IT’S A big weekend for young brass player Jamie Smith.
Just 16, the Dalton cornet player is centre stage in two major concerts as principal cornet of the Principal Cornet of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
It’s a coveted job in banding held in previous years by players such as Phillip McCann.
Jamie’s proud parents Carol and Paul will be in Nottingham tonight and in Stoke tomorrow to play.
Big brother Jonathon aims to be at Saturday’s concert to support Jamie.
It is after all, perhaps down to Jonathon, 21, that Jamie became interested in playing.
“Jamie has been playing for about eight years,” said his dad, Paul.
“But his brother Jonathon who is that bit older had started playing and Jamie got interested.
“To begin with Jamie’s music teacher wouldn’t let him play cornet, not until he’d got his proper front teeth. He had to start on percussion. Now he plays cornet and Jonathon plays euphonium.”
The whole family will be rooting for Jamie this weekend in those two concerts with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain which are part of its summer camp at Repton School in Derbyshire.
Jamie has just finished at King James’ High School in Almondbury where he was head boy and will start next term at Greenhead College. Though his passion is music, he will be taking maths, history and psychology.
Brother Jonathon is currently at university studying to be a primary school teacher.
Both are keen to follow careers in music but says dad are making sure they have other choices too.
On home ground back in Huddersfield, Jamie is principal cornet with Sellers International Youth Band and with Yorkshire 1st Section Champions, Hammonds Saltaire. He is also musical director of Mighty Oaks which is Sellers intermediate band.
Jamie has been attending summer camps run by the National Youth Brass band set-up for some years.
In 2008, he attended the National Children’s Brass Band camp and won the principal cornet seat in 2008.
He subsequently auditioned and got into the National Youth Brass Band but the top seat there eluded him until now.
Paul said: “On the first day that they arrive they have to audition for their seats. Jamie was third man last year but this time, he’s won the top seat.
“He’s a very self-effacing lad and he knows when he has played well and when he hasn’t.
“This time after the audition he was quite pleased. He thought he’d nailed it.”
And of course he had. After a nail-biting day long wait, the results of the auditions were announced – in reverse order – so Jamie had a long wait to discover he’d got the top cornet job.
“He’s pleased. He’s done very well and we’re really proud of him,’’ Paul added.
“Me and his mum are going down to both concerts. Jamie just thinks we will be turning up tomorrow but we couldn’t miss either.
“Jonathon is working today but will be coming down to Stoke tomorrow to support him.’’
Jamie’s family say he is fortunate to have some very influential and experienced musicians involved in his playing.
He is taught by Darren Stott, a former Principal Cornet of Sellers International Band, and more recently Jamie has been mentored and coached by experienced Morgan Griffiths, former Principal Euphonium of the YBS and the Black Dyke Band. Jamie is also advised by Rob Westacott, Soprano Cornet of the Brighouse and Rastrick Band.
Hammonds Saltaire and Sellers International are proud of Jamie’s achievement and have wished him good luck for his performances in Nottingham tonight and in Stoke tomorrow.
Whatever the future holds for Jamie Smith, it looks pretty golden at the moment.