I left home early after a hastily eaten supper, and arriving at the band room about seven o'clock found Sergeant Young all alone and running through his inventories. He was quite pleased to see me and found a Courtois cornet, which he handed me to try, I took the instrument but was afraid to try it, so simply held on to it and felt proud even to have it in my hands. The sergeant told me to sit down and wait until the bandmaster came, and with my heart in my throat I sat trembling in a dark corner while watcing the bandsmen arrive one by one. The room very soon began to fill up, as there were some sixty-five members in the band - all volunteers who worked at various trades and professions during the day, taking up music as a recreation. Besides this band belonging to a crack regiment, it was considered an honor to belong to such an organization.
Knowing that I was an unusually good-sized boy for my age, it surely was not egotism for me to feel quite a little elated in thinking that I was able to wear a uniform equally as well as the men. However, the feeling of elation vanished almost before it was realized and I was nearly scared blue when the bandmaster entered, which he did just at that moment. As soon as he had removed his overcoat, Sergeant Young went to the bandmaster and told him that he had a young man present who wished to join the band if there was room for another cornet player. After I had been presented to the bandmaster and was introduced as the young son of Dr. William H. Clarke, the organist, my fathers reputation proved sufficient guarantee of my musical ability.