Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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My Early Return with a Different Trumpet Show to Ida Culver House, Broadview Retirement Community in North Seattle

Posted by glennled on July 22, 2019

 

Ida Culver House, Broadview, north Seattle

Ida Culver House, Broadview, 12505 Greenwood Ave N., Seattle—an Era Living retirement community. Photo courtesy of ICHB.

They came back on 11 July! “They love you!” said Dana, speaking of the residents of Ida Culver House, Broadview (ICHB) in north Seattle who came back to hear my second one-hour trumpet show in two months (please see my blog post of 9 June 2019).

Dana is the kind, helpful assistant who, with another good lady, Monica, set up the room for me where I played another of my five trumpet shows. This one is called “Showtune Favorites: Hit Songs from Musicals and Movies.” It consists of 25 such songs, including “Over the Rainbow,” “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Hello Dolly,” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” They sang along (or hummed) and laughed (or groaned) at my jokes and riddles.

For different sound effects appropriate to each song, I used two trumpets, one cornet, four mouthpieces, one harmon mute, and one straight mute. The trumpets are by Getzen (Severinsen) and Jupiter, the cornet is by Olds, and the mouthpieces are by Yamaha (Vizzutti), Denis Wick, and Bach.

Ida Culver pioneered two of the 8 retirement communities now in the Era Living group. Two are named for her—this one and the one in Ravenna, which she originally created as a home for retired teachers.

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Independence Day: “I Stand for the Flag” Trumpet Show at Fairwinds Brighton Court in Lynnwood, After the Edmonds Parade

Posted by glennled on July 21, 2019

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Partial view of audience, “I Stand for the Flag” trumpet show at Fairwinds Brighton Court, Lynnwood, Independence Day, 2019

 

It was a special joy, coming back to Fairwinds Brighton Court in Lynnwood to perform my second one-hour trumpet show there. The audience was large—about 60. It’s where my dear mother-in-law, Ruth MacDonald, occupied Room 344 for three years, and she used to love to come to the room pictured above to hear musicians play and sing.

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Juna Davies, piano, accompanies Glenn Ledbetter, Getzen trumpet

This time, my show was “I Stand for the Flag,” comprised of 25 patriotic marches and songs. It was on Independence Day, the Fourth of July, in the afternoon, right after I had marched among other veterans in the Edmonds Parade, carrying the Navy flag and my Getzen bugle. My former performance at Brighton Court was of another of my shows, “Showtune Favorites” (please see my blog post of 29 September 2018).

At both performances, I was accompanied on the piano for certain songs by Juna Davies, a fellow resident and friend of Ruth’s. Together, we played six songs this time:

  • “The Navy Hymn” (Eternal Father, Strong to Save)
  • “This is My Country”
  • “America the Beautiful”
  • “God Bless America”
  • “You’re a Grand Old Flag”
  • “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Photos are courtesy of Fairwinds Brighton Court. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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My 49th Trumpet Student Aims for Juanita High School Jazz Band, Kirkland

Posted by glennled on July 18, 2019

My 49th trumpet student found me online and signed up for 10 one-hour lessons. We started with the first one on 3 July. His immediate goal is to make the jazz band at Juanita High School (JHS) in Kirkland, where, at age 14, he will be a freshman in September. I’m all in—let’s go for it!

1[1] (2)What experience does he have? It’s good that there’re some musicianship in his family. His mother played piccolo, and his older brother, a junior at JHS, plays saxophone. He started band classes in fourth grade at Thoreau Elementary School. When he got to Finn Hill Middle School, he joined the jazz band and played there for three years. Last year, he and another trumpeter usually took the solos. Also, he’s a Boy Scout bugler.

Where to start? I listened to him play. He has excellent range—above high C. His tone is solid but meek. His articulation is accurate. Naturally, he has some weaknesses and bad habits—who doesn’t, especially at his age? That’s why he’s taking lessons! But his attitude is good, and his spirit is pleasant and positive. He has ambition and loves trumpet. He wants to earn the Boy Scout’s Bugling Merit Badge. He fits my tutoring motto—“Become Your Best!”

Next, we considered his equipment. He rents a student-level trumpet and, in time, plans to move up to an intermediate horn. He has a few mouthpieces; we identified the one that gives him the highest range. Later, after school starts, we will identify the one that is the most versatile, responsive and comfortable in the range where he’ll be playing most often.

Third, I asked him what improvements he could make that would enhance his chances of being selected for jazz band. His answer: “dynamics.” To me, that says he wants to improve his technique so that his sound will be more expressive of feelings. In other words, he wants to be able to make the horn “cry and sing and inspire.” Won’t that be fun to teach!

So—I asked his mom to buy three books:

 

  • Mel Bay’s Complete Jazz Trumpet Book by William Bay, published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc.
  • 101 Jazz Songs: Trumpet by Hal Leonard Corporation
  • 67 Bugle Calls by Carl Fischer, New Edition

Next week, we’ll have our fourth one-hour lesson. School classes start in less than six weeks on Tuesday, 3 September. Here we go!

Incidentally, he is not my first trumpet student at JHS. Two others are featured in my blog post of 4 June 2013, which contains photos of the JHS Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Band at that time. To read about today’s band program at JHS, under the direction of Annemarie Smith, please see https://jhs.lwsd.org/activitiesathletics/performing-arts/band.

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On Flag Day at Covenant Shores, Mercer Island: “I Stand for the Flag” Trumpet Show

Posted by glennled on July 16, 2019

Glenn Ledbetter at Covenant Shores

“I Stand for the Flag” trumpet show at Covenant Shores on Flag Day, 14 June 2019

On Flag Day, 14 June, I returned to Covenant Shores Retirement Community on Mercer Island to perform a different show from the one I had performed about 13 months earlier. That was a show named “Showtune Favorites,” and this one is called “I Stand for the Flag.” It consists of 25 patriotic marches and songs and a bugle call, “Tattoo.” About 60 residents attended—an excellent turnout. To ensure that everyone could sing the last six songs to close the show, Nile Clarke and Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos distributed my handout of the lyrics to: 64218777_10157542828875774_385686663021461504_n

  • The Navy Hymn (Eternal Father, Strong to Save)
  • This is My Country
  • America the Beautiful
  • God Bless America
  • You’re a Grand Old Flag
  • The Star-Spangled Banner

It was grand.

On Flag Day, this retirement community was called “Covenant Shores,” but on 25 June, 11 days later, its name changed to “Covenant Living at the Shores.” This reflects its parent company’s own name change to Covenant Living Communities and Services (please see https://www.covliving.org/). For more information on this widely-known and revered Mercer Island retirement community, please see my blog post of 24 May 2018 and https://www.covlivingshores.org.

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Fairfield, WA Flag Day Parade—110 consecutive years, 1910-2019

Flag Day

Flag Day commemorates the adoption on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress, of the USA flag. In 1885, the idea of celebrating this event was born in Waubeka, Wisconsin when a 19-year old schoolteacher placed a 10″ flag with 38 stars in an inkwell and had his students write essays on what the flag means to them. He became a lifetime advocate of an annual observance, honoring of the birth of the flag. Flag ceremonies on 14 June had become quite prevalent by 1916, prompting President Woodrow Wilson to issue a proclamation establishing Flag Day as an annual national event. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed the legislation that designated 14 June 14th as national Flag Day and calling upon the President to issue a Flag Day proclamation annually. It is not an official, federal holiday.

Citizens display the flag at their homes and communities hold parades on Flag Day. And in 2010, the small farming town of Fairfield, Washington (southeast of Spokane, near the Idaho border) celebrated its “Centennial Parade”—the longest continuing Flag Day Parade in the nation, having begun there in 1910. That year, the census count established Fairfield’s population as 612. Please see https://fairfieldflagday.com/. In contrast, Appleton, Wisconsin (population almost 73,000 in 2010) holds an annual Flag Day Parade that draws crowds of 75,000 from the city and its surrounding region. Please see https://www.facebook.com/Appleton-Flag-Day-Parade-90849509066/.

Photos at Covenant Shores by Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos, Chaplain. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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My #48 Trumpet Student Plays Catch-Up This Summer as She Enters Mercer Island High School

Posted by glennled on July 12, 2019

At our first private trumpet lesson on 27 June, I learned from my 48th student that she has plans to join the Mercer Island High School Band (MIHS) as a freshman this fall. She took band and played trumpet in 5th grade but then quit. Now, she misses it and wants MIHSBand[1]to be back in it among friends. They, however, have three more years of experience than she does! Plus, she’s forgotten much of what she had learned. It’s a steep game of Catch-Up!

But she has some things now that she didn’t have in 5th grade—more maturity, motivation, and willingness to practice. Her Mom is realistic about it: she knows her daughter will need to continue private lessons throughout the school year. It’s a steep learning curve to catch up to your peers after a long layoff.th[7]

But if you like playing music, who wouldn’t want to be in the MIHS Band? It’s outstanding. I know—I lived on M.I. for 34 years, and my older son was a drummer in that band. He continues to play now in a group where he lives in New Zealand.

According to the MIHS website, “Currently, almost one of every four MIHS students is enrolled in the band program,” led by Directors Parker Bixby, Ryan Lane, David Bentley, and Carol Krell. There are more than 300 students in the band program.

The MI concert band program is comprised of four bands:

  • Concert Band—freshmen band students.
  • Symphonic Band—over 80 sophomore and junior members (auditioned).
  • Wind Symphony—over 70 sophomores, juniors, and seniors (auditioned).
  • Wind Ensemble—55 members (the premier performing ensemble at MIHS).

In addition, there is the MI marching band which performs during football season. Comprised of more than 280 members, it is one of the largest in the state. It performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA in 1993, 2006, 2013, and 2019.

Besides all this, there are jazz bands and steel drum bands at MIHS. During basketball season the Animal Band takes over. It’s really four bands, formed by splitting the 280-member marching band into four groups. At games, they’re very loud and very enthusiastic animals.

The musicianship level at MIHS is very high. Last school year, 18 band students were selected to the Washington All-State and All-Northwest Bands. The students selected for the All-Northwest group were from Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, and Alaska. During the past five years, more than 50 students made All-State and All-Northwest. Four students have been selected to the National Wind Ensemble. The band has performed at Seattle Seahawks football games and at the 2009 Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup match. In 2008, the band completed a successful 10-day cultural and musical exchange in China.

For a full description of MIHS Bands, please see https://www.mercerislandschools.org/Page/5453

For numerous videos of MIHS bands, please see: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mercer+island+band+boosters+videos&qpvt=mercer+island+band+boosters+videos&FORM=VQFRML

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Trumpet Show at Skyline Towers, Seattle—Flag Day Celebration One Day Early

Posted by glennled on July 8, 2019

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On 13 June, the day before Flag Day, I made my fifth performance at Skyline Towers, a retirement community in downtown Seattle. The first four were to sound “Taps” at various ceremonies, but this one was my first full-length, one-hour trumpet show for these residents. “I Stand for the Flag” is comprised of 25 patriotic songs and marches. About 40 attended and sang along and laughed at my jokes, riddles, and a limerick.

I used two trumpets (Getzen and Jupiter), a Super Olds cornet, and a Getzen bugle. Some favorites included the Sousa marches: “Semper Fidelis” (1888), “The Washington Post March” (1889), and “The Liberty Bell” (1893). Among others were “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” (c. 1863), “We’re in the Army Now,” (1917), “Over There ” (1917) and the official songs of each of the five branches of the U.S. military. We also went abroad to play some tunes from our allies in Great Britain: “Colonel Bogey March” (1914), “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” (1912), and the oldest one that I played, “British Grenadiers” (1716)—more than 300 years old! And many more…

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Olympic Tower at Skyline in downtown Seattle will be ready for occupancy in Fall 2021

It was an unusual venue. I was outside in the sunlight on the patio facing about 15-20 residents in chairs and wheelchairs. Behind them were two wide open, double doors, and another 20-25 residents were sitting there, inside a large meeting room. They furnished me with a microphone, but all the speakers were inside the room. That was fine, but could the outside residents hear me speak? They said they could, so away we went with the show—and it worked fine!

For articles about my past performances at Skyline Towers, please see my posts of 7 November 2018, 6 June 2018, 19 November 2017, and 10 November 2016, using the Archives in the left column of this blog. There you will find lots of information and photos about the two existing Skyline Towers at 725 9th Ave, Seattle.

Skyline Towers Expansion

The big news about Skyline now is its pending, nearby expansion. The new Olympic Tower at Skyline is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in Fall 2021. It’s located at 8th and Columbia and is already taking reservations for apartments (for ages 62+). At 21 stories high, Olympic Tower offers luxury, cosmopolitan, condo-style living with multiple restaurants, a pool/spa, and 360-degree views of the city, Puget Sound, and Mt. Rainier.

According to Skyline’s website, Olympic Tower is Seattle’s only true Life Care retirement community, with completely predictable living costs, just in case increased care ever becomes needed. The website indicates that already, the units are over 50% reserved.

There are a total of 77 apartments, and there are 23 different floor plans. The 1 bedroom, 1.5 or 2 bathroom units are sized at 1034-to-1415 s.f. All others are 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom units, and they range from 1309-to-1899 s.f.; those on the penthouse floor range from 1309-to-1487 s.f.

For more detailed information, please see https://www.skylineseattle.org/expansion-skyline-retirement-community-seattle/. Photos and renderings are courtesy of Skyline Towers. Please click on any image to enlarge it.

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Flag Day: Four Patriotic Songs Accompany Speech About “Flags Across America” at Cristwood Park Senior Living Community in Shoreline

Posted by glennled on June 24, 2019

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Flags Across America, Arlington National Cemetery (pp. 100-101)

 

Flag Day, 14 June—where were you? Did you display the American flag at your home? Did you attend a ceremony? I did and hope you did, too.

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Cristwood Park, Shoreline. Photo courtesy of Cristwood Park

Two days earlier, on 12 June, I attended an event at Cristwood Park, a retirement community in Shoreline. Elizabeth Patton, Life Enrichment Coordinator, had scheduled Karen S. Robbins, co-author of Flags Across America, who lives in Gig Harbor, to give a speech about the American flags which are pictured in her book. Mrs. Patton scheduled me to play two patriotic songs on my Getzen trumpet before and two songs after Ms. Robbins’ speech. The first two were “America, the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.” The last two were “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” We handed out the lyrics to all of them, and the audience sang along as I played.

Ms. Robbins teamed up and co-authored the 208-page book with Dale Baskin, a photographer and writer who lives in Seattle.  So, she began her speech with a joke about their team being akin to the very popular ice cream shops, “Baskin-Robbins.” Then she showed many photos of American flag, as photographed, drawn and painted by people across the nation. All were unique, and some were simply amazing. See for yourself at https://www.flagsacrossamerica.org/.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Fifth Grade Band Performs Third and Final Concert at Skyview Middle School in Bothell

Posted by glennled on June 23, 2019

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5th Grade Band, Skyview Middle School, 06-05-2019

The 44-member fifth grade band performed its third and final concert of the school year under the direction of Dan Carlson on the evening of 5 June at Skyview Middle School in Bothell. The audience of family members, relatives and friends totaled more than 100.

The program was comprised of five pieces:

  • “Frere Jacques” (4-part round)
  • “Major Scale Skill” (Concert Bb Major)
  • “Montego Bay” (Calypso song)
  • “Regal March” (by Bruce Pearson)
  • “Eye of the Tiger” (arr. by Gerald Sebesky)

Mr. Carlson presented awards to 10 students among the three sections: percussion, woodwinds, and brass. The brass section consisted of 9 trumpeters and 7 trombonists. The award categories were Leadership, Most Improved, Most Inspirational, and Most Outstanding.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Trumpet Show on 31 May re: Memorial Day at Edmonds Landing Retirement Community

Posted by glennled on June 20, 2019

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For me, the trumpet show, “I Stand for the Flag” that I recently performed at Edmonds Landing Retirement Community (ELRC) was the last of seven performances clustered around Memorial Day.  Three performances during the period of 21-31 May were of that one-hour trumpet show of 25 patriotic marches and songs; four were strictly bugle calls—“Assembly,” “To the Color,” “Taps,” and “Echo Taps.” They were spread through Edmonds, Lynnwood, Seattle, and Mercer Island. It was exciting for me to have that level of activity in so many locales within 11 days.

The trumpet show at Edmonds Landing happened on the Friday (31st) after the nation had observed the national holiday four days earlier (27th). Patriotic feelings were still high. Awareness and memories of those who died in military service to our country were still high. Nancy Thomas, Lifestyle Director was right to book this show at this time. The residents are proud of America. They are blessed, they know it, and they are grateful for our freedom. They sang “America the Beautiful” and the other songs, and together, we stood for the flag.

Edmonds Landing Retirement Community (ELRC)

ELRC is located about four blocks southeast of the Washington state ferry dock in Edmonds. It is one of 9 communities in Washington operated by Frontier Management, founded in 2000 and based in Portland, Oregon. Frontier Management operates 90 communities in 16 states. One-third of those are in Oregon. Please see https://frontiermgmt.com/ and https://edmondslanding.com/.

Built in 2001, ELRC offers both independent and assisted living. It has 83 apartments with three different layouts: studio with alcove and one- bedroom (Types A & B). The main difference between Types A & B is the access to the bedroom and bathroom. Please see the floor plan drawings below. These and the photos are courtesy of Edmonds Landing. Please click on any image to enlarge it.

 

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Milestone—My 200th Sounding of “Taps”—at Rotary Club, Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on June 17, 2019

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Glenn Ledbetter, VFW Post 1040 Bugler, sounds “Taps” for 200th time, 5-28-2019.

On Monday, 27 May, the nation observed Memorial Day, and I sounded “Taps” at Veterans Park in Lynnwood. The next day, I sounded it twice. In the morning, it was for a Hmong pilot who fought with America in the Vietnam War. The ceremony was held at the Hero’s Café in the Verdant Community Wellness Center in Lynnwood. In the afternoon, it was for those Americans who died while in military service, as remembered by members of the Rotary Club on Mercer Island. That ceremony was held at a luncheon in the Mercer Island Community Center, and it was the 200th time I’ve sounded “Taps” during the 9 years that I have been VFW Post 1040 Bugler. As usual, I used by lovely Getzen bugle at both ceremonies.

It’s a significant milestone for me, but buglers who live near a national or state veterans cemetery quickly and easily surpass my number. Some buglers have sounded “Taps” more than 5,000 times!

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Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos (L) and Glenn Ledbetter (R

Let’s see—the first of my 200 was on 16 July 2011. Let’s call it 9 years ago. That’s an average of about 22 per year. Q: At that rate, how many more years will it take me to reach 5,000 soundings? A: 218. Q: How old will I be then? A: Almost 300. Forget it…trying for some goals just isn’t worth it.

I lived on Mercer Island for 34 years and served on the City’s Planning Commission for 10. It was Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos, Chaplain at Covenant Shores Retirement Community, who invited me to sound “Taps” after his short speech at the end of the Rotary Club luncheon. Please see https://glennstrumpetnotes.com/2018/05/24/trumpet-show-at-covenant-shores-retirement-community-on-mercer-island/.

Photos are by Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos.

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