Part of the 20th anniversary season celebration of the First Coast Wind Symphony included a John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) tribute concert that highlighted the famous Sousa Band’s historic 1908 concerts at “Treaty Oak” in Jacksonville.
Due to Sousa’s efforts, American music won world acclaim for the first time. For decades, Sousa’s visits were a special event for America’s cities. The Sousa Band played two concerts in Jacksonville on Sunday, January 19, 1908 at “Treaty Oak” for the Dixieland Amusement Park on the Southbank in what is now called Jessie Ball duPont Park
The First Coast Wind Symphony tribute concert took place on Saturday, October 24, 2009 in Jessie Ball duPont Park at 1123 Prudential Drive in Jacksonville. The Sousa-style program included several selections that were played in the 1908 concerts.
The Jacksonville Golden Tea Cup Society also participated, wearing dresses similar to those that would have been worn at the time. Refreshments, historical vignettes by Emily Lisska, Executive Director of the Jacksonville Historical Society and a proclamation by City Councilman Don Redman all made for a memorable civic event.