Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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My Trumpet Student “Saves My Bacon” at Veterans Day Ceremony

Posted by glennled on November 26, 2015

Sarah Dunsmore, Trumpeter, sounds "Taps"

Sarah Dunsmore, Trumpeter, sounds “Taps,” Veterans Day, 2015

The program for the Veterans Day Ceremony announced that as Post Bugler for VFW Post 1040, I would play “Assembly” to open the 30-minute ceremony at Veterans Park in Lynnwood on 11 November. Then at the conclusion of the event, my trumpet student and I would perform “Echo Taps.” But at the last moment, I could not play.

So the young lady, a senior at Juanita High School in Kirkland who has taken trumpet lessons from me for the past six years, had to solo. And that she did. Today, as I post this article, is Thanksgiving Day. I am thankful to Sarah Dunsmore—she “saved my bacon.”

Meanwhile, others on the program performed as planned. That included the following:

  • Northwest Jr. Pipe Band
  • Legion of Honor, Nile Shrine Center
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1040 Honor Guard
  • Martin Spani, VFW Post 1040 Past Commander
  • Nicola Smith, Mayor, Lynnwood
  • Manuel Ventosa, US Army WWII Veteran
  • Jim Smith, Former Lynnwood City Councilmember
  • John Beam, Pat McGrady, Bob Jeske, Ray Colby, Max Bettman, Veterans
  • Myra Rintakmaki, Gold Star Mothers
  • VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard
  • Boy Scouts of America, Lynnwood Troup 49
  • Cub Scouts of America, Pack 331

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.


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My Trumpet Student Plays in Lake Washington School District Honor Band Concert

Posted by glennled on November 21, 2015

Sarah Dunsmore, LWSD Honor Band Trumpeter

Sarah Dunsmore, LWSD Honor Band Trumpeter

She started trumpet lessons with me in 2009—six years ago—and thus became my fifth private student. Now she’s a senior at Juanita High School in Kirkland and made the High School Honor Band in the Lake Washington School District (LWSD). Her plans are to study music education at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, starting in fall, 2016. I’m proud of her—Sarah Dunsmore.

On 3 November, she played in the LWSD Honor Concert at Redmond High School. There were 8 trumpeters–three from Juanita, two from Redmond, two from Lake Washington, and one from Eastlake high schools. The band’s guest conductor was Dr. Christopher Bianco, who is the Department Chair, Associate Professor, Director of Bands and Brass at Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham. The 59-member Honor Band played three pieces to conclude the concert:

  • Festive Overture by Shostakovich, arr. Hunsberger
  • Irish Tune from Country Derry by Percy Grainger,
  • Joy Revisted by Frank Ticheli

The 58-member Honor Orchestra opened the concert with Dr. Ryan Dudenbostel conducting. He is Director of Orchestral Studies at WWU. Next came the Honor Choir, comprised of 37 members who were conducted by Dr. Geoffrey Boers, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Washington.





Please click on any photo to enlarge it.


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She Came, She Went–Trumpeter Deserted Band for Choir!

Posted by glennled on September 27, 2015

Woman singing clip art

My 20th trumpet student, a 6th-grader in 1st-year band, took private lessons from me for a few months starting on 8 November 2010. Apparently, she has a great voice, because she made the Northshore School District’s Honors Choir in 2011. And when she had to register for 7th grade classes at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell, she chose choir, not band.

Today, when I was compiling a list of all my trumpet students since 2009, I found I’d never written a blog post here about her…until now. She must have been “out of sight, out of mind.”

But now I remember. That next year, when I would occasionally see her in a school breezeway, I would tease her about leaving and try to re-recruit her. She would just smile broadly and walk on by. It reminded me of John Benson Sebastian’s song, “Did you ever have to make up your mind? You pick up on one and leave the other behind…” Here’s The Lovin’ Spoonful singing it (1966):

She had come to a fork in the road, and “now she’s gone, gone, gone, o-o-o-o-oh.”  Just kidding. Best wishes for the Good Life, Young Lady! See you in the movies.

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Charlie Fix Takes Charge of Music at Skyview Jr. High, Bothell

Posted by glennled on September 22, 2015


When school started this fall at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell, there was a new faculty member in the music department for the first time in 15 years. Welcome to Mr. Charlie Fix, Band and Orchestra Director. Mr. Fix has a Masters Degree in Music Education from Florida State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin. Like his predecessor at Skyview, Mr. Fix is a trumpeter!

Mr. Fix has previously taught at Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, Carlsbad Unified School District in California, and Mount Vernon Community Schools in Iowa. He has taught music at all levels, elementary, junior high, and high school, in addition to teaching as a graduate assistant at Florida State.

Here at SJHS, he has three para-professional assistants to help with the 1st and 2nd year elementary bands. One teaches flutes, one teaches clarinets and saxes, and the other teaches brass–that’s me!

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25th Trumpet Student Catches Up With 7th-Grade Band

Posted by glennled on September 21, 2015


My 25th private trumpet student wanted help this summer to prepare for entry into the 7th-grade band at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell this fall. You see, last year he was a sixth-grader in the 1st-year band, whereas most of his classmates had started one year earlier and were then in 2nd-year band. This fall he is one of them. But they have had two-year’s experience, whereas he has had only one. Along with some other band students, he’s skipping 2nd-year band. Summer lessons were his way to catch up, as much as possible, with his peers.

His first trumpet lesson with me was on 8 July. That’s when I learned he is of Vietnamese ancestry. His grandmother, who lives with his family in Bothell, got out of South Vietnam in 1975. Welcome to America! I was there as a Navy man in 1965-66. That’s how I qualify for the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), and that’s how I became the bugler for VFW Post 1040 in Lynnwood. I have a special tie with this student.

He’s a good player with a bright future. He says he likes the sound of the trumpet, and it’s lightweight and easy to carry. He learns quickly and has a nice, solid tone. Best of all, he has a great attitude and practices often! He’ll do fine in 7th-grade band—indeed, I predict that he’ll become one of the leaders in the trumpet section.

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6th Annual Trumpet Recital Features 8 Students

Posted by glennled on September 20, 2015

"The Chicken Dance"

“The Chicken Dance”


There is no friendlier audience!

Eight private trumpet students of mine performed for their parents, relatives and friends on 5 June at the Sixth Annual Trumpet Recital held in my home–four in the morning session and four in the afternoon. They ranged from beginning band members to a high school senior who recently played in Inglemoor High School’s Wind Ensemble in Carnegie Hall in New York! (See my post of 29 April 2015).

In the afternoon session, three of us (including me) played “Funeral March,” a bugle call in three-part harmony.

The final performance of the recital was billed on the program as “Theme from ‘Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major'” by Joseph Haydn. It was a spoof, however. The trumpeter, a high school junior, appeared from the basement dressed in a chicken suit and played “The Chicken Dance.” Refreshments followed.

Recitals are fun, and weekly lessons pay off in many ways for every student and family.

Photos are by Nancy MacDonald. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.





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McGinn’s Farewell Elementary School Bands Concert

Posted by glennled on September 19, 2015

After 15 successful years as Director of Instrumental Music at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell, Mr. Shawn McGinn is leaving for California in the coming months.

Music-clipart4-1024x835He conducted his final elementary school bands concert on 27 May at the Northshore Performing Arts Center (NPAC) at Bothell High School. The two bands (1st year and 2nd year) are comprised of students from nearby Crystal Springs, Canyon Creek, and Fernwood elementary schools.

The 1st year band played Bang the Drum All Day (I Don’t Want to Work) by Todd Rundgren, arranged by Michael Story.

As guest conductor, I then led the 2nd year band in playing Andromeda Overture by Mark Williams.

Finally, both bands joined in playing William Tell Overture by Gioacchino Rossini, arranged by Andrew Balent.

The concert concluded with a jazz trio jam session featuring piano, tenor sax, and flugelhorn, played by Mr. McGinn.


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2015 Memorial Day Ceremony, Veterans Park, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on September 17, 2015

Memorial Day plus 197

Glenn (Taps) and Robert (Echo)

It was the same this year but not the same. Same national holiday, same place, same participating organizations, same order of events, etc. But when it came to X-Memorial Day plus 207sounding “Echo Taps,” this was the first time that one of my trumpet students, Robert, was ending his senior year in high school and planning to attend college in the fall. Farewell to Inglemoor High School in Kenmore and hello to Washington State University in Pullman–a big leap for a young man!

This is the second time he sounded “Echo Taps” with me at this place–please see my post of 19 June 2014. For more about Memorial Day, please see my posts of 18 August 2015, 1 June 2013, 2 June 2012, and 3 June 2011 in the Archives (left).

All photos by Nancy MacDonald unless otherwise marked. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.





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Memorial Day Ceremony, Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on August 18, 2015

To pay tribute to our nation’s fallen service members, the Veterans Resource Center, headed by Chris Szarek, of Edmonds Community College (ECC) hosted its second annual Memorial Day ceremony on its campus on 20 May.

The U.S. Navy provided the Color Guard, while VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood provided the Honor Guard. As this post’s bugler, I closed the ceremony by sounding “Taps” at the Flag Pavilion (please see video,

For coverage of last year’s event, see my post of 17 June 2014. Below are photos of this year’s event, courtesy of ECC Veterans Resource Center and American Legion Post 234, Mountlake Terrace, WA. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.


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Tenacious, Motivated 24th Trumpet Student

Posted by glennled on May 5, 2015

Fernwood Elementary School, Bothell

Fernwood Elementary School, Bothell

For his first lesson at his home in Bothell on 26 February 2015 , my 24th trumpet student played for me from the instruction book, Progressive Beginner Trumpet by Peter Gelling. He’s a sixth-grader at Fernwood Elementary and in 2nd year band at Skyview Jr. High School. I asked him what first attracted him to trumpet. “It’s loud,” he said, so it stands out among the other band  instruments as a leader, “and I like that.”

What does he like about playing in the band? He likes being amongst his friends, and he likes playing music, although it does not come easy for him. He wants lessons to improve his tone and play higher notes. He’d like to continue in band at least all the way through high school. He knows the music is only going to get more complicated, so he wants to be able to handle it.

His Dad is confident that his son will master the trumpet because he has determination—once he sets out to do something, he sticks with it and gets it done.  Mom was a versatile musician in high school. She played tuba, trombone, saxophone, and oboe, and became a drum major in her school band.

That’s what I like—motivated trumpet students who are determined to become their best!

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