Women’s Bands and Historical Research Publications

My historical research found that all-women’s bands existed from 1870s through 1970s. Particularly interesting was that women’s military bands were formed during World War II as part of the first women’s military organizations: WAC (Army), SPARs (Coast Guard), WAVES (Navy), MCWR (Marine Corps Women’s Reserve). I recently published a book on this topic, “Bands of Sisters” with Scarecrow Press. In addition, I am currently writing an article on this topic that examines the contributions of seven women music teachers who served as conductors of these bands. I am pleased to report other original findings: Women formed bands during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries like men, such as family bands, town bands, professional touring bands, suffrage bands, high school bands, normal school bands, university bands, immigrant bands, and military bands. Early twentienth century women’s town bands were common, such as the brass ensemble pictured on the right from Keota, Iowa (1915). My research now includes more than a century of women’s bands and in three countries–Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.

These research findings are original and have not been reported or investigated until now in the field of music education, music history, or American history. ASU graduate students in music education have furthered this line of research by investigating and writing on topics found in my research. Now their original research, they are currently investigating or have written on the following women’s bands: the Canadian WAC Bands, the Hormel Girls, the Women’s Air Force Band, and the 14th Army Band.

Additionally, ASU doctoral students are researching and writing on the following historical topics: music education in America’s public normal schools; music education in the one-room schools of Maryland; the history of the San Diego High School Alumni Choir.

Historical Research Bibliography

Sullivan, J. M. (2016).  Women’s Bands in America: Performing Music and Gender.  (Author and Editor). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefied, 2016. (in press)

Sullivan, J. M. (2016). “Women Music Teachers as Military Band Directors during World War II.” Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. (in press)

Sullivna, J. M. (2014).  Music in America’s Public Normal Schools. (Author and Editor).  (in progress)

Sullivan, J. M. (2013).  John Philip Sousa and the Great Lakes Naval Training Music Program during World War I. (in progress)

Sullivan, J. M. (2011). Bands of sisters: U.S. women’s military bands during World War II, Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.

Sullivan, J. M. (2010). Helen May Butler. In C. H. Garrett (Ed.), The Grove Dictionary of American Music, (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Sullivan, J. M. (2010). Paula Crider. In C. H. Garrett (Ed.), The Grove Dictionary of American Music, (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Sullivan, J. M. (2010). Colonel George Howard. In C. H. Garrett (Ed.), The Grove Dictionary of American Music, (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Sullivan, J. M. (2010). Timothy Mahr. In C. H. Garrett (Ed.), The Grove Dictionary of American Music, (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Sullivan, J. M. (2010). Marybelle Nissly. In C. H. Garrett (Ed.), The Grove Dictionary of American Music, (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Sullivan, J. M. (2010). Charlotte Louise Plummer Owen. In C. H. Garrett (Ed.), The Grove Dictionary of American Music, (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Sullivan, J. M. (2010). Frank Ticheli. In C. H. Garrett (Ed.), The Grove Dictionary of American Music, (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Sullivan, J. M. (2010). Myron Delford Welch. In C. H. Garrett (Ed.), The Grove Dictionary of American Music, (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Hersey, J. R. & J. M. Sullivan. (2009). A history of the Coast Guard SPAR Band during World War II. Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, 30(2), 118–146.

Sullivan, J. M. (2008). A century of women’s bands in America. Music Educators Journal, 95(1), 33–40.

Sullivan, J. M., & D. D. Keck. (2007). The Hormel Girls. American Music, 25(3), 282–311.

Sullivan, J. M. (2007). Music for the injured soldier: A contribution of American women’s military bands during World War II. Journal of Music Therapy, 44(3), 282–305.

Sullivan, J. M. (2006). A history of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve Band. Journal of Band Research, 42(1), 1–41.

Sullivan, J. M. (2006). One Ohio music educator’s contribution to World War II: Joan A. Lamb. Contributions to Music Education, 33(2), 27–51.

Sullivan, J. M. (2006). Women’s military bands in a segregated army: The 400th and 404th WAC bands. Journal of Band Research, 41(2), 1–35.

Sullivan, J. M. (2002). Paula Crider. In K. H. Burns (Ed.), Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia, 138–139. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

Sullivan, J. M. Instrumental ensembles in America’s public normal schools: Providing social and cultural collateral to rural stakeholders. (in progress)