JAMIE Smith has already attained phenomenal musical success ... and he’s still only 17.
The cornet player from Dalton is the first person ever to be principal cornet player for the National Children’s Band – a role he secured when he was just 13 – and then the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
This carries the same prestige as the lead violinist in an orchestra so Jamie has been the principal player for both bands.
He’s now a member of Yorkshire 1st Section Champions, Hammonds Saltaire, and top bands like Black Dyke and Brighouse and Rastrick call on him for help if they are short.
Jamie is also principal cornet with Sellers International Youth Band and musical director of Mighty Oaks which is Sellers’ intermediate band for new starters.
Not bad considering he only started to play the instrument nine years ago.
His father, Paul, said: “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.’’
Jamie said: “I lost one of my teeth making a rash rugby challenge when I was very young but because of the importance of music in my life I can no longer play rugby.’’
But he is determined to make music his life – and has already lined up two solo guest appearances for bands in Holland next year.
“I would love to be a professional musician,’’ he said. “I’ve never been someone who is really gifted but when I want to do something I’ve worked hard at it.
“I’ve never seen it as a chore – just wanted to improve.’’
He proved that determination to get the top role with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. He had to audition and was unsuccessful at first but just kept trying again the more he improved.
His mum is Carol and Jamie has an elder brother, 22-year-old Jonathon, who also plays euphonium.
Jamie is now in his first year at Greenhead College. He is a former head boy of King James’s School in Almondbury
He is taught by Darren Stott, a former Principal Cornet of Sellers International Band, and more recently Jamie has been mentored and coached by the highly experienced Morgan Griffiths, former Principal Euphonium of the Yorkshire Building Society Band and the Black Dyke Band.
Jamie is also advised by Rob Westacott, Soprano Cornet of the Brighouse and Rastrick Band.