Fort Benning

Tribute to Sousa Concert will be performed this weekend

The sounds of march music will fill the air in Columbus this weekend, as the "Tribute to Sousa Concert" is performed at the Springer Opera House.

The concert is sponsored by the High School Band Directors National Association and the Bob Barr Community Band directed by George Corradino. The Columbus-based association will induct two new members into the High School Band Directors National Hall of Fame during the weekend.

The concert, which will honor "March King" John Philip Sousa, will begin at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday at the Springer. Admission is $10 with the proceeds and tax-deductible donations being used to promote school bands.

"It's a tribute to John Philip Sousa, who played at the Springer three times. A lot of people don't know that," said Elaine Johnson of the band directors association. "The concert is going to be really good. The Bob Barr Community Band will perform and there will be some of the old traditional, patriotic, heart-warming American band music Sousa was known for.

"What we're trying to do is raise money for the high school band directors and school music programs. We're trying to keep high school music alive. We know a lot of schools have gotten rid of physical education and music education ... we've got to fight for it because we can easily lose band education."

Sousa, a native of Washington who died in the 1930s, served in the U.S. Marine Corps and wrote 136 marches. Included among those are Stars and Stripes Forever and Semper Fidelis, the official march of the Marine Corps.