Of historical interest to Sousa fans, the MCB has collected a number of press articles on the numerous visits of John Philip Sousa’s band to Lansing.  A reproduction of these articles follows on this page.


Music Librarian Robert Copeland said:  “Few people are old enough to remember John Philip Sousa’s many visits to Lansing.  In fact, Sousa’s band performed in Lansing 12 times between 1892 and 1928, and his concerts were celebrated occasions.  It has been fascinating to hunt through old newspaper archives to learn about Sousa’s visits - we would appreciate hearing from anyone who happens to have a concert ticket or program from a Sousa concert in Lansing.”


 

Sousa News

THE GREAT SOUSA BAND

It will be Seen and Heard at Baird's Tonight.

The Sousa band will arrive early this evening by special train from Flint, where they gave a concert this afternoon.

Sousa's marine band is undoubtedly one of the musical sensations of the hour in the east, and probably will be at Chicago next week, where it opens at the Auditorium for a week of grand concerts on Monday. The great band, numbering fifty or more artists chosen from 500 applicants from all America and all Europe, will appear at Baird's opera house this evening, together with Mlle. Lindh, a soprano of rare abilities, and Sig. Galossi, the famous baritone so long with Mlle. Patti in opera and concert.

This event is one of rarest importance, musically, to every person in the vicinity of Lansing. The tour thus far from New York has been one of constant surprises to the public and of surprising demonstrations over the appearances of the Sousa band. Sousa declares it to be the greatest body of artists he ever heard, either in America or Europe, in military band. Arthur Smith, the famous cornet soloist of the Coldstream guard band of London, says: "There is no such military band in all England." The grand concert on Thursday will be beyond question prove a musical treat of unequalled proportions to our people. The program presents many notable features, the "Semiramide" overture, "Sheridan's ride," etc.

________

The State Republican

(Lansing, MI)

October 6, 1892




The Stage

Sousa's new marine band played to a very enthusiastic audience at Baird's opera house last evening. Little wonder it was that a usually cold Lansing audience became wild, for such music would almost rouse the voices of the dead. The fifty professional artists were entirely under the control of the leader, and from the softness and delicacy of pianissimo to the strength and force of fortissimo it was music. This organization is one of which American may well be proud. The singing of M'lle Marcella Lindh and Sig. Antonia Galassi was well received and loudly encored.

________

The State Republican

(Lansing, MI)

October 7, 1892




AMUSEMENTS

Sousa's library of music has grown to such proportions that he can draw upon it at a moment’s notice for almost any orchestral or band arrangement, from Beethoven, Liszt, or Wagner down to the latest ballad or ragtime fancy, with many additions in view of his present American tour, the forthcoming European concert tour, and a long engagement at the Paris exposition, beginning April 14. He is primed to present almost anything within the range of concert production and the concerts of the present tour, brief though it is, will fairly sparkle with much that is altogether new. It goes without saying that whatever it is, it is the best. Sousa himself adds two new marches, "The Man Behind the Gun," from "Chris and the Wonderful Lamp," and "Hands Across the Sea."

________

The State Republican

(Lansing, MI)

February 20, 1900




AMUSEMENTS

In Liege, Belgium, La Gazette said of the Sousa band:

"Their musical execution is distinguished by a correctness, and ensemble, and irreproachable precision as well as by a diversity of tone which is altogether exceptional and of which they make use with skill. The wood instrument have purity and refinement; the brass have superb strength. In the performance of the many numbers on the program it was possible to appreciate how the players under the dominating impulse -- firm and certain -- of their young leader, observe the most minute gradations and the harmonic fusion of the instruments. In the "Tannhauser" overture the violin passages were negotiated with such extraordinary agility by the clarinets that it seemed as if such might have been Wagner's intent."

It is the same band that won such unstinted praise that Mr. Sousa will present here at his concert at Baird's on May 15.

________

The State Republican

(Lansing, MI)

May 13, 1901




AMUSEMENTS

"More dazzling than ever since he stormed Europe," is the way a western critic of a Sousa concert began recently, as Sousa was coming this way from the Pacific coast, and it closed with: "Talk as you will, there is something about Sousa's music that puts a strange thump in the heart and ginger in the heels" -- homely, but conveying a vast amount of truth. Sousa has put on a lot of new music this tour, and reports show that the public likes it remarkably well. There is one thing sure, Sousa has enough new music on hand to give a change of program every day in the month, if he so willed. The band will be here in concert tomorrow night, and Sousa will direct in person. The special soloists are Blanche Duffield, soprano, and Bertha Bucklin, violiniste.

________

The State Republican

(Lansing, MI)

May 14, 1901




SOUSA TONIGHT

Grand Band and Soloists Reaches Lansing at Last

Sousa's long tour, covering much of the Gulf country and all of the Pacific Coast country. the middle west, etc., has now reached Michigan and will cover much of the far east before June 1. Sousa then goes to the Pan-American Exposition for a month before going to Manhattan Beach. Sousa is said to have created a wonderful amount of interest all through the tour, at times and places nearly assuming the form of a furore, as at Kansas City, Baltimore, San Francisco, etc. Sousa has put on a deal of new music and his programs are brighter than ever. The big band will be here in concert tonight. The soloists are Blanche Duffield, soprano, Bertha Bucklin, violineste.

________

The Lansing Journal

(Lansing, MI)

May 15, 1901




AMUSEMENTS

John Philip Sousa's programs are made up largely of the music of the best composers, and although a military band cannot reach the perfection of a strong orchestra in the interpretation of such works, Mr. Sousa has greatly overcome these limitations, and he is doing much to raise the popular standard of music among the people. To the field of light and popular music the bandmaster has recourse for his characteristic "encore numbers," and to his credit be it said that he does not countenance banal "tunes" simply because they may be the fad of the moment. A composition, no matter how light, must possess intrinsic musical value before it can be played at a Sousa concert. Sousa possesses the ability to impart new graces to almost any popular melody.

The programs for the concerts at Baird's tonight will contain much that is new and much that is interesting. The usual soloists -- singer and violiniste, together with the popular band instrumentalists will add variety and value to the concerts. Blanche Duffield is the soprano, and Bertha Bucklin the violiniste.

________

The State Republican

(Lansing, MI)

May 15, 1901





THEY ARE POPULAR

Sousa's Concert Delighted a large Audience.

Sousa's band at Baird's opera house last night played delightful music for the enjoyment of a large audience. The bandmaster was in a gracious mood and responded to numerous encores with popular pieces. Sousa's concerts always please the popular fancy.

________

The Lansing Journal

(Lansing, MI)

May 16, 1901




FARMER WILL DIE

Was struck by the Sousa Special Train at Lake Odessa

Nathan Hastings, while driving across the track at the railroad crossing in Lake Odessa, was struck by a special through train carrying Sousa's band yesterday afternoon. Hastings was thrown under the train, had one leg cut off and received other cuts and bruises. He will not recover. His horses were terribly mangled and the wagon is in splinters. The locomotive of the train was covered with evidence of the accident when it reached Lansing.

________

The Lansing Journal

(Lansing, MI)

May 16, 1901




PLAYS AND PLAYERS

Sousa and his famous band will give a concert at Baird's tomorrow after-noon. "In the shading of the tone color they almost equaled the sing-ing charm of the string orchestra." said the Twentieth Century of Brussels, Belgium, in the criticism of the Sousa band during the recent European tour undertaken by John Philip Sousa. The same idea was ex-pressed by Le Progress du Nord, Lille, France, which said: "There are only brass and wood instruments, yet one would almost swear they were listening to a complete orchestra." It was this marked difference from the average military band on the continent that emphasized the superiority of Sousa's men in purely concert work, and it is this same superlative quality that keeps the Sousa band at the head of all American bands as well. Sousa's soloists this year are Miss Jessie Straus, violinist, and Miss Estelle Liebling, soprano.

________

The State Republican

(Lansing, MI)

April 19, 1904




AMUSEMENT

Baird's opera House was filled to capacity this afternoon, when Sousa and his famous band began their concert. Music lovers from all the surrounding towns joined those from the city in extending a warm greeting to the march king and his corps of musicians. The program was varied, including a selection from "Parsifal," but in addition to Sousa's new march "Jack Tar," others of the composer's famous hits were rendered. It is enough to say that Sousa pleased all, as he always does.

________

The State Republican

(Lansing, MI)

April 20, 1904




LANSING THEATERS

Sousa

It has been nearly a year since John Philip Sousa and the world famous band under his direction have appeared in the principal American cities, a period that has brought additional fame to the American conductor-composer and has won yet greater triumphs for him in all the principal cities of Great Britain, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Sousa now returns to the concert field in his own country, where he has held undisputed sway for many years and has enjoyed a popularity and success that show no sign of diminution. His present tour, although limited in duration, will be comprehensive in scope, and he will visit all the important cities on the Pacific coast and in the southwest. A few notable changes have been made in the personnel of the band, but in the main, it will be the same capable body of artist musicians who have served for years under Sousa. Sousa will present a number of musical novelties in the program he has arranged for his appearance here at the Gladmer Nov. 29.

________

The State Journal

(Lansing, MI)

November 25, 1911




LANSING THEATERS

Sousa

The famous band of which John Philip Sousa is the head, and which was organized nearly 20 years ago, is unique in its complement. Many of the instruments are the invention of the distinguished conductor and are odd enough in construction and effect to be like to remain exclusive. Sousa endeavors to meet the variety of desires of his audiences and the numbers he plays range from the "Siegfried" idyll to the most popular songs of the day. Sousa and his band will be heard Wednesday at the Gladmer.

________

The State Journal

(Lansing, MI)

November 27, 1911




LANSING THEATERS

Sousa's New March

Sousa has composed a new march, and it will occupy a prominent place in the program he has prepared for his concert here on Wednesday at the Gladmer. For the first time in his career Sousa allowed another per-son to select the title of his new composition and it came about in a peculiar way. The march was writ-ten to commemorate his first visit to Australia and it is dedicated to that commonwealth. It had been Sousa's idea to call it "The Land of the Golden Fleece," but when he played it in London to Sir George Reid, the latter, who is the high commissioner for Australia, suggested that the title be changed to "The Federal." Sousa deferred to his wish, and it is under that name that the march will be played on his tour of the Pacific coast and the southwest.

________

The State Journal

(Lansing, MI)

November 28, 1911




LANSING THEATERS

Sousa and His Band

In listening to Sousa's band one is impressed by its numerical strength, by the variety and tone-producing capacity of the instruments, by the individual intelligence and skill of the players and, lastly, by the perfect understanding which prevails between all the forces in relation to the works under performance. The result is a marvelous precision, instantaneous attack and release and complete cohesion in the playing at all points. Sousa's individuality dominates every performance. The brilliancy of the playing of the band, its wonderful tonal proprieties and the perfection of its ensemble are the outcome of Sousa's masterly direction and magnetic personality. His beat is eloquent and suggestive and he exercises a wonderful control over his men. Sousa has just returned from a tour of the Antipodes and he will give a concert here tonight at the Gladmer.

________

The State Journal

(Lansing, MI)

November 29, 1911




LANSING THEATERS

Sousa and His Band

The lovers of band music and Sousa's compositions feasted to their hearts content Wednesday evening on the occasion of the visit of Sousa's peerless band to Lansing. The band is the same thrilling, satisfying organization that it has been for years and it was accorded and ovation. So insistent was the audience in its call for encores that there were more encores than regular numbers. It would seem that it was Sousa's music they wanted, too, for nearly every encore was one of Sousa's compositions and encore followed encore. There were many in the audience who wished that the program had contained a little less of Sousa's music and more of the classics which are so magnificent in the hands of a band, and such a band as Sousa's. Popular tunes of the day and Sousa's own compositions were given in a manner truly characteristic of the great band which has no rival in the line of playing two-steps and other lively music.

The soloists accompanying the band are artists of great ability, especially the violinist, Miss Nicoline Zedeler, who plays exquisitely, with temperament a beautifully soft tone and technique which is wonderful to students of the violin. Miss Virginia Root possesses a lovely soprano voice of great range and sweetness. Herbert L. Clarke, solo cornetist, is master of that instrument.

________

The State Journal

(Lansing, MI)

December 1, 1911




Sousa's Achievement not Visionary.

For more than 20 years John Philip Sousa has been the idol of the public. His music is popular in every part of the world, and his personality has won him, a place that no one can ever fill. Many a talented musician has dreamed that he would achieve great things, but Sousa has actually accomplished what would have been considered a wild dream 20 years ago for he has taken his band and his music into every civilized part of the globe and won universal praise.

When Sousa and his band come here tomorrow night at the Gladmer it will be well to remember the words of the critic of a prominent Melbourne paper, who said: "Every opportunity ought to be religiously taken of hearing this fine band, for it is a combination which is unique and such as heard but once in a life-time. Such results are only achieved when fine instrumentalists are banded together for years under a conductor of a magnetic and compelling personality and these are few and far between.."

________

The State Journal

(Lansing, MI)

October 1, 1913




SOUSA AND MELODY.

The programs presented by John Philip Sousa have always contained works by the great masters and the modern classic composers, and have thus been instructive as well as entertaining, for they have been performed by musicians of rare ability and experience, and in the most perfect manner. But a versatile Australian critic in speaking of Sousa's own music makes says: "All these pieces have certain common features -- they are, of course, markedly rhythmical; the melodies are bright and natural; and there is no attempt at polyphonic treatment. Their appeal is to the ultimate foundations of music -- definite rhythm and flowing melody, -- and hence they at once find appreciation amongst the vast majority of people who have not had the time or inclination to study music, but who, nevertheless, have their share in the common heritage of the race -- the love of melody and rhythm. And probably many of the disciples of what might be called the higher cult are heartily ashamed of themselves because they cannot help enjoying a Sousa march."

Sousa and his Band will be here at the Gladmer tonight. The soloists, Miss Virginia Root, Soprano, Miss Margel Gluck, violiniste, and Herbert L. Clarke, cornetist, are the same who have been received with great favor everywhere.

_______________

The Lansing Evening Press

(Lansing, MI)

October 2, 1913




SOUSA AT THE GLADMER.

Sousa and his band again delighted a Lansing audience at the Gladmer last night. The band is just the same as ever and Sousa just the same old leader although a trifle grayer.

The soloists this year include Miss Virginia Root, soprano, Miss Mar-gel Gluck, violiniste, and Herbert L. Clarke, cornetist. The entire bill with the regular numbers, supplemented with the usual Sousa en-cores was greatly enjoyed by the audience.

________

The Lansing Evening Press

(Lansing, MI)

October 3, 1913




Sousa and His Band.

Sousa and his band of artists, playing only as Sousa's band can and rendering such music as only Sousa can compose, delightfully entertained a fair sized audience at the Gladmer last night. There were new selections by Sousa and other composers but the famous conductor's old-time hits were the most enthusiastically received. Interspersed throughout the program were numbers by Herbert L. Clarke, cornetist; Miss Margel Gluck, violiniste, and Miss Virginia Root, soprano, which were highly appreciated. All three responded to en-cores. Throughout the evening Sousa was most generous with his encores.

That Sousa is different must be admitted. He does not need long hair to attract attention. It is unnecessary for the conductor to continually peer around to the audience to see if he is being noticed. Old Glory was not waved and the "Star Spangled Banner" not rendered to bring forth thunderous applause. Sousa received that almost before concluding his numbers.

It is good to hear a great American band, directed by an American, who acts like an American.

________

The Lansing Evening Press

(Lansing, MI)

October 3, 1913




STYLE IN MUSIC

John Philip Sousa has done what no other American composer has yet achieved, for he has expressed the national spirit, and has taken the over-taxed medium of march music and vitalized it, making it dynamic with energy, and irresistibly infectious. And his famous band presents his music to his audiences in a peculiarly Sousa style. The performances of the classic numbers on his programs are also imbued with the Sousa spirit of perfection. His soloists, too, must be of exceptional merit, for people always expect the best at a Sousa concert. Those who will appear with Sousa and his Band here on Friday April 23, at the Gladmer are Miss Virginia Root, soprano, Miss Margel Gluck, violiniste, and Herbert L. Clarke, cornetist.

________

The Lansing Evening Press

(Lansing, MI)

April 21, 1915




SOUSA AND MELODY

The programs presented by John Philip Sousa have always contained works by the great masters and the modern classic composers, and have been instructive as well as entertaining, for they have been performed by musicians of rare ability and experience, and in the most perfect manner. Sousa's own music makes an appeal to the two ultimate foundations of music -- definite rhythm and flowing melody, and at once finds appreciation amongst the vast majority of people who have not had the time or inclination to study music, but who, nevertheless, love it in the form of melody and rhythm. Even the disciples of what might be called "The higher cult" cannot help enjoying a Sousa march. A delightful program will be presented here by Sousa and his Band on Friday evening, April 23, at the Gladmer, including solos by Miss Virginia Root, soprano, and Miss Margel Gluck, violiniste, also Mr. Herbert L. Clarke, cornetist.

________

The Lansing Evening Press

(Lansing, MI)

April 22, 1915




LANSING THEATERS

Hearing and Seeing.

While Sousa's band has been heard in nearly all of the large cities of the world, there are many places where Sousa's music has become familiar through the medium of the phonograph. It would be hard, indeed, to find a locality in which the name of Sousa is unknown. But even the best phonograph record of a Sousa piece is only a tame imitation of the real Sousa Band, with its variety of instru-ments, and its richness of tone and color, such as will be heard here when Sousa and his band play at the Gladmer on April 23, with Miss Virginia Root, soprano, Miss Margel Gluck violiniste, and Herbert Clarke, cornetist, as soloists. Nothing can duplicate the music of the full band for the ear, nor the figure of Sousa as he conducts his band, to the eye.

________

The State Journal

(Lansing, MI)

April 22, 1915




LANSING THEATERS

A Large Field.

If Sousa was asked to go around the world with his band playing marches only, even though he has been hailed as the "March King" in every land, he asserts that he would prefer to step out and retire. He has built up his famous instrumental body until Sousa's Band compares with the finest symphony orchestra in existence, and he would never agree to confine himself to one kind of music, or to one composer, even thought that composer be himself. When Sousa and his band are heard here tonight at the Gladmer they will be assisted by Miss Virginia Root, soprano, Miss Margel Gluck, violiniste, and Mr. Herbert L. Clarke, cornetist.

________

The State Journal

(Lansing, MI)

April 23, 1915




Lansing Composer Leads Sousa's Band

in One of His Own Compositions

The appearance at the Gladmer Theater last night of John Philip Sousa and his band was given a local touch when Virgil J. Grabell, Lansing composer, lead the great musical organization in the rendition of his new march "Across the Pacific." Mr. Grabell was given a hearty reception by his fellow townsmen and his composition, a spirited interpretation by the Sousa musicians.

Mr. Sousa, his band and a trio of premier soloists furnished an evening of rare musical enjoyment. Aside from the famous March King himself, last evening's audience showed decisive approval of the efforts of Miss Margel Gluck, violiniste, whose three numbers formed a predominant feature of the occasion. Two of these were encores, the serenade "Les Millions d'Arlequia" and Fritz Kreisler's "Liebalied" both with harp accompaniment. The latter one of the great Hungarian artist's most beautiful composi-tions, was exquisitely rendered. The two movements from St.-Saens' "B Minor Concerto" were given, assisted by the band and the violiniste displayed in their presentation her complete mastery of the instrument.Miss Virginia Root, soprano and Herbert L. Clarke, cornetist, were the other two soloists of the evening, both receiving an appreciative response to their able efforts.

"Tipperary" formed the theme for a variative number which probably shared honors with "The Stars and Stripes Forever" in the band's portion of the program. Both aroused enthusiasm for their spirited manner in which they were expounded and the high excel-lence of the instrumentation. New Sousa compositions, all of them heard here for the first time, included "Impressions at the Movies" and "The Pathfinder of Panama" a march of the true Sousa sort. The great Tchaikowsky overture, "1812" opened the program and Harry Rowe Shelley's "American Dances" brought it to a fitting close. Mr. Sousa's well known generosity in the matter of encores has not abated since he last was here and his audience was given a full measure of such music as only Sousa's band can make.

________

Lansing Evening Press

(Lansing, MI)

April 24, 1915




LANSING THEATERS

Sousa and His Band

Sousa's band has apparently lost none of its popularity in Lansing as the "March King" was greeted by an enthusiastic audience at the Gladmer theater Friday night. Although this famous musical organization appears to have fallen a little below its standard of a few years ago. John Philip Sousa still knows how to please the public. Many of Sousa's own compositions were injected into the program but the big favorite was easily "The Washington Post, " the piece that gave Sousa a great reputation as a composer of march music.

________

The State Journal

(Lansing, MI)

April 24, 1915