Boston Saxophone Orchestra. Abdon Laus, Director using Buescher True Tone Saxophones.
With no less than nine female saxophonists…
Excellent circa 1920s photograph of the Boston Symphony Orchestra advertising Buescher True Tone Saxophones:
In late 1924, the first bassoonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Abdon Laus, who performed the saxophone solos in the BSO’s concerts when required, began to put together the Boston Saxophone Orchestra, drawn from professional and good amateur players in the city […] [T]he ensemble rehearsed assiduously, and also grew in size, with one concert comprising 85 players.¹
During the mid 1910s to the late 1920s, interest in the sax grew dramatically in popularity in the United States. This ‘saxophone craze’ resulted in numerous saxophone ensembles being formed as dance or jazz groups. Many did not have the classical roots as did the Boston Saxophone Orchestra. Thus, one aim of the Boston Saxophone Orchestra was to “counter the populist tendencies associated with the instrument” and to maintain tradition.
In this group portrait of forty-one individuals there are no less than nine female saxophonists: six are women, two teenagers, one is younger girl. The females are arranged in the picture by their age; the men not so much. A rare and large image, with saxophones, faces and dresses tinted. A possibly unique image; quite evocative of its time period.
Description: Boston Saxophone Orchestra. Abdon Laus, Director using Buescher True Tone Saxophones.
[Likely Boston. After 1924.] Photograph, tinted. 14½ x 19¾ inches. Unique? An outstanding example in fine condition.
1. Cottrell, The Saxophone (Yale, 2013).