Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Archive for November, 2010

Newest Student from Lynnwood Attends School in Texas!

Posted by glennled on November 27, 2010

Have you heard of the Marine Military Academy? Neither had I when I got an email from a parent in Lynnwood inquiring about private lessons for her son, a trumpeter, coming home from Texas for vacation during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. At first, I wondered, does “marine” refer to the navy, merchant marine, oceanography, biology, or what? No, none of the above—it’s the U.S. Marine Corps, of course! We arranged four one-hour lessons while he’s home in November, and I now have my 13th student.

The Marine Military Academy (MMA) is in Harlingen in south Texas, only about 11 miles from the Rio Grande River and the border with Mexico.  Forty-five years ago in 1965, it was established as a private college preparatory school for boys, grades 8-12 (see www.mma-tx.org). It is the only Marine prep school in the USA, and the typical enrollment is about 350-400.

My student is 17 and a senior. As a cadet at MMA, he plays in the school band. Three bugle calls get used regularly in the daily/weekly routine of school life: “Attention,” “Adjutant’s Call,” and “Taps.” For Pass in Review, the band plays the stirring march by John Philip Sousa known as “Semper Fi”—that’s short for Semper Fidelis (Latin, meaning “Always faithful”, the motto of the Marine Corps). And they play the moving “Marine Corps Hymn” (Halls of Montezuma), too, among many other pieces of music. For next year, he’s now considering three universities in Washington, Illinois, and Texas, and the Naval Academy in Maryland.

His dream is to play trumpet in The United States Marine Band, known as “The President’s Own” (see www.marineband.usmc.mil/). God bless the Marines and all our military and all our veterans, way back to the Revolutionary War, 1776-1783.

Trumpeters in “The President’s Own” Marine Band

Freedom is not free. It’s a universal, human desire, and its costs, for every generation on this precious globe, are high. In these Thanksgiving holidays, I pray he lives his dream, God willing.

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

6th-Grade Soloist Prepares to “Nail It” at Christmas Choir Concerts!

Posted by glennled on November 15, 2010

When you’re chosen to accompany the choir at a Christmas concert, you’ve gotta practice your trumpet and be ready—especially when you’re a 6th grader and the music is written in the key of A (with three sharps) and the ending note is High A above the staff! And that’s how it came to be that I now have my 12th trumpet student. Besides being in band, he’s also a member of the choir at Canyon Creek Elementary School in Bothell. The choir will perform at the 600-seat Northshore Performing Arts Center (NPAC) in Bothell and the Seattle Center on 14 and 15 December, respectively.

At age 12, he’s a talented, enthusiastic, confident, responsible boy with a warm smile and pleasant, happy attitude. His trumpet tone is strong and solid, and he has an excellent sense of rhythm. For the concerts, he simply needs more practice of the right exercises to strengthen his embouchure and extend his range further into the upper register. Since he’s a quick learner, I think he’ll do very well when he plays at the Christmas concerts next month. We have about five more weeks of lessons to prepare…and that’s just enough time to “nail it!”

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Bright, 4th-Grade Beginner Has Head Start in Magnolia

Posted by glennled on November 14, 2010

A piano sits in the living room—Mom wants live music in the home. Her 10-year old son (in 4th grade and my 11th student) has a head start. He’s a smart, friendly kid with a bright spirit and smile. And he likes music! He’d already had some music education before I arrived on the scene, so there are some basic things I don’t have to teach him. We can focus on the trumpet itself right away. He’s taking band at Lawton Elementary School in Magnolia in Seattle, but they meet only once a week. So when we ended our first lesson together last Wednesday, he got the usual assignment: practice for 30 minutes at least four times a week (or 20 minutes, five times a week). He seems eager to play the horn. They’re going to have some lovely, lively music in their home!

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

Challenging Chair Placement for 8th-Grader in Kenmore

Posted by glennled on November 13, 2010

My newest (10th) trumpet student is unhappy with his current chair placement within the trumpet section of his junior high school band in Kenmore. He wants to move up toward the top. (I like students with goals and determination!)

We’ve now had two private lessons, and “we’re workin’ on it.” Now in his third year of playing, he was essentially self-taught. Not knowing anything different, he adopted a very unconventional way of placing the mouthpiece on his lips. As the band music became progressively more complex and demanding, his unusual embouchure became a major problem for him—but he didn’t realize it.  He and his parents were smart enough to seek help. The fact is that he simply was not gonna get to the top playing that way—so “we’re workin’ on it.”

He’s accepting the challenge he’s facing. A wise man said this about challenges—“Every setback is a setup for a comeback.”

Once he turns the corner, catches on, and gains control of the new sounds he’s producing, he should advance quickly because he already has very strong practice habits and, for his age group, he already knows fingering and rhythm. I think he’ll soon be producing a better tone and will extend his range higher into the upper register. Then watch out, those of you trumpeters who are now sitting in the higher-placed chairs—move over, here he comes!  🙂

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts, Student Competitions, Honors & Awards | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

800 Cheerleaders & Dancers Perform in Spectacular UW Husky Half-time Show!

Posted by glennled on November 11, 2010

Half-time Finale to ABBA's hit song, "Waterloo"

Wow, this was spectacular…you should see the videos below! At the UW-Stanford football game on 30 October, about 800 cheerleaders and dancers from 44 junior high and high schools from Washington performed for the fans during the half-time show. It’s such a big show that it’s sponsored by the Cheerleaders of America (COA), headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and it bears the official name, “Second Annual UW Half-time Spirit Extravaganza.” 

The theme, chosen by the UW Husky Varsity Marching Band, was music by the famous group, ABBA. The cheer/dance teams performed a featured routine to a medley of ABBA songs, followed by a mass scramble to spell out “HUSKIES” to the popular sports song, “Rock and Roll Music, Part II.” The cheer/dance teams then

Band plays ABBA medley while cheerleaders wait to return to field for finale

joined the Husky Band to cover the entire field while the band played ABBA’s “Waterloo” for the finale. Beautiful show that lifted the spirits on a cold, rainy night when the home team wasn’t doing so well on the football field—way to go!

Watch it all (both the rehearsals and performance) at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wx9zGPKB9Gg and

Posted in HMBAA - Husky Alumni Band | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stanford Cardinals 41, UW Huskies 0, Three Bands 100!

Posted by glennled on November 11, 2010

Thrilling Pre-Game Percussion Performance--Wow! Those Drummers!

The Stanford Cardinals skunked the University of Washington Huskies, 41-0, a couple of weeks ago. It was

Crushing half-time stats!

 the Huskies’ first home shutout in 34 years (since 1976)! Our team stunk so bad that fans started leaving by half-time. No doubt, the cold rain made that an easy decision for many fans. But if you came for the bands and the music, then Husky Stadium smelled sweet as a rose, and you were entertained in high fashion. The half-time show, especially, was fantastic!

Husky Alumni Band

There were three bands at the game: UW Varsity Marching Band, UW Husky Alumni Band, and a visiting band named “Musica Grato Himi” from Himi, Japan. (As you know, I’m a proud member of the Alumni Band and stayed at the Stanford game to the bitter, cold, rainy end.)

The half-time show was spectacular! Not only was the music superb (from the movie, “Mama Mia”), but

also some 800 cheer and dance team members from 44 junior high and high schools performed on the field along with the UW Varsity Band and Musica Grato. The entire field was covered with enthusiastic, fit people in the most colorful uniforms! For more about cheer and dance squads, please see the next post on this blog.

Finale of the 2nd Annual UW Half-time Spirit Extravaganza

Some final notes about the Japanese band. Musica Grato is Italian for “give thanks to music.” In 2005, the UW

It was a sloppy game

Husky Marching Band performed in Himi, Japan, and Musica Grato performed in Seattle at both a Husky football game and at a concert with a band from the Northshore School District located in Bothell/Woodinville. Since Musica Grato was formed in 2003, it has steadily achieved magnificent results. Atop the list of their awards and honors are their performance at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China in 2008, and the Sudler Shield prize from the John Philip Sousa Foundation of America. During the 2010 trip to Seattle, they again performed a joint concert with the Northshore School District Band on Monday, 1 November, two days after the UW-Stanford football game.

The Huskies will come back

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