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Joseph John Richards (Composer)

Born: 27th August 1878, Cwmafan, Wales

Died: 16th March 1956, Long Beach, California, United States

Nationality: Welsh

Joseph John Richards was a composer, conductor, and music educator best known for writing over 300 compositions for circus and school bands. His most successful works were marches, including Crusade for Freedom, Emblem of Unity, and Shield of Liberty.

Richards was born in Cwmafan, Wales, but spent most of his childhood in Pittsburg, Kansas, United States. He began playing alto horn and cornet at the age of ten and became director of the Norton-Jones Circus Band at the age of nineteen. He would later play for and conduct several other circus bands, including the Barnum and Bailey Circus Band and the Ringling Brothers Band before they combined.