Entirely too many people got together yesterday, in and around the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, to hear the Marine Band play a musical goodbye to the Bicentennial. Approaching the Concert Hall from the far end of the Grand Foyer, you might have though for a moment that the concert was being given out there, so thickly pressed together were the people who couldn't get in. A lot of them (presumably drivers who had let off their spouses and children before going - ha, ha! - to park) were still outside when the concert ended, but the hundreds who were turned away would have made a fair audience for most musical events.
Inside, faced with as large an audience as the Concert Hall can hold, the Marine Band gave a very good performance devoted entirely to the music of some guy named Sousa, a fellow who wrote waltzes, and a Grand Fantasy, a symphonic poem called "Chariot Race" (which sounded exactly the way a symphonic poem with that name should sound) and a sometimes hilarious suite called "At the Movies," designed to provide background music for a typical silent film of the '20s.
He also wrote marches, which you probably haven't heard before, like "Salute to Kansas" and "Hail to the Spirit of Liberty," and my opinion is that if they find any more material by this composer the Marines should play it as often as they can. He's good.