William Henry Santelmann

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William Henry Santelmann
William Henry Santelmann.jpg
Santelmann c. 1906
18th Director of the United States Marine Band
In office
1898 – May 1, 1927
Preceded byFrancesco Fanciulli
Succeeded byTaylor Branson
Personal details
Born(1863-09-23)September 23, 1863
Offensen, Germany
DiedDecember 17, 1932(1932-12-17) (aged 69)
Chevy Chase, Maryland, United States

William Henry Santelmann (September 23, 1863 – December 17, 1932) was director of the United States Marine Band.[1]


He was born on September 23, 1863 in Offensen, Germany. He studied violin and clarinet and at age 15, in 1878 composed his first music. He married Clara Becke (1861–1932) around 1889. One of his sons was William Frederick Santelmann (1902–1984) who would eventually be a director of the United States Marine Band.[1]

William was director of the United States Marine Band starting in 1892 when he replaced Francesco Fanciulli.[1]

He retired on May 1, 1927 and was replaced by Taylor Branson. He was then commissioned a captain in the United States Marine Corps.[1] He died on December 17, 1932 in Chevy Chase, Maryland.[2] He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b c d Jason K. Fettig. "William Henry Santelmann". United States Marine Band. United States Marine Band.
  2. ^ "Capt. Santelmann, Ex-Band Leader, Dies. Succeeded John Philip Sousa as Head of Marine Band, Holding Post for 29 Years". New York Times. December 19, 1932. Retrieved 2015-03-15.

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