program notes by composition > N > Nobles of the Mystic Shrine

Nobles of the Mystic Shrine – John Philip Sousa, edited by Frederick Fennell

Published in 1923, this concert-oriented march celebrates Sousa’s membership in the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners). His local chapter hosted the national convention in 1923 in Washington, D.C., and Sousa conducted a band of 6,200 members in Griffith Stadium, the largest group he ever conducted. Contemporary versions of the Janissary Band (Turkish royal bodyguards) are a vital part of colorful Shrine marching units, and this march was intended to recreate the musical style of this Turkish music. The “jingling johnny” or Turkish crescent (a marching instrument with a pole hung with jingling bells), triangle, tambourine, and a heavy bass drum are highlighted. - Program Note by Edward Harris

Last updated on July 19, 2023 by Palatine Concert Band