Meet the Band - The Front Row Cornets

The Cornet is similar to the trumpet but distinguished from it by its conical bore, more compact shape and mellower tone quality.

The front row will normally consist of 4 Solo Cornets with the Principal Cornet directing exactly what is to be played by each of them.   Most solos will be taken by the Principal or the assistant.   The two remaining seats tend to provide the "tutti" elements of the tunes.


  Principal Cornet     

Lisa Milnes

I am the bands current Principal Cornet…..not entirely by choice….!! and my role is to try and survive and get through each concert and rehearsal with minimal errors.  I do this with the help of my 2nd man, Simon.   He does all the hard work; I just take all the glory.

I first picked up a cornet when I was about 10 years old. I had previously dabbled at the violin but was told by my Dad that I sounded like I was strangling next doors cat… I gave that up as a bad job.

I started on 3rd Cornet with Friendly Band in my hometown Sowerby Bridge and worked my way up to Assistant Principal.  Whilst at Friendly I took part in various contests and concerts but my favourite banding experience would be the overseas tours we did.   The band went on 2 trips to Malta where we took part in the Band Festival there, we had a great time and got a week in the sun at the same time…..bonus!.

I left banding at 19 and set off to University to study Law after which I packed a bag and decided to travel the World for a year.   I moved back to Gods Own Country (Yorkshire) in 2012 and found my old cornet boxed up and collecting dust.   I decided to take it back to the Friendly Bandroom and hand it over, as I had no intention of playing it again…..How wrong I was!  The Band Secretary, the late Paul Fielden, insisted that I stay and do the practice before handing back the cornet.   Needless to say I left with the cornet and a promise that I would be at the next practice.   The rest, as they say, is history.

I met Simon at Friendly Band a few years back and he quickly became my banding buddy!  We moved on to the Clifton & Lightcliffe B Band where we were lucky enough to attend the National Finals after winning the 4th Section in 2014.   We moved to Honley in April 2016 and quickly found ourselves in the top 2 seats and have been there ever since.   We love playing with a great group of people.

My favourite pieces change frequently, but 2 of my all-time favourites are Macarthur Park and Highland Cathedral.

I don’t have too much spare time but when I do, I enjoy weekends away, a bottle or two of wine and taking my very spoilt dog Bobby out for walks.

  Assistant Principal Cornet     

Simon Jarman

I am one of 4 front row members; one of 10 cornet positions (if you insist on adding the Eb thingy to it). I’m currently positioned as bumper up to Lisa, the Principal Cornet for the Band.

My job is to try to take some of the routine stuff from her so that she is always ready for the more technical, high or solo stuff – it doesn’t always work that way when numbers are light on the front.  We also heavily rely on the Assistant Principal Eb Bass to keep us going during any long and protracted runs of semiquavers.   Without his oompahs, we would get easily lost.

I had my first cornet lesson in January 2011, joined The Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge) a few months later before moving on to the Soprano Cornet with Clifton & Lightcliffe B Band.  I decided it wasn't me and returned to the Bb Cornet for a while with Clifton on back row and later moved, with Lisa, to Honley when I felt it was time to have a go on the front bench.   Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending on your point of view), Lisa and I have been playing together since 2012 and if you want one of us, you get both… ifs or buts!     We both still play with Friendly Band in competitions and help them out where possible in return for their help at Honley when we need it. 

Best banding moment.   Where do I start?  I’m very proud of what I have achieved in such a short space of time, but winning the Yorkshire Regionals with C&L in 2014 and representing Yorkshire at the Nationals later that year should be right up there.

My favourite pieces tend to change month on month and depending on what new comes out.  I loved playing “Little Lisa” last year and am currently enjoying the challenge of “Light Cavalry” and “Pirates of Penzance Overture”.  I'm a huge fan of "Fingal's Cave".  It's a dramatic, stormy composition, full of tension and emotion that unfolds through the piece.

Spare time?    I’m not sure I have that much spare time anymore.   3-4 band practices a week plus home practice plus lessons and on top of that… jobs at the weekend.   I sometimes sleep.

   Tutti Cornets    
    VACANT - Do you have what it takes to fill this seat?  Contact us.                             
    Hetty Wood - Biography to follow  

Updated:-  4 May 2018 



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