- Lavern John Wagner
(b New York, May 28, 1852; d Kansas City, MO, Feb 4, 1916). American composer, publisher, and band director. As a band director in 1879, he moved from Muscatine, Iowa to Princeton, Illinois. In 1879 A.E. Squire published Southwell’s Collection of 24 Sextettes for Brass Instruments, intended to be performed in groups of three, with a brief modulation between each piece. Taking a cue from Squire, Southwell established his own music publishing firm in Princeton, printing 21 of his own compositions 1881–4. In 1884–5 his firm published in Wellington, Kansas, then temporarily in Topeka, Kansas, in 1887. The North Western Band Carnival in June 1887 prompted Southwell to move his company permanently to Kansas City. After his early serious band compositions, Southwell became aware of the vast market for town band music, and composed especially for amateur bands. During his life Southwell composed 558 works. After his death the firm was continued by his brother Charles, until sold to Volkwein Brothers in 1934.
- The Leader, January 1886
- W.H. Rehrig: The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music (Westerville, OH, 1991, suppl. 1996); CD-ROM (Oskaloosa, IA, 2005) [includes list of works]
- L.J. Wagner: “Music for America’s Hometown Bands: Tracing the Southwell Publishing Firm,” Journal of Band Research, 35/2 (2000), 1–19