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“The President’s Own”

United States Marine Band

Lieutenant Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Salvador Petrola

Joined Sept. 21, 1861, as a French horn player
Acting Leader 1870s-1880
Retired as a First Class Musician Oct. 9, 1891

Salvador Petrola was born in Palermo, Sicily, in 1836. He served as Director of the band at times for several months between the leaderships of Francis Scala, Henry Fries, and Louis Schneider. He also served as acting Second Leader under John Philip Sousa until his retirement in 1891.

Following Sousa's departure from the band in 1892, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, MajGen Charles Heywood, wrote to the acting Secretary of the Navy recommending Petrola be selected to replace Sousa. Other members of the band also were being considered, as well as twenty applicants from outside the band. After taking some time to consider the appointment, the position was given to Francesco Fanciulli.