Emily Robinson

Emily Robinson, a Massachusetts native, comes to Boundary Stones by way of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA where she received her B.A. in Media & Communications and Political Science. A lifelong history fanatic (with a Ben Franklin action figure to prove it), Emily has spent the last several years working on a collaborative archival project with the historic Allentown Band, promoting its history through various forms of digital storytelling— a medium with which Emily has been mesmerized since an elementary school project on Jim Henson, a D.C. native himself. When she's not blogging at WETA, Emily can be found photographing D.C. architecture and obsessing over any and all music.

Posts by Emily Robinson

The March King Steps Down

Sousa and the Marine Band in 1891, the year before Sousa left (Photo Source: Library of Congress)

In the summer of 1892 Washingtonians had their hearts broken. After 12 years of conducting the United States Marine Band, John Philip Sousa, D.C. native and beloved conductor, submitted his resignation to the U.S. Marine Corps. He was leaving for Chicago, where he accepted an offer to serve as musical director of a new military-style civilian band. The public would not let their beloved Sousa go easy, and arranged a farewell testimonial concert where he could exhibit his grand conducting skills for an eager audience one more time. This concert served as the first of two farewell concerts for Sousa with the second taking place the very next day on the White House Lawn. 

The Humble Beginnings of the National Symphony Orchestra

The National Symphony at their inaugural concert on January 31, 1930 (Photo Source: Used with Permission from the NSDAR Archives)

At 4:45 p.m. on January 31, 1930 the “new and shaky ensemble known tentatively as the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C.” took the stage of the recently finished DAR Constitution Hall at eighteenth and C streets northwest. Conductor Rudolf Schueller and the musicians were welcomed into the hall by vigorous applause from an audience of 2,000 music-loving Washingtonians who eagerly awaited the newly established orchestra’s first notes. Arriving at this moment of glory did not happen easily, or quickly for that matter. While Washington is typically considered a capital of arts and culture today, this was definitely not the case in the early 1900s.

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