Hail to the Chief
This string quartet arrangement of �Hail to the Chief� was arranged for the Navy Birthday Ball to take place at the Naval Air Facility, El Centro this October, for the first toast of the evening, the toast to the Commander in Chief, the President of the United States.
(Notes from the Library of Congress on the history of �Hail to the Chief� follow)
Hail to the Chief who in triumph advances! Honored and blessed be the ever-green Pine! – "The Lady of the Lake" by Sir Walter Scott
"Hail to the Chief" sounds forth as the President of the United States arrives at any formal occasion. Who would guess that its origins lay in Sir Walter Scott’s poem, "The Lady of the Lake," which narrates how a Scottish Highlands clan loses its heritage and land to an imperialist invader?
Published on May 8, 1810, Scott’s work secured the author international fame and broke all records by selling 25,000 copies in eight months. The narrative’s adventurous plot and carefully drawn characters were ripe for stage production. In the following year at least three productions were mounted in London theaters and one in Edinburgh, Scotland. The latter, produced by Edmund John Eyre, also opened in Philadelphia’s New Theater on January 1, 1812, with music "partly composed, and partly selected, by Mr. J. A. Jones." Among the tunes that Jones selected to include was James Sanderson’s "Hail to the Chief," written for one of the London productions.
Sanderson was the conductor of London’s Surrey Theater orchestra and wrote many songs for local theatrical productions. He set "Hail to the Chief" to the words of Stanza XIX of the Second Canto of Scott’s "Lady of the Lake," a section referred to by the poet as "The Boat Song." The poem’s "Chief" was the Scottish folk hero Roderick Dhu, who strove to protect the Douglas clan from their enemy, King James V, but died at the monarch’s hand. The story apparently had a particular resonance in America during the War of 1812 because it explored conflicting values while acknowledging both the good and the bad aspects of each contending system. The first U.S. sheet music for "Hail to the Chief" was published in Philadelphia under the title "March and Chorus, ’Hail to the Chief,’ in the Dramatic Romance of The Lady of the Lake," at about the same time the play ran.
"Hail to the Chief" was first associated with a Chief Executive on February 22, 1815, when it was played (under the title "Wreaths for the Chieftain") to honor both the belated George Washington and the end of the War of 1812. Andrew Jackson was the first living president to be personally honored by "Hail to the Chief," on January 9, 1829. The tune was among a number of pieces played for Martin Van Buren’s inauguration ceremony on March 4, 1837, and for social occasions during his administration. As one party-goer recalled:
"The Marine Band…is always ordered from the Navy Yard and stationed in the spacious front hall, from which they swell the rich saloons of the palace with "Hail to the Chief," "Wha’ll Be King but Charley," and other humdrum airs, which ravish with delight the ears of warriors, who have never smelt powder."
It was Julia Tyler, the wife of President John Tyler, who first requested that "Hail to the Chief" be played specifically to announce the President’s arrival on official occasions. The tune was included in certain nineteenth century musical instruction books and the future First Lady, Sarah Childress Polk, studied it as a young woman. It was played at her husband James Polk’s inauguration but she, perhaps more than others, ritualized its use. As the historian William Seale stated, Polk was not an impressive figure, so some announcement was necessary to avoid the embarrassment of his entering a crowded room unnoticed. At large affairs the band…rolled the drums as they played the march…and a way was cleared for the President.
President Chester Arthur was not fond of the tune and asked John Philip Sousa to compose a new herald. Sousa, then Director of the Marine Band, responded with the "Presidential Polonaise" - nonetheless "Hail to the Chief" endured. President Truman, an amateur musicologist, spent time tracing the origins of the piece and in 1954 the Department of Defense established it as the official musical tribute to the U.S. President.
Notes from the Library of Congress http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200000009/default.html
Buy this score now!
Buy this score and parts now!
You are purchasing high quality sheet music PDF files suitable for printing. You are purchasing a license to print this music - make sure that you purchase the number of copies that you require, as the number of prints allowed is restricted. Change currency...
You have already purchased this score. To download and print the PDF file of this score, click the 'Download & Print' button below.
The purchases page in your account also shows your items available to print.
This score is free!
This score is available free of charge.
Just click the 'Download & Print' button below.
Which method of viewing music should I use?
Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:
You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.
Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.
If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.
The static preview shows a basic image of the first page.
The interactive preview also shows a preview of the first page, but it's a bit slower to load. The preview is displayed using the Sibelius Cloud Publishing technology from Avid. With most scores, this technology will provide a higher quality preview, as well as being able to switch to full screen mode and also play the displayed music to you.
Printing after purchase
After you have purchased this item the Cloud Publishing technology is utilised to provide the printing mechanism for the music. As such, we recommend checking that the Interactive Preview displays correctly on your device before committing to a purchase.
Buy this score now!
Buy this score and parts now!
You have already purchased this score. To download and print the PDF file of this score, click the 'Download & Print' button above. The purchases page in your account also shows your items available to print.
This score is free!
This score is available free of charge. Just click the 'Download & Print' button above.
Licensing for this music
This score was published on Score Exchange by Joel Jacklich. When you buy it, you are granted a license that includes the following:
|Sharing the file you download|
|When you buy the score - make multiple copies|
|When you buy parts - make multiple copies|
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.