MY BEGINNING AS A BANDSMAN

After the rehearsal was finished Sergeant Young called me aside and proceeded to equip me with all the accoutrements necessary for regimental band work, and then gave me instructions to call at the armory on the following Wednesday and be-sworn in" as a soldier of the Queen of England. I carried the cornet home, together with the regimental regalia, and do not imagine there ever was a prouder boy than I in all the world at that time.

That was my beginning as a bandsman, and although I was only the twelfth cornet player in a band of sixty-five it did not matter a bit to me so long as I was a real member. We played the best of music under the direction of Mr. Bayley, although every man was an amateur, so to speak, and played only for the pleasure he derived form it. We held three rehearsals weekly- Monday, Wednesday and Friday- and I was a bit sorry they did not include Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I never had enough playing myself, ad even in those days did not tire. I always was sorry when band practice was over.

On the following Wednesday I went to the armory and took the "oath of allegiance" binding me to Queen Victoria for service, whom I served honorably for about nine years(three years for three times). Later on I received my discharge with honors, and am very proud of my discharge papers which I hold to this day. I now began to practice the cornet with enthusiastic zest, as I had my own cornet with which I could do as I pleased, but was mighty careful never to get any dents in it. It was plain brass and I kep it shining like new. Now that my boyish ambition had been satisfied I began to take an increased interest in cornet playing but purely as a pastime, and never realizing that I ever would amount to anything more than a twelfth cornet player.