Semper Paratus (Latin for “Always Ready”) is the official march of the United States Coast Guard. It was composed by U.S. Coast Guard Captain Francis Saltus Van Boskerck. The title of the song is also the official motto of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The original lyrics were written by Van Boskerck in 1922, at the cabin of USCGC Yamacraw in Savannah, Georgia; he wrote the music in 1927, on a “beat-up old piano” in Unalaska, Alaska.
This “King James” arrangement stays true to the spirit of the piece, while making it easier and more accessible: in particular the bugle call section has been simplified while retaining all the excitement.
This piece is ideal for patriotic celebrations and is a wonderful way to include the Coast Guard in Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day events.
Key: C Major
Mood: exciting, cheerful, daring
Pedagogy: crisp staccato, repeated notes, dynamics