Remember, it was Tchaikovsky who left a required 3rd Conductor's score behind and earned a dreaded DQ, sending underdog Sousa to face high-seeded Shostakovich. Now Sousa finds himself propelled to the Elite 8va as the tournament's first Cindarella story.
Bitter, unbelieving Shostakovich could only counter the unexpected loss by dismissing Sousa: "I mean, he plays the same thing every year at every competition. How is he growing as a musician? Let's see him play a piece totally about war and stuff!"
Sousa was not impressed. "He's a disgrace. He should be ashamed. A loser, like nobody has ever seen."
When asked if he was prepared for the Orff's Carmina Burana onslaught Sousa laughed it off. "I don't want to encourage my fans to clap between movements, so we'll see what happens."