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Sousa Archives’ “Stage Center Slides!” Exhibit Opens Today!

Marcus Lyons (top left), Manuel Yingling (top center), Edward A. Williams (top right), and two unidentified Sousa Band members with Arthur Pryor (bottom right)

Marcus Lyons (top left), Manuel Yingling (top center), Edward A. Williams (top right), and two unidentified Sousa Band members with Arthur Pryor (bottom right)

After the Sousa Band trombone section’s performance to record crowds during Chicago’s Columbian World’s Exhibition in 1893, Sousa’s exceptional trombonists Arthur Pryor, Marcus Lyons, and Edward Williams established a new showmanship standard for playing trombone solos that was emulated by many concert bands throughout America. After Pryor left Sousa’s band as its trombone soloist and assistant conductor in 1903 to take over and reorganize his father’s Pryor Band, Leopold Zimmerman became Sousa’s solo trombonist. Zimmerman’s talented student, Ralph Corey, joined the Sousa Band the following year and in 1908 became the band’s principal trombonist, a position he held until 1920.  Each of these world-class trombonists and the many other trombonists who played in the Sousa Band between 1893 and 1931 helped shape the unique performance role of today’s trombone in American wind ensembles.  Through historical photographs, concert programs, and music this exhibit explores the different stories and musical contributions made by Arthur Pryor, Leopold Zimmerman, Ralph Corey, Frank Holton, Manuel Yingling, Edward Williams, and Marcus Lyons who both influenced America’s trombone performance practice and played for the John Philip Sousa’s exceptional band.

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