Just a passing word regarding this bandmaster, John Bayley, who was known as a finished musician of high order; he was a remarkable organist, a wonderful piano accompanist and one of the best clarinetists I have ever heard in my life - in short, a man experienced in every branch of music. In later life I often have remarked to him that at least one-half of my success was due to my early days of playing under him, plus the coaching he gave me on the various arias which occur in the cornet parts of published operatic selections.
Following the introduction, I was assigned a place in the last seat of the cornet section of twelve, where I sat down and waited for the signal to commence our playing. When we did begin I found that my mouth had become so dry it was impossible for me even to start a tone, and considered myself the luckiest fellow in the world at not having been called upon to play before the men as a trial. However, being the son of a great organist saved me from a public dilemma; but had it been otherwise I probably shoud have fainted with fright, and more than likely would have been sent home minus the cornet with which I had been supplied.
When the band finally began fully to play, I entirely forgot my part in listening to the effect produced by sixty-five men playing, and even though not heard from myself, I again was highly elated at being one of them. I also learned much from that first rehearsal, for Mr. Bayley was indeed strict and would "call" any man who played unmusically even though it was in a volunteer band. It proved a great lesson for me, and among other things I learned to be exceedingly careful in my playing.
After a time, and as I grew accustomed to my new environment, I became more normal, and forgetting my self-consciousness tried to play a few notes, but only when the band was playing forte, being careful not to play in the softer passages. Instead, I simply held the cornet to my lips (moving my fingers but not blowing) and pretended to be playing with the others. I always had been sensitive as a boy, and if Mr. Bayley had talked to me as he did to some of the others when they made mistakes it would have boken my spirit. As it was, I learned to either play soft or leave out my part, for the remaining eleven cornetists easily could do the work without aid from me.