Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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“Taps” at 4th Annual Skyline Memorial Walk in Seattle

Posted by glennled on November 7, 2018

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Window cleaners on the job, north tower of Skyline Towers of First Hill, a Presbyterian retirement community

 

Today, at the fourth annual Skyline Memorial Walk, some 225 names of deceased family members and friends were read aloud as the bell was tolled. Then “We Remember Them” by Sylvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Riemer was also read aloud. And finally, I sounded “Taps” on my Getzen bugle, here for the third straight year (see my posts of 10 Nov 2016 and 19 Nov 2017). Rev. Elizabeth Graham, Chaplain at Skyline Towers Retirement Community in downtown Seattle, presided over the ceremony which attracted about 20 residents, mostly women. The group then took the Memorial Walk in the courtyard outside the meeting room where they found, among the lovely plants, individual signs bearing the names of the departed.

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On the job at Skyline Towers Retirement Community in downtown Seattle

Rev. Graham said that about two weeks ago, a notice was sent to all the residents and staff, inviting them to identify loved ones whom they would want to be remembered at this ceremony. Here is an excerpt from “We Remember Them,” honoring and paying tribute to those who have passed:

“At the rising sun and at its going down; We remember them…At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn; We remember them…When we are weary and in need of strength; We remember them…When we have joy we crave to share; We remember them…For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now part of us as, We remember them.”

Afterwards, looking up, I saw two courageous men high up the side of the building, dangling off thin lines, working, defying gravity, cheating death, earning a living, serving others, producing something of value—clean windows. We will remember them, too. For as John Donne wrote in 1624,

Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

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Pocket Trumpet for Three Songs at My 60th High School Reunion, SHS Class of 1958, Sinton, Texas

Posted by glennled on October 28, 2018

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Jupiter Pocket Trumpet, Model JPT-416

On 19-20 October in Fulton, Texas, about 30 of us classmates gathered for our reunion, celebrating 60 years after graduation from little Sinton High School in little Sinton, Texas, near Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico. Almost another 30 of us have already passed away.  Recognizing, at our 50th reunion in 2008, that Father Time is on the march, we th1JWTGAUGstarted having our reunions every two years. This year, we decided to cut that in half. From here on, we’ll be getting together every year—it’s our SMO schedule—“See Me Out!”

Before the reunion, my wife and I had lunch at the Water Street Oyster Bar in Corpus Christi with my cousin, Tricia Brown, to celebrate her birthday. As we reminisced about the high school football games, pep squad, cheerleaders and band, I got a bright idea. A few days later, I presented it to our class reunion leader, Hattie Beth Fojtik. How about letting me play the “SHS Fight Song” on my pocket trumpet, while everyone else sings it, like we used to at the Friday night games in the old football stadium [no longer in use]? I got the green light.

So, what did I do? Naturally, I played three songs by memory: the fight song, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” and “Auld Lang Syne.” I handed out the lyrics, and they all sang! In the banter that sprang up amongst us, we honored our former football players, cheerleaders, pep squad, band members, and veterans. It was grand.

Check out my Jupiter pocket trumpet in my blog post of 31 March 2018. When we travel, I take it with me so that I can keep in practice and not let my embouchure muscles atrophy; i.e., keep my chops strong and flexible. I’ll probably take it again next year, too, although who knows whether they’ll ever let me play it again (chuckle).

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My 8th Year Teaching Beginning Brass at Skyview Middle School, Bothell

Posted by glennled on October 27, 2018

 

Girl TrumpeterOn the first of October, it was back to school for me at Skyview Middle School trombone-clipart-A_man_playing_the_trombone_110127-132560-479009[1]in Bothell, where I began my 8th year as a paraprofessional, teaching the beginning brass section of the elementary band. Trumpets and trombones, 5th graders from four elementary schools in the Northshore School District—Fernwood, Canyon Creek, Crystal Springs, and Lockwood—about 20 students this year. Mr. Dan Carlson is the new Band and Orchestra Director. Meanwhile, a huge one-to-two year remodel of SMS is underway, temporarily complicating access and logistics but promising major improvements and benefits for years to come. The kids make it all worthwhile.

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Trumpet Show at Fairwinds Brighton Court Retirement Community in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on September 29, 2018

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Residents of Fairwinds Brighton Court in Lynnwood applaud Trumpet Show, “Showtune Favorites,” by Glenn Ledbetter

 

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Ruth M. MacDonald celebrates her 84th birthday on New Year’s Day, 2010

Last year, when I first thought of performing a trumpet show at numerous retirement homes, Fairwinds Brighton Court (FBC) was my initial target venue. That’s because my dear mother-in-law, Ruth M. MacDonald, lived there in Room 344 for three years, 2010-2012. She enjoyed the various shows on Sunday afternoons, and we relatives enjoyed attending with her often. So, on 23 September, I dedicated my performance and paid tribute to her—a bright spirit with a warm heart full of love, kindness, and good humor, may she rest in peace. My wife, daughter, and granddaughter attended and honored her with me.

My one-hour trumpet show, “Showtune Favorites,” comprised 24 songs from musicals and movies that are quite familiar to the audience of about 25-30. In fact, they sang along with many of the songs, including “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'” from Oklahoma!, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz, ” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady.” 

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Juna Davies, accompanist to Glenn Ledbetter on trumpet, playing “You’re A Grand Old Flag”

For the finale, I was accompanied by pianist Juna Davies, a FBC resident and former friend of Ruth’s.  We distributed a handout of the lyrics, and the audience sang as we played “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” It was written by George M. Cohan in 1906, for the musical, George Washington, Jr. It is said to be the first song from a musical to sell more than one million copies of sheet music. Today, most of us know it from James Cagney’s performance in the 1942 movie, Yankee Doodle Dandy. 

During the show, I used two trumpets and one cornet, two mutes, and four mouthpieces.

Fairwinds Brighton Court

Located at 6520 196th St. SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036, a couple of blocks west of Highway 99,  FBC was built in 1989. It is quite lovely and offers both independent and assisted living apartments for seniors. They come in three types: studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom, all with fully equipped kitchens, walk-in closets, individually controlled heating, and built-in emergency communication systems. The studios are 377 sq. ft., one-bedrooms are 547 sq. ft., and two-bedrooms are 788 sq. ft. The floor plans and 34 beautiful photos of the exterior and interiors are shown on the website, https://www.leisurecare.com/our-communities/fairwinds-brighton-court.

Some of the many apartment features and facility amenities are listed here:

  • Wall-to-wall carpeting
  • Showers and safety bars in every bathroom
  • Full-service dining, seasonal menus, healthy choices
  • Intimate dining room for private parties
  • Bistro
  • Room service for in-room dining
  • Accepts indoor cats and small dogs
  • Reserved parking
  • Full-service salon
  • Health and wellness center
  • Complimentary laundry facilities
  • Weekly housekeeping and linen service
  • Concierge services
  • Regularly scheduled shuttle service
  • Activity rooms
  • Card, bingo, bridge & poker rooms
  • Interior courtyard
  • Luxurious entertainment lounge with piano and fireplace
  • Full calendar of fun and engaging programs, events and activities

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Photos of the trumpet show are by Ruth’s granddaughter, Janelle Squires.

 

Photos Courtesy of Fairwinds Brighton Court

Posted in Shows at Retirement Homes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Photo Gallery of Trumpeters and Buglers at 2018 Royal Military Tattoo, Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted by glennled on September 6, 2018

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On opening night, 3 August, my wife and I attended the 2018 Royal Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K. It’s a great show, and this is the third year we have attended (2014, 2017, 2018). This year, I shot more than 300 photos. By far the most prevalent musical instrument was the bagpipes, but there were lots of trumpeters and buglers, also, in the many bands. I got a few photos of some of them, and here are the better ones. Wouldn’t it be a thrill to play your trumpet or bugle at the Tattoo?!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Trumpet Show at Vineyard Park at Bothell Landing

Posted by glennled on July 16, 2018

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Thanks to the Activities Director, Katie Matthews, I had the privilege on 5 July of presenting my one-hour trumpet show, “Showtune Favorites: Hit Songs from Musicals and Movies,” to about 30 residents of the lovely retirement community, Vineyard Park at Bothell Landing (VPBL). Judging by the audience response during the performance and the many cordial compliments I received afterwards, it was a success!

According to its website, VPBL offers senior living services for independent and assisted living in 87 private studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom apartment suites, ranging in layout and size up to 949 square feet, complete with kitchenettes and private baths. These services and amenities are included:

  • High speed internet connection
  • Cable TV
  • Weekly housekeeping and daily trash removal
  • Weekly personal laundry and linens
  • Utilities

It was voted Best of Northshore for 2014. The renowned, dynamic Northshore Senior Center is located a short walk away. With more than 10,000 members, this center is one of the largest on the West Coast. VPBL residents receive a complimentary membership to the Northshore Senior Center, with it large curriculum of activities and functions. Please see http://www.northshoreseniorcenter.org/.

VPBL is part of Care Partners Management Group, LLC (see http://www.carepartnersliving.com/ and http://www.carepartnersliving.com/vineyard-park-bothell-retirement-community/senior-living/). Photo is courtesy of VPBL.

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Edmonds 4th of July Parade

Posted by glennled on July 15, 2018

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Color Guard, VFW Post 8870, Edmonds, 4th of July Parade, 2018. Photo by Nancy MacDonald.

 

2018, another year, another 4th of July Parade in Edmonds where I live. Each year I’m honored to march with other veterans near the front of the parade, carrying my bugle as VFW Post 1040 Bugler. This year, I got to carry the U.S. Navy flag, too, right behind the Color Guard from VFW Post 8870. As Michael Medved, radio talk show host says, the USA is “the greatest country on God’s green earth!” How lucky we are to live here in this, the best era in human history!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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My 43rd Trumpet Student—5th Grader at Northwood Elementary School, Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on July 14, 2018

My newest trumpet student—No. 43—will enter fifth grade this fall at Northwood Elementary School on Mercer Island, where I lived for 30 years before moving to Edmonds. He plans to join the beginning band, and to get a jump start, we began lessons on 16 June. I now have two M.I. students (please see my blog posts of 18 November 2017 and 21 May 2018). dc8Mgnjgi[1]

How and why did he choose trumpet? He heard his cousin play trumpet, and he liked the sound of it. (That cousin has since moved from M.I. to California.) It was that simple and easy. His two older brothers play piano, and he also started piano lessons earlier this year.

What’s the M.I. 5th grade band program like? According to the Northwood website, Carol Krell is the Director, and the band is supported by the Mercer Island Schools Band Boosters (please see http://www.mercerislandschools.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=5624 and http://www.misbb.wordpress.com). The first school band lesson will be on the evening of 12 September. Band classes begin on 17 September, meeting twice per week from 8:15 – 9 a.m. Each student has one class with a specialist on their instrument, and one full band class. The instruction book will be Essential Elements 2000, Book 1.

Where is my student eventually headed? To the Mercer Island High School Band! And then he’ll get to do some very cool things like this: on New Year’s Day 2019, the MIHS Band will march in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA prior to the Rose Bowl Football Game. I did that as a member of the Varsity Marching Band playing cornet, University of Washington, 1 January 1961, when the UW Huskies beat the top-ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, 17-7. May my newest trumpet student have as much fun in band as I did!

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Flag-Changing Ceremony on Flag Day at Cristwood Park Retirement Community in Shoreline

Posted by glennled on July 11, 2018

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U.S. Joint Volunteer Service Command Color Guard from Shoreline prepares to hoist the new flag

With love and respect, Elizabeth Hudson takes good care of the flag that flies on the grounds of Cristwood Park Retirement Community in Shoreline, where she is the Life Enrichment Coordinator (please see https://cristaseniorliving.org/explore-retirement-lifestyles/communities/). Three years ago on 12 June 2014, Ms. Hudson hosted a similar flag-changing ceremony at which I sounded two bugle calls, and this year on 14 June, she did it again. Both times it was on our national Flag Day. (Please see my blog post of 28 June 2014.)

For me, however, there was a big difference in the two ceremonies—this year, starting about 30 minutes before the ceremony, Ms. Hudson let me play patriotic songs as the crowd of about 25 residents slowly gathered. Then during the ceremony, I first sounded “Retreat” as the U.S. Joint Volunteer Service Command Color Guard from Shoreline lowered and removed the old, worn flag, followed by “To the Color,” as they hoisted the new flag to full mast on the flagpole. Afterwards, she invited me to play several more songs as the crowd dispersed.

Nice weather, nice day, nice music, nice ceremony, nice flags. It’s nice to be the VFW Post 1040 (Lynnwood) Bugler. You get to do nice things like this for nice people.

Photos are courtesy of Cristwood Park Retirement Community. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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9th Annual Trumpet Recital in My Edmonds Home

Posted by glennled on July 9, 2018

How can you stretch out one annual recital and make it last for three weeks? Easy—you split it into two segments. That’s what I had to do this year—the first group of trumpet students came to our home in Edmonds on 26 May and the second group came three weeks later on 16 June. It’s the first time in my 9 annual home recitals that I’ve had to do it. Every other time, we’ve had a morning session and an afternoon session on the same day. This year, some of my students had some conflicting commitments that were unchangeable, so we had to adjust. “All’s well that ends well.”

Even so, we had to make one other adjustment: one student couldn’t make it—he’s 77 years old and had just had hip replacement surgery. He’s a veteran and captain of the Honor Guard of VFW Post 3063 in Ballard. He’s learning to sound bugle calls (see my blog post of 17 November 2017) and was scheduled to play “Assembly” and “Taps.” So I was his surrogate and did it for him. I played fine, and so did all the students in both the May and June sessions. Good job, everyone! “Life goes on.”

This year’s recital was indeed unusual. But every recital is unique. In the May session, one student has been taking lessons with me less than one month; another, 3 years and 9 months; and another, 2 years and three months. In the June session, one student has been taking lessons with me 7 months and the other, three months. To read about and see photos of previous recitals, simply click on the link, “Recitals,” in the footnote below this post.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

26 May Session

 

16 June Session

Posted in Musical Events at Home, Recitals | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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