Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Cornelia Yarbrough


The purpose of this study is to show the influence that Lena Milam had on the development of music education and community music in Beaumont, Texas, from 1919 to 1955, the period during which she served as Supervisor of Music for the Beaumont Schools. It further shows that it was largely through her efforts that Beaumont developed a music education program, a civic involvement in music, and an awareness and appreciation of music that surpassed other Texas cities of comparable size during this period. Although the study was delimited to include only the developments in music education and community music as influenced by Dr. Milam, those orgainzations in which she was not involved are included, but in a summarized manner. Furthermore, due to Dr. Milam's extensive participation in community music activities, the report is rather comprehensive in its treatment of Beaumont's music development. It should be noted that music education in Beaumont's black schools, although under the administration of Dr. Milam, is not included in this study due to a lack of sufficient documentation. The primary source of data used in the formulation of the study was a comprehensive collection of scrapbooks which were kept by Dr. Milam and donated to Beaumont's Tyrrell Historical Library following her death in 1984. These scrapbooks contain numerous newspaper articles, programs, personal letters, and other types of memorabilia. The findings of this study substantiate Lena Milam's influence as paramount in the development of music education and community music in Beaumont. Dr. Milam's state, national, and international influence is shown through her membership in numerous professional and music organizations, and her many appearances as lecturer, teacher and clinician. Considerable attention is given to the effects of the "Great Depression" and World War II on music education and community music in Beaumont.