But, I admit, it’s also pretty fun.
First up: the 1908 C.G. Conn Wonderphone cornet.
|Sebastian plays some notes on the new (old) cornet|
|The engraving on the cornet, made by the C.G. Conn Instrument Co.|
The truth is, I have had cornet envy since last August, when I curated the vintage instrument exhibit at the Northfield Historical Society as part of the 2013 Vintage Band Festival. Paul Maybery, a Twin Cities resident who is internationally known as a conductor, arranger and musicologist, let us display a whole wall of his Conn Wonder Instruments at the museum, and it was fascinating to hear him talk about their history, their design, and the sound they produce.
Now, we are well on our way to acquiring our own wall of instruments. Because as my husband, Steve, reminded me (I am not sure how this escaped my memory), we already had an old cornet in the basement that his dad found many years ago at an estate sale. This second cornet is European-made, a Henri LeFevre. I don’t know the year it was manufactured.
I think one of our kids, possibly Sebastian, stuck a small toy inside the cornet when he was a little boy. Because of the obstruction, the cornet is not currently playable. Sometime before the next Vintage Band Festival in July 2016, I hope to get both cornets refurbished, so they can be part of the next instrument exhibit.
|The decorative engraving on the LeFevre cornet|
I have written a scene about this in my book. I already knew some of the song lyrics thanks to the newspaper coverage. Now I know all of the lyrics and also the tune!
|The State Song of Montana; music by Joseph Howard, lyrics by Charles Cohan|
This last purchase is a collection of songs that were popular at the turn of the last century, and that the Regimental Band also played during the trip to the South.
These songs don’t look too difficult to play on the piano, so I think with some practice I can have one or two ready for the next My Musical Family recital.