John Philip Sousa was a legend in his lifetime and the personification of turn-of-the-century America’s energy and ambition. His band was therefore the automatic choice for great national events such as the presidential inauguration of James Garfield in 1881. With tragic irony, the same band was to perform President Garfield’s Funeral March ‘In Memoriam’ just four months later. Works in lighter vein include the Humoresque for comedy duo Gallagher and Shaun, and the delightful Mama and Papa from his operetta based on the Aladdin legend. With its long history and international reputation, the Central Band of the RAF is one of the foremost military bands in the United Kingdom, and the first outside the USA to be awarded the ‘John Philip Sousa Citation for Musical Excellence’.