By Maia Perez[Printer Friendly] | [Contact us about this collection]
Primary Creator: Blaford, Barbara (1922-2021)
Extent: 1.25 cubic feet
Arrangement: Arranged in two series: Series 1, Photographs and Correspondence; and Series 2, Instruments.
Date Acquired: 03/31/2022
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.
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.