International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Melody Maids of Beaumont, Texas
La Wanda J. Blakeney

The purpose of this research was to investigate the history of Melody Maids, a private chorus for teenaged girls in Beaumont, Texas. Results indicate that the choral ensemble was very unusual. Initially formed to provide entertainment at a War Bond Rally during World War II, the chorus performed mostly at military installations. Melody Maids never accepted remuneration for concerts and was never affiliated with any institution. Yet the all-female choir existed for thirty years, allowing hundreds of girls to travel extensively over much of the world. The director, Eloise Milam, exerted complete control in both musical and non-musical matters, and she held strong opinions regarding proper behavior for young women. Under her leadership, Melody Maids became not only a community chorus that performed solely for the satisfaction of sharing music with others but also a finishing school for Southern ladies.

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