Sunny summertime is just the perfect time for practicing trumpet, right? There’s nothing a new 6th grader at Seaview Elementary School in Edmonds would rather do than practice trumpet throughout the summer, right? Gotta take private lessons and get prepared for second year band, right? Well, maybe so. His Grandpa thinks so. But then again, maybe not. So, after one lesson on 11 July, my 30th trumpet student decided to put his horn back in its case and take the summer off. “Different strokes for different folks.” Maybe later…
Posted by glennled on August 20, 2016
Posted by glennled on August 5, 2016
You’re a 67-year old law professor at the University of San Diego (USD) with a 56-year old trumpet sitting in your closet. Your parents bought it new for you when you were in about 5th grade in St. Louis. You played it until the 9th grade. After graduating from Yale, you earned a J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law, taught a law course in Miami, took a job teaching law at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, IL, got married, and had a family. It’s there at SIU that you held tenure. Later, your son played your trumpet for a few years before he specialized in piano and sports and gave the trumpet back to you. And there it sat in the house while you taught law for 34 years. Then, in 2011, USD offered both you and your wife positions on the law school faculty. You’re now in your 40th year of teaching up to 7 different law courses. You’ve been a Visiting Professor at a dozen university law schools, including Seattle University in the summer of 2012. At USD, you are now the J. Lawrence Irving Distinguished Senior Teaching Fellow and Professor-in-Residence. (Please see http://www.sandiego.edu/law/faculty/profiles/bio.php?ID=638). And you took your trumpet with you to San Diego and kept it there until you brought it with you to Seattle in July this year.
In all those years, you had periodic yearnings to play trumpet again. When you both decided to rent a house and vacation for a few weeks this summer in Seattle—where your son, wife and baby daughter live—she suggested that while you’re here, you do something you’ve always wanted to do but never did. You chose to bring along your trumpet and re-learn how to play it. So you found me on the internet, and we had our first private lesson at a studio in the Ted Brown Music store in the University District on 7 July.
I’ve asked Prof. Mark R. Lee why he chose trumpet when he was a kid. He says he’s always loved the trumpet’s pure, crystal-clear notes. They sometimes give him chilblains, he says, a cold feeling running up and down his spine, as if he’d been exposed for hours to cold but non-freezing weather. For him, the “Triumphal March” in Verdi’s opera, Aida, can produce that feeling.
He says he’s now taking lessons and practicing his trumpet simply for his own pleasure and enjoyment. He is a competitive person and generally likes to perform at the highest level he is capable of, but as for trumpet, he has no ambition or plans to play in an orchestra or band. If he did, he would prefer to play classical music, but he also loves marches and musicals. He’d love to play The Music Man, and to his surprise, he’s come to enjoy opera.
His trumpet is a Penn stencil horn. In other words, it’s a medium-to-high-quality horn made by an undisclosed trumpet manufacturer and engraved “Penn” on the bell. He says his parents paid $300 for it—quite an expense for them at that time, about 1959. He let me play it, and I was surprised at how free and open it is—little resistance and a solid tone with smooth valve action.
My 29th trumpet student and his wife return to San Diego in early August. Any time they come back to Seattle for a few weeks to see that granddaughter, I hope we will go for another round of lessons. Learning is fun, right, Professor?
Prof. Lee’s Penn stencil trumpet is shown below. Please click on a photo to enlarge it.
Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: Aida, band, horn, lesson, Mark Lee, music, notes, opera, orchestra, Penn, stencil, Ted Brown Music, The Music Man, tone, trumpet, Verdi | Leave a Comment »
Posted by glennled on August 1, 2016
I’ve been to College Place Middle School (CPMS) in Lynnwood before but never for a band concert until, on 16 June, I went to hear my 27th trumpet student play in the 8th Grade Wind Ensemble, under Kate Labiak, Director, College Place Bands. What a treat! My student has been taking private trumpet lessons with me since last February (see my blog
post of 21 February 2016). But soon she’ll be moving again to enter 9th grade in the high school at Orting, southeast of Tacoma. Incidentally, her younger sister also plays trumpet.
Performing were the 7th and 8th Grade Orchestras, Concert Choir, 66-member 7th Grade Concert Band, and the 55-member 8th Grade Wind Ensemble. The latter played three pieces, highlighted (to me) by Procession of the Nobles, by Rimsky-Korsakov, arranged by
Balent. Three students performed as Guest Conductors.
Two male trumpeters won the “Students’ Choice—Outstanding Musician” awards: one in the Concert Band and one in the Jazz Ensemble. Way to go, boys, very impressive!
Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Posted by glennled on July 25, 2016
On 14 June, the Senior Ensembles Spring Concert by Washington Middle School (WMS) drew an enthusiastic, standing-room only crowd at the Quincy Jones Performance Center at Garfield High School in Seattle. It took about two and a half hours, but the enthusiasm never waned, and the concert ended with the grateful audience giving a standing ovation to the outgoing Director of Bands and Jazz, Kelly Barr-Clingan.
In the past 8 years, I’ve attended many school concerts at numerous places in the Greater Seattle area, and for me, this concert format was unique. In between the major choir, orchestra, and band performances, different student ensembles played and/or sang. Each one was called a “Jazz/Fidd Cornerstone Group,” apparently playing music of its choice. What a unique way of getting lots of students personally involved and willing to perform for the public! Imagine the many more practice sessions they would have, compared to the lesser amount of practice they would do for a more conventional concert. Imagine the friendships that develop from working together in small groups. Fun!
Another unique feature of this concert was the involvement of Banda Vagos, playing music from Mexico with the combined choir, band and orchestra early in the program. Please see https://www.facebook.com/BANDA.VAGOS.
How did I know about this concert? Why did I go? Because one of the 12 trumpet players in the Concert Band takes private lessons from me. I posted a story about him on 13 April 2016.
WMS’s enrollment is exceeds 1,100 students, and “more than half of the school’s population is enrolled in a music ensemble.” To learn more about the music program, please see:
The new Director of Bands and Jazz is Jared Sessink, a trumpeter of renown. He was the only American finalist in the 2013 International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition. Elizabeth Fortune is Director of Orchestras and Eclectic Strings. Blake Saunders is Director of Choirs.
Please click on any photo to enlarge it.
Posted in School Concerts | Tagged: band, Banda Vagos, ensemble, Garfield High School, Kelly Barr Clingan, lessons, music, orchestra, Quincy Jones, trumpet, trumpeter, Washington Middle School | Leave a Comment »
Posted by glennled on July 24, 2016
Three students performed at the 7th Annual Trumpet Recital in our home in Edmonds on 18 June, and three more were unable to attend. Of the performers, two are going into 8th grade next fall, and one is going into 9th grade. One began private trumpet lessons with me in December 2013, another in September 2014, and the third in February 2016. Selections included music by Elton John, Tim Rice, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, John Williams, Pat Ballard, Francoise Couperin, and John Kander. Popular pieces were Hedwig’s Theme, Cabaret, and When I’m 64.
After the performances, I gave a brief clinic and demonstration of the Herald Trumpet, English Bugle, Getzen Field Trumpet, Cornet, and Trumpet, so that the parents, relatives and friends in the audience could better appreciate the history and complexity of these instruments, as well as the difficulties which students must learn to control in order to master them. Refreshments were served after the recital.
Posted by glennled on July 22, 2016
He’s only a seventh grader, going into eighth this fall, but he plays the trumpet with confidence and accuracy. So I asked him to play “Echo Taps” with me at the Memorial Day ceremony on 30 May at Veterans Park in Lynnwood. Other students of mine have played the “echo” part with me there, but they were all older and in high school. Also, those other students had all taken private trumpet lessons with me. This trumpeter, however, was my student when he was in the beginning bands at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell. He’s doing well in the 7th grade band and jazz band at SJHS now.
The weather this year was the best ever in my five years as VFW Post 1040 Bugler. On Memorial Day, I get to sound three bugle calls: “Assembly” (to open the ceremony), “Echo Taps” (to conclude the ceremony), and “To the Color” (when the flag is hoisted from half- to full-mast at noon). Attendance at this half-hour ceremony and the one on Veterans Day (11 November) is growing.
My Getzen bugle has two tuning slides. I use the G slide for “Tattoo,” “Taps,” and “Funeral March,” and the Bb slide for all other bugle calls. Love that horn!
Please click on any photo to enlarge it.
Posted by glennled on July 20, 2016
Memorial Day is the annual holiday when America honors its war dead. Raelynn Ricarte came to Edmonds, WA from Hood River, OR in the Columbia River Gorge area to deliver the keynote message of this year’s Memorial Day ceremony on 25 May at Edmonds Community College—“Be an American Worth Dying For.” Her son, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Jesse Atay, deployed five times in both Iraq and Afghanistan during nearly 13 years in military service, first as a platoon leader and then as the lead on a combat assault team. The horror of September 11, 2001, sent Atay to war.
Ricarte has earned the right to deliver that message. She vowed to take care of her son’s “dudes” through action, not just lip service. She started sending care packages to troops in the Middle East, using small amounts of donated funds. That eventually grew so much that she founded The Gorge Heroes Club, a non-profit pro-troop group that now sends the troops thousands of care packages. Please see http://gorgeheroesclub.blogspot.com/.
When you hear or read her stories about the agonies of loss and trials of grief which the families of America’s war dead go through, you understand how she can say to all our citizens, “Be an American Worth Dying For.”
To me and others I know, it was the best Memorial Day ceremony held at Edmonds Community College so far. Everyone on the program spoke from the heart and told their own personal stories. You got their messages. And after the wreath-laying ceremony outside on campus and after Kyle Gaul, Northwest Junior Pipe Band, played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes, I had the privilege of sounding “Taps” one more time on my golden bugle, fading into silence at the end, concluding the program.
Please click on any photo to enlarge it. Outdoor photos courtesy of Veterans Resource Center, ECC.
Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations | Tagged: bagpipes, bugle, Chris Szarek, Dr. Jean Hernandez, Edmonds Community Club, Living the Oath, Northwest Junior Pipe Band, Peter Al, Taps, The Gorge Heroes Club | Leave a Comment »
Posted by glennled on July 19, 2016
Pacific Little League Day, 23 April, gave me the opportunity to show off my Getzen Field Trumpet again when I sounded the bugle call, “To the Color,” as Boy Scout Troop 49 presented the colors before a large crowd of parents, relatives and friends at Lynndale Park in Lynnwood.
I love that horn! I should let the trumpet students to whom I give private lessons play it. Bet they’d be amazed.
This is my fifth year in a row sounding this bugle call immediately before the singing of the National Anthem. For more in-depth articles and photos of Pacific Little League (www.pacificlittleleague.com) and this special ceremony, please see my blog posts of:
- 22 May 2012
- 26 May 2013
- 7 June 2014
- 4 May 2015
Please click on any photo to enlarge it.
Posted by glennled on April 13, 2016
My 28th trumpet student is a cohort—in fact, a Highly Capable Cohort. He lives in West Seattle, but he commutes to Washington Middle School (WMS) on Jackson Street in the Central District, where he is among other cohorts (i.e., friends, colleagues, companions, associates). HCC was formerly known as APP (Accelerated Progress Program). HCC students have achievement test scores at or above the 95th percentile and cognitive test scores at or above the 98th percentile. Wow, I’m impressed!
We started his trumpet lessons on the last day of February in this Leap Year. We meet at a practice studio at Ted Brown Music in the University District (see http://www.tedbrownmusic.com). He’s been playing since 4th grade and is now a 7th grader. He’s also in his third year of piano lessons. Trumpet is his primary instrument, but when the family inherited a piano, he started playing it out of curiosity and for pleasure. And he takes piano lessons, too. Obviously, he enjoys learning.
What attracted him to the trumpet? Its power, he says. It sounds triumphant. But it also can sound sweet, and it can scream. And finally, it has only 3 buttons! Now that he’s been playing for four years, he wants to improve his range, tone, and articulation, as well as improve his all-around playing ability. His trumpet is a Getzen Model 700S Eterna II, manufactured in 2012 (see http://www.getzen.com/trumpet/). He plans to attend Garfield High School, which is renowned nationally for it music program, and he wants to play throughout high school and college. He often wears University of Washington shirts, and the WMS school mascot is the Junior Husky. (Someday, we might end up playing trumpet together in the Husky Alumni Band.)
At WMS (grades 6-8), there are four concert bands, conducted by Kelly Barr-Clingan, Director of Bands and Jazz and an active trombonist and vocalist. Please see http://washingtonmsmusic.com/wmsmusic.com/Welcome.html. My student plays in the Senior Band, and he enjoys movie sound tracks, especially Star Wars. Last year, he was a member of the All-City Junior Band. Last summer, he marched in three community parades: Renton River Days, West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival, and Queen Anne Days.
On 26-28 May this year, the Senior Band, Senior Choir, and Senior Orchestra are giving four performances in the Vancouver, B.C. Heritage Festival. The trip is organized through Worldstrides, a leader in educational trips for students (see https://worldstrides.com/itineraries/vancouver-heritage-festival/). On 14 June, WMS will present its Spring Concert at Garfield High School, featuring all the senior groups. More than half of the school’s population is enrolled in the 13 daily music ensembles. In addition, there are four after-school music offerings. Wow, I’m impressed!
Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: band, concert, ensemble, Garfield High School, Getzen, jazz, Kelly Barr Clingan, lesson, music, Ted Brown Music, trumpet, Washington Middle School, Worldstrides | Leave a Comment »
Posted by glennled on March 22, 2016
As far as I know, I might have been the only trumpeter who attended the Spring Recital hosted by Lessons In Your Home (LIYH) on 20 May at the Woodland Park Presbyterian Church in Seattle. That’s because of the approximately 38 student musicians who played their instruments in front of about 150 audience members, four played the violin, four played the guitar, and 30 played the piano. Next year, those missing trumpet students had better show up!😉
There were eight of us music teachers present—we’re all part of the LIYH staff, and I’m one of the trumpet tutors among the Seattle group. LIYH is led by Jay Maurice of Atlanta, GA, who founded it in 1997. Jay emceed the Sunday afternoon recital.
Today, he operates his business in nine cities, including Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Orlando, Miami/South Florida, and Atlanta. Lessons in Your Home has more than 250 teachers nationwide, teaching music to more than 1,000 students in their own homes. Jay personally interviewed and selected us teachers. See http://www.lessonsinyourhome.net.
Please click on any photo to enlarge it.