Historical Brass Archive

Alice Raymond

The Ladies of the Band World. World-Class cornet soloist Alice Raymond. Solo Cornetist of the Innes Band, toured extensively in vaudeville as the world’s greatest woman cornetist. Active from the 1880’s into the 20th-century. She was a Conn “Wonder” artist.

Helen (Mrs. Wm. Howard) Taft

Helen (Mrs. Wm. Howard) Taft was the founder of the Cincinnati Symphony and was elected president from her position on the board of directors. Her responsibilities included auditioning, contract negotiations with conductors and musicians, subscription sales, rental of performance hall, fundraising, presiding at board and stockholder meetings, signing all contracts and stock certificates, community outreach, educational programming, delivering an annual report. A fine pianist, Taft said “I found, at last, a practical method for expressing and making use of my love and knowledge of music.” She did all this while raising her three children essentially alone, since Taft was largely away from home as circuit court judge.

Helen May Butler

Helen May Butler (1867-1957)- “The Female Sousa.” Conductor, cornetist, and composer. She lead the HMB Ladies Military Band for many years and composed the official march for Theodore Roosevelt’s presidential campaign. A pioneer.