s Sousas music career grew rapidly Throughout 1880-1892 he conducted The Presidents Own serving under presidents Hayes Garfield Arthur and Harrison After two successful but limited tours with the Marine Band in 1891 and1892 promoter David Blakely convinced Sousa to resign and organize a civilian concert band The first Sousa Band Concert was preformed on September 26 1892 at the Stillman Music Hall in Plainfield New Jersey In 1895 Sousas first successful operetta El Capitan debuts In 1895 Sousas first big tragedy hit While on vacation with his wife in Europe Sousas promoter David Blakely died This was hard for Sousa to face but it also inspired him to write the great Stars and Stripes Forever Through 1900-1905 Sousa and his band had three awesome tours in Europe Finally in 1910 he had his first world tour In 1917 World War
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