Strike Up the Band

Strike Up the Band (HM19ES)

Location: Washington, DC 20003
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 52.75', W 76° 59.71'

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Tour of Duty

— Barracks Row Heritage Trail —

IF YOU ARE HEARING THE RINGING TONES OF BAND MUSIC, one of the ensembles of the world-famous United States Marine Band may be practicing inside the Marine Barracks.

John Philip Sousa, the neighborhood's most famous son, spent 19 years here. In 1868 Sousa's Marine Bandsman father persuaded the 13-year- old to apprentice to the Marine Band instead of running away to join a circus band. Twelve years later Sousa was named leader of the Marine Band and was on his way to becoming the "March King," composer of dozens of stirring marches that remain popular worldwide. During his director-ship (1880-1892), Sousa wrote Washington Post March and Semper Fidelis, among many others, and the band began the extraordinarily popular concert tours that continue to this day. The band's renown spread even farther after it made one of the earliest phonograph recordings (1889) and helped pioneer live broadcast radio in the early 1920s. In 1931 the NBC radio network began a record-setting 29 years of broadcasting the Marine Band in "The Dream Hour."

The Marine Band was established by an Act of Congress in 1798 and has played for every president beginning with John Adams. Thomas Jefferson dubbed it "The President's Own." During Jefferson's tenure, the band recruited musicians from Italy, some of whom eventually settled in the neighborhood. Italian immigrants contributed music schools, bakeries, and other businesses.

The Marine Band, still stationed at the Barracks, remains the official White House musical ensemble. In 2002 its 140-plus members performed 800 times throughout the nation.
HM NumberHM19ES
Marker Number7
Year Placed2004
Placed ByCultural Tourism DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 11:26pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 326934 N 4305259
Decimal Degrees38.87916667, -76.99516667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 52.75', W 76° 59.71'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 52' 45.00" N, 76° 59' 42.60" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 724 I St SE, Washington DC 20003, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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