Barbara Blaford Papers and Music Instruments, 1910-2010
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Brief Description: Consists of photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and instruments documenting Barbara Blaford's participation in the Urbana High School Band between 1936-1939, and her uncle, Elbert Blaisdel's, role as a cornetist during WWI.
Held at:
The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
236 Harding Band Building
1103 South 6th Street
Champaign, IL 61820 6223
Phone: 217-244-93093
Fax: 217-244-8695
Email: schwrtzs [at]
Record Series Number: 12/9/174
Created by: Blaford, Barbara (1922-2021)
Volume: 1.25 cubic feet
Acquired: 03/31/2022.
Arrangement: Arranged in two series: Series 1, Photographs and Correspondence; and Series 2, Instruments.
Biographical Note for Blaford, Barbara (1922-2021) :

Barbara Blaford was born near the town of Allerton, IL, later moving with her family to Urbana, IL. She began learning to play the cornet at nine years old, and in high school became the only female member of the Urbana High School Marching Band's brass section. As a member of the Urbana High School Band, she competed in several high school band competitions. After high school, she continued to play cornet in the University of Illinois' summer band, in an all-girls dance band, and throughout her life.

Blaford was inspired to learn cornet from older relatives; notably Helen Blaisdel, her aunt, whose brother, Elbert Blaisdel, participated in WWI and played cornet there. Elbert Blaisdel's cornet is a highlight of this collection, which also includes correspondence between him and his mother, Barbara's grandmother, during WWI.

Subject Index
Bands (Music)
Brass Instruments
High School Music
Marching bands
Urbana, Illinois
Acquisition Notes: Bonnie Blaford