“Wisconsin Forward Forever” (1917)
Sousa crossed out the title “Solid Men to the Front” on his manuscript of this march and substituted the present title. It may originally have been intended to salute Wisconsin’s contribution to the war effort, because in press reports it was also referred to as “Wisconsin to the Front” and “Wisconsin at the Front.” “Forward” apparently took precedence as a title word, because that was the Wisconsin state motto.
Words to the march were written by the poet Berton Braley, a member of the University of Wisconsin’s class of 1905, and the march was dedicated to the faculty, students, and alumni of the university. Maxson F. Juddell, a senior at the university, was responsible for the march’s promotion, and he persuaded the celebrated artist Howard Chandler Christy to do the artwork for the frontispiece of the sheet music.
Paul E. Bierley, The Works of John Philip Sousa (Westerville, Ohio: Integrity Press, 1984), 97. Used by permission.