Woman of the Century/Florence E. Searing
FLORENCE E. SEARING. SEARING, Miss Florence E., orchestra leader, born near Mobile. Ala., 16th October, 1868. She has made New Orleans, La., her home since childhood. Her father was R B. Searing, of New York, her mother, Miss Sibley, of Alabama. In 1887 she offered her professional services as pianist for teas, dances and receptions, and by reason of her attractive presence, marked talent and winning manners she soon held a monopoly of the business in all the fashionable gatherings of New Orleans. She was so pretty and so evidently to the manner born that society people were pleased to have her appear as an ornamental adjunct to their entertainments. Her music, they discovered, was selected with exceeding care, fragments culled from light operas that had failed in Paris, but had dancing gems worth retaining. She avoided all hackneyed airs, often getting new waltzes from Europe before their publication in this country. She conceived the idea of forming a string-band, and to that end added one violin, then another, afterward a bass, and next a clarionet, until now a full orchestra of many pieces is admirably trained under her leadership.