Recently, my brass quintet did a performance at a senior center in honor of Veterans Day. We opened the concert with Under the Double Eagle, by J. F. Wagner. I explained that this march was a favorite of John Philip Sousa. We closed the performance with Semper Fidelis, by John Philip Sousa.
After the performance, one of the residents at the center came up and told an interesting story. I don’t know if it is true, but I thought it was a nice story.
The resident told us she was a violin student at Interlochen in 1930. Interlochen was founded only a few years earlier, and construction on the campus was not yet complete. In particular, one of the performance venues was going to have an organ, but it was not ready yet. John Philip Sousa visited Interlochen while she was there, and apparently he was distressed because there was no organ.
According to the story, Sousa put out a letter requesting saxophone players. The response was overwhelming, and 75 saxophonists came to Interlochen. They played for a grand concert with Sousa, and they sounded just like an organ!