Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

  • November 2010
    S M T W T F S
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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 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 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.

2 Responses to “Newest Student from Lynnwood Attends School in Texas!”

  1. Dan Niven said

    Wonderful post…brought back many fond memories. Following Marine Corps boot camp in the early eighties, I served as a USMC musician, first as a student at the Armed Forces School of Music in Virginia–where my trombone instructor Army SFC Sessions also played in the Norfolk Symphony–then stationed with the First Marine Division Band in California. Upon reporting for duty at Camp Pendleton I was advised, “Niven, don’t unpack your sea bag.” Sure enough, a couple of days later I was aboard the USS New Orleans (LPH-11) bound for Acapulco, sight-reading a concert for the Commodore every evening. Oh, and we’d play a few tunes across the water to our companion vessel’s crew during UNREP exercises. Then there was “swim qual”…150 miles out at sea and in 15,000 feet of water: Hardcore squids and jarheads jumped off the forward edge of the aircraft elevator, then we swam around and scrambled up the cargo net hanging from the elevator’s aft edge. Ooh-rah! Every discipline has its jargon, of course, and I quickly learned that Sousa’s Semper Fidelis followed by the Marines’ Hymn were up next when Band Officer Maj. Whitney would bark, “Six Bits and the Stomp!”

    • glennled said

      Oh, yes, Dan, and what a wonderful comment on my post! Hadn’t realized that you are a Marine. Thought highly of you before, but now you’re up on a new plateau in my book. (I was in the Navy about 6.5 years.) You have some great stories. My cadet trumpet student will be home in Lynnwood tomorrow. I’ll try that line, “Six Bits and the Stomp!” on him and see what he does. 🙂

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