“The President’s Own” will commence its 2017 Showcase Series at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 8 with the 14th annual Sousa Season Opener at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall in Fairfax, Va. Conducted by Marine Band Director Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig, the first half of the concert will feature a Sousa-style program similar to those audiences heard live in the early 20th century with music by Herbert L. Clark, Giuseppe Verdi, and even Charlie Chaplin.
Narrated by special guest Dr. Patrick Warfield, the second half of the program will illustrate Sousa’s deep patriotism during World War I. Dr. Warfield, associate professor of musicology at the University of Maryland, College Park, is a specialist in American musical culture. His current research focuses on music in Washington, D.C., during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a special interest in the American wind band tradition. Through music, songs, and narration the program will navigate these traditions as the United States made the difficult transition from stateside peace to an international conflict. Selections include Antonín Dvořák’s Largo from Symphony No. 9, From the New World;” George M. Cohan’s “Over There!;” and Irving Berlin’s “Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning,” as well as lesser known Sousa gems such as his songs, “When the Boys Come Sailing Home” and “In Flanders Fields the Poppies Grow,” and several of his marches.
The concert is free, no tickets are required. Program is subject to change. George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall is located at 4400 University Drive in Fairfax, Va. Free parking is available in Lot K.