Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Archive for November, 2009

Huskies 30, Cougars 0–Alumni Band Helps Again!

Posted by glennled on November 29, 2009

Glenn's Proud!

Pre-game rehearsal
One push-up for each Husky point scored

For the first time since 1968 (41 years!), the Apple Cup ended in shutout–this time the Huskies held the Cougars scoreless. The headline on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s website on Sunday morning read, “Huskies Crush Cougs in Apple Cup Blowout.” This 102nd game between the two schools started at 3:30 p.m. and was played under lights as a cold wind blew wildly around the stadium. We were among the ~67,000 fans who were so grateful it did not rain. Chris Polk rushed for 130 yards and became the first true UW freshman ever to rush for over 1,000 yards in one season. Jake Locker had the kind of game everyone has expected of him every time he’s played these past three years, running for 94 yards, passing for 196, scoring one touchdown himself, passing for another.

Once again, I attended for free as a member of the Husky Alumni Band (HMBAA). The band’s routine goes like this. We arrive three and half hours before kickoff and have a short rehearsal at the tennis court grandstand just north of Hec-Ed Pavillion. Then we walk to 4-5 tailgate venues in different parking lots. At each site we play about five tunes, ending up with a little longer session at the final stop near the Husky dog and Coach Jim Owens statues at the stadium entrance. In addition to the songs mentioned in my post (below) on 11 October, we played a bunch of other tunes yesterday, including “Shake a Tail Feather,” “Hey! Baby!”, “Vehicle,” “Find Myself a Sunny Spot,” “Polynesian Paralysis,” “Separate Ways,” and one of my favorites, “You Can Call Me Al.” Of course, we always play “Victory for Washington” and “Bow Down to Washington” everywhere–those two are givens.

During the game itself, the routine continues. We play a few tunes during some of the time-outs. Our turn to play is all coordinated with the UW Varsity Band via headsets. Then, after the Varsity Band concludes its half-time show, we play a few tunes from the track in front of the main southside grandstand until the teams return and the second half begins. Next, after the game ends, we play a few tunes in front of the people in the “horseshoe” stands at the west end, where we always sit during the games. Our last song there last night was “Celebration.” People in the stands sang along and swayed to music…it’s great to relish a victory.

Finally, we walk back to the Nordstrom Tennis Center behind Hec-ED, and play some more. I walked there with Dan Niven (see my post of 9 September below). Dan plays trombone, manages the Mills Music Store in Lynnwood, sings in the Total Experience Gospel Choir of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Seattle, and is an actor in various community theater groups. He’ll play the Ghost of Jacob Marley in the Evergreen Family Theatre’s production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Redwood Family Church in Redmond in early December.

We overheard a couple of very pleased fans talking about this victory and about beating the University of California Bears next Saturday. Dan noted that they spoke using the pronoun “we,” meaning the Husky football team. He observed that it’s funny how people own the team when it wins but disown it when it loses, switching to the pronoun, “they.”  It’s “we did this and that” when our team is winning, and “they did this and that” when our team is losing…chuckle.

How did the Alumni Band help “our” team win this historic game? Well, several times during the tailgate playing tour, we played our special version of the “WSU Fite Song.” We started out with the regular tune but suddenly broke into “Old McDonald Had a Farm.” Then we switched back to the regular fight song, only to interrupt it again with “The Farmer in the Dell,” immediately concluding with a most discordant, emphatic “Splat!” And that’s how WE really won the 102nd Apple Cup!

Posted in HMBAA - Husky Alumni Band | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Kirkland Girl Loves Trumpet!

Posted by glennled on November 25, 2009

Yesterday, I met my 5th new student of this school year for our first lesson–“It’s a Girl!” A 6th grader, she’s kinda shy but wants to improve her trumpet playing, so…she’s having to get used to me!  😀  Last year, she had a few lessons from another instructor, but their schedules didn’t work out. The instructor teaches only at a studio, and it proved too difficult for her to make it to his location reliably. So now I’m going to her home in Kirkland immediately following my lesson with my Bothell student. That’s an easy hop and a skip–works well for both of us. Her mom, an attorney, says she likes playing trumpet, is sticking with it, and wants to get better. So here we go!

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

9th Grader’s Jazz Solo–“He Nailed It!”

Posted by glennled on November 21, 2009

Today I went to the Northshore Performing Arts Center (NPAC) in Bothell to hear my 9th grade trumpet student play with his school group in the “Northshore Jazz Festival.” I sat next to his Dad at the end of the row of seats occupied by their family, including his Mom, siblings, and one set of grandparents.

There were 25 jazz ensembles and bands on the program, some traveling from far away places such as Wenatchee, Langley (on Whidbey Island), Bremerton, Arlington, Monroe, and Snoqualmie. They played from 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Each group played three pieces. During lunch, the jazz ensemble from Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA, played a concert. The festival was not a contest. It was a show. Each group got to show how well they’re playing at this stage of the school year, and a group of professional musicians, instructors and conductors critiqued each band. They made written notes and recorded audio comments, as feedback for the band directors and members to consider later.

I started snapping photos with my Blackberry phone camera when my student’s group appeared on stage. They sounded good and were well-rehearsed. Several key players seem to form the core of the group. My student is lead trumpeter. In the middle of the second piece, he improvised a solo! Afterwards, his Dad proudly said to me, “He nailed it!” I gave him thumbs up and a broad smile. Those lessons are paying off. Way to go, man!

Posted in Festivals & Competitions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sweet Tones from 6th Grader

Posted by glennled on November 18, 2009

This afternoon during our first private trumpet lesson, I heard my newest student, the 4th of this school year, play the sweetest tones on his trumpet! Trouble is, he cannot yet read music fluently. He’s sort of stuck at that stage where he still has to think about the name of each note and then recall the fingering. But when he finally blows, his attack is clean and his tone is big, solid, full, round and fat! It’s so natural to him.

He’s been thrown into a 6th grade band class, handed a band book, and told to go learn to play Exercise __ or Song __ on pages __ with little or no guidance or instruction about the horn and technique. It’s forced “do it yourself” learning. Well, with this teaching approach, what results does the band director at this north Seattle elementary school expect?! Struggles, frustration, and a probable band drop-out someday.

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!

Thanks to his Mom for giving me the opportunity to help him come to love music and the trumpet. Let’s motivate him to practice more. Let’s have fun while we work hard. Let’s see what he can do, if he really wants to.

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

11-Year-Old Boy Starts Fast!

Posted by glennled on November 16, 2009

My 3rd student of the new school year got a late start—he just recently signed up for band class, and the other trumpeters have about a two-month head start! They’re all in 6th grade at the same elementary school between Woodinville and Snohomish, so he’s had to get off to a fast start to chase down the leaders. He’s taking weekly one-hour trumpet lessons (instead of half-hour). He’s got the family support, he’s got the interest, he’s got the desire, he’s a quick learner, and he’s a hard worker. If he were a racehorse, I’d say those other horses better watch out! This steed is gaining ground with every stride.

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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