past the biographical info, “The March King” narrative delves into the effect of the composer’s creations. It reveals how his marches became anthems of various moments in records, resonating with emotions that spanned from triumph to reflection. The story underscores the iconic strength of music to rouse sentiments and unite humans throughout time and area. Read More Class 12th English Summaries.
The March King Summary
The March King Introduction:
Katherine Little Bakeless was born on December 5, 1895, in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania (USA). She wrote books with her husband. Her individual books focus on music. There were over eighty British regiments serving in America between 1775 and 1783. Most of these regiments had their own bands. These bands had several musical instruments. These military bands had not only their own regimental duties but also played a large role in civilian musical life.
Sousa had been playing violin professionally. He had been conducting orchestras. In 1880, the U.S. Marine Band was in search of new leadership. Sousa was the perfect candidate. He was mere 26 when he accepted the leadership of the Marine Band. He held this position for twelve years. The present lesson presents a glimpse of the life of his son and brings out the fact that one can succeed in life only if one pursues a vocation or profession according to one’s interest and taste.
The March King Summary in English:
John Philip Sousa stood on the corner with his mother. He was watching a military parade pass by. The United States Marine Band was quickly coming closer to where they stood. Philip jumped up and down and cried excitedly telling his Mama to look that there was his Papa. Mr. Sousa (Philip’s father) was marching along in the brass section. He winked at his son. Philip also gave a broad laugh.
Philip loved bands. America’s capital Washington D.C. was a fine place during the early 1860’s. Washington was full of bands and Philip loved them. He watched the Marine Band in all its glory. He vowed to become a musician. Soon seven-year-old Philip started to attend a school of music in his neighbourhood. He liked all his studies but particularly enjoyed learning to play the violin. Soon he excelled playing on the violin. But he loved to play baseball too. He got into trouble when he was eleven years old because of baseball.
Every year an evening concert was given by the music school. This year Philip had been chosen to play a violin solo. For several months he had been earning money by directing a small band. The thought of playing in the concert did not make him feel nervous.
On the day of the concert, he played a game of baseball. He was dead tired when he came home in the evening. His forehead was covered with dust and his clothes were dusty. He was feeling very hungry. He felt puzzled by the silence of the house. He ran into the kitchen. He found some sandwiches and a note left by his mother who had gone at the call of some sick friend. She was to return late in the evening.
Philip had to go to get to the concert on time. He did not have a clean white shirt. He ate a sandwich. He realised that he should tell his music teacher, Professor Esputa. He ran to the school and told Professor Esputa his story about the shirt. He told Philip to get a clean shirt from his wife.
Mrs. Esputa gave a shirt to Philip. When Philip put it on, he was almost lost in it as it was very large for his size. Mrs. Esputa pinned enough pins in the shirt to make it fit for Philip. Philip hurried back to the school. The concert began. It was time for Philip also. He stood up, placed the violin under his chin, and raised his bow. He was shocked to note that a pin was pulling loose in the back of his shirt. He did not care for the falling of one pin.
He started to play. At first his right arm moved. Soon the pins that were holding his collar pulled out. Then the sleeves grew loose and longer. Suddenly the shirt fell away from his neck. The audience began to laugh. Philip forgot what he was playing and stopped completely. The disaster upset him. He rushed off the stage and sulked in a dark corner. He wished that he were dead.
Refreshments were served after the concert. Philip was too sad to have any. He tried to avoid seeing Mr. Esputa. He scolded him for making a mess of the performance. Esputa stopped him from having any ice cream. He told him that he should not have spent the day in playing baseball. He should have been preparing for the evening concert. He should be ashamed. The incident could not be easily forgotten. He never again tried to mix work and play. One day when Philip was twelve, Mr. Esputa got into a heated argument over a trifle. As a result, Philip went back home convinced that he no longer wanted to take music lessons.
He discussed the matter with his father. His father, Mr. Sousa, asked him if he did not want to take music lessons. He wanted to know what he wanted to do. Philip said that he wanted to be a baker. Sousa told Philip that he would try to get him a suitable position in a bakery.Soon Mr. Sousa told Philip that he had talked to Charlie, the baker. His shop 15 was at a short distance from their home. He would be glad to teach him how to bake bread and pies.
He should go to him tonight at half-past eight. He further told Philip that bakers were not always well educated. So it would be good for him to educate himself beyond the level of bakers. Thus he would be more successful in his business. As such, he must keep on with his education even though he stopped taking his music lessons. After finishing school, he could become a full time baker. Philip agreed to continue his education.
At eight-thirty that evening, Philip went to the bakery. There he watched the bakers at work mixing bread and making pies. The bakers impressed Philip with their speed and skill. He was amazed at the amount of bread being made. Later he grew tired and slept while bread was baking. Very early next morning Philip helped load the big bakery wagon. Then he went out with the driver to deliver the bread. By eight o’clock he had finished delivering and went home to breakfast.
Philip kept his agreement with his father and went to school that morning. After school he did not feel like playing baseball. He was tired. He went home. Then it was time to go to the bakery. There he spent another evening very much like the first. He helped in the morning delivery. He went to school again. But he was too tired to learn much.
In the evening, he went unwillingly to the bakery for work. About midnight the baker’s baby, started crying. The baker’s wife told Philip to go upstairs and rock the cradle. He did as she ordered. The cradle swam before Philip’s sleepy eyes and he began to rock it. He went to sleep ignoring the baby’s loud yells. The baby’s mother ran upstairs to see what was wrong. She aroused Philip and scolded him.
Philip went home after delivering bread on the third morning. He was dead tired. He fell sound asleep. Mr. Sousa told his wife to let Philip sleep all day after having his breakfast. That evening, Mr. Sousa asked Philip if he would like to be a baker. The boy said that he would rather die than be a baker. He then told Philip that he should continue his music lessons after making up with Mr. Esputa. Philip agreed to do so. After that Mr. Esputa and Philip became the best of friends. Philip studied hard. He had gained a reputation as a fine violin player before he could attain the age of thirteen.
One day Philip was practising on the violin. A man was the leader of band in the circus. He had heard Philip playing on the violin for five minutes. He told Philip that he played very well. He asked Philip if he had ever thought of joining a circus. If he wanted to join the circus, he would be very happy to employ him. Philip told him that he would like to join the circus but his father might not allow him to go. The man told him not to tell his father about the circus.
The man from the circus told Philip that he should bring his friend along with him. Then he should go along with them when they left. After he had stayed with them for two days, he could write to his father. He was excited. He decided to go with the travelling circus. He also went to his best friend, Ed. Philip told him about his going with the travelling circus. He told him frankly that he was going to join a circus and earn a lot of money. He would become the leader of a circus band. Then he cautioned Ed not to tell anyone. Ed was impressed by this news. Ed let the secret out.
Later that evening after Ed was asleep, his mother paid a visit to Mrs. Sousa. The next morning Philip lay in his bed dreaming a delightful dream about being the director of a big circus band. Suddenly Philip heard his father. He told Philip to put on his Sunday clothes. He felt a bit surprised that it was not a Sunday that day. But he obeyed his father’s request. Then Mr. Sousa told Philip that they would go for a walk.
They walked a short distance. Then Philip realized that they were going towards United States Marine Barracks. Within an hour Philip was enlisted as an apprentice (learner) in the Marine Band. Mr. Sousa had confidence in his son’s strong sense of duty. He knew the boy would not desert the Marines to run away with a circus.
Years passed. Finally John Philip Sousa became the leader of the Marine Band. This band is the official band of the President of the United States of America. Sousa served as bandmaster for five different Presidents. During these years the big band went abroad several times and became famous all over the world.
Sousa also became famous as a composer. He wrote more than a hundred marches. He was known as the March King. He wrote one of his finest marches for a special occasion. Sousa was asked to compose a march in honour of the happy occasion. He set about composing this march.
The great day finally came. People poured into the area around the big band. Thousands came to hear the music. Children of Washington were there. The Washington Post March was played. Everybody applauded it. The boys in the trees listened. As they applauded, perhaps some of them vowed to become musicians, just as John Philip Sousa had done many years before.
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