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"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Sousa's March Mania: Are You Ready?

By Gunnery Sgt. Brian Rust | United States Marine Band | February 14, 2017


As anticipation rises for another exciting, educa­tional, intense, and fun-filled round of Sousa’s March Mania, the real question at hand is: Are you ready? March Mania officially kicks off on March 4 (pun intended) with the match of Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” (the 2016 winner) battling E.E. Bagley’s “National Emblem,” and continues with a different bout daily until April 3. However, there is no need to wait until the first match on to get into the March Mania spirit. Brackets are available now on the Marine Band website, along with the entire lineup of competing marches and links to the march audio. Download a bracket, fill it out, and then share your completed bracket with the Marine Band by emailing it to marineband.publicaffairs@usmc.mil or posting to www.facebook.com/marineband. Those with winning brackets will be crowned “March King” for a day!

Sousa’s March Mania has proven to not only be a fun event for kids and adults alike across the globe, but also a great educational tool for classrooms. During the 2016 competition, thousands of students in band and music classes nationwide participated daily by listening to the different marches, learning about them through provided program notes, and then voting for their favorite. These daily games exposed students to new music while also having fun and enjoying a spirit of competition. During last year’s competition a middle school band director from Brunswick, Ga., said, “Thank you for putting together March Mania. It is a great way to introduce these famous marches to my students. We vote at the start of class each day and highlight our winning picks. … The kids are really getting into it and ask first thing every day which march won from the day before.” A high school band director in Washington, Ind., said, “My students love listening to the marches each day and voting. [They] are beginning to understand that music goes beyond their school walls.”

This year’s March Mania includes many veteran marches from the first three competitions, such as “The Circus Bee,” “The Washington Post,” “Semper Fidelis,” and “The Liberty Bell,” as well as the previous March Mania winners: Entry March of the Boyares, Valdres, and “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” However, the veteran marches this year will see some new competition with such first-timers as March of the Resistance, Midway March, “H.M. Jollies,” Country Band March, and Superman March.

Will one of the veteran marches hold fast and rise to the top or will one of the newbies make a splash and win it all? Who wins and who loses all depends on you. So, are you ready?

Complete details for Sousa’s March Mania 2017, along with brackets and audio, and educational resources for schools, are available at bit.ly/MarchMania2017.

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