Semester of Graduation
Master of Music (MM)
Following World War I, many American businesses began to sponsor musical ensembles to promote their commercial interests and boost the morale of their workers. Although these industry-sponsored ensembles were created to serve the needs of businesses, they often played vital roles in their communities. One such ensemble was a wind band in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, affiliated with the Standard Oil Company of Louisiana (known as “Stanocola”). The Stanocola Band (1919–1950) made its first public appearance in 1920. Under the auspices of the oil refinery in Baton Rouge, the band thrived throughout the Great Depression and World War II, only disbanding in 1950 after its numbers dwindled. Given the paucity of scholarship on industrial ensembles, a study of the band provides insight into industrial ensemble practices and their effects on local communities.
Drawing on archival sources, newspaper accounts, and a rich body of period sources, this thesis is the first to explore the Stanocola Band’s role in industry, its relation to the American wind band tradition, and its influence in the Baton Rouge community. Chapter 1 serves as a brief introduction to the thesis. In Chapter 2, the band’s formation is contextualized though a discussion of “scientific management” practices, labor unions, and developments in American industry during the 1920s. Chapter 3 establishes the Stanocola Band’s connections to the military band tradition, and it defines the ensemble as “semi-professional” by way of comparison to the famed Sousa Band and the many amateur bands that flourished during the era. Chapter 4 argues that the band’s high level of musicianship kept it in demand within the Baton Rouge community until the rise of local school-affiliated bands rendered it unnecessary for the city’s musical needs.
Harris, Katlin L., "The Stanocola Refinery Band: Industry, Tradition, and Community" (2019). LSU Master's Theses. 4942.