Washington, DC --
This week the Marine Band will set the stage for Rio 2016 by performing The Olympic Spirit by John Williams as part of the Summer Fare performances on the National Mall. Williams wrote the fanfare style theme for the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea and it can be heard every four years as broadcasters cover the games. In addition to the Williams anthem, the band will perform a variety of music including works by American composers John Philip Sousa and Leonard Bernstein.
The Summer Fare performances will take place at 8 p.m., Wednesday, July 20, on the west terrace of the U.S. Capitol and at 8 p.m., Thursday, July 21, at the Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Both concerts are free and no tickets are required.
The program will begin with the march “The Crusader” by legendary conductor and composer John Philip Sousa. According to the late Paul E. Bierley, author of The Works of John Philip Sousa, only those who receive certain degrees in Masonry may fully appreciate the meaning of this composition, which was written in 1886 shortly after Sousa was “knighted” in Columbia Commandery No. 2, Knights Templar, Washington, D.C. The Knights Templar is theoretically derived from the Crusades, and a number of their secret rituals and ceremonies relate to the period when the Crusaders were battling the Turks. Thus the Knights Templar organization itself is probably the “Crusader,” unless Sousa had some individual in mind whose identity has escaped historians.
The Marine Band recently produced a recording of this march, the full score and parts, and a video of the score synchronized with the audio, for its second volume of “The Complete Marches of John Philip Sousa” available for free exclusively on the Marine Band’s website www.marineband.marines.mil.
Following Sousa’s march, the band will perform Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide. Bernstein took great pride in the project and within two years, his quirky and effervescent overture was performed by nearly one hundred orchestras throughout the world.
The concerts will also include Aram Khachaturian’s Suite from Masquerade; George and Ira Gershwin’s “A Foggy Day in London Town,” featuring mezzo-soprano Gunnery Sgt. Sara Sheffield; Sir Dean Goffin’s “Victorious,” featuring cornet soloist Master Sgt. David Haglund; and Kevin Walczyk’s Eloi, Eloi, a prayerful and reverent piece which he wrote in memory of the victims of the 2011 tsunami in Japan.
For Summer Fare performances, limited street parking is available. For concerts at the Capitol, patrons may travel via Metro and take the red line to Union Station or the blue, orange, or silver lines to the Capitol South station, and the orange, blue, or silver lines to the Smithsonian station for concerts at the Sylvan Theater. The concerts are free but weather permitting and programming is subject to change. Inclement weather announcements will be made by 6 p.m. on the band’s Concert Information Line at (202) 433-4011.