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Billam, James (b. 1873) - Solo Cornet, Kingston Mills Band

Mr. James Billam is just rising 21 years of age, and is a resident of Sheffield. He began playing at the age of 6 years, his debut of any note being made with the Leeds Forge Band. I remember seeing him play with this band at a contest at Totley some years ago when he had to stand on a box. Although so young he rendered great service to the band, for he was a very fine player, even at that early age.

After leaving Leeds Forge Band he was tried or examined by the famous Saint Jacombe (the writer of the Saint Jacombe Cornet Tutor), one of the finest cornet players in London in his time, and who was very pleased with Mr. Billam's playing, so much so that he presented him with a testimonial which led to Mr. Billam being asked to go to America and join Gilmore's Band, he, however, remained at home and shortly afterwards joined the Kingston Mills Band, of which he is still a member. As a cornetist, Mr. Billam, has few equals, his tone being of a very superior quality.

(Report published in 1893)