Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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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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“Echo Taps” and “Assembly” Bugle Calls at 10th Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Veterans Cemetery in North Seattle

Posted by glennled on January 12, 2020

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VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard at “Present Arms” position as “Echo Taps” is sounded

 

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Michael Reagan, Fallen Heroes Project

The Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony in Seattle keeps improving, and as it does so, the audience size keeps growing. About 300 people attended the event on 14 December 2019 at Veterans Cemetery at Evergreen-Washelli, where there are 5,000 graves of service men and women, including 7 Medal of Honor recipients. This was the 10th annual ceremony wreath laying ceremony here. It’s a tribute to those buried here and elsewhere around the world. IMG_1848

Afterwards, audience members placed wreaths upon as many gravestones as there were wreaths. This year, “with the help of a new nonprofit foundation (Veterans Memorial Wreath Foundation), growing community awareness, and the generous support of our sponsors,” said Lorraine Zimmerman, president of VMWF, “we were able to place a record number of wreaths—over 1300! If anybody is interested in becoming involved and/or learning more about our foundation, just contact me or visit http://www.vmwf.org. Save the date for next year’s ceremony: Saturday, 19 December at 9 a.m.”

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William (Bill) W. Wilson, former POW, Vietnam War, 1972-73

The VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard was honored once more to fire the rifle salute and sound the bugle calls during the ceremony. To open the event, I sounded the bugle call, “Assembly.” At the close, Lukas Breen of the U.S.Coast Guard and Bugles Across America joined me in sounding “Echo Taps.” We both used Getzen Field Trumpets (bugles).

Please use the Archives column (left) to read my articles about previous WAA ceremonies:

  • 15 Jan 2019
  • 29 Dec 2017
  • 30 Dec 2016
  • 5 Feb 2016
  • 28 Apr 2015
  • 9 Jan 2013
  • 16 Dec 2011

All photos are courtesy of Tonya Christoffersen except one by Lila O’Leary (as captioned). Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Meadowdale High School’s Winter Band and Orchestra Concert, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on January 3, 2020

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Full Orchestra, Meadowdale HIgh School, Edmonds, 12-17-2019

 

Seven different bands and orchestras from Meadowdale High School (MHS) in Edmonds performed a dozen pieces at the Winter Concert in the Great Hall on 17 December. My wife and I were there to see and hear our granddaughter play in the 22-member Concert Orchestra. Emily Hurd conducts the bands, and Nathan Rengstorf conducts the orchestras.

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Four trumpeters, MHS Wind Ensemble

The Concert Orchestra played “Greensleeves” and “Danza, II Allegro.” As a trumpet player and teacher, I especially enjoyed the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Full Orchestra. “Minor Alterations: Christmas Through the Looking Glass” was the most memorable piece to me, and it was a huge treat to hear the Full Orchestra play “The Polar Express.” The 61-member Full Orchestra  blends strings with brass, woodwinds, and percussion for a big, colorful sound. The concert concluded with the Combined Orchestras (71 members, including two guitars and two percussion) playing “Boughs of Holly.”

The Meadowdale Arts & Music Booster Organization (MAMBO) was there to support and promote the school’s music program. Learn more about MAMBO at http://www.mhsMAMBO.org.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Full Orchestra

 

Wind Ensemble

 

Symphonic Band

 

Combined Orchestras

 

Chamber Orchestra

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Nathan Rengstorf, Conductor

Symphonic Orchestra

Concert Orchestra

MAMBO

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“Bubblelator” Christmas Show at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 29, 2019

 

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This year, Alderwood Community Church (ACC) presented its 32nd Christmas musical—-“Christmas in the Bubbleator.” The Bubbleator was a spherical elevator in a building at the Century 21 World’s Fair in Seattle in 1962. (I graduated from the University of Washington that summer, and I rode in the Bubbleator with my parents from Texas.) Five performances produced a total attendance of about 2,800 during 6, 7, 8 December. For the second time, the church had commissioned Matthew Wilson to write a play. The first one was his “New Life of the Land” which also debuted at ACC  (use the Archives column on the left to see my post of 13 December 2017). This one is the sequel to that. _M3A0425

The play takes place in the span of only about two hours on Christmas Eve of 1961, about three months prior to the opening of the World’s Fair. The main character is a high school girl from Alderwood Manor (which was by then part of the new city, Lynnwood). She has applied for a job as a Bubblelator operator, posing as “Jacqueline Clarington,” the daughter of a wealthy San Francisco family. She dreams of living that Big City lifestyle in the future, and this job is to be a first step in that direction (use the Archives column on the left to see my post of 13 December 2017). Christmas in the Bubbleator, 2019_Moment(15)

In fact, she is actually Barbara Beck, the granddaughter of John and Margaret Beck, chicken farmers from Alderwood Manor. When she had applied earlier using her real name and address, Barbara received a rejection letter. But as Jacqueline Clarington from San Francisco, she is virtually already hired after she had an exaggerated, demonstrative interview with the Fair Director. Her grandparents spoiled her imaginative but devious plan. She is stricken by their honesty, goodwill, and love of her, and her conscience compels her to expose her fraud in a late confession to the Fair Director. “Everything I’ve told you is a lie. I wanted to be part of something great, but tonight, I realize that I already am. Oh…Merry Christmas!” The three of them leave the fairgrounds and return to reality—family and church back in Alderwood Manor. To see a high quality video of this entire Christmas show, produced by Monique Anderson for ACC, please see https://vimeo.com/380922775/85e704f214.

The 22-member orchestra, 55-member choir and The Evergreens combo (vocalist, saxophone and vocalist, lead guitar, and bass guitar) performed numerous pieces of music before, during and after the show. The brass section was comprised of three trumpets, three trombones, and one French horn.

Photos are courtesy of Alderwood Community Church. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

 

ACC Orchestra

 

ACC Choir

 

Cast

 

The Evergreens

 

Scenes From Play

 

Other Scenes

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“Sound Wave” Band Sounds Its Last 2019 Sound Waves—And Sounders FC Are MLS Champs Again!

Posted by glennled on December 22, 2019

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Seven trumpeters, Sound Wave Band, MLS Cup match, Century Link Field, 10 November 2019

 

“You’re the Top!” wrote Cole Porter in 1934 during the Great Depression for the musical, Anything Goes. But there’s nothing depressing in 2019 about the FC Sounders and their terrific Sound Wave Band—both are champs! On 10 November, the Sounders beat Toronto FC, 3-1, and won their second MLS championship (2016, 2019).

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Trumpet soloist

I was lucky enough to be there at Century Link Field, thanks to my son-in-law and his wife who have season tickets. They bought two extra tickets, and I sat in the third deck with my 14-year old granddaughter. It was spectacular. We rode the Sounders game train to and from Edmonds. The game, the win, the MLS trophy, the celebration, the music were spectacular!

The Sound Wave Band is comprised of trumpets, mellophones, trombones, baritones, and other instruments (mostly drums). They play before, during and after each match. First, they play in Occidental Square, and then they lead the “March to the Match” at Century Link Field. Once there, one hour prior to kick, they play for the gathering fans outside the stadium, typically at the Northwest Bollards. During the match, they sit on the Green Zone beneath the Hawks Nest and perform the Sounders FC fight song, corner kick grooves, and the Sounders Samba. And finally, after the match, they play for 30 minutes on the stadium’s North Stairs. It’s very stirring music, with many solos and almost continuous choreographed movements—all memorized. They’re tops!

Keith Rousu has been the band director for 11 seasons. He is also Director of Blue Thunder (Seattle Seahawks). He’s a graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University with a Master’s degree in Sports Administration and Leadership. A drummer, he manages the music selection, music arranging, and performance effectiveness.

Sound Wave is available year-round for special performances and events. If you want to join the band, submit your application online at https://www.soundersfc.com/matchday/sound-wave. Annual auditions are held in January.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Before the match

 

 

After the match

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My Trumpet Student Solos at “Jazz Night” at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 20, 2019

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Junior Jazz Band, Eckstein Middle School, Seattle

 

One hundred and eighty-six student musicians performed for a packed audience on “Jazz Night” on 21 November at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle. And one of them was a 6th grade trumpet player who has been taking private lessons from me since May 2018. I recall that he originally chose trumpet because it sounded “jazzy” (see my blog post of 12 May 2018). And here he was now, one and a half years later, my 42nd trumpet student, at this evening concert—the featured trumpet soloist when the 29-member Junior Jazz Band played “Second Line” (Joe Avery Blues). IMG_5627

Mr. Cuauhtémoc Escobedo (“Mr. E” or “Moc”) is Director of Bands, Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz. After the Junior Jazz Band opened the concert, Vocal Jazz II performed two songs.  Next, the 28-member Intermediate Jazz Band, with 7 trumpeters, played four pieces. Fourth on the program was Vocal Jazz I, the largest group (67 members). Lastly, the strong Senior Jazz Band (41 members, including 7 trumpeters) concluded the concert with five pieces.

As I sat again in Eckstein Auditorium, I was reminded of a former trumpet student of mine who also played in the winter concert there, also conducted by Mr. Escobedo, 8 years ago (please see my blog post of 14 December 2011). I remain in touch with his mom, a nurse. She says he continued to play trumpet in the concert, jazz, and pep bands through four years at two high schools. “Band was great for him,” she wrote to me. “It gave him a home wherever he went.” He’s now a senior at Western Washington University in Bellingham, studying manufacturing engineering. “He is quite the young man. I am very proud of him. He has had several 4.0 quarters and is on the Dean’s list. Hopefully, his job search will go well when he finishes.” IMG_5723

That prompted me to re-read my first blog post about him, then a sixth grader and my fourth student. (Please use the Archives in the left column to find 18 November 2009.) He sounded good in tone and articulation but was very frustrated, struggling with fingering, range, and reading music—no wonder—almost no one can teach themselves to play trumpet well. I wrote, “It is my pleasure to help this gentle boy overcome these obstacles. Let’s give the kid some successes! and who knows? maybe we’ll be listening to him play in the jazz, concert and marching bands soon…maybe in the symphony or opera orchestras someday…maybe on some CDs or in the movies when he’s that good. Let him dream! Help him dream! Help him achieve his potential. Or maybe he’ll simply enjoy playing in the school band with his friends for a few years and never take it any further…that’s fine, too. You find good people in bands. Good memories accumulate with the many events, and lifetime friendships often form–even marriages!”

My 42nd student, now at Eckstein, doesn’t struggle with trumpet the way my fourth student did. He’s quite talented and advanced for his age. But I feel the same about both of them. “Let’s give the kid some successes!…Let him dream!…Help him dream!”—and then watch what happens!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Junior Jazz Band

 

Intermediate Jazz Band

 

Senior Jazz Band

 

Vocal Jazz I & II

 

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New Student (#51) in Lynnwood Is in the Homeschool Connections Intermediate Jazz Band

Posted by glennled on December 18, 2019

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Classes for the Homeschool Connections Intermediate Jazz Band are held at Woodinville Alliance Church

 

My 51st trumpet student is my first homeschooled student. He now lives in Lynnwood, but until this year, he had been attending Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, where he was a band member. When he and his parents decided to leave the public school system, he asked them, “What about playing trumpet in band?” They found the solution at Homeschool Connections (please see http://www.connectionsnw.org).

He participates in the Intermediate Jazz Band class on Wednesdays at Woodinville Alliance Church (http://www.wachurch.us/). There was an evening band concert on 2 December at Northlake Christian Church in Bothell (see http://www.northlakecc.org). It was called the Connections Christmas Concert, featuring the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Bands; Intermediate and Advanced Jazz Bands; and Jazz Combo.

My first private, half-hour lesson with him was on 20 November. I always listen to my students play before I choose an instruction book for them. From his middle school band days, he still has the Essential Elements, Trumpet, Book 1, so we decided to keep working out of that. In addition, I had him buy 101 Jazz Songs, Trumpet, published by Hal Leonard, so that he can have fun becoming familiar with some well-known pieces.

I found that his range topped out at D on the staff. So, on the first day, I taught him to play “G” above the staff, and before I left, he had played a note above high C above the staff. Also, he was making an “H” sound into the mouthpiece. Students who do that will not be able to play at fast tempos or learn double- and triple-tonguing. So, I taught him to make a “T” sound into the mouthpiece. He now has to work to make these techniques natural and habitual.

At this stage, my first job is to help him learn the fingering and embouchure positions for each note in the chromatic scale. We want him to develop instant recognition of the names and settings for each note within a two-octave range, low to high G. It is not enough to memorize things intellectually. We must learn by doing. That means “practice, practice, practice.”

I asked how he chose the trumpet. He said there was no demonstration at school where he could try playing various instruments. He chose trumpet from photographs!

According to the Homeschool Connections website, the Intermediate Jazz Band is taught by Robin Strangland. She plays and teaches French horn and plays trumpet in the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO—see http://www.swojo.org). She started the Homeschool Band in this area in 1993. She and her husband run the Northend Jazz Camp. The Advanced Jazz Ensemble is taught by Kevin Hall, trumpeter. He is a Director of Jazz at Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek. Twice, he has received the prestigious “Outstanding Soloist Award” from the International Association of Jazz Educators. He is a Festival Director for the Snohomish Valley and Mill Creek Jazz Festivals. You’ll find more information about both these instructors at http://www.connectionsnw.org/about-us/.

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