Tomorrow is Independence Day here in the United States, and what could be more American than Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra playing two marches by John Philip Sousa?
The song many people (including me) associate the most with Fiedler is Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Fiedler started the tradition of a Fourth of July Concert with fireworks on the Charles River Esplanade, and always ended the concert with it. After his death in 1979, John Williams, who took over as director of the Boston Pops, ended his first concert with the tune, vacating the conductor’s podium in his honor.
John Philip Sousa was the director of the United States Marine Corps band, and wrote “Semper Fidelis” as their official march. I include it here because “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful) is not only the motto of the Marines, but of the Holton family.
Happy Independence Day to my fellow countrymen, and Happy 4th of July to everyone else!