These orchestras mostly played music by male composers, and usually had male conductors, but there was one notable exception: “Miss Clara Ross’ Ladies’ Mandolin and Guitar Band”, which performed music composed by its leader, and appeared at many of London’s most fashionable music venues during the 1890s. Clara’s formidable body of original and melodious compositions (which also includes dozens of songs for women's voice/s and piano, composed between the mid-1880s and the 1920s) has, until now, been entirely overlooked by musicologists. So this web site is devoted to the life and work of this successful and versatile composer, to help to put her back on the musical map. On the various pages you can find scores (free to download and perform) for Clara Ross’ music as well as videos and audio recordings. We will expand the site and add more material when it becomes available.
Here is a more extensive article on Clara Ross and women's mandolin bands in Victorian England.