236 Harding Band Building
1103 South Sixth Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820
Telephone: (217) 244-9309
Fax: (217) 244-8695


The Sousa Archives and Center of American Music (SACAM) acquires and preserves significant archival records and historical artifacts in multiple media formats and document that document America's local and national music history and its diverse cultures. The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music was organized in 1994 with the transfer of the John Philip Sousa and Herbert L. Clarke's personal papers, and other related special collections from University Bands to the University Library. The Center holds the world's single largest archives of original music compositions and arrangements by John Philip Sousa.1


The Center, part of the University of Illinois Library and University Archives, arranges, describes, and makes its collections accessible in support of scholarship, exhibitions, publications and education. It offers these services in a professionally managed reference center and through on-line databases, finding aids, and other forms of publication. It provides expert advice on accepted archival practices and standards to University colleagues, scholars, and the general public.

Current Exhibitions:

The Forgotten Musicians of the Sousa Band

Exhibit Run: June 26, 2012 – April 19, 2013.

Exhibit Description Courtesy of The Sousa Archives:

"Before the era of commercial radio and sound recordings had transformed how Americans listened to popular music, John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) and his civilian band captivated star-struck audiences across America. People crowded the streets and train stations in eager anticipation of a possible glimpse of the renowned band and such superstar musicians as Herbert L. Clarke, Arthur Pryor and Herman Bellstedt. However, most musicians of the Sousa Band were not as famous, and even though their contributions may not be easily remembered today, their performance in the Sousa Band was instrumental to Sousa’s success as a band leader. This exhibit’s historical photographs briefly explore the lives of Clarence Russell, John Van Fossen, Winifred Bambrick, John Jacob Mountz, and other members of Sousa’s illustrious band."

A British Tar: John Philip Sousa’s Anglo-American Connections

Exhibit Run: July 24, 2012 – July 1, 2013

Exhibit Description Courtesy of The Sousa Archives:

"The Sousa Band completed five over-seas tours of France, Germany, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Belgium, Russia, Poland, Austria, Bohemia, Denmark, the Netherlands, South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, and New Zealand between 1900 and 1911. While the band toured extensively around the world, the majority of their international concerts were performed in Great Britain and its colonies. This small exhibition explores John Philip Sousa’s more interesting Anglo-American connections as a composer and band leader, and highlights some events that marked the beginning of a long and complex debate on the issues of international copyright and fair use on which Sousa was often asked to comment for the remainder of his music career."

John Philip Sousa’s 1912 Victor Recording Sessions

Exhibit Run: August 27, 2012 – July 15, 2013

Exhibit Description Courtesy of The Sousa Archives:

Of the 1,770 commercial sound recordings that were made of Sousa’s civilian band between 1892 and 1932, only eight were conducted by the “March King.” Two additional recordings of the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company Band playing “March of the Mitten Men” (later entitled “Power and Glory”) and “The Thunder” were also recorded with Sousa at the podium. While Sousa had a general aversion to most forms of mechanically reproduced music, he did not prohibit his band’s musicians from being recorded and many established reputations as recording artists and studio conductors. In addition, Sousa’s Band played a significant role in the rapid development of the Victor Talking Machine Company under the direction of Arthur Pryor. Pryor played solo trombone for the band and served as one of Sousa’s assistant conductors. This exhibit explores Pryor’s 1912 Victor recording sessions and his impact on America’s early twentieth-century audio recordings.

A Divided Musical Affair: Arthur Endres Kraeckmann’s Love Letters to Mabel Roeher

Exhibit Run: September 3, 2012 – July 29, 2013

Exhibit Description Courtesy of The Sousa Archives:

"Arthur Endres Kraeckmann (1893-1975) was a renowned twentieth-century baritone who as a native of Chicago, IL spent most of his singing career in France as the leading baritone at the Grand Opera. Initially intent on becoming a farmer, he studied Agriculture at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and graduated with a bachelor or science degree in 1916. While a student at the University he be involved in a long-term courtship with Mabel Roeher, who attended Illinois as a music student. Kraeckmann was never able to convince her to move with him to Europe so he could pursue his music career. This exhibit explores through Kraeckmann’s letters his gentile courtship with a young music co-ed between 1915 and 1924, and the challenges he faced as a young mid-westerner seeking fame and fortune on Europe’s greatest opera stages."

The Musical Crossroads of John Jacob Mountz:

Exhibit Run: September 17, 2012 – September 9, 2013

Exhibit Description Courtesy of The Sousa Archives:

"French hornist John Jacob Mountz (1898-1967), after graduating from Decatur, Illinois High School, enrolled at the University of Illinois as an engineering student and played first horn in the Illinois Band under direction A. Austin Harding. Mountz left the University of Illinois in January 1923 without finishing his degree and moved to Chicago to continue studying horn under Mr. DeMare of the Chicago Civic Orchestra. In March of that year Harding recommended Mountz to John Philip Sousa, and in September Mountz was invited to join the Sousa Band by band manager Jay Sims. He accepted Sousa's invitation and toured with the Sousa Band between October 1923 and March 1924. After leaving the Sousa Band he took different positions playing horn in Richmond, VA, Washington DC, and Chicago. This exhibit chronicles Mountz's music career through photographs and correspondence, and highlights his unique professional relationship with Harding and Sousa."

America and Sousa’s Band Through the Photographic Lens of Charles Strothkamp:

Exhibit Run: October 3, 2012 – September 16, 2013

Exhibit Description Courtesy of The Sousa Archives:

"Charles Strothkamp played clarinet in the Sousa Band between 1926 and 1932, and as he travelled with the ensemble his camera meticulously documented the off-stage life of his music colleagues, including Mr. and Mrs. Sousa, and the many different communities and theaters the band played throughout its 1926-1930 American tours. This photographic exhibition explores the humorous and everyday exploits of Charles Strothkamp as a member of the Sousa Band, and also highlights some of the Strothkamp family’s cross-country travels at the beginning of America’s Great Depression when Charles wasn’t on tour with the band."

John Philip Sousa’s Jazz America

Exhibit Run: October 15, 2012 – October 7, 2013

Exhibit Description Courtesy of The Sousa Archives:

"The June 30, 1925 headline of the Trenton Times proclaimed, “Jazz Always Here Says Bandmaster,” as the Sousa Band was about to premiere John Philip Sousa’s latest music fantasy, Jazz America. Sousa stated, “Like the poor, jazz has always been with us and always will be. The phase of it we are witnessing today will pass, but tomorrow some individual will give it a new label and it will drift along its merry way, a rose under another name, but smelling just as sweet.” This exhibit of music, photographs, and news clippings illustrates the interesting “love-hate” relationship that Sousa had with this uniquely American form of popular music and its impact on how he marketed his band’s concerts."2


Works Cited:

1. Overview of the Sousa Archives.(2013). Retrieved on March 4th, 2013 from http://www.library.illinois.edu/sousa/?p=home

2. Current Exhibitions. (2013). Retrieved on March 4th, 2013 from http://www.library.illinois.edu/sousa/?p=collections

See Also

External Links