Sousa’s Musical World

We all know of John Philip Sousa, his world-famous marches and his famous band, but Sousa was also an important part of the greatest explosion of musical styles in the history of western society: the years between the 1880s and the 1930s. Never before did the world have access to such a variety of music, and Sousa was right in the middle of it all.

For over 20 years the Salem Concert Band has been giving our community a taste of that musical variety which was carried worldwide by Sousa’s band to towns like Salem. The Salem Concert Band will present its annual program “In the Steps of Sousa” this time in Hudson Hall, Rogers Music Center, at Willamette University, on Sunday afternoon March 13th at 3 pm.

The program will feature a variety of music by Sousa and his contemporaries—popular and classical numbers which were favored by millions in his era. The band will perform the delightful Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns, featuring violinist Daniel Rouslin of Willamette University, and it will accompany soprano Leslie Buys Eck in Frühlingsstimmen (Voices of Spring) by the 19th century “Waltz King,” Johann Strauss.

Music written after Sousa’s passing but reflecting his influence will be Paul Hindemith’s “march” from Symphonic Metamorphosis and also Ira Hearshen’s Symphony on Themes by Sousa, with fanciful movements built on Sousa marches The Thunderer and The Fairest of the Fair.

The band will also draw upon jazz and pop music of the era with one of the first original pieces written for concert band post-Sousa: Jericho Rhapsody, by Morton Gould, is a brilliant tone poem built around jazz idioms of the 30s. Also, Sousa’s cheerful Humoresque on George Gershwin’s Swanee points back to the popular songs of New York’s Tin Pan Alley in the 20s

The program will be sprinkled with some of Sousa’s most popular marches, including the USA’s official march, The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Featured Soloist: Daniel Rouslin

Professor Daniel Rouslin, Violin/Viola/Chamber Music, B.M., Oberlin College Conservatory of Music; Rockefeller Fellow, University of Chicago; D.M.A., University of Iowa. Formerly first violinist of the Delos String Quartet; has recorded on the Specturm label, as well as for Crystal Records, North Pacific Music, and the Smithsonian Collection. Member of Trio Oregon and Ensemble East West. Has performed throughout Europe, as well as in South America, the Middle East, Japan, China, and the United States.

Featured Soloist: Leslie Buys Eck

Leslie Buys Eck received her Bachelors of Art degree in Music at Western Oregon University in 2001. In 2002, Leslie was accepted to study in Salzburg, Austria, through the University of Miami School of Music summer program and spent six weeks of intensive vocal training. She recently completed her Masters of Music in Contemporary Music at Western Oregon University and graduated June 2013. She is often a soloist in venues throughout the Willamette Valley as well as many churches and other special events.