‘Progress’ Is on the March At Last

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Roll over, John Philip Sousa ? after 116 years, you’ve lost your monopoly on sprightly marches named after newspapers. In April, the 30,252-circulation Daily Progress in Charlottesville, Va., took its place alongside a much larger paper.

“The Washington Post March” was composed by Sousa in 1889 on the occasion of an essay contest by the fledgling Post’s Amateur Authors Association. The new tune, “The Daily Progress,” was composed by retired furniture upholsterer Paul Richards in response to wisecracks from his colleagues in the Charlottesville Municipal Band. “We have some people who comment every time that we play ‘The Washington Post March,’ why don’t we have a ‘Daily Progress March’? And over time, that seemed like a good idea,” Richards explains.

Publisher Lawrence McConnell says the Media General newspaper was thrilled by the composition, which can be heard on the paper’s Web site at http://dailyprogress.com: “We were just overwhelmed and flattered someone in our community would do this.”

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