Chapter 24. TWENTY-FOURTH SERIES

Table of Contents

MR. GILMORE SAYS, "GO ON"
THE FINAL TEST
I LEAVE, TREADING ON AIR

Upon my calling at Mr. Gilmore's and waiting in his library for about half an hour, he appeared and greeted me so affably, a characteristic that made him such a lovable man to all, that I really forgot my excitement for the moment. He talked quite a while about conditions in Canada, asking after his old friend, Dr. Torrington, and then requested me to take out my cornet and play something for him. Before starting, he advised me to 11 warm up a bit," and this gave me more confidence, but I could not think fa single piece to play. He noticed my hesitation and began to encourage me, saying that he realized just how I felt. His manner was so delightful that I forgot my self-consciousness and commenced to play one of my most difficult solos; I think it was Levy's Whirlwind Polka. After starting, I felt all right, keeping my mind wholly upon every note. I certainly worked hard, knowing that I must make good if I expected to land the engagement..

When I had finished this number in a creditable manner, Mr. Gilmore simply nodded his head and said "go on." I then played a difficult "air varie," finishing on a very high note, top F, that was not in the music. His exclaiming "bravo!" encouraged me to play another solo with more execution, or technic. I was then told to rest, during which time he asked me some questions regarding what experience I had had in the band field, also what music I had been used to playing. I told him that my education in playig had been under the direction of Dr. Torrington and Mr. John Bayley, who were efficient musicians, as he well knew, and that I had been well drilled in all the standard overtures, oratories, symphonies, and operatic selections. He next asked me if I could play some simple ballads, suggesting The Last Rose of Summer, which I knew and interpreted to his astonishment and satisfaction.

By this time I had begun to get a bit exhausted, having used up all my strength in the numbers I had already played, and I hoped he would let me go, telling me whether or not I was capable of becoming a member of his band. But he did not once talk business, and I could vision myself returning to Toronto without any success. This caused me to feel discouraged and sorry that I had spent so much time and money coming to New York, although, as a matter of fact, the experience was already well worth ten times te amount.