ARRANGING AS AN AID TO STUDY

Naturally my work with the viola enabled me to write in the alto clef, but I soon realized that as the cornet was built in B flat, all parts for that instrument must either be written or transposed a tone above the piano part. This soon became intensely interesting to me, and I would try to hear in my mind the sound of what I was arranging, to catch the sounds without actually playing the parts. It was similar to painting a picture and correctly blending the colors, only that as yet I had to learn to simplfy parts for the ordinary players and still not write melody for all the instruments. This not only trained my mind, but seemed to help me play the cornet better, and through it I learned to study my music mentally before ever attempting to play it; likewise, I found that it enabled me to read all music more readily, and to execute with greater fluency.

Playing in our string quartet gave me the idea of forming a brass quartet, so one day when visiting my boyfriend, Walter Rogers, I broached the subject to him. He readily responded to the idea, and told me that if we would organize such an ensemble he would be only too glad to make one of the quartet. I went home and brought up the matter of a brass quartet with my brothers. It appealed to Ed, who said that all we needed to carry out theplan was someone to play alto horn. Ed had not touched his cornet (or any wind instrument) for a very long time because of devoting his entire time to studying and playing the violin, but said that as there was a good alto instrument in the house he would tackle it. This made the brass quartet complete, with Rogers playing first cornet, myself second cornet, Ed the resurrected alto, and Ern trombone.

Then came the question as to where and how we should get published music for our combination. I spoke with Rogers about it and asked if he knew where we could obtain music. He at once dug through his own collection of music and brought to light a few manuscripts. They were original compositions for brass quartets of the same combination we had organized which he had written some few years before while attending the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, The next day I went to a music store and bought up all thebrass-quartet music they had in stock, then seta date in the following week for the first tryout of our brass experiment. Rogers came over to our house, where a very pleasant afternoon was spent playing all the music-numbers we had. These, of course, included Rogers' own compositions, which really were the best of all, and the effect of our playing together was mighty good for a first trial.