Volunteers, The (1918)

From Wind Repertory Project
John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa

General Info

Year: 1918
Duration: c. 2:30
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Solo Cornet Score
D-flat Piccolo
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Tenor I-II
Percussion, including:

  • Anvil
  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals (to imitate electric rivet machine)
  • Mallet on wooden blocks
  • Siren
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Sousa dedicated this march to Edward N. Hurley, chairman of the U.S. Shipping Board, and to the ship builders who were constructing America’s emergency fleet. When Robert D. Heinl asked him to write this march, he asked that Sousa include sounds characteristic of a shipyard. Sections of the march were named The Call to March, Getting Busy, and Laying the Keel Blocks.

The Volunteers was given its initial public performance at the New York Hippodrome on Sunday evening, March 3, 1918. The occasion was a benefit performance for the army and the navy, and Sousa combined the bands of the Atlantic Fleet for the occasion.

The program opened with The Volunteers and with army maneuvers, concluded with navy drills and a concert by the combined bands of the various battleships in the harbor, under Sousa’s direction.

Further interest was added to the affair by reason of the presence of Edward N. Hurley, chairman of the Shipping Board, who made a flying trip from Washington to be present at the concert. Following the ovation received after the playing of The Volunteers march, Mr. Sousa turned in the direction of the box in which Mr. and Mrs. Hurley were seated. Mr. Hurley arose and made a brief address as to the general progress of the government’s ship building program. As an introduction, Mr. Hurley referred to the new march, which had just been played:

“This wonderful march that Mr. Sousa had dedicated to the shipbuilders of America sounds like a victory march. I hope that every employee in every shipyard in the United States will be inspired by its martial strains.”

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

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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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. 77-78.
  • Sousa, J. (1918). The Volunteers. March [score]. Carl Fischer: New York.