John Philip Sousa had been a conductor since 1878 and had been a musician
since about 1861. The Famous Sousa Band, his own organization, has been in
existence for nearly forty years and for the twenty years immediately
preceding he was the conductor of the Marine Band attached to the
Throughout his career as a conductor he had also been a composer, and it is
an open question which of his two activities brought him the greater renown.
It would be difficult to segregate the two, however, for his marches, his band
and his personality served as a single unit in creating his unique reputation.