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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

Marches Madness: John Philip Sousa's 'Washington Post'

Circa 1910: A program advertising John Philip Sousa and his band.
Circa 1910: A program advertising John Philip Sousa and his band.

It's Marches Madness! Throughout this month, we're posting some of our favorite marches — from the concert hall, opera stage and parade ground. Got one we should hear? Played any yourself? Let us know in the comments section.

We begin the month with the March King, John Philip Sousa. It's fitting that one of this diverse country's most beloved composers was the son of immigrants: a Bavarian mother and a father of Portuguese extraction from Spain.

We'll get to Sousa's most famous march in this series and sample a few others along the way. We start with an ensemble he led for a dozen years, "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, and one of his better-known pieces, The Washington Post. While the newspaper commissioned it to celebrate an essay competition, its lilting rhythm and bright mood made it a favorite of two-stepping couples on dance floors worldwide. Band Director Col. Michael J. Colburn conducts.

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