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10100231 - The Corcoran Cadets March
by SOUSA, John Philip (1854-1932) (Composer), FENNELL, Frederick (1914-2004) (Editor)
Picture of The Corcoran Cadets March
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About The Corcoran Cadets March
John Philip Sousa composed 136 marches in the years between 1880 and his death in 1932. The percentage of those which achieved a lasting success is a very high one-third of that total output. Sousa’s marches are probably the most enduring, most played music by an American composer; they are timeless, fadless, remarkable little essays in a deceivingly simple musical form. 

They offer the interested conductor and scholar a clear line of continual development. Their first decade began with Our Flirtation (1880), during which time he produced 28 titles including such varied and original pieces as Sound Off, The Rifle Regiment, The Picadore, The Thunderer, The Washington Post, and Semper Fidelis. 

The second decade began with The Corcoran Cadets March (1890), Sousa’s eighth-note march designed more for sit-down playing than for the field, street, or dance floor. It is as though he set out deliberately to compose a piece in duple time that would be produced with minimum resources yet be rhythmically neat, texturally clean, harmonically and melodically satisfying and (for him) stylistically unique. He succeeded, writing his most tightly-knit, rhythmically integrated and sparsely conceived piece, from the first note to the last. 

It is very unusual Sousa, written for the cadet drill team of Washington, D.C., sponsored by the philanthropist W. W. Corcoran. The Corcoran Cadets was my choice for the first march played by The Eastman Wind Ensemble; it closed our first NBC network broadcast from The University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, 27 January 1953. 

Frederick Fennell

Tokyo/April 1983

Quick Facts
Fennell Editions, Concert Band (Gr. 3), Band
Original Works, Marches, American
Fennell Editions
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Instrumentation – Band
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