Semper Fidelis

By: John P. Sousa
For: String quartet
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Composer
John P. Sousa
Year of composition
1888
Arranger
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

American bandmaster and composer John Philip Sousa did more than anyone to elevate the status of the military wind band through creation and performance. Sousa's boyhood coincided with the American Civil War. The sounds of military bands were constantly in the air. His first musical training was on the violin, and his father instructed him on several wind instruments. At 13 the lure of a visiting circus was a powerful incentive for the boy to join up as a musician; however, his astute father, himself a bandsman, caught wind of the lad's intention and procured an apprenticeship in the Marine Corps Band for his son. It proved to be a happy move for all involved. The young musician sharpened his skills in that musical organization called the "President's own." He composed his first march, ?Salutation?, at 16.

At 18, Sousa began to play violin in various theater orchestras. In 1880, Sousa was appointed leader of the Marine Corps Band, which he would serve for 12 years, under five presidents. He now began to hit his stride with his own marches, turning out such classics as ?Semper Fidelis?, ?The Washington Post?, ?The Thunderer?, and ?The High School Cadets?. In 1892 Sousa, resigning his position with the Marine Corps, organized his own band, known simply as ?Sousa's Band?. Through national, European, and world tours, the band's success was nothing short of a phenomenon, Sousa receiving many honors and decorations from the royal families of Great Britain and Europe.

He continued turning out his series of comic operas, including the highly successful ?El Capitan? (1895). From his pen flowed songs, symphonic poems, and more marches, this period seeing ?The Liberty Bell? (1893), ?King Cotton? (1895), ?Hands Across the Sea? (1899) and, most notably, ?The Stars and Stripes Forever? (1897).

Among his many achievements was his being a founder of ASCAP. He also helped develop the Sousaphone, a large tuba which features in parade bands. Ultimately, his compositions are his monument. But particularly it is the marches which endure. Sousa was not afraid to invest his marches with beautiful melody and unusual harmonies, placing them above being merely parade music. Sousa continued to explore within his chosen field until the end and many from his final decade such as The Gridiron Club and Sesquicentennial Exposition are remarkable for their inventiveness and vitality. The composer himself mused upon what constitutes the perfect march, stating that "it should make a man with a wooden leg step out." In virtually all of his creations in this field, Sousa passed this standard with flying colors.

This arrangement comes with a supplemental third violin part, and an optional bass part for use with string orchestra.

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Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 1. Allegro, Symphony No.29 - 3. Menuetto, King Cotton, L'Estate ("Summer") - 1. Allegro non molto, The Coventry Carol, Bethena - A Concert Waltz, Slavonic Dance, Op.72 No.2, Angels We Have Heard On High, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Scherzo, Rosamunde - Ballet Music No.2, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 3. Allegro, Symphonie Fantastique - 2. Un Bal, The Blue Danube Waltzes, Symphony No.25 - 3. Menuetto, Largo al factotum, from "The Barber of Seville", The Amazon Rag, Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix, from "Samson et Dalila", Roses From The South, Lullaby, Symphony No.29 - 1. Allegro moderato, O Holy Night, Who Let The Cows Out?, The Holly And The Ivy, Le Coucou, Rosamunde - Ballet Music No.2, Sextet: Chi mi frena, from "Lucia di Lammermoor", Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade, O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis), Si. Mi chiamano Mimi, from "La boheme", Orchestral Suite No.2 - 7. Badinerie, Symphony No.25 - 4. Allegro, Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 2. Adagio cantabile, La Damnation de Faust - Rakoczy March, The Blue Danube Waltzes, Sonata in A, KV 331 - 2. Menuetto and Trio, The Barber of Seville - Overture, Swan Lake - Dance of the Cygnets, O Little Town Of Bethlehem (1), Song to the Moon, from "Rusalka", We Three Kings, Of The Father's Love Begotten, Lohengrin - The Bridal Chorus, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 1. Allegro, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 4. Bourree I and II, Suite Bergamasque - No.3 Clair de Lune, Water Music Suite No.2 in D, Humoresque, Op.101 No.7, 16 Songs for Children, Op.54 No.6 Legend ("When Jesus Christ Was Yet A Child"), Tales From The Vienna Woods, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 2. Adagio - Allegro, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 1. Allegro, Children's Corner, No.6 The Golliwog's Cake-Walk, Maple Leaf Rag, Wine, Women and Song, Birthday Minuet, The Washington Post March, Habanera from "Carmen", God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, The Gladiator March, Marche Militaire, Op.51 No.1, Song Without Words No.27 "Funeral March" Op.62 No.3, Auld Lang Syne, Espana - 2. Tango, The Manhattan Beach March, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 2. Rondeau, Symphony No.29 - 4. Allegro con spirito, Trio No.1, Pavane, Op.50, Piano Sonata in A "Alla Turca" - 3. Rondo, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Trombone Johnsen, Marche Militaire, Op.51 No.1, Policy King, The Nutcracker - Overture, O Christmas Tree, Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.13 Der Dichter Spricht (The Poet Speaks), Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.7 Traumerei (Dreaming), Holberg Suite - 2. Sarabande, El Capitan, Duet: Sous le dome epais, from "Lakme", Chanson de Matin, Brook Green Suite - 3. Dance, Anvil Chorus, from "Il Trovatore", Orchestral Suite No.3 - 1. Overture, The Entertainer, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 - 3. Allegro, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 3. Adagio, Ave Maria, Op.52 No.6, La Marseillaise, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 6. Theme and variations, Gymnopedie No.1, The Sleeping Beauty - Waltz, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 2. Affettuoso, In The Bleak Mid-Winter, Berceuse, Op.16, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, The Ragtime Dance, Emperor Waltz, Symphony No.29 - 2. Andante, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 3. Sarabande, Symphony No.40 - 4. Allegro assai, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 4. Bourree, The Marriage of Figaro - Overture, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Artist's Life Waltz, In Dulci Jubilo, The Flight of the Bumble Bee, Once in Royal David's City, Serenade No.10 , Babes in Toyland - March of the Toys, Unto Us A Child Is Born, Silent Night, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 2. Menuetto; Trio 1; Trio 2, Deck The Halls, Symphony No.25 - 2. Andante, William Tell - Overture, I Saw Three Ships, Symphony No.40 - 1. Allegro molto, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Nocturne, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 - 2. Adagio ma non tanto, Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.7, O come, O come, Emmanuel, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 1. Overture, Away In A Manger, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 5. Polonaise and Double, Solomon - Act III, Sinfonia "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba", Symphony No.40 - 2. Andante, The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture, Water Music Suite No.3 in G, Carmen - Act 1: Prelude, Symphony No.40 - 3. Menuetto and Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.8

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