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Golden Jubilee March

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John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (arr. Frederick Fennell)

General Info

Year: 1928 / 1971 / 2005
Duration: c. 3:10
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $70.00   |   Score Only - $9.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Field Drum
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

By the time Sousa had reached the 50th year of his career as a conductor he had conducted in all of the great and humble places of the world; for both the great and humble people that he met he often left the token of his highest esteem, a march with their name on it. Golden Jubilee, written in 1928 was, however, his own salute to himself, observing fifty years of conducting that began in the theatre pits of Philadelphia and took him around the world and into the hearts of all who ever saw him lead his famous band. Composers do not usually write pieces for themselves; but then, John Philip Sousa was not the usual composer.

- Program Note by Frederick Fennell

To commemorate his fiftieth year as a conductor, Sousa wrote this, one of his most brilliant marches. He was hesitant to compose anything for his own gratification, but reasoned that his public might expect something special. The march was given its premiere by the Sousa Band at the beginning of its engagement at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City on July 29, 1928, and then featured on the 1928 "golden jubilee" tour.

Subtracting fifty years from 1928 gives 1878 as Sousa's first year as a conductor. In actuality, he began his conducting career in 1875 as leader of the orchestra in a traveling company which featured Milton Nobles in the play Bohemians and Detectives, otherwise known as The Phoenix. But apparently Sousa did not consider this conducting per se, because he led the orchestra while playing first violin. As a conductor whose capacity was strictly conducting, his first position was with the Philadelphia Church Choir Company in their production of H.M.S. Pinafore. Their first rehearsals were held in late 1878, Sousa's apparent point of reference.

The inspiration came with considerable difficulty, even for Sousa. He searched for suitable melodies for five months, but nothing was forthcoming. Then suddenly the inspiration came, and within a day's time he had the march sketched in its entirety. His thought were recorded in the 1928 tour programs:

"I've always been inspired by the occasion and as I thought of the golden jubilee and of all it meant to me -- fifty years of band [sic] leading - I seemed to see the world passing in review. There they were, peoples of every land -- on parade, at great music festivals, at expositions, attending the opera, in the home -- listening to a march. So the music took form and then The Golden Jubilee March was ready for placing on paper."

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


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Bierley, Paul E. (1973). John Philip Sousa: A Descriptive Catalog of His Works. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, pp. 48.
  • Sousa, J.; Fennell, F. (1971). Golden Jubilee March [score]. S. Fox Pub. Co.: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.