Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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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

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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

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Milestone—My First Tutored Student’s Last Concert at Garfield High School

Posted by glennled on June 26, 2018

 

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Benjamin Laverde, Principal Tubist, Senior, Garfield Symphony Orchestra, 2018, conducted by Kimberly Roy

 

“Become Your Best!” is the motto I printed on my business card in 2009 when I began private tutoring of trumpet and cornet students. In the nine years I’ve been doing this, the most accomplished musician to whom I ever gave private lessons just graduated from Garfield High School and will attend Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts this fall. He is Benjamin Laverde, tubist.

Benjamin Laverde (R), cornetist, 4th grader, plays in his first public school concert, Lowell Elementary School, Seattle

Ben was my very first student. I taught him to play his cornet when he was a 4th and 5th grader at Lowell Elementary School on Capitol Hill in Seattle. He made All-City Honors Elementary Band in 2011 as a 5th grader (see my blog post of 10 April 2011). Our lessons were fun. Often, for example, when I would arrive at his home in Crown Hill, we would play “Hide and Seek.” I’d walk in the front door and ask his mom, “Where’s Ben?” He would be lying flat, face down, arms tight against his sides, rigid, on the living room couch. She’d say, “I don’t know. Perhaps he’s downstairs.” I’d say, “I’ll just wait here on the couch while you go find him.” At the last instant as I sat down, he would quickly squirm out of the way, and I would say, “Oh, here he is! I found him.” And we would all laugh and get down to business. He was always smart, talented, curious, explorative, and energetic.

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Benjamin Laverde, Senior, Garfield High School, Seattle

From the very beginning, he told me that he ultimately wanted to play tuba. His chance to do so came when he was preparing to enter Hamilton International Middle School (HMIS) in Wallingford as a 6th grader. At a music orientation session in the spring while he was still a 5th grader, he told the HMIS band director, Daniel Rowe, that he wanted to play tuba, so Mr. Rowe gave him a smaller-size tuba to practice that summer. Alas, after two years (2009-2011), I lost my first “trumpet” student. (But he still owns his cornet.)

Ben Tackles the Tuba

Meanwhile, I had picked up Trumpet Student No. 11  who lives in Magnolia and was attending Lawton Elementary School (see my blog post of 14 November 2010). Eventually, he also entered HMIS, and when I attended some of his band concerts, there also was Ben on tuba in the more advanced band. At one such concert in 2014, I learned from his parents that, as an 8th grader in 2013, Ben had made the beginning orchestra of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) and that Ben would be attending Garfield High School.

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Ben Laverde, Principal Tubist, Garfield Symphony Orchestra, 13 June 2018

Year by year, Ben progressed through SYSO’s system of the four full orchestras which include brass players: Symphonette (Beginning), Debut (Intermediate), Junior (Advanced Intermediate), and finally, while a senior at Garfield, the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (Flagship) where he was principal tubist. According to the SYSO website (www.syso.org), “The orchestra performs three regular season concerts in Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony, and regularly partners with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Seattle Opera, regional Broadway musical theater organizations, local choruses, and internationally acclaimed guest artists and conductors.” SYSO was founded in 1942, during World War II. Ben performed in yearly side-by-side concerts with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra for four years (2015-2018).

In 2016, Ben made All-State Concert Band, sponsored by the Washington Music Educators Association. He has studied with the following tuba tutors:

  • 2012-13—Ryan Schultz, current principal tubist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet
  • 2014-15—Chris Olka, former principal tubist of the Seattle Symphony
  • 2016-17—Jon Hill, former Artist in Residence, University of Washington
  • 2018—John DiCesare, current principal tubist Seattle Symphony

Recently, when I asked Ben what had always attracted him to tuba, he said that originally, it was because he liked the Sousaphones which he saw in a marching band. They looked cool, and he liked the sound. Ironically, he’s never played in a marching band. It doesn’t bother him that he almost never gets to play melodies and solos. In fact, for him, playing bass is more fun and less stressful.

Among his most memorable highlights while at Garfield was a trip to New York City in March 2017, when the orchestra performed at Elizabeth High School in New Jersey. Another was performing in May 2018, with the famous Seattle rapper, Macklemore, at the Seattle Symphony’s “Youth. Equity. Access” concert hosted by Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback. A third was when he performed in June 2015, at the benefit, “Canoche, a Night with Robinson Cano & Friends.” Cano is the Seattle Mariners’ All-Star second baseman, and at the dinner were some of Cano’s friends from both the Mariners and New York Yankees, the Seattle Seahawks, and rapper mogul and agent, Jay-Z.

Ben’s Last Garfield Orchestra Concert

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Aadi Lahiri, principal trumpeter, Garfield Symphony Orchestra, played the solos in Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks,” 13 June 2018

On 13 June 2018, as Principal Tubist of the 82-member Garfield Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kimberly Roy, Ben performed in his last school concert—the Graduation Concert. I made it a point to attend and mark this milestone by seeing and hearing my most accomplished former student one final time. I met him, his parents, William and Kara, and his grandparents there. The orchestra, which includes five trumpeters, performed the following challenging pieces splendidly:

  • “Music for the Royal Fireworks” by George Frideric Handel, featuring Aadi Lahiri, trumpeter
  • “Cello Concerto, op. 85” by Edward Elgar, featuring Jonathan Lin, cellist
  • “Concerto in C, op.37” by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, featuring Zofia Sabee, cellist
  • “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein

Aadi Lahiri, trumpeter, will be attending St. John’s College in the fall, majoring in philosophy and math with a minor in music. St. John’s is one college with two campuses, one in Annapolis, Maryland and one in Santa Fe, New Mexico, both historic state capitals.

Ben’s Future: Clark University

Ben will attend Clark University on an academic scholarship. He says he’s undecided about a degree major, but it seems unlikely to be music. However, his parents say they would not be surprised if Ben finds some way to continue to playing tuba while at Clark.

A liberal-arts based, private non-profit, research university, Clark was founded in 1887. According to its website, it has a student/faculty ratio of 10:1. The average undergraduate class size is 21. The total enrollment of degree-seeking students in 2017 was about 3100. The average high school GPA of its first-year undergraduates (day college) is 3.63. The most popular declared majors (5-year average, including double-majors) are Psychology (17%); and Biology, Economics, Political Science, and Business Management (7% each). Ben is very impressed with Clark’s geography degree program. The Graduate School of Geography at Clark has granted more Ph.D degrees in that field than any other program in the USA. As of May 2017, Clark had about 550 endowment funds with a combined market value of ~$411 million. The percentage of undergraduates who receive some kind of financial aid is 93%. Please see http://www.clarku.edu.

Worchester is the second most populous city (~185,000) in New England, after Boston, which is about 40 miles east.

“Become Your Best!”—has Ben been done it? For now, yes indeed, but forever, no. His adult life is just beginning, and we can all continuously get better until we pass. I’m very proud of him. Viva Ben! Viva La Musique!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Photo Gallery of Spring Band Concert, Skyview Middle School, Bothell

Posted by glennled on June 19, 2018

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Charlie Fix, Band and Orchestra Director, Skyview Middle School, conducts 5th-Grade Band at Spring 2018 Concert

 

A full house gathered on 30 May to hear the 5th and 6th grade bands perform their 2018 Spring Band Concert under the direction of Charlie Fix at Skyview Middle School in Bothell. A few 6th grade musicians sat in with the 5th grade band to give it more balance and depth. Fifth grade band members come from three elementary schools: Fernwood, Canyon Creek, and Crystal Springs. Sixth grade band members attend Skyview Middle School. Fifth grade section instructors had the honor of conducting special pieces by their respective band sections: Glenn Ledbetter (brass), Matt Simmons (woodwinds), and Jane Lin (percussion); Mr. Fix conducted the flute section. The next day, the 5th graders had a farewell party in the school cafeteria. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

5th Grade Band

 

6th Grade Band

 

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Three “Taps” on Memorial Day In Lynnwood, Seattle, and Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on June 6, 2018

 

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Skyline Towers Retirement Community, Seattle

This Memorial Day was a first for me—I played bugle calls at three different ceremonies, first in Lynnwood (11 am), then in downtown Seattle (1:30 pm), and finally, on Mercer Island (2:30 pm).

In downtown Lynnwood, VFW Post 1040 hosted its annual Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Park. We used the bugle calls, “Assembly,” to commence the program, “Echo Taps” to honor those who died in military service, and “To the Color” to hoist the flag to full mast at noon. Gavin Itzka, trumpeter, Skyview Middle School, Bothell, played the echo part of “Echo Taps.” The VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard fired the rifle salute, and the Nile Shriners Legion of Honor Color Guard presented the colors. The Northwest Junior Pipe Band, under the direction of Kevin Auld, played six pieces, including “Scotland the Brave,” “The Marine Corps Hymn,” and “Going Home,” paying tribute to all veterans, firefighters, and police officers. Boy Scouts Troop 49 of Lynnwood and Cub Scout Pack 331 of Edmonds placed the flags throughout the park, distributed the programs, and presented the Armed Forces flags as the “Armed Forces Medley” was played through the sound system supplied by Sound Church of Lynnwood. Lt. Col. Dan Matthews, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), gave an inspirational keynote speech. For more information about these organizations, please see:

 

The ceremony at Skyline on First Hill in Seattle, a Presbyterian retirement community, was quite unique. It’s called the “Sparkle Release” memorial ceremony because, as the names of Seattle-ite servicemen and women who were lost in the past year are read by Rev. Elizabeth Graham, the attendees release into the wind brightly colored threads meant to attract birds who then use them in building their nests. “It’s about rebirth and hope for the new life that is to come,” said Rev. Graham. The courtyard setting and the Seattle skyline view IMG_5592from in between the two Skyline buildings are spectacular. The south building is Skyline Terraces, for assisted living, and the north building is Skyline Towers, for independent living (please see my blog posts of 10 Nov. 2016 and 19 Nov. 2017). At the conclusion of the ceremony, I sounded “Taps” on my Getzen bugle.

From there, I hustled across the I-90 floating bridge to Island House Retirement Community in downtown Mercer Island, where about 50 residents had gathered for their Memorial Day ceremony. Sounding “Taps” was incorporated into the program. As I sounded those 24 notes, several veterans in the audience, wearing their VFW and American Legion caps, stood and saluted in honor of their fallen comrades in arms.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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