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"The President's Own"


"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director

The United States Marine Band Library and Archive has eight collections open for research that help document the life and career of John Philip Sousa, the Sousa Band, and the Marine Band in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Brief descriptions of the finding aids are listed below, along with their associated files. The collections are available to researchers onsite by appointment. To make an appointment (202) 433-4298.


John Philip Sousa papers, bulk 1892-1932: American composer and bandleader John Philp Sousa was director of the U.S. Marine Band from 1880 to 1892, then led the Sousa Band from 1892 until his death in 1932.

Photo: 1932

The book and score library, personal papers and correspondence, financial documents, photographs, awards, and press clippings help document and illustrate the life of this eminent musician. 



Rudolf Becker papers, 1876-1972: Saxophonist Rudolph Becker emigrated from Germany to Philadelphia in 1887 and became a member of the Sousa Band. Between seasons he was also a member of the touring American Saxophone Quartett. Through the music, articles, programs, photographs, and other papers in this collection, some parts of Becker’s musical career are represented.



John S. Burroughs papers, 1862-1988: Euphonium player John S. “Buddy” Burroughs was a member of the U.S. Marine Band from 1935 through 1966. Upon retirement he remained active by serving as a clinician and goodwill ambassador to military bands in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the Solomon Islands. This collection consists of correspondence, personal papers, papers pertaining to his activities with various professional organizations, periodicals, newsletters, photographs, film reels, programs, Marine Band promotional materials and press clippings, printed music, and recordings.



Clyde L. Hall papers, bulk 1900-1957: Clarinetist Clyde Hall studied with Daniel Bonade and Lucien Cailliet, then joined the Sousa Band in 1926. He enlisted in the Marine Band in 1928, serving on both clarinet and viola, and retired in 1957. The photographs, articles, correspondence, programs, and oral history interview in this collection help illustrate Hall’s musical and business life through the first half of the twentieth century.



Dale L. Harpham papers, 1892-1993: Lieutenant Colonel Dale L. Harpham was a member of the U.S. Marine Band from 1935 through 1974 where he performed on trombone and cello and was Director from 1972 to 1974. This collection consists of correspondence, research about the Marine Band’s history and Harpham’s family, programs from guest conducting appearances, papers related to his professional organization and activities, photographs, press clippings, posters, publications, printed music, and recordings. 



John Heney papers, 1918-1969: Percussionist, composer, and music educator John Joseph Heney performed with circus bands from 1921 to 1926, then joined the Sousa Band for five years. He settled in DeLand, Florida, where he became a high school and university band director and influential in the American school band movement. The scrapbook, ephemera, and photos he collected during his performing years help illustrate the life of a performing circus musician and a section leader in Sousa’s Band. The programs and reports of the American Bandmasters Association, as well as the correspondence with leading bandsmen of the era, the adjudication forms, and newsletters indicate his level of influence as a band director, author, and clinician.



Winfred Kemp papers, bulk 1930-1945: Cornetist and composer Winfred Kemp joined the Parris Island Marine Band in 1925, then joined the U.S. Marine Band in 1930 and served until 1945. This collection consists of photographs, programs, clippings, articles, recordings, and collected literature about the Marine Band.



Arthur W. Lehman papers, bulk 1946-2009: Euphonium player Arthur W. Lehman served with the U.S. Marine Band from 1947 to 1971. The papers, scrapbooks, recordings, and publications he donated demonstrate the pride he felt in being a part of this organization, the close relationships he developed with fellow members, and his interest in band music. In the catalogs and correspondence we find his advocacy for the use of the then-new self-compensating euphonium. A prolific writer, his papers contain many stories and reminiscences, as well as the original draft of his book “The Art of the Euphonium.”


                                                                                                                                  Photo: Sousa Band World Tour, 1911

Learn more about John Philip Sousa

Sousa Collection Photos




Sousa Band World Tour, 1911