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John Reay

Mr. John Reay, of Carlisle, is well known as one of the most popular and talented amateur cornettists of the north. Born in Brampton in 1868, he, like many other celebrated players, gained his first experience in the village band. While still a mere boy he played at concerts to delighted audiences who were astonished at the clever triple tongueing of one so young.

Leaving his native town he gave up playing for five years, in order the more assiduously to devote himself to his profession as a chemist. After passing the examinations of the Pharmaceutical Society, be again took up the cornet. It is less than two years since he commenced contesting, and his career, both as a soloist in bands, and in single-handed cornet contests, has been remarkable. He has won first prize under eleven different judges.

He commenced on Year's Day, 1895, by winning a splendid cornet at Workington Eisteddfod. He has secured the cornet solo prize at Carlisle Band Contest in succession. He also won the solo at Newcastle, out of 19 bands. In cornet contests be has won Workington Eisteddfod twice in succession, and at Haltwhistle twice in succession, also at various other places.

(Report published in 1896)