Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Photo Gallery: Elementary Bands’ Holiday Concert at Skyview Jr. High in Bothell

Posted by glennled on April 16, 2015

On 4 December 2014, the two elementary bands (1st year and 2nd year) which are affiliated with Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell played their first concert of the school year in front of an adoring, proud crowd of parents, relatives and friends in the cafeteria/auditorium. Below is a photo gallery of the concert, with an emphasis on the brass section, whom I teach. Shawn McGinn, Director of Instrumental Music, conducted the concert and graciously allowed me to conduct the final piece by the 2nd-year band. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.


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“Echo Taps” on Veterans Day at Veterans Park in Lynnwood, 11-11-2014

Posted by glennled on April 15, 2015

Trumpeters who sounded "Echo Taps"

Trumpeters who sounded “Echo Taps”

Why is this holiday on 11 November? Because that’s when World War I ended—at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. And that helps explain why, 96 years later on Veterans Day 2014, the memorial ceremony at Veterans Park in Lynnwood, WA commenced at 11 a.m.

VFW Post 1040 hosted the event, attended by hundreds of people who gathered to honor all veterans. Participants included Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith, Puget Sound Honor Flight, Northwest Junior Pipe Band, Boy Scouts Troup 49, Cub Scouts from BSA Pack 331, Legion of Honor  of the Nile Shrine Center, and the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard.

As VFW Post 1040 bugler, I sounded three bugle calls: “Assembly” to call the people to order to commence the ceremony, “Echo Taps” to conclude the ceremony, and afterwards at noon, “To the Color,” to raise the flag from half-staff to full-mast. In playing “Echo Taps,” I was joined by a trumpet student of mine from Juanita High School in Kirkland. Please click on the photo to enlarge it.

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22nd Trumpet Student—Back to the Basics in Order to Jump Ahead

Posted by glennled on April 14, 2015

Shorewood Thunderbirds

Shorewood Thunderbirds

Grandma knows best—that’s why she sent me an email on 10 November 2014, about starting trumpet lessons with her grandson, a freshman in the band at Shorewood High School in Shoreline, WA, just north of Seattle. “He seems to enjoy the school band,” she wrote, “but I would like him to be successful, and wonder if you would have time to schedule him for some lessons.” And so we began.

What I found during our first session at his home was that some of his fundamentals were weak. His embouchure formation was fine and his tone decent, but his note recognition was not yet automatic and his upper range was too low. Developing embouchure strength and increasing range is pretty straightforward. However, developing automatic note recognition, reflexive fingering, and embouchure slotting can be very problematic for some students. I selected two instruction books for him: I Recommend by James D. Ployhar and Exercises for Ensemble Drill by Raymond C. Fussell. Other books will follow if he wants to develop further.

What does it mean to him to play trumpet well? He will have more confidence, enjoy playing music more, develop closer friendships, and have more fun in band. He’s on his way to becoming Grandma’s success story!

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21st Trumpet Student Has High Ambitions

Posted by glennled on April 13, 2015

Chris Botti, trumpeter

Chris Botti, trumpeter

Natalie Dungey. trumpeter

“We’re a musical family!” says the Mom of my 21st trumpet student, a 7th grade student at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell. He plays his Mom’s trumpet, the one her parents bought for her when she was in 10th grade at age 16. (Her Dad played cornet.) She made All-State Band in Texas, and now her son (13), has an even loftier ambition–to become a professional musician and play “awesome” trumpet. His favorite trumpeter is Chris Botti (, and he’s a great admirer of Natalie Dungey (

He likes classical music but also plays in the school jazz band, which he says helps him make different sounds and improves his ability to read music. Within the past year, he’s taken up drums (his Dad plays drums) and tinkers around on the piano. He’s started a composition for an ensemble of 2 trumpets, 2 violas, 1 tuba, 1 snare drum, 1 alto sax, and 1 flute. Meanwhile, he also wrestles and plays soccer. And his older sister sings and plays piano, guitar, and clarinet, while his younger sister “sings like a mocking bird,” says her Mom.

Why did he choose trumpet? Because it has such a “powerful sound that it hits you in the face, but at the same time it can make soft sounds that are pure beauty.” Right on!

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High School Band Day, 9-20-’14, UW Huskies vs. Georgia State Panthers

Posted by glennled on April 12, 2015

Georgia State hardly had a chance–the University of Washington Huskies never (hardly ever) loose on High School Band Day! And two-legged dogs always beat two-legged cats, no? And so it was on 20 September 2014, that UW came out on top, 45-14, scoring all 45 points in the second half. The first half was a stinker for the Huskies, who got booed off the field into the locker room to re-group. In any case, the win left the Huskies with a 4-0 record thus far in the season.

Could it be that the combined bands’ massive half-time show on High School Band Day inspired the Huskies to come back from 0-14 to win? ;-)

Here’s how the bands did it—see the photo gallery below. As always, trumpeters are featured. Field-level shots were taken by Louis Figueroa, and press box shots were by Garry Nakayama. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.



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Photo Gallery of Cheer Day, 13 Sept 2014, UW 44, U Illinois 19

Posted by glennled on April 11, 2015

The “Fighting Illini” of the University of Illinois came to Husky Stadium and went home without a victory, losing to the University of Washington Huskies, 44-19, on Cheer Day–the annual football game when high school cheerleaders come from all over the state to participate with the Husky Cheerleaders and Varsity Marching Band in the pre-game and half-time activities. And, of course, the Husky Alumni Band participates, too–and I’m a member! In the half-time show, the Varsity Band commemorated the 50th anniversary of The Beatle’s concert in Seattle.

Below is a gallery of photos, featuring lots of trumpeters, from the game. Louis Figueroa took the field-level shots, and Garry Nakayama took those from the press box. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.



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Beginning My 4th Year with Elementary Bands at Skyview Jr. High, Bothell

Posted by glennled on April 10, 2015

I’m back! Lucky me, commencing on 8 September 2014, with the first class of this school year, I get to continue teaching beginning brass students at Skyline Jr. High School in Bothell. Fifth and sixth grade band students arrive early in the morning at Skyline for band classes, and afterwards, they go to their respective schools, Fernwood, Crystal Springs, and Canyon Creek elementary schools for regular classes. Shawn McGinn is the Director of Instrumental Music at Skyline.

I teach brass sectionals on Mondays-Thursdays, including trumpets, trombones, French horns, and baritones. On Fridays, I teach the full 2nd year elementary band, comprised of 6th graders. We present three concerts by the fifth and sixth grade bands each year. It’s fun!

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Photo Gallery: UW Huskies Defeat Eastern Washington University Eagles, 9-6-14

Posted by glennled on April 9, 2015

It was the first Saturday of September, 2014. This was the first home game of the football season for the University of Washington Huskies and the second game under new Coach Chris Petersen. The opponent was the Eastern Washington University Eagles from Cheney, Washington near Spokane. The Huskies won, 59-52, in a wild shootout.

Below is a gallery of photos. featuring the Husky Varsity Marching Band trumpeters, from the game. I am a member of the Husky Alumni Band. Shots from the pressbox are by Garry Nakayama, and those from field level are by Louis Figueroa. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Stunning 2014 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland

Posted by glennled on September 18, 2014

Herald trumpeters open The 2014 Royal Edinburgh Tattoo with a fanfare

Herald trumpeters open The 2014 Royal Edinburgh Tattoo with a fanfare


When you’re producing one of the best entertainment shows on earth, you need trumpets and a fanfare to get the show started! And so my wife and I noticed as we sat in the stands among thousands in the audience at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, 2014, in Scotland on 11 August. Our whole three-week trip to the UK was organized around our tickets to this event. We simply love bagpipes!

The Tattoo is staged on the Esplanade (parade ground) of the Edinburgh Castle. This year it occurred during Scotland’s “Year of Homecoming, 2014.” The Commonwealth Games and the World Pipe Band Championships were held in Glasgow, and The Ryder Cup (golf) will be held on 26-28 September at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles in Perthshire.  According to the wee bit of Scottish history that I have recently learned, there was a massive diaspora of Scots from the homeland during the mid-18th to late-19th centuries. More Scottish descendants now live abroad than currently live in Scotland itself (population ~5 million). Scots spread throughout the globe, and this year they were invited back home to celebrate their heritage.

The 2014 Tattoo reflects this history of emigration. The program was divided into three major segments: “The Departure,” “The Journey,” and “The Return Home.” Groups from Trinidad and Tabago, Malta, southern Africa, India, Singapore, and New Zealand performed. During “The Journey” segment, the performance by the New Zealanders effectively depicted the intermingling of the two different cultures.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.



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“Year-End Band Concert” at Hamilton International Middle School, Seattle

Posted by glennled on June 29, 2014

Two great leaders and positive thinkers who excel, Russell Wilson and Daniel Rowe

Two great leaders and positive thinkers who excel, Russell Wilson and Daniel Rowe

The “Year-End Band Concert” by the outstanding four bands from Hamilton International Middle School in Seattle on 12 June brought the audience to its feet for two standing ovations, as the director, Mr. Daniel Rowe, made the stunning announcement that he would be retiring after 35 years of teaching music in public schools. But four days later, after the weekend, he said he had re-thought his plans and announced that he would teach another two years—whew!–the band students and parents must have heaved a huge sigh of relief.

No doubt, three other people did, too: Cindy Waters, HIMS Principal; Angela Babbitt, Director, Beginning Band; and Zari Magness. President, FOMAHI (Friends of Music at Hamilton International), the booster club. They all participated in the concert, held at Lincoln High School Auditorium in the Wallingford neighborhood.

The 49-member Beginning Band played five pieces, including the crowd-pleasing “Slidin’ and Glidin’,” featuring the trombone section. The 93-member Cadet Band played four pieces, concluding with “Fiero.” And the 91-member Concert Band played three pieces, “Into the Storm,” “Shenandoah,” and “Highlights from ‘Frozen.'”

Trumpet trio, Juliana, Aadi, and Colin play "Bugler's Holiday"

Trumpet trio, Juliana, Aadi, and Colin play “Bugler’s Holiday”

The Symphonic Band began its four-piece set with “Bugler’s Holiday,” by Leroy Anderson, featuring a trio of double-tonguing trumpeters. [Recall from my post of 21 June that a trumpet trio from the Wind Ensemble from Inglemoor High School had played the same piece just one week earlier. And I recall that I’d played it in a college band concert long ago.]

Mr. Rowe has each band vote for three annual awards: Most Inspirational, Most Improved, and Outstanding Musician of the Year. Two trumpeters won such awards: in the Cadet Band, Corinna Sanger was voted Most Inspriational, and in the Symphonic Band, Colin Ovens was voted Outstanding Musician.

After Mr. Rowe made his shocking announcement, he led the band in what he had planned to be his final concert piece–the “Overture to Candide” by Leonard Bernstein, arranged by Clare Grundman. Later, I asked him about the signicance of this music to him. He said that during his first year at HIMS, he’d had his Symphonic Band play it. That was five years ago, and the band had 41 members. He wanted to conclude his career by having his current 88-member band play it, too. Whoever succeeds him in 2016, will inherit a very strong band program.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.



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