We had been in Indianapolis about a week, and were fairly well settled in our new home, when one night l went to the Park where a band was giving regular summer evening concerts, and incidentally received an "eye-opener' in cornet playing, judging by the spontaneous applause which followed each number the band was exceedingly popular with the public, and as the organization played really good music finely rendered, I enjoyed the concert greatly. At about the middle of the program a young man not much older than myself stood up and without moving from his place began playing a cornet solo which at once so captivated my attention that I forced my way through the crowd in order to get nearer the bandstand and not miss a note. As the player continued with the introduction to the solo he astonished me with his clear, musical tone and playing poise, but when he come to a most difficult cadenza and played it faultlessly in a musically manner I held my breath in sheer astonishment. Never before had I heard a player with such perfect technic. It truly was remarkable!
The number, an extremely difficult cornet solo which demanded great endurance in playing was the Excelsior Polka by Frewin (I later purchased a copy for cornet and piano). At the ending of the solo the young player was given an ovation of tumultuous applause, in which I joined vigorously. The cornetist again arose, but this time stepped to the front of the platform, and to my wonderment played the entire solo through for the second time without seeming tired or making a slip. The remarkable thing about his performance was that he played so easily, gracefully; apparently with unconcern, and without any facial muscular contortions or movements. His face did not become purple, distorted, or show any signs of strain. I always had made such hard work in playing even a simple little polka which did not reach G on the first space above, that to watch him play with such perfect ease a number which seemed filled with top "C's" and then end it on the highest note, actually dumfounded me. It was both a revelation and a inspiration!
After the close of the concert I inquired as to the players identity, and learned that he was a Walter B. Rogers who came from the little town of Delphi, in Indiana. I also found out that he played at the Opera House when the season was done.