When the Hollywood Bowl management originally programmed an evening built around John Philip Sousa to end the season Saturday night, little did they suspect that the timing would be so tragically apt. Never in this Bowlgoer's memory had the national anthem, the Sousa marches, a George M. Cohan medley (a last-minute insert) or even the always-spectacular patriotic fireworks display been cheered with such deeply felt fervor. A lot of people apparently needed precisely this kind of program at this time.
There were, however, more colors in the American Winds' paint box than just red, white and blue. Band conductor Larry Curtis' idea was to construct a concert much in the way Sousa might have--with patches of seriousness, silliness, sentiment and showboating--and if the applause was deemed loud enough, he would launch into a Sousa march off-the-cuff.