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White Rose, The (Holsinger)

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John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (arr. David Holsinger)

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General Info

Year: 1917 /
Duration: c. 3:10
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The White Rose March was written in 1917 to commemorate White Rose Day during the Flower Festival in York, Pennsylvania. The white rose is the emblem of the House of York in England, for which the town was named. The commission stipulated that the march be based on themes from the opera Nittaunis, composed by local banker Charles C. Frick. Sousa’s original contributions likely included the introduction and the break strain, with the remaining themes orchestrated by Sousa.

- Program note by Karen Berry for the San Jose Wind Symphony concert program, 27 January 2013

At a concert by the Sousa Band in York, Pennsylvania, a civic committee requested this Sousa march. The march was to be used at the York Flower Festival, commemorating White Rose Day. The white rose is the emblem of the House of York, in England, from which York, Pennsylvania, took its name. The White Rose Day celebration was cancelled, owing to priorities of World War I. Nevertheless, Sousa's march was played at a public concert by combined bands and given some some measure of publicity in a recording by the Victor Talking Machine Company. It never became popular, however. By request, Sousa incorporated several themes from the opera Nittaunis, composed by York banker C.C. Frick.

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

Of particular note in this march is Sousa’s brilliant use of a staccato countermelody in the upper winds for the trio section, which provides a satisfying contrast to the lyrical main theme.

- Program Note from U.S. Marine Band concert program, 18 August 2021


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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  • Lee University (Cleveland, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (David Holsinger, conductor) – 20 February 2018

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. 79.