Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Bugle Calls at National Vietnam War Veterans Day Ceremony in Shoreline

Posted by glennled on April 7, 2021

President Barack Obama proclaimed 29 May 2012 as Vietnam Veterans Day, and by law in 2017, it became National Vietnam War Veterans Day. To my chagrin, both events slipped by me, a Vietnam War Veteran and a member of both the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and VVA (Vietnam Veterans Association). I first heard of it when I was asked to sound “Echo Taps” at the Shoreline Veterans Recognition Plaza on 27 March 2021, two days before the official date (29th).

Col David Gibson, USAF (Ret.), Keynote Speaker. Photo by CPO Ronald A. Jones, LAC-USV-JSC.

The keynote speaker, Col. David Gibson, USAF (Ret.), a Vietnam veteran, spoke of the Three Big Lies about the Vietnam War; the politically-driven, overly restrictive Rules of Engagement; and the imperative that America never enter a war without the intent and will to win it. He delivered his own “Welcome Home” message to the Vietnam veterans attending this ceremony. [“9-11” radically changed the American people’s attitude toward our military.]

L to R: Joe Fitzgerald, Commander, VFW Post 3063, ballard; Bugler, Boy Scout Troop 312, Edmonds; and Glenn Ledbetter, VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood. Joe is the original owner of the bugle, gifted by Honor Guard, VFW Post 1040, to the Scout.

Who would join me, as VFW Post 1040 Bugler, and sound the “Echo” part of “Taps”? The same Boy Scout from Troop 312 in Edmonds who did it with me at this same place on Independence Day last year (please see my previous post of 29 July 2020). This year, however, he played the “Echo” on his Getzen bugle, not his trumpet. And thereby hangs a tale.

Our scout has often sounded “Taps” at funeral services with the Post 1040 Honor Guard. That was suspended, however, when, last August, he had a terrible accident on his mountain bike. He took a jump on the trail and crashed. His injuries were quite serious and have taken all these many months to heal. Frank Martinez, Commander of the Honor Guard of VFW Post 1040, polled the members for ideas of a gift we could present to the boy. I suggested a bugle and found one, a beauty, owned by Joe Fitzgerald, Commander of VFW Post 3063 in Ballard. We had it engraved, “HONOR GUARD – VFW POST 1040” and presented it to him. He loves it, as I do mine (see my post of 4 May 2015). These bugles play so easily with such a beautiful, full, solid tone.

ECHO TAPS

Covid-19 put the clamps on most of my performances in public for a whole year. The church orchestra in which I play is still on hold after the original lockdown in March 2020 cancelled in-person services. Same for performances of my one-hour trumpet shows at retirement communities–they all cancelled their weekly musical entertainment hours. I no longer drove to my clients’ homes to teach private trumpet lessons. We switched to online Zoom lessons. Throughout the 2020 summer, I did no busking in Edmonds to raise money for the VFW. Skyview Middle School, where I teach beginning trumpet class, also switched to Zoom instructrion in the fall.

Only now are things opening up a little. Now that I’ve had my two Modera vaccination shots for Covid, I’m booked at several retirement communities again, playing one or another of my six trumpet shows. And several military ceremonies are coming up–Armed Forces Day (15 May), Memorial Day (31 May), Flag Day (14 June), and Independence Day (4 July). We’re easing back into performances, and that means I’ll be posting here again, starting with this one.

Photos are by Joe Fitzgerald, Richard Rees, and CPO Ronald A. Jones, LAC-USV-JSC.

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Six Bugle Calls at Memorial Day, D-Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day Ceremonies at Shoreline Veterans Recognition Plaza

Posted by glennled on July 29, 2020

Veterans Recognition Plaza, Shoreline, WA
On Flag Day, Dwight N. Stevens, WWII veteran, was honored with a wreath as his son, Larry Stevens, holds his hand over his heart. “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” was played, the Honor Guard (background) fired three volleys, and “Taps” was sounded. Photo by Denise Frisino.

During a recent six-week span, Shoreline City Hall was the scene of four major military ceremonies held outdoors at the adjacent Veterans Recognition Plaza which was dedicated on 21 May 2016. The ceremonies were organized and led by a Shoreline resident, Major General Ray Coffey, United States Volunteer Joint Service Command (USVJSC)

  • 25 May – Memorial Day
  • 6 June – D-Day
  • 14 June – Flag Day and 246th birthday of U.S. Army
  • 4 July – Independence Day and 244th birthday of USA

Participating in these ceremonies reminded me that, of course, the Army was formed before the United States became an independent nation. We had to fight a war to win independence. On 14 June 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the enlistment of riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year. On the next day, George Washington was chosen as Commander-in-Chief and assigned the rank of General.

Major participants in the various ceremonies included members of the USVJSC, U.S. Army Reserve Command, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, VFW Post 3348 (Shoreline), VFW Post 1040 (Lynnwood), American Legion Post 0227 (Shoreline), NW Junior Pipe Band, Boy Scout Troop 312 (Edmonds), and veterans of all five military branches.

When called upon, the Honor Guard of VFW Post 1040 fired the three-volley salutes at these ceremonies. Likewise, when called upon, I sounded up to six bugle calls: Assembly, To the Color, Adjutant’s Call, Flourish for Review (“Ruffles”), Taps, and Echo Taps. On 4 July, a Boy Scout who has earned the Bulger Merit Badge sounded both Echo Taps with me and To the Color (solo). I used my Getzen bugle, and he used his trumpet. He is now an 8-grader at Madrona School in Edmonds and sounds Taps with the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard at funeral services. Symphony Aimes sang “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” at the Independence Day ceremony.

Please click to enlarge a photo.

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My Trumpet Students #42, #54, and “The Backyard Trio” in South Wedgwood Neighborhood of Seattle

Posted by glennled on July 19, 2020

The Backyard Trio plays “Bourbon Street” by Nick Homes
(L to R: Student No. 54, Glenn Ledbetter, and No. 42)

Last March, Covid-19 restrictions forced me to stop teaching trumpet lessons in my students’ homes, something I’ve been doing since 2009. We switched to online lessons. I now have six students doing this. But on 6 May, as the restrictions eased, I returned to the home of one student at the request of his parents. The mother is a nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center (where my oldest son was born). We held the lesson in their back yard and practiced social distancing! And that led to the later creation of “The Backyard Trio.” Let me explain.

R: Student No. 42

I’ve been teaching their son for the past two years (please use the Archives column on the left to find my blog post about him on 18 May 2018). He was my 42nd trumpet student, and his first goal was to make Jazz Band at Eckstein Middle School in the South Wedgwood neighborhood in Seattle. He made it! Not only that, but, as a 6th grader, he played a solo at the “Jazz Night” concert at Eckstein last year under the direction of Mr. Cuauhtémoc Escobedo (“Mr. E” or “Moc”). Please see my blog post, with photos, of 20 December 2019.

L: Student No. 54

Also playing trumpet at that concert and also pictured in that blog post was one of his best friends, who has recently become my 54th trumpet student. Our online private lessons commenced on 1 July. No. 54 says that when he first had a choice of instruments, he didn’t like the sound of the violin; the clarinet and saxophone required too much air; but the trumpet had a “cool sound and only 3 buttons.” He loves sports, including downhill skiing and mountain biking (two favorites), basketball (wing), baseball, swimming, water polo, and ultimate frisbee. Both he and No. 42 do water polo and ultimate frisbee. Both are multi-talented, and on trumpet, both have natural ability and pick up new things quickly. Next fall, they will be 7th graders, playing in two different jazz bands at Eckstein. They’re preparing for it this summer.

You see, the parents of both boys set this up. The mother of No. 54 found some duets for the boys to play. We all ordered “Jazz Duets (Easy)” for trumpets by Nick Homes online at http://www.jazzduets.com. The e-book contains 8 duets. Then, on Wednesday afternoons, we held a 45-minute Zoom meeting (https://zoom.us), with each of us in our separate homes. But as you know, there is a latency problem when teaching music online. Because of communications delays, you can’t play together simultaneously. So, each person, including me, has to play independently. We were playing duet parts separately and alternately. The lessons were very good but never “whole.”

The Backyard Trio (L to R: Student No. 54, Glenn Ledbetter, and Student No. 42

Then the mother of No. 42 suggested that all three of us meet in their backyard when the weather was nice. We would bring our own music stands, sit far enough apart in our straight-backed chairs, play our duets, and I would teach trumpet jazz. On 6 May, we did it for the first time, and on 15 July, we did it again. That’s how “The Backyard Trio” was born.

Now, we’d like to continue doing it (Covid-19, weather, and schedules permitting) through the remainder of the summer. Meanwhile, I also teach each boy a 30-minute online private lesson every week. We’re starting to move on to other songs now. Last session, I gave them the trumpet sheet music for “Bernie’s Tune” by Bernie Miller and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman. Let’s roll, boys. We’re “The Backyard Trio!”

Video and photos by Mom of No. 42.

Posted in Musical Events at Home, New Students - Intro Posts, Rehearsals, Practices | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Coronavirus Forces Another of My “Taps” Videos to be Used in a Virtual Memorial Day Service at Covenant Living at the Shores, Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on July 18, 2020

Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos, Chaplain, Covenant Living at the Shores (CLS), Mercer Island, asked for a video of me playing “Taps,” so he could include it in the 2020 Memorial Day ceremony at this prestigious, waterfront retirement community. The ceremony had to be virtual, of course, because of Covid-19 restrictions on the limited size of gatherings. The staff would integrate my video into their longer, ceremonial video.

So I chose to make my video among the 5,000 military gravestones in Veterans Cemetery at Evergreen-Washelli in north Seattle, where seven recipients of the Medal of Honor are buried. Nancy MacDonald, a lifelong family friend of Greg, recorded the video below on Friday, 15 May. Please turn on your sound and click on the Play arrow for this “Taps.” The video will rotate itself correctly when it begins to play.

“Taps” at Veterans Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, Seattle

To view William Rhinehart’s video of lovely flowers blooming at CLS on Memorial Day, please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Jt563lKNs (less than four minutes).

To view the complete video, “Memorial Day Service of Remembrance,” at CLS, including my “Taps” on my Getzen bugle (at the end, minute 57:35), please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc7mI7VbRTw&feature=youtu.be ((almost one hour and two minutes).

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Staff Uses Drone to Video My “Taps” at Evergreen-Washelli’s Veterans Cemetery in North Seattle

Posted by glennled on July 17, 2020

At Veterans Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, north Seattle, there are 5,000 graves of military service men and women. Seven of them are Medal of Honor recipients. Cemetery staff recorded me as I sounded “Taps” using my Getzen Field Trumpet (bugle) on 15 May 2020. Please watch the one-minute video below. The images begin to appear at 0:06.

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Two Buddies from Lawton Elementary School in Magnolia, Seattle Are My Nos. 52 and 53 Trumpet Students

Posted by glennled on July 16, 2020

Think about it—last fall, two good friends start 5th grade at Lawton Elementary School in Magnolia, Seattle and decide to join band together. They both have the same first name, and they live only about 10 blocks apart. What instrument(s)? They decide to play trumpet together. And then this spring, they both decide to take trumpet lessons—from me!

One boy (12) rented his horn from Ted Brown Music in the University District (please see https://www.tedbrownmusic.com/t-seattle.aspx). When band started, there were six trumpet players, but they met only once a week. He was not learning to read music, so his parents offered him private lessons. They found me on http://www.LessonsInYourHome.com, and so it was that I came to their home for the first lesson on 27 February 2020, and began teaching my 52nd trumpet student.

One thing led to another. My wife and I went away on vacation in Honolulu in March. When we returned, Covid-19 restrictions had been imposed, and we self-quarantined for two weeks.

My 53rd student (11) said that at the beginning of school last fall, he had a choice of violin, cello, trumpet, trombone, or clarinet. The clarinet was too long and had too many buttons. The violin would be uncomfortable on his shoulders. He says his arms are too short for the trombone. And the trumpet had only three buttons—aha, the winner! So, he, too, went to Ted Brown Music and rented his trumpet.

There were six trumpeters in the boys’ class. The music teacher, Timothy Burk, told them to learn the notes, and even though he and his friend were not doing that so well, they still were ahead of their classmates. When No. 53 learned that No. 54 was taking private lessons, his parents agreed to let him take lessons, also.

And so it began with our first half-hour lesson on 31 March—online—one boy at 2 p.m., the other at 3 p.m. Good players, both.

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Dancers Swing at Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park to Big Band Music by Moonlight Swing Orchestra

Posted by glennled on February 15, 2020

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Swing dancing to the Moonlight Swing Orchestra

 

At Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park, Seattle, there is a community treasure. It’s a public entertainment venue where musicians play and people eat, listen, talk, and dance. It was there on a Saturday night, 25 January, that my wife and I went to dinner and heard the Big Band sound of the mighty Moonlight Swing Orchestra (MSO).

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The Moonlight Swing Orchesta

This non-union orchestra has been playing for more than 15 years in the Greater Seattle and North Sound areas and has developed a public following of fans. At this performance, people came to dance, and they appeared to be quite accomplished—some might even be dance instructors, they were so good and having such fun. The dance floor could accommodate about 30-40 couples at once, and the space was filled for almost every song. Here are a few of the 28 songs they played in two sets: “In the Mood,” “Mas Que Nada,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “New York, New York,” “Bye Bye Blackbird,” and “That’s All.” Please see http://thirdplacecommons.org/calendar. IMG_6293 (2)

Naturally, I paid close attention to the brass players. In fact, I’ve played alongside of one of them myself on other occasions. The regular trumpeters are Rick Newell (lead), Jeff Davis (2nd and shares lead), Dan Hall, and Debbie Dawson. Two others play when needed: Jim Bradbury and Doug Hodges. The vocalist was Robin Hilt.

Mark Kunz, MSO’s leader and an alto sax player, says the orchestra practices most Wednesdays for about two hours in Monroe and performs about once a month. They are now contracted for 10 gigs this year, so far. “The Third Place Commons performance was the best attended we’ve had at that location,” he said. They’ll be back at Third Place Commons on 25 July. Please see http://thirdplacecommons.org/contact/.IMG_6236

MSO regularly plays at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue, Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, Monroe Community Senior Center, and Concerts in the Park in Langley on Whidbey Island. Other current, public bookings are in Everett and Tulalip. They are available for private bookings, too, including weddings and other events such as their annual performance on New Year’s Eve at Emerald Heights Retirement Community in Redmond. Please see http://moonlightswingorchestra.org.

Mr. Kunz says the musicians are an eclectic group—many with professional experience and others who are talented amateurs. Collectively, they have more than 200 years experience. The orchestra is paid nominally per performance, and the musicians’ individual shares basically cover expenses. They just love playing the music of Dorsey, Ellington, Miller, Shaw, and others for their fans. They have one CD currently available and another in process.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Christmas Trumpet Show at Quail Park of Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on February 11, 2020

QPL Exterior View

Quail Park of Lynnwood

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Along driveway to hilltop entrance to Quail Park of Lynnwood

 

Want quiet privacy in the city? Try Quail Park of Lynnwood (QPL), where I played my one-hour Christmas trumpet show, “Things Remembered,” on 15 December 2019. About 25 residents attended; meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks played the Carolina Panthers, and others watched the game elsewhere on TV. The award-winning QPL is situated on a hill between Highway 99 and I-5, but you’d never know it if you didn’t see the sign pointing up the driveway through the trees. Drive up there into the sunshine at the top. IMG_0626

When I did so, I found that they are building new facilities and enlarging the complex. QPL offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care. There are 85 existing apartments and 45 memory care suites. The expansion will add another 96 apartments, along with 26 luxury cottages. Please see https://www.quailparkoflynnwood.com.

Candace Hartzell, Life Enhancement Director, invited me to play there. My “Things Remembered” show is one of six that I perform. It consists of 25 familiar pieces—14 Christmas songs and 11 others, mostly from popular musicals and movies from the residents’ era. I used my Getzen trumpet (c.1977) and Super Olds cornet (1954), along with two mutes, and my Yamaha Allen Vizzutti mouthpiece.

Veterans Administration Benefits 

I have now played my trumpet shows at 15 different retirement communities from Issaquah to Edmonds, and QPL’s website is the first one I’ve seen that includes information which encourages veterans to use their benefits in order to live there. Here is some of that information:

 

 

Types of Benefits Administered by Veterans Benefits Administration

  • Education benefits
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Home loans
  • Health care
  • Life insurance
  • Burial benefits
  • Service-connected compensation and non-service connected pension
  • Survivor’s Benefits (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, and Death Pension)

Additional Benefits Available to Veterans

  • Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • Preference in federal hiring
  • Unemployment insurance (if actively seeking work)
  • Military retirement, medical severance and separation pay
  • State programs including tuition assistance, emergency funds, PTSD and grief counseling, soldiers’ homes and elder care, fiduciary and guardianship, license plates, hunting and fishing licenses, park passes, burial plots, claim assistance, access to discharge papers and other Veteran records

For detailed information about Service-Connected (S/A) Compensation, please see https://www.quailparkoflynnwood.com/va-benefits/

Partner Communities
QPL is part of the Living Care Lifestyles family of retirement communities. Living Care Lifestyles offers Senior Care and Memory Care in Arizona, California, Oregon, Texas and Washington. There are three Living Care communities in WA: Browns Point (Tacoma); West Seattle; and Lynnwood. The one in Lynnwood has received the Readers’ Choice Award for Independent Living from the Everett Herald.

Retirement and Assisted Living Apartments

  • Option for color customization of accent walls
  • Full-size kitchens
  • Major stainless steel appliances – range, microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher
  • Lovely wood cabinetry and granite countertops – kitchen and bath
  • Full-size washer and dryer
  • Walk-in closets
  • Walk-in showers with seat
  • Kitchenettes in studios
  • Air-conditioning in all apartments

These Retirement and Assisted Living Apartments come in four floor plans:

  • Studio – 364-598 s.f.
  • One Bedroom – 592-794 s.f.
  • One Bedroom Deluxe – 818-1,014 s.f.
  • Two Bedroom – 893-1,031 s.f.

Memory Care apts (23 suites) come in two floor plans:

  • Adjoining Shower – 374 s.f.
  • Private – 374-469 s.f.

Expansion floor plans fall into four types: EAL Suites (377 to 399 s.f./unit); Coho Studio Suite (499 s.f./unit); Chinook Suites (579 to 582 s.f./unit); and Sockeye Suite (828 s.f./unit).

The amenities at Lynnwood include pool, bistro and pub, movie theater, pet friendly, salon, 12-hour anytime dining, daily nurse, 24-hour awake team, maintenance 7 days a week, weekly housekeeping and linen service, concierge, and transportation.

Photos are courtesy of Quail Park of Lynnwood, including existing facilities and renderings of expansion facilities. For more photos, see https://www.quailparkoflynnwood.com/photos/. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Existing Facilities

 

Renderings of Expansion Facilities Under Construction

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Third Trumpet Show at Covenant Living at the Shores, Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on February 4, 2020

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Lake Washington view, courtesy of Covenant Living at the Shores, Mercer Island

 

“I lived on Mercer Island for 34 years before moving to Edmonds.” So said I to the 25 residents of Covenant Living at the Shores (CLS) who came on 20 December to Fellowship Hall to hear my Christmas season trumpet show, “Things Remembered.” It was my third performance at this lovely, waterfront retirement community. I came back at the kind invitation from Roxanne Helleren, Resident Life Director, and Kathryn Middleton, Life Enrichment Coordinator.

This one-hour show features 25 well-known, popular songs. Fourteen of them are Christmas songs which are mixed in with others that come mostly from hit musicals and movies. The songs are carefully chosen to match the typical phases of our lives: single, married, kids, family Christmas celebrations, empty nesting, and retirement. As I narrate, we remember the good things that we all experience, ponder, and are grateful for. The audience sings and hums the tunes, and I tell a few jokes. I used my Getzen trumpet and Super Olds cornet, my Harmon and straight mutes, and my Yamaha Allen Vizzutti mouthpiece.

I’ve written blog articles, with photos, after each of my previous shows here. Please use the Archives column on the left to find them and enjoy reading about those shows and CLS (formerly Covenant Shores):

  • “Showtune Favorites”—published on 24 May 2019
  • “I Stand for the Flag”—published on 16 July 2019

CLS’s website is http://www.covlivingshores.org.

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Elementary Band Concert at Skyview Middle School–First of Three for this School Year

Posted by glennled on January 20, 2020

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“Our First Concert!”, Skyview Elementary Band, 12-18-2019

 

My, oh, my—how far they have come since that first day of band class on 7 October! Here they are on 18 December, 73 days later, playing “Jingle Bells” and other tunes on stage at Skyview Middle School in Bothell. It was their very first concert before a large crowd of parents, relatives and friends. IMG_6224

The band is comprised of three sections: brass, woodwinds and percussion. The percussion section started the concert with a stellar, choreographed rendition of “Hot Cross Buns.” Then the woodwind section played “Merrily We Roll Along.” These clarinet and flute players are exceptionally strong this year. Next, the brass section was featured, playing “Lightly Row.” Dan Carlson is the Band Instructor and is assisted by Jane Lin, Percussion Instructor, Tyler Rogers, Woodwind Instructor, and me, Brass Instructor (here at Skyview in my 9th year).

After the sectional features, the whole band played “Good King Wencelas,” “Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” and “Jingle Bells.” IMG_6204 (2)

When the band returned to school on 6 January 2020, it began preparing for its Spring Concert on 11 March at 7:00 p.m. at the Northshore Performing Arts Center (NPAC), located on the campus of Bothell High School (please see http://npacf.org/about-us#directions). The Final Concert of this school year will be at Skyview Middle School Gymnasium on 27 May at 6:00 p.m. Please mark your calendars.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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