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Celebrate Sousa’s 150th!

The Stars and Strips are forever at the University of Illinois- at Urbana – Champaign’s Sousa Sesquicentennial Celebration going on all November. Some highlights include a concert featuring Sousa’s best-loved marches, an ongoing exhibition of historical artifacts, and lectures about the band icon’s contributions to the field of music.

Activities include:

  • Stars, Stripes, Sousa: Celebrating the John Philip Sousa Sesquicentennial: A small exhibition planned for the university’s Krannert Art Museum commemorating the 150th anniversary of Sousa’s birth using artifacts from the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Marine Band Library.
  • Tribute to John Philip Sousa: The University of Illinois bands program a tribute to the “March King” under the direction of James Keene. Selections include Grandioso, Stars and Stripes Forever, and the University of Illinois March.
  • Chicks and Bells: This concert of 19th-century American brass and parlor music will feature performances on over-the-shoulder horns from the Sousa Archives.
  • Starts, Stripes, Sousa: A pre-game, half-time, and post-game show focusing on Sousa and his music at the University of Illinois vs. Indiana home football game.
  • Sousa Sesquicentennial Celebration Concert: An afternoon concert documenting the life of Sousa through the bandmaster’s music. Includes an authentic portrayal of John Philip Sousa and the Sousa Band. There will be a pre-concert lecture by Patrick Warfield, assistant professor of music at Georgetown University before the concert.
  • Celebrating Sousa: Local public television WEIU-TV will broadcast a program documenting Sousa’s life and career.

For more information, visit the Sousa archives at