Southeast Missouri State University’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble will recreate a John Philip Sousa concert March 26-27 that was originally performed on Sept. 14, 1929.
“Stars, Stripes and Sousa!” will be performed in Academic Auditorium on Southeast’s campus. The Friday show will be a free matinee for local school children, whereas the Saturday evening performance will be held for the general public at 8 p.m. Narrated by Dr. Tom Harte, professor emeritus of speech communication and theatre, the performance will feature Keith Brion, who portrays John Philip Sousa. The concert will also feature guest soloists Leslie Jones, contralto, and Marc Fulgham on cornet.
Brion, who will portray John Philip Sousa, America’s “March King,” has been involved in recreations of Sousa Band concerts for more than 20 years. The presentations have included most leading American symphony orchestras and university bands. A recently retired professor of music at Yale University, Brion has spent a major part of his adult musical life, researching the music and performance practices of Sousa. His programs consist of light classics, novelties, instrumental and vocal solos, and famous Sousa marches.
Sousa’s efforts led American music to its first world acclaim. The Sousa Band introduced ragtime music during their 1900 tour and astounded European audiences with this feature. Because of his musical excellence, Sousa was given receptions in his honor and the chance to speak on the radio, as well as the key to one of the cities in which he performed.
Local sponsors of the concerts March 26-27 include the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Music, the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau, Southeast Missouri School Band Association, Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, Shivelbine’s Music, Bank of Missouri, the Southeast Missourian, and several anonymous donors.
Tickets to the concert are available at the following locations: Shivelbine’s Music Store, 535 Broadway; Schnucks Supermarket, 19 S. Kingshighway; Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, 32 N. Main; and Country Mart, in its Jackson location only. Tickets are $25 if you wish to attend a post-concert reception with Brion, or $10 general admission.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, contact Robert Gifford at (573) 651-2140, or the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Music at (573) 651-2141.