Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

“The Marches: John Philip Sousa” by Classical Jockey

High Notes

By Ron Powers

“The Marches: John Philip Sousa” by Classical Jockey

The other day I was rooting around for some good music to play this Independence Day. I’ve been in a traditional mood lately and was intent on finding some well-played pieces by the iconic American composer John Philip Sousa. Sousa is best known for his American military marches hence his nickname “The March King”. Well, I found everything I was looking for when I stumbled upon an incredible classical music DJ called Classical Jockey. This exceptional artist has put together a five-volume set of Sousa’s best compositions.

The time-honored instrumentation and musical arrangements for this collection transport the listener straight into the spirit of this great country. Although not perfect, America was born from deeply courageous and profoundly visionary hearts and minds. The music of Sousa celebrates and captures that uniquely American energy. In times of such upheaval, confusion, and division we would do well to hold to the deep currents of humanity that run through this country. Our good and true angels have been with us since the beginning. Fighting alongside us for a deeper and deeper freedom. The music of Sousa rouses those fighting angels in us and reminds us that the fight is far from over.

Classical Jockey has titled the collection “The Marches: John Philip Sousa” and has released the music in 5 separate volumes each containing 11 spectacularly arranged and performed works. The volumes contain some of the most iconic music in American history. Pieces like “The Stars and Stripes Forever”, “Semper Fidelis”, and “The Liberty Bell” ring through with a new bristling freshness that make you stand up straight and feel proud of your country. Other familiar tunes like “The Thunderer”, and “The Washington Post” boom and crash with more aliveness than ever.

With charging snare rolls, exploding crash cymbals, and orchestral arrangements that don’t know the meaning of retreat, this five-volume set will keep your July 4th celebration feeling fun, patriotic, and classy from start to finish. For me, if there is one word that describes Sousa’s music best, it’s “victory”. All the melodic trumpet blasts, the deep booming bass drums, the soaring wind and string instruments are arranged to deliver one clear and triumphant message: Namely, “We have won the battle.” America’s 4th of July celebration marks one of the greatest battles won in this country’s history and I can’t think of a better collection of songs to help celebrate that victory than the rousing music of this five-volume set.

Independence Day represents one of America’s important triumphs. We’ve been celebrating that triumph together since 1776. Along the way, the celebration has introduced beloved traditions such as fireworks displays, parades, barbecues, and family gatherings. Playing and listening to the music of John Philip Sousa has also become a staple of the holiday. Classical Jockey brings all that tradition together on “The Marches: John Philip Sousa” five-volume collection.

Classical Jockey does not stop at Sousa when it comes to putting together fantastic collections of music. This talented DJ has released albums featuring artist such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Gioachino Rossini, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. If you’d like to enjoy his music, you can find him on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and most other places digital music is streamed or sold.

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