The Dirigo March

May 15, 2015

Maine’s own March

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Leo Peppin, Photo by Andy Molloy

The Dirigo March was composed by Maine native Leo J. Pepin, in 1961.

In 2012 the March was unanimously approved by the Maine State Legislature as the, Official State March. The music is in the public domain and is now being made available to Maine high schools, colleges and bands throughout the State.

Composer Pepin was an accomplished lifelong musician. Upon graduation from the Northern Conservatory of Music he opened a private music studio where he taught for 30 years. When he “retired” he continued to play, record, and entertain publicly in many music venues, much to the delight of his community. He was greatly honored in 2014 when he was inducted into the Franco American Hall of Fame. Additionally, March 20, 2014 was declared Leo J. Pepin Day, in the State Capital, in recognition of his accomplishments. The Franco American Collection at the University of Southern Maine is now the home of the original Dirigo March Manuscript and many other artifacts related to Mr. Pepin’s life and legacy.

Like many Maine natives, Leo Pepin came from humble beginnings, and represents all that is best about Maine and the opportunities it has to offer its citizens. His parents were both immigrants: his mother Margaret came from Ireland and his father George from Quebec, Canada. Throughout his life he was devoted to serving his Country and his State. Mr. Pepin passed away on September 15, 2015 at the age of 90.

As a lifelong resident of Maine he was proud of his State, and was pleased to present the March as a gift to the people of Maine. Mr. Pepin remarked, “Now at public events when marches are played, the people of Maine will have their own State Song. Now we can play our very own March.”

You can access the March for Conductors by clicking HERE.

You can access the March for Musicians by clicking HERE.




  1. This is a great article! Thanks for sharing. I have searched for a recording of this piece and haven’t had any luck. Do you know if there is one available? Just curious.

  2. Where can you hear the March?

  3. I think that it is very cool that Maine has a March. At this time there is no recording available. However, Leo Peppin’s nephew has been communicating with me about how to get the piece into the hands of high school band teachers, college level bands, and orchestras. I am confident that an outstanding recording will be available in the future. Please help spread the word Mari-Jo to your colleagues so folks get the scores and begin playing it. Thanks!

  4. Unfortunately, it is not available to the public at this time. Read my response to Mari-Jo – I am hoping that one becomes available in the future. Please help spread the word that the score is available through the blog post and the Maine Arts Commission.

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