Easter Monday on the White House Lawn (arr Gore)

From Wind Repertory Project
John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (arr. Gore)

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This work is the fourth movement of Sousa's Tales of a Traveler.

General Info

Year: 1911 / 1928 /
Duration: c. 2:20
Difficulty: III+ (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Pender's Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $40.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00


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Program Notes

This sprightly ragtime piece was composed in 1928 as a new final movement for Sousa's 1911 suite Tales of a Traveler, replacing the stately Coronation March with a lively piece more in keeping with the dynamic America of the roaring twenties.

- Program Note by Keith Brion

Easter egg-rolling was a tradition in Washington that began during the term of our fourth president, James Madison. Dolly Madison, the wife of the president, started the tradition in 1816. In 1880 the 44th Congress banned egg-rolling on the Capitol grounds, and subsequently, President Rutherford B. Hayes invited children to continue this activity on the White House lawn. Music during the egg-roll was introduced by President Richard Harrison in 1889, with the Marine Band performing under Sousa’s direction. It is likely that Sousa’s children participated in this event.

- Program Note by the Boise State University Symphonic Winds

Sousa's 1911 suite Tales of a Traveler was a commemoration work designed to celebrate The Sousa Band’s world tour of that year, with each of the movements featuring a picturesque scene from a different memorable world location. The original last movement of the suite was designated for the coronation of King George V in Britain, but when the music was not used for that event, he changed the title to reflect a scene at the White House. Seventeen years later, the March King became dissatisfied with this finale, so he composed a new movement that remains the most familiar part of the suite: the delightfully charming Easter Monday on the White House Lawn.

The scene of children rolling eggs outside the White House dates back to the Madison administration in 1816 and is continued today. Sousa, with the Marine Band, performed the work at the 1929 Egg Roll, recalling: “With the children rolling eggs, dancing, and romping, a scene of animation persists itself; the elders, from the President to the merest passerby, look on the scene with joy and pleasure.” The march itself is bubbly and vibrant, with the characteristic tunefulness of any Sousa march combined with a particularly demanding virtuosity, leaving nearly any audience member tapping their toe or humming its catchy melodies long after its conclusion.

- Program Note by Jacob Wallace for Baylor Wind Ensemble concert program, 11 February 2016


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