In commenting about this march, Sousa is reported to have said "(it's) addressed to no particular nation, but to all of America's friends abroad." His words couldn't have been more prophetic as it has become the musical symbol of international friendship and goodwill. As director of the Marine Band, Col. John R. Bourgeois has performed this march on numerous historic occasions such as the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty and the International Parade of the Tall Ships (1986), the Marine Band's first overseas appearances in Ireland (1986) and Norway (1989), and their historic tour of the former Soviet Union (1990). It is only appropriate that Col. Bourgeois' edition of Sousa's Hands Across the Sea has been designated the official march of the inaugural Cuba/United States Wind Band Symposium.
Composer Semeon Alexanderovich Chernetsky was born in 1881 and died in 1950. A trombonist and a composition student of Alexander Glazunov, he was also a prominent military bandmaster. He was named Director of the Band of the Soviet Army in 1932, and in 1935 he founded the Band of the Ministry of Defense. He composed over 70 marches including March of the Tankmen, which he wrote in 1946, as well as other works for band. The stately manner of this stirring march displays a profound sense of loyalty and national pride that is unmistakable.
"Parsifal", written in 1882, was the final opera by composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883). The prelude is a miniature masterpiece consisting of only 116 measures. The form of the prelude is similar to that of the classical three-movement overture and consists of four musical motives: the mystical realm of the Holy Grail; the Grail itself in the Dresden Amen; Faith, represented by the brass chorale; and the Agony of Amfortas. This transcription by John R. Bourgeois faithfully adheres to Wagner's intent both in key relationships and orchestration.
Franz von Suppe was born Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere di Suppe-Demielli on April 18, 1819. His father and grandfather were both civil servants, and he was distant relative of Gaetano Donizetti. He displayed his talent at an early age when he began to compose music as a young boy, but despite this he received no encouragement from his father to pursue a career in music. He went on to compose many operas, most of which remain relatively obscure; however, the overtures to "Poet and Peasant" and "Light Cavalry" are well known and have been quite popular in transcriptions for concert band and widely used in movies and cartoons. Highly exuberant and spirited, Vienna Jubilation Overture contains all the thrilling elements that are evident in all of von Suppe's remarkable overtures.