St. Louis is well-acquainted with the design, engineering and manufacturing generated by the 15,000 employees of the Boeing Defense, Space and Security headquarters on the edge of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Far more obscure is the decidedly low-tech endeavor undertaken by about 25 engineers, administrators and retirees who gather at a rehearsal once a week as the Boeing Concert Band, tooting their own horns in a throwback to another time and era.
Each December, a group that at any given performance might include current workers, retirees, and the musically inclined employee children over the age of 18, returns to its roots during a string of holiday-themed appearances at area assisted-living facilities.
Now an anomaly, factory bands were once quite common. The bands maintained enough of a domestic presence during the first half of the 20th century to warrant a doctoral thesis on the subject by Christopher Chaffee, now an associate music professor at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
Chaffee uncovered a study indicating more than 620 U.S. companies sponsored musical ensembles of one form or another in the late 1920s.
Read more at stlttoday.com (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)