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Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, 1103 S. Sixth Street, Champaign
Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
Before the era of commercial radio and sound recordings had transformed how Americans listened to popular music, John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) and his civilian band captivated star-struck audiences across America. People crowded the streets and train stations in eager anticipation of a possible glimpse of the renowned band and such superstar musicians as Herbert L. Clarke, Arthur Pryor and Herman Bellstedt. However, most musicians of the Sousa Band were not as famous, and even though their contributions may not be easily remembered today, their performance in the Sousa Band was instrumental to Sousa’s success as a band leader. This exhibit’s historical photographs briefly explore the lives of Clarence Russell, John Van Fossen, Winifred Bambrick, John Jacob Mountz, and other members of Sousa’s illustrious band.