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Strike Up The Band

Strike Up The Band

Photo credit: Michael Ives

Born in 1854, this young man was playing violin by the age of six. He would later go on to study voice, piano, flute, cornet, baritone horn, trombone and alto horn.

In 1867, at the age of 13, his father enlisted him in the Marines as an apprentice after he attempted to run away to join a circus band. He published his first composition in 1872.

He worked as a theater musician and conducted the U.S. Marine Band before starting his own civilian band in 1892. Over the next 40 years, it would become the most famous musical act in the world.

This great composer died in 1932 at the age of 77. In the years since, there has been a school and a bandshell named after him, and his seaside house has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for Great Americans in 1976.

Click here to learn more about this famous musician and his interest in firearms. It’s one of the many fascinating treasures on display at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va.