Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Wow! Arturo Sandoval at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle

Posted by glennled on August 16, 2021

Trumpet superstar Arturo Sandoval came to town, so my wife and I went to hear him play at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle on 22 July. He was there Thursday through Sunday nights, playing one set on the first night and two on the others. We had dinner and enjoyed the show. I confess—I’ve seen his exercise books in the music stores and heard more about him than actually heard him play, and I was very curious to listen and learn.

The music was highly energetic most of the time, but occasionally, things would slow down, like when he would insert his mute but most notably when he left the stage and wandered through the audience singing, “When I Fall in Love,” made most famous by Nat King Cole.

I had not realized how versatile, multi-talented, and widely accomplished Arturo is. I had thought of him mostly as a screamingly-high trumpeter, amazing improvisor, and fast-riff performer. But that evening, I heard him sing, saw him move, listened to him play drums, piano, and synthesizer. And his band—five guys just like him! The man on the bongos was my favorite. The sax player and guitarist are great technicians, but I’m mostly a brass and piano fan.

Arturo talked about coming to the USA from his native Cuba in his 40s, learning to speak English, and about now finally emerging from Covid isolation back into live performances at his age (72)—how good it feels and how much it means to him to be back in front of people, making music, with his band. And his avid fans adore him. It was great to be there!

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Five “I Stand for the Flag” Trumpet Shows at Retirement Communities in July!

Posted by glennled on August 15, 2021

In early July, I performed my one-hour trumpet show, “I Stand for the Flag,” at five different retirement communities in the Greater Seattle area. Naturally, they clustered around Independence Day, the Fourth of July. In order, they were:

  • Merrill Gardens at the University, Seattle (1 July)
  • Aljoya, Mercer Island (2 July)
  • Fairwinds Brighton Court, Lynnwood (4 July)
  • Emerald Heights, Redmond (7 July)
  • Merrill Gardens at Burien (9 July)

This show consists of 25 patriotic marches, songs, and bugle calls. I wore my VFW Post 1040 uniform and played three instruments (my Getzen Eterna Severinsen trumpet, Super Olds cornet, and Jupiter pocket trumpet) and used three mouthpieces (Yamaha Vizutti, Bach 8C, and Denis Wick 4).

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

Memorial Day Essentials on 31 May at Veterans Park, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on August 14, 2021

For the second year in a row, due to Covid restrictions, VFW Post 1040 performed a shortened, non-advertised Memorial Day commemoration ceremony at Veterans Park in Lynnwood. Normally, the ceremony would draw 200 or more people, and there would be music and speeches and presentations and honors and rifle salutes and “Taps” and more. It would take a half hour or more, and then at noon, the flag would be raised from half-staff to full-staff, accompanied by “To the Color” on the bugle.

This year, only the essentials were kept on the program:

  • “Amazing Grace” by Piper Kevin Auld and two members of the Northwest Junior Pipe Band;
  • “Armed Forces Medley” on the P.A. system;
  • Laying of the wreaths by Patricia McCarty and John Beam, Commander, VFW Post 1040;
  • Rifle salute by the Post Honor Guard;
  • “Taps” by me; and
  • Raising the flag to the top at noon.

Please see http://www.vfw1040.org, http://www.nwjpb.org, and http://www.goldstarmomwa.org.

The City of Lynnwood recorded it all (except the flag raising) in this 9:19-minute video (please see https://youtu.be/lWCOAdCS3Jg). As you’ll see and hear, I lead off with the bugle call, “Assembly,” on my Getzen Field Trumpet (bugle) and sound “Taps” at the 8:05-minute.

We’re all hoping that on Veterans Day, 11 November, we’ll be able to resume celebrating with the customary, full program involving more people and organizations, open to the public.

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Second Trumpet Show at Overlake Terrace Retirement Community, Redmond

Posted by glennled on May 16, 2021

Courtesy of Overlake Terrace Assisted & Senior Living

This spring, Overlake Terrace Assisted & Senior Living, a retirement community in Redmond, invited me back for a second trumpet show, 28 months after my first performance there shortly before Christmas in 2018 (please see my blog post of 23 December 2018 in the Archives in left column). Then Covid shut everything down, everywhere in 2020.

That first show was “Things Remembered,” featuring mostly Christmas carols and songs. This one, on 23 April, was “Showtune Favorites,” featuring hit songs from musicals and movies. I have six different shows, each with about two dozen familiar songs from the residents’ era.

For these shows, I use my Getzen trumpet, Super Olds cornet, Jupiter pocket trumpet, and (sometimes) Getzen bugle.

On Memorial Day, 31 May, I’ll be back there again in my VFW uniform, to sound “Taps” at their ceremony. I’ll use my beautiful Getzen bugle.

For more information about Overlake Terrace, please see Overlake Terrace Assisted & Senior Living in Redmond, WA (stellarliving.com).

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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.

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

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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