John Van Fossen Papers and Memorabilia, 1903-1994 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

By Adriana Cuervo

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Collection Overview

Title: John Van Fossen Papers and Memorabilia, 1903-1994Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 12/9/62

Primary Creator: Van Fossen, John (1903-1994)

Extent: 2.0 cubic feet

Arrangement: Alphabetical by type of document.

Date Acquired: 07/07/2004

Subjects: Band Musicians, Music - United States, Photographs, Sousa, John Philip, Woodwind Instruments

Formats/Genres: Papers

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Concert programs, photographs, postcards, correspondence, a contract, a Sousa Band uniform and Selmer clarinet, and memorbilia documenting John Van Fossen's career as a clarinetist while a member of the John Philip Sousa Band between 1926 and 1931.

Biographical Note

John Van Fossen, clarinetist for the John Philip Sousa Band from 1925 until 1931, was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania.√?¬† He began playing the clarinet at the age of ten.√?¬† As an adult, he played in several regional bands including the John Wannamaker Band, conducted by Sousa's colleague, Arthur Rosander, saxophonist and librarian for the Sousa Band between 1909 and 1911.

At the age of twenty-one Van Fossen became a member of the Sousa Band.√?¬† In a 1989 interview√?¬† he described the sense of stage fright that he experienced during his first performance under Sousa's baton, "When we went into 'Stars and Stripes' for the finale, all of sudden I couldn't play.√?¬† I was entranced by everything.√?¬† I found out later that the same thing happened to most musicians in their first performance."

After leaving the Sousa Band in 1931, Van Fossen went on to play for the Pat Conway Band, the Arcadians, a jazz band with its own radio program in Philadelphia, and the Arthur Pryor Band, which was considered by many to be second only to the Sousa Band.

Subject/Index Terms

Band Musicians
Music - United States
Photographs
Sousa, John Philip
Woodwind Instruments

Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Acquisition Source: Ms. Judy Shannon, 1147 Pelhamwood Road, Baltimore, MD√?¬† 21234

Acquisition Method: Donation.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2: Bb Clarinet, Buffet #1450053, Undated],
[Box 3: Sousa Band Uniform, ca. 1920s],
[Box 4: Sousa Band Hat, ca. 1920s],
[All]

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence, ca. 1990Add to your cart.
Folder 2: MemorabiliaAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Obituaries, 1994Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Photographs, ca. 1920Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Folder 5: Sousa Band itinerary and contractAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Sousa Band programs, ca. 1920Add to your cart.

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