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President George W. Bush welcomes Jason Kamras, the 2005 National Teacher of the Year, to the Oval Office during ceremonies Wednesday, April 20, 2005, at the White House. Mr. Kamras, a 1996 Princeton graduate, teaches seventh and eighth grade math at John Philip Sousa Middle School in Washington, D.C. "Teaching is a commitment to equity and opportunity for all children," says Mr. Kamras, who took time away from teaching in 1999-2000 to earn his Master's degree at Harvard. "It is a promise of a better future for those who have been left behind." (UPI Photo/ Eric Draper/White House.
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John Philip Sousa News

John Philip Sousa (November 6, 1854 – March 6, 1932) was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era known particularly for American military and patriotic marches. Because of his mastery of march composition and resultant prominence, he is known as "The March King". In public he was typically referenced by his full name.

Sousa was born in Washington, D.C., on November 6, 1854 to John António de Sousa and Maria Elisabeth Trinkhaus. His parents were of Portuguese, Spanish and Bavarian (German) descent; his grandparents were Portuguese refugees. Sousa started his music education, playing the violin, as a pupil of John Esputa and G. F. Benkert for harmony and musical composition at the age of six. He was found to have absolute pitch. When Sousa reached the age of 13, his father, a trombonist in the Marine Band, enlisted his son in the United States Marine Corps as an apprentice to keep the boy from joining a circus band. Sousa served his apprenticeship for seven years, until 1875, and apparently learned to play all the wind instruments while honing his mettle with the violin.

On December 30, 1879, he married Jane van Middlesworth Bellis. They had three children: John Philip Sousa, Jr (April 1, 1881 - May 18, 1937), Jane Priscilla (August 7, 1882 - October 28, 1958), and Helen (January 21, 1887 - October 14, 1975). All three are buried in the John Philip Sousa plot in the Congressional cemetery. Jane joined the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1907.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "John Philip Sousa."