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On the Campus

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John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (ed. Loras John Schissel)

General Info

Year: 1920 / 2005
Duration: c. 2:40
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Ludwig-Masters
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $65.00   |   Score Only (print) - $12.00


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
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Field Drum
  • Orchestra Chimes
  • Snare Drum
  • Wood Block


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Sousa's daughter, Helen Sousa Abert, stated that her father had written this march at the request of the publisher. It was dedicated "To collegians, past, present and future." One of the two sets of words Mrs. Abert wrote for the march appeared on the sheet music, and she was of the opinion that the rejected version was not as "corny" as the printed version.

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

The great war was over. Hundreds of thousands of “doughboys” returned home to enjoy what Warren G. Harding called a “return to normalcy.” The “roaring 20s” were just getting underway. John Philip Sousa, a recently retired lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, was putting his band back together to “hit the rail.” Never a homebody, Sousa’s wanderlust was pulling him back – the sound of the steam locomotive – the smell of burning coal – the sound of the applause. It was time to be “The March King.” But how should Sousa ring in the new decade, how would he deal with all these new American sounds – jazz, Paul Whiteman, George Gershwin? Young men by the millions were headed to school – a new era of prosperity was at hand.

In the winter of 1920, Sousa was sketching his newest march – something with “pep” as they used to call it. It had to be something special, or as his own advertising called it, “With Sousa it’s always something new.” The new march took shape. It would be a college march, dedicated broadly to “Collegians, Past, Present, and Future.” Sousa’s daughter would even provide the words:

(At the trio)
Hip, Hip, Hoorah!
We’re full of pep and happy
Ours the world,
Each day a merry jest.
Give a cheer,
Let’s make it bright and snappy.
On the campus,
That’s when life is best.

In Sousa’s broad and always new-sounding march repertoire, On the Campus is so unusual – cheeky, brash. Something quite different from the regimental or parade marches of the war years. Sousa was always able to re-invent himself, and On the Campus, his “flapper” march, stands out as one of the great marches by the master.

- Program Note by Loras John Schissel


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Wyoming (Laramie) Symphonic Band (Robert Belser, conductor) - 10 November 2022

 *Stetson University (Deland, Fla.) Symphonic Band (Doug Phillips, conductor)- 19 November 2021

  • River Valley Wind Ensemble (Kankakee, Ill.) (David Conrad, conductor) – 20 October 2019
  • United States Army Band (Arlington, Va.) (Andrew J. Esch, conductor) - 3 May 2018
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Symphonic Band (Michael Halcovage, conductor) - 19 April 2018
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) Symphonic Band (Scott A. Jones, conductor) – 12 April 2018
  • Shaker Heights (Ohio) High School Symphonic Band – December 2017

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. 63.
  • Perusal score
  • Sousa, J.; Schissel, L. (2005). On the Campus: For Concert Band [score]. Ludwig Music Pub.: Grafton, Ohio.