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Salute to Kansas

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John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (ed. Robert E. Foster and Gay Corrie)

General Info

Year: c. 1930 / 1990
Duration: c. 3:10
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Wingert-Jones
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $55.00;   |   Score Only (print) - $8.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
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-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

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


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

An original march by the "March King," performed by the Sousa Band on tour and recorded by the United States Marine Band in 1976, but which was never published. It was reconstructed from the original manuscripts from the Sousa estate by Gay Corrie and published by University of Kansas director of bands Robert Foster in 1990.

- Program Note from publisher

The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music writes that Salute to Kansas is an alternative title to The Wildcats:

The Wildcats is a very rare Sousa march, which was never published. Arranged by British Sousaphile Gay Corrie from Sousa’s fragmented scores, Sousa originally intended it for the Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science. Sousa probably never heard this march played. It was performed for the first time publicly by the United States Marine Band on August 23rd, 1976, on the occasion of Sousa’s enshrinement into the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.

- Program Note abstracted from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

After Sousa's death his two daughters presented a number of his manuscripts to the Library of Congress. The first page of one of the manuscripts is entitled The Wildcats, and a note in Priscilla Sousa's hand refers to it as her father's Kansas Wildcats march. However, a study of the manuscript showed that the first page belonged not to Kansas Wildcats but to an entirely different march called The Wildcats, and that the remaining pages belonged to yet another march – one still without a title. Neither piece was ever published. A second manuscript of The Wildcats is entitled The Wildcats of Kansas, leaving no question that this was the composition originally intended for the Kansas State College of Architecture. However, the college received a totally different march – one originally entitled The Sword of San Jacinto.

Parts of The Wildcats were written as early as 1926, as evidenced by one of the manuscripts which consists mostly of this march but also has sections of The Gridiron Club (1926), as well as one other section which was never used.

The colossal mixup involving this untitled march and various marches called The Wildcats, Kansas Wildcats, The Sword of Sam Jacinto, Universal Peace, and The Gridiron Club is evidence of the fact that the titles of Sousa's marches were sometimes changed before the marches were published.

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

On July 4, 1976, a broadcast over National Public Radio started a 14-year adventure which has culminated in the publication -- for the first time -- of this exciting march by the March King, John Philip Sousa. The broadcast was a recorded performance of a march that sounded like a Sousa march, but which I did not recognize and could not identify. At the conclusion of the music the announcer said, "That was Salute to Kansas by John Philip Sousa, in a performance by the United States Marine Band."

I immediately began trying to learn more about the march by calling Frank Byrne, the Marine Band librarian, who referred me to Paul Bierley, the imminent band historian, and to John Philip Sousa III. They in turn referred me to the late Bob Hoe, who was a great champion of band music and especially marches.

It seems that a nearly complete piano score of this march in Sousa's manuscript had been found among some other manuscripts and items which had been the property of Mr. Sousa. A photocopy of this sketch was used by Gay Corrie, an enthusiastic fan and supporter of Mr. Sousa and his marches who lives in England, to reconstruct the march. Mr. Corrie lovingly made a performing version which was later recorded by the U.S. Marine Band. It was this recording that was broadcast on that July 4, 1976.

It seemed particularly appropriate for us to perform this manuscript with the University of Kansas Symphonic Band, and permission was obtained from John Philip Sousa III for us to perform it on two different occasions. The first was a performance at an MENC conference in Colorado Springs, and the second was at a "Sousa Concert' presented by the KU Band in Kansas City with Jimmy Saied as Mr. Sousa, and John Philip Sousa III as narrator of the concert.

The March

Sousa's last three national tours went through the state of Kansas, where the band was received with great excitement and enthusiasm. On October 10, 1928, in Manhattan, Kansas, Sousa was presented with a petition requesting that he compose a march for the Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science. A march was subsequently dedicated to the college, but according to Paul Bierley, it was not the one which was started in response to the petition.

The march, Kanasa Wildcats, was published in 1931. The original title of the march, The Sword of San Jacinto, was crossed out, and above it was written "Kansas Wildcats." The march was published with its new title.

There can be no doubt but that Mr. Sousa began a march in response to the petition. The manuscript score from which A Salute to Kansas was prepared is in Sousa's manuscript, and it bears the title The Wildcats of Kansas March and his signature. It is, however, a completely different march than the published Kansas Wildcats.

According to Frank Byrne, librarian of the United States Marine Band, the title "Salute To Kansas" was suggested by Gay Corrie to distinguish it from the earlier published march with a similar title.

This "new" Sousa march has been greeted with enthusiasm everywhere it has been performed. It is very pleasant, extremely musical and eminently playable. While it is fresh and new in some respects, it is "pure Sousa!" in other respects. It presents to today's bands and audiences a piece of history which has never before been available and provides them the opportunity to enjoy the musical legacy of an American legend, our own March King, John Philip Sousa.

To summarize, A Salute to Kansas was conceived and composed by John Philip Sousa. It was completed, or reconstructed, by Gay Conic. It was edited by Robert E. Foster, with special percussion editing by Andrew Yates and special editorial assistance by Donald E. Matthews.

- Program Note by Robert E. Foster, former director of bands at the University of Kansas


State Ratings

  • Kansas: III


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Chadwick Kamei, conductor) - 2 March 2023 (88th Annual ABA National Convention)
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Paul W. Popiel, conductor) – 4 February 2023
  • The Crossroads Wind Symphony (Lawrence, Kan.) (Paul W. Popiel, conductor) – 14 November 2019
  • Washburn University (Topeka, Kan.) Band (J. Thomas Seddon IV, conductor) – 15 April 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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