Hail to the Spirit of Liberty (Sousa)

From Wind Repertory Project
John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa

General Info

Year: 1900
Duration: c. 3:15
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: John Church
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Condensed Score
D-flat Piccolo
C Piccolo
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
E-flat Cornet or Alto Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (or Tenor Saxophone)
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

It was with great pride that Sousa and his band represented the United States at the Paris Exposition of 1900. This was the first overseas tour of the band, and it was received throughout Europe with enthusiasm. The band displayed the finest American musicianship Europe had seen and helped dispel the notion that the United States was an artistic void.

A statue of George Washington was unveiled on July 2, but the highlight of the Paris engagement was the unveiling of the Lafayette Monument on July 4. It was presented on behalf of the children of the United States by Ferdinand W. Peck, commissioner general of the Paris Exposition, as President Loubet of France looked on. The monument portrayed Lafayette on horseback offering his sword to the American cause in the Revolutionary War and was draped with a huge American flag. At the unveiling the Sousa Band gave the first performance of the march composed specifically for that moment: Hail to the Spirit of Liberty. Immediately after the ceremony, the band made one of its rare appearances in a parade as it marched through the main streets of Paris.

Certain sections of the march evidently were taken from an unidentified earlier operetta and revised, because in 1965 fragments which were probably meant to be discarded were found in a stack of manuscripts at the Sands Point estate. The march was so successful that it is difficult to reconcile a story often told by Sousa’s daughter Priscilla; she said that her father had entered the march in a contest shortly before it was published, and that the contest had been won by an “unknown” composer whose march was promptly forgotten.

-Program Note from John Philip Sousa: A Descriptive Catalog of His Works

Materials for the march were from an abandoned choral finale to his then-running opera Chris and the Wonderful Lamp. For his efforts, the French government awarded Sousa the Palmes d’Officier d’Academie, which he wore on his uniform until his death.

- Program Note from Central Winds: A Music Educators Wind Ensemble concert program, 14 December 2016


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Wind Symphony (Bobby Francis, conductor) - 25 November 2019
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Bryan P. Sherlock, conductor) - 16 August 2018
  • United States Marine Band (Jason K. Fettig, conductor) – 20 January 2017 (Presidential Inauguration)
  • United States Marine Band (Jason K. Fettig, conductor) – 11 January 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Bierley, P. (1973). John Philip Sousa: A Descriptive Catalog of His Works. University of Illinois Press; Urbana, pp. 49-50.
  • Sousa, J. (1900). Hail to the Spirit of Liberty [score]. John Church: [s.l.]