Solid Men to the Front! (1918)

From Wind Repertory Project
John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa

General Info

Year: 1918
Duration: c. 3:45
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Schirmer
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Cornet Score
D-flat Piccolo
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
E-flat Soprano Cornet, Solo
B-flat Cornet Solo-I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Tenor Horn I-II
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Bass Trombone
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Although this World War I march has not been as popular as several other Sousa compositions of that era, it is regarded by scholars as one of his better efforts. The title first appeared on the manuscript of the march known as Wisconsin Forward Forever but was subsequently used for this march.

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

There hardly exists a more stalwart pillar in the history of the concert band than John Philip Sousa. His musical story needs little introduction, but his involvement in World War I is less known than his famous career as leader of the U.S. Marine Band and the Sousa Band. Shortly after Congress declared war on Germany, Sousa was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve, at the request of Medal of Honor recipient and architect of naval aviation in the U.S. Navy Rear Admiral William A. Moffett. Sousa at the time was sixty-two years old, which was at the time the mandatory retirement age for Navy officers -- his commissioning at this late age is evidence of the widespread national effort to stir patriotism and mobilize volunteers to enlist in the armed services.

Sousa’s march Solid Men to the Front was part of this push, and it is a stirring appeal to enlist. Its tone is not bombastic; rather, it is lively and carries a particularly infectious second theme with active counterpoint for the lower brass parts. Sousa’s bandsmen are known to have reported this march to be one of Sousa’s favorites; Frank Simon, the band’s solo cornetist, said that “the Governor [Sousa] really got worked up over this one! I could tell by the way he conducted it that he was really wrapped up in his own hard-hitting melodies.” Independently wealthy at this later point in his life, Sousa donated all but one dollar per month of his salary to the Sailors’ and Marines’ Relief Fund. Sousa was discharged from active duty after the war’s end in November 1918, and received the World War I Victory Medal for his service during the war.

- Program Note by Andrew Grenci and Joel Baroody for the United States Coast Guard Band concert program, 22 December 2017


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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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. 70.
  • Sousa, J. (1918). Solid Men to the Front!: March [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.