Martha Awkerman WAF and Long Beach Band Papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

WAF Band and Long Beach Municipal Band History

Research Files



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Finding Aid for Martha Awkerman WAF and Long Beach Band Papers, 1940-2002 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

By Molly Dolan, Dennis Sears, and Jennifer Wood

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Collection Overview

Title: Martha Awkerman WAF and Long Beach Band Papers, 1940-2002Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 12/9/57

Primary Creator: Awkerman, Martha (1928-2008)

Extent: 1.0 cubic feet

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2001

Subjects: Concert Programs, Military Service, Music, Photographs, Women

Formats/Genres: Papers, Photocopies, Sound Recordings

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of photographs, personal notes, scrapbooks, correspondence, newsclippings and sound recordings documenting Awkerman's career as a cornetist in the Women's Air Force Band (WAF) between 1951 and1961 and the Long Beach Municipal between 1961 and 1983. The documents are organized in two series: Series 1, WAF Band and Long Beach Municipal Band History (1951-2002) and Series 2, Research Files (1940-2002). The papers are organized alphabetically by subject and sound recordings are unarranged. The WAF records cover the lifetime of the band (1951-1961) as well as reunion events held in the 1990s. The Long Beach Municipal Band material includes information about the history of the band and Awkerman's participation in it as its first female member. Of special note is an original undated 7-inch acetate recording of Marilyn Horne performing with the Long Beach Municipal Band. Awkerman's research files focus on the history of women in concert and military bands, trumpeters, and the International Women's Brass Conference.

Biographical Note

Martha J. "Martye" Awkerman (1928-2008), cornet soloist with the Women in the Air Force Band (WAF), the Long Beach Municipal Band, and the Hormel Girls Band, grew up in Pennsylvania and received trumpet performance degrees from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in the early 1950s, where she studied with Frank Simon and Harold Mitchell.  From 1955 to 1961 Awkerman played lead cornet and trumpet with the 543rd Air Force Band under the leadership of Captain Marybelle J. Nissley.  During her tenure with this ensemble she traveled around the world on USO tours and invitational engagements performing for both military and civilian audiences.  Following the deactivation of the WAF Band in 1961 she became the first woman to be accepted into the famed Long Beach Municipal Band, where she played with many former members of the John Phillip Sousa Band. She remained with the Long Beach band until her retirement in 1983. For her achievements in performance she earned both the WAF Band Silver Trumpet Award and Sigma Alpha Iota music sorority's Life Time Achievement Award.

Subject/Index Terms

Concert Programs
Military Service
Music
Photographs
Women

Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Acquisition Source: Martha Awkerman

Acquisition Method: Donation

Separated Materials: The official WAF Band website can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.wafband.org/. The WAF Band archives are located at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe/Harvard colleges.

Related Publications:

Gregory Michael Cunningham. "A History and Socio-cultural Examination of the Long Beach Municipal Band." Thesis (Ed.D.); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002.

Dixie L. Johnson. "The U. S. WAF Band Story."

Dixie L. Johnson. "The WAF Band Salutes Marybelle J. Nissly: 1999 WAF Band Reunion, Little Rock, Arkansas. Springfield, VA: U.S. WAF Band, 1999.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: WAF Band and Long Beach Municipal Band History, 1948-2002],
[Series 2: Research Files, 1940-2002],
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Series 2: Research Files, 1940-2002Add to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: International Women's Brass Conference, 1990-2001Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Trumpeters, 1990sAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: United States Air Force Band, 1990-2001Add to your cart.
Folder 4: United States Marine Band, 1990-2001Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Women in Concert Bands and Re-enactments, 1990sAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Women in Military Bands, 1943-1960sAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Women Musicians, 1990sAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: WAF Band and Long Beach Municipal Band History, 1948-2002],
[Series 2: Research Files, 1940-2002],
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