In the 1890s John Philip Sousa formed the most famous military band in America. The Sousa Band performed their first public concert in 1892 and toured Europe in 1900, 1901 and 1905.

“Stars and Stripes Forever” was composed on Christmas day in 1896. Sousa said its inspiration sprang from rhythmic vibrations felt as their cruise ship left port returning from a European vacation.  Ever since the song has become woven into the American Heritage. This was also the last piece Sousa conducted as he died during a rehearsal with the Ringgold Band in Reading Pennsylvania in 1932 .

“The Stars and Stripes Forever”