During this time I helped Father with his services by playing cornet on Sundays. I would get in the organ up among the pipes and play a sacred song accompanied by Dad. Many of the congregation thought it was some new stop in the organ, and a good deal of pleasant comment was heard when Dad informed them that the "new stop" was none other than one of his sons. Through his position as organist in a prominent church, my father was able to get in touch with some of the town's influential business men about som sort of work for me. However, even with this help, the only thing that presented itself was a chance to clerk in one of the largest banks - if I cared to wait until a vacancy occurred through death, or some such mischance.
It was very good to be back home again where everything was so comfortable, and with no responsibilities on my shoulders, although, after having tasted some success in cornet playing, it humiliated me to be dependent upon my parents and not be able to provide even some spending money for myself. I could not seem to understand why I did not obtain a semblance of job, after having tried so hard in every possible manner. These reverses made me determine to give up music as a career, and I regretfully cast aside all ideas of becoming the great player of my dreams. My success in winning the cornet contest a few months previous ought to have braced me up, but it did not. I was completely discouraged.
One evening, about seven o'clock, someone rang our front doorbell. I answered, and a man asked if there were not a "young man living here who played viola and cornet." When I told him that it was I, he rather took my breath away by saying, "Put your hat and coat on, and come down to the theatre tonight with your instruments." I was so astonished that I stood there, forgetting to ask him in. He left quickly, telling me to go to the Academy of Music as soon as possible.
All thoughts of abandoning music were promptly forgotten, and in my excitement I did not stop to wonder how anyone could know that I, a newcomer to Rochester, was a musician. The man had left so hurriedly that I was given no opportunity to tell him of my decision to give up professional playing. The thought occurred to me that perhaps, after all, I had better go to the leader and explain this to him, I hastened to the Academy, taking both instruments with me, however, in case there was no one to play the parts. On my way down, while in the street car, I thought things over and decided to do my best that night and, should my work prove satisfactory, try to make some money out of music, at least for incidentals.