Manhattan Beach March (ed Contorno)

From Wind Repertory Project
John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (arr. Nick Contorno)

General Info

Year: 1893 / 1984
Duration: c. 2:10
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $40.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00


Condensed Score
Oboe (optional)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Cornet I-II
Low Brass and Woodwinds
Percussion, including:

  • Snare Drum
  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Bells


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Following in the footsteps of Patrick Gilmore, Sousa became a popular figure in Manhattan Beach, the famous New York summer resort. One of his most lavish medals was presented to him in 1894 by the proprietor, Austin Corbin, and other shareholders. The previous season, Sousa had dedicated the march to Corbin, and one of his manuscripts is inscribed to him.

Sousa once told a reporter that the march had been derived from an earlier composition, probably The Phoenix March (1875): "I wrote Manhattan Beach while playing a summer engagement at that once-popular resort, using as the basis an old march I had composed when I was with Milton Nobles."

Manhattan Beach became a staple of bands all over the world, but the Sousa Band performed it differently by playing the trio and last section as a short descriptive piece. In this interpretation, soft clarinet arpeggios suggest the rolling ocean waves as one strolls along the beach. A band is heard in the distance. It grows louder and then fades away as the stroller continues along the beach.

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

During Sousa's lifetime, Manhattan Beach was a highly fashionable New York summer resort, and in 1893 he and his band began a long series of engagements there. With 19 former members of Gilmore's Band, a dozen or so very capable players from Europe, and some of the most outstanding artists from other bands in his group, Sousa knew the musical and entertainment potential of his band. However, his first business manager, David Blakely, was skeptical, and it was at the first Manhattan Beach concert series that he invited the most prominent critics and musicians in New York to hear the band and offer their criticism. Their comments were so flattering that Blakely was convinced that Sousa was correct in his judgment. Sousa composed Manhattan Beach March during that first summer and added many operettas and other major works during subsequent summers at the resort.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Chicago (Ill.) U-High Concert Band (Francisco Dean, conductor) – 24 February 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

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