well thanks for all the help, i've decided to stick with the DW S mouthpiece as i find it comfortable, and i'll just have to practice more and more for the range
i've been playing sop for about 18 months, and i don't think i'm doing that bad of a job, the 3rd section test peice is giving me a bit of problems (not the range) as i've not really got the hang of double and tripple tonguing, i can just single tongue very fast but in Visacaya i need to tripple...... i just hope i'll get there in time.
my guest spot in the champ section band went really well, no major mistakes and i got a few compliments (must be deaf!!!) tho personally i just managed to keep up with the standard of music they were playing for the concert.
overall i think i'm getting there and things are working out, i can't help but wonder how much better i'd be playing if it wasn't for the 8 year break i had!!! (only been back to playing for around 20 months)
and hopefully the band will do well in the areas, but one thing i must add my personal aim in most contesting playing sop is not to get mentioned in the notes (other sop players will know what i mean) and in the last contest (we came first in our section and 4th overall beating 2 or 3 2nd section bands) i didn't get mentioned so i must be getting better
Now, I'm prepared for all kinds of protest here, and no doubt lots of people will be able to point to young players who are doing very well, and experiencing no problems at all, some of whom have gone on to be well-known exponents of the instrument; however, I'm going to stick my neck out and say, IMHO:
"If you are 15 years old, and have been playing a brass instrument for only 18 months, then I don't think you should be playing soprano cornet at all!"
I am quite certain that over the years I have heard many well-known trumpet players and teachers say (and write) that players who are not yet physically fully mature, or sufficiently experienced, should not be subjected to the physical stresses of high register trumpet/cornet playing.
I'm not going to try and drop names here (mainly because I genuinely can't remember who they are!), but I used to know of at least one teacher who point-blank refused to allow any of his students to even touch a piccolo trumpet before they were at least 18, if not older. Again, whilst I am sure there are exceptions that prove the rule, I know only too well from my own experience that playing in the high register before you are ready (especially playing in a pressure environment like a brass band contest, where the temptation is to get the notes at any cost) can result in problems with technique/embouchure that can take years to repair.
Sorry to be a bit of a wet blanket, but I think a note of caution is appropriate, even if it might not apply to everyone.