Flat Sousa Joins the Illinois Summer Band in a Performance of His “University of Illinois March”

Flat Sousa joins Caroline Houser and her father, Barry Houser, as they prepare the University of Illinois Summer Band’s Performance

Barry Houser led the University of Illinois Summer Band in a rousing performance of Sousa’s University of Illinois March during its first Twilight Concert on the campus quad Thursday evening.   Sousa completed the march on June 6, 1929 and premiered the work on June 17 during a radio broadcast of the Sousa Band.  On March 20, 1930 he came to the University of Illinois and was named honorary conductor of the Illinois Band.  During this visit he lead the band’s first public performance of the march, and since then the work has been played regularly by the band.  Sousa considered the University of Illinois Band the finest college band in the world and had great admiration for its director, A. Austin Harding.  When Sousa died in 1932 he willed the Sousa Band music library to the University, and the music has remained a valued scholarly resource for music historians and performers around the world for over eighty-two years.

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