Violinist Maud Powell and Trumpeter Edna White

At a time when most women stayed home to raise children, these women thrilled millions with their performances.

Susan Fleet dares to uncover important stories about musical women. Read this important book to discover what women have accomplished in Music. --Virginia Eskin, Concert pianist, Northeastern University artist in residence


Susan Fleet is an expert on American female musicians who deserve wider recognition in the history of jazz and classical music. -- Matt Morrell, "Jazz at WGBH", WGBH-FM, Boston

"Fleet's insightful writing, filled with contextual information and accompanied by photographic and audio documentation, makes for a compelling introduction to this long-awaited book." -- Monique Buzzarté, trombonist and Meet-the-Composer Soloist Champion

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Maud and Edna, age 7Maud and Edna, age 7
The young soloists:

Maud at the left, Edna on the right

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In their prime: Maud on the left, Edna on the right.

Maud was the first instrumentalist to record for RCA Victor in 1904. Edna played the first solo trumpet recital in Carnegie Hall in 1949. Their personal lives were tumultuous. At 35, Maud ignored her mother's disapproval to marry the man she loved. Edna left her first husband to marry an opera singer.

Tour the Wild West with them; learn how early recordings were made; observe the rampant racism at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and the Jim Crow South. See vaudeville through Edna's eyes. Experience the hardships she faced during the 1930s Depression when she and her teenage son had only hard boiled eggs to eat.