Introduction

Katherine Little Bakeless is the author of the story “The March King.” The entire story focuses on a youngster named John Philip, who was a small boy at the time. His father was a member of the United States Marine Band’s brass section. The writer wishes to convey in this chapter that one can only succeed in life if one chooses a field that matches one’s talent and interest, and that one should not merge professional work with pleasure and play.

Mixing Work And Play

There were a lot of bands in Washington, D.C. Philip admired them and aspired to be a musician when he was seven years old. He enrolled in a music school and quickly developed musical skills. He was also a baseball lover. He decided to pursue his passion and start a career as a musician. He began playing the violin and was selected to perform a violin solo at his school’s annual evening concert. Philip was casual about performing at the event because he was used to managing a small band as a stream of income. He opted to pitch a basketball game that day because of his confidence.

 Philip made the mistake of mixing work and play when he went to play baseball and later discovered that his clothes were dirty. Because his laundry hadn’t arrived, he didn’t have a clean white shirt to wear to the performance. He had to seek help from his music teacher, Professor Esputa’s wife. Mrs. Esputa offered him with one of her husband’s white shirts. Philip found that the garment was far too big for him. She did, however, find a box of pins in a matter of minutes.

During the performance, the oversized shirt came off loose. He bolted from the stage, the audience began laughing, and he became upset. His teacher informed him that he had completely ruined the play. Philip was reprimanded by his teacher for wasting time playing baseball when he should have been preparing for the evening’s important function.

This incident made him feel humiliated, and he decided never to mix work and play again. Unfortunately, Philip’s run-in with Professor Esputa did not end with the concert. After a disagreement with him, he decided that he no longer wanted to be a musician. He told his father that he wanted to do something different. He made the decision to pursue a career as a baker. He was assigned to a bakery for a few days, and everything piqued his curiosity at first. But he soon realized he didn’t enjoy the work enough to keep doing it.

He found this work to be so exhausting that he was unable to concentrate on his studies and had little energy left to play baseball. He was sleep deprived and unable to do any job efficiently. The baker’s wife once requested that he rock her baby’s cradle. Philip fell asleep while doing so, causing him to ignore the baby’s cries. The baker’s wife yelled at him. Mr. Sousa proposed that Philip make things right with Professor Esputa and resume music classes with him after hearing all of this. Philip followed his father’s advice and worked diligently, eventually becoming a great violinist at the age of 13 years.

A man came to see Philip one day and watched him play for a while. That man was the commander of a circus band around Pennsylvania Avenue. He offered Philip a job with the circus. Philip was hesitant to join the band until he received permission from his father. The man, on the other hand, seemed to suggest differently. He warned Philip that if he told his father, he wouldn’t let him leave. He advised that Philip join them for a day or two and then write his father a letter about how much fun he had.

Philip tried to keep the truth to himself as much as he could, but he eventually told his best friend. Ed, his best friend, was so ecstatic for him that he informed his mother at supper. Ed’s mother went to Philip’s mother and informed her about it.

Philip’s father awoke him the next morning and took him for a stroll. Philip realized they were on their way to the United States Marine Barracks while walking. He discovered that he had been accepted as an apprentice to study music in the Marine Band. Mr. Sousa’s faith in his son led to Philip becoming the Marine Band’s commander. Philip established a reputation for himself as a composer. He wrote almost a hundred marches, earning him the title of ‘March King.’

A prize distribution celebration for an essay competition was held by the publication ‘The Washington Post.’ The marine band would perform music at one of the events during this celebration. In honour of the occasion, Sousa penned a march. Thousands of people turned out to hear the band perform. The march was performed by Philip Sousa and his band, and hundreds of young boys promised to be musicians like him.