DATE:  January 20, 2006
CONTACT: Dr. Lari Young, Director of the Performing Arts Center, (361) 825-2787; Steve Paschal, Public Affairs, (361) 825-2336

New Sousa Band to Regale Performing Arts Center Patrons with Orchestral Selections and Traditional Marching Tunes
Conductor Keith Brion Resurrects Songs of America’s First ‘Music Superstar’
The patriotic sounds of the man dubbed “America’s first music superstar” will ring loud and clear once again when the Furgason! Bravo Series presents the New Sousa Band in concert on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

The New Sousa Band, under the direction of conductor Keith Brion, has been performing the compositions of American music icon John Philip Sousa since 1979. The musicians who make up the New Sousa Band come from major orchestras and military bands and were chosen for their ability to transmit the unique style, spirit and ensemble sound of the original band. The musicians even wear replicas of the military-style uniforms worn by the original Sousa Band.

"Sousa was the originator of the American Pops concert and was the model for Arthur Fiedler when he started the Boston Pops,” said Brion. “Sousa's concerts were an amazing mixture of light classics, virtuoso soloists and Sousa's own inspiring marches, blended together by a master showman. My New Sousa Band brings the fun, the excitement and the sight and sound of Sousa's original band back to Corpus Christi, just as they were when they visited Corpus Christi in October 1928."

Sousa, who was born in 1854, began studying several musical instruments as a young child and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at age 13. He was discharged from the military in 1875 but took over leadership of the Marine Corps Band five years later. He wrote many patriotic songs and marches, none more famous and enduring than his celebrated “Stars and Stripes Forever.” The band toured throughout the world until the conductor’s death in 1932.

“I am thrilled to have the New Sousa Band here for what will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for lovers of music and lovers of American history,” said A&M-Corpus Christi Band Director Dr. Shawn Smith. “Keith Brion and the New Sousa Band offer our community the opportunity to be transported back to the turn of the century for a real “Sousa-Style” band concert complete with vocal and instrumental soloists, period costumes, and marches galore. This will be a truly unique experience for the audience and a South Texas celebration of the first American musical superstars—John Philip Sousa and his band.”

Brion and his New Sousa Band have played with symphonies and orchestras both internationally and throughout the United States for more than 25 years. The band has been featured in several television programs including two PBS series, “Onstage at Wolf Trap” and “The American Experience.” The band has also recorded two compilations of Sousa’s music, “The Original, All-American Sousa” and “The Sousa Legacy.” Keith Brion and his New Sousa Band are officially and exclusively endorsed by John Philip Sousa, Inc., John Philip Sousa IV, president.

Tickets for Keith Brion and the New Sousa Band start at $15 and may be purchased at, the Performing Arts Center box office or by calling 825-ARTS. Discount tickets are $10 for active and retired military personnel and their families with proper ID, and $5 for children and students in all grades including college. Discount tickets must be purchased at the Performing Arts Center box office between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. until show time on Friday, Jan. 27. For more information, call (361) 825-ARTS.