Kids Commute - Back to School Week! Thursday

Sep 6, 2018

Today, we'll hear John Philip Sousa's 1890 march, "High School Cadets!"

Welcome to Day Three of, “Back to School,” week on IPR's Kids Commute! This new episode explores more great music from the “March King”, John Philip Sousa. If you’re a regular listener, you might remember we did an entire week where we learned all about famous marches - and you can't do that without talking about Sousa!

Today we focus on a particular Sousa march, High School Cadets, written in the year 1890. Learn about Sousa’s life and compositions and get detailed information about how the structure that he used when composing marches. We’ll deconstruct the piece for you and identify highlights that you should listen for. And of course, we have our weekly quizlet where you might be able to win one of our all-new prize packs!

As a reminder, here's the structure (form) of your typical march:

  1. Fanfare/Introduction - the opening to the march
  2. First strain - the first melody of the march
  3. Second strain - the second melody of the march
  4. Introduction to the trio - some marches have a little introductory phrase before the next part
  5. Trio - usually the most famous portion of the march, the part you'd usually hum along to
  6. Breakstrain/Dogfight - time to mix it up a little and warm up the audience for the big finish!
  7. Final Trio/Grandioso - The Big Finish! Sometimes, "decorated," with an extra voice up at the top, like a piccolo

See if you can identify all the parts in today's music!

KC 203
High School Cadets
John Philip Sousa
Eastman Wind Ensemble/Frederick Fennell

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Parades are a really common place where we hear Sousa's music.

Here's the Garey High School Marching Band performing, "High School Cadets," in a parade!

This is the Cypress High School Marching Band performing another of Sousa's big hits, "The Gladiator."

And, finally - how about, "The President's Own," United States Marine Band performing, "The Thunderer?" Yes, please!