Magnolia Brass Band Festival

Magnolia Brass Band Official Poster

A John Philip Sousa Outdoor Band Concert

Date: March 24, 2018
Location: Spindletop/Gladys City Boomtown Museum at Lamar University

Admission is free! The concert will begin at 2:30 and should last until about 4:00. Food and drinks available for purchase.

For more information, contact Bryan Proksch at


Bring your lawn chairs and picnic baskets and join the Lamar University Bands and the Orange Community Band of Southeast Texas for an outdoor afternoon band festival commemorating the “March King” John Philip Sousa’s four Beaumont visits in 1906, 1919, 1924, and 1928.

 Sousa with Harry Cloud

Example 1: John Philip Sousa (left) with Harry Cloud (right) and the Magnolia Band at the Beaumont Bandstand in 1924, with Beaumont schoolchildren looking on for the lunchtime concert.


This concert will celebrate the music of the Magnolia Band, a local Beaumont band conducted by Harry Cloud (a dentist) and his Magnolia Refinery bandsmen (now a part of ExxonMobil) as conducted by Sousa in January 1924. At that time Lamar University was beginning its second semester (on land donated by Magnolia) and the Magnolia Band was nationally famous for playing the inaugural broadcast of KFDM (“For Dependable Magnoline”) on Beaumont’s first radio station!


Magnolia Refinery Band

Example 2: The Magnolia Band, proudly displaying the bass drum commemorating their performance on the inaugural transmission of KFDM, Beaumont’s first radio station, in 1924.


This afternoon festival will feature Lamar University’s top two concert bands (the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band) as well as the Orange Community Band of Southeast Texas (the successor to the Magnolia Band) playing music from America’s “Golden Age” while Beaumont was a booming oil town in the historical reproduction setting of the Spindletop Museum!


Cornet Part - Magnolia Blossom March

Example 3: The Magnolia Blossom March, written by Harry Cloud of Beaumont, to be played at the festival for the first time in a century!


The “Magnolia Blossom March,” written by Harry Cloud and published by the Magnolia Petroleum Corporation will be played next to Sousa’s great marches and other staples of the concert band literature. A historical exhibit will show items from the concerts. Food and fun will be provided in the Spindletop Saloon—including historical reenactors, the Spindletop Blacksmith, and (of course) members of the Lamar Music faculty singing and playing popular songs from the era such as the “Lucas Geyser March Song” celebrating Beaumont in all its glory!   


Lucas Gusher Song

Example 4: The “Lucas Geyser March Song” (1901) commemorating Beaumont, to be sung in the Spindletop Saloon by LU’s Debbie Greshner and Jacob Clark


This festival is being given in cooperation with Lamar University Bands, the LU Spindletop/Gladys City Boomtown Museum at Lamar University, the Tyrrell Historical Library, and the Orange Community Band of SETX. The concert has been generously funded by a grant from the Center for the History and Culture of Southeast Texas at Lamar University. The event has been organized by Bryan Proksch, the music historian at Lamar University.