Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

  • July 2011
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Archive for July, 2011

Select Photo Gallery of 2011 Seafair Torchlight Parade

Posted by glennled on July 31, 2011

For a complete rebroadcast of the TV coverage of the Seafair Torchlight Parade last night in Seattle, see At 1:37:32 on the video, you’ll find pictures of and commentary on the mixed UW Husky Varsity and Alumni Bands. I’m a member of the latter.

At 32:30 on the video, you can watch and hear one of my favorites, the Get a Life Marching Band from Portland, Oregon, who say about themselves, “We’re an eating band with a music problem.”  They’re composed of people (ages 20-70) who played in high school or college bands and don’t want to give it up.  Their motto is, “We don’t need good taste to know what tastes good.” They want to stay young but are not obsessed with perfection, including how they look, so they say about themselves, “We’d rather miss a note than miss a meal.”

Other bands and drumlines performing in the parade included (in order of appearance) the Calgary Round Up Band, Cranbrook Girls’ Bugle Band, Seattle Fire Department Pipe and Drum Band, 56th Army Band, Navy Band Northwest, Pacific Northwest Drumline, Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline, Falun Data Association of WA Band, Sumner High School Marching Band, Kennedy High School Marching Band, and Seattle All City Marching Band. 

Here are a few photos taken by Joshua Trujillo of

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Newest Student Could Start a Family Band!

Posted by glennled on July 23, 2011

My 17th trumpet student has so many musicians in his family that he could start a new band—but with their wide variety of instruments, who knows what kind of music they would make together? Grandpa played the trumpet, too, and one Grandma plays the accordion, the other, the organ. Another relative plays piano, and an aunt sings opera. One uncle plays clarinet, another guitar. His dad (trombone), mom (organ), and sister (violin) round out the group. And my 11-year old student says his baby brother is going to learn to play trumpet, too!

That will make it a dozen family musicians. If they don’t form a band, maybe they should try having a recital once a year at someone’s home! Or maybe they should get organized now to participate in Seattle’s Honk! Fest West 2012 (see and my blog post of 24 March 2011). But that stuff is not very likely, is it? Just fun to imagine…

Anyway, my new student is very enthusiastic about improving. Last year was his first year in band, and he was the leader among about 15 other trumpeters. He’s using lessons this summer to get even better on his Olds Ambassador trumpet…it’s fun! He’s working through the exercises in an instruction book, including a DVD, and his mom says he wants to “learn a new song every week!” He simply wants to become the best he can be and play in the high school jazz band. He’ll be a sixth grader this fall at a private Christian school. I like his confidence, good manners, intelligence, positive attitude, healthy ambition, optimistic spirit, and ready smile. Give me another dozen just like him!

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

“Taps” for the Father

Posted by glennled on July 22, 2011

“When all three of us salute the casket, that’s when you play ‘Taps,’” said the Sergeant of the Honor Guard, dressed to perfection in his military uniform.

About an hour later, the hearse drove up to the gravesite, and the pall bearers lifted the casket onto the frame directly above the dark, rectangular hole dug into the earth. As the large crowd gathered, a gentleman in a suit introduced himself and called me by name. He had

In Brice's Garden

seen me, dressed in all black, holding my cornet. He is the son of the deceased father, being laid to rest last Saturday alongside the body of his wife in the Resthaven 2 Section of Evergreen Washelli Cemetery along Highway 99 in north Seattle.

“I am a Vietnam veteran,” he said.

“So am I,” I replied. “It’s my honor and privilege to do this.”

He went to be seated at his place among the family and friends directly in front of the grave. From where I was standing near a distant Japanese maple tree, I saw the preacher say a few words, no more than five minutes, to the large crowd at the gravesite, and then I saw the three Washington National Guardsmen, two men and a woman, salute the casket. For the second time that day, I sounded the 24-notes of “Taps.”

The Honor Guard lifted the flag off the casket and carefully folded it into the familiar triangle. One passed it to the other, who took it to the son.

We have often seen this ritual, have we not, always done the same way, as our veterans are laid to rest in peace around the world? The guardsman kneels in front of the person, the widow or widower, the mother or father, the son or daughter, the sister or brother, whomever, and presents the flag, one white-gloved hand below, one above, and, looking him or her in the eyes, whispers something very short and dignified. Then the Honor Guard marches away and leaves.

With the gift of a perfectly folded flag, in one moment after a lifetime, the United States of America thanks the son and the surviving family for the armed service of the father. I shall never know how it feels to give or receive that flag. How could one maintain one’s composure at such a moment?

But I can give them “Taps,” and this I know: it’s all about love and honor before God—for that’s all there is to life.

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“Echo Taps” for Medal of Honor Ceremony

Posted by glennled on July 19, 2011

Navy MoH, 1861; awarded to Navy, Marines & Coast Guard

Of the millions of men and women who have served in the United States military, including me,

Army MoH, 1862

only3,457 have received the Medal of Honor. Six are buried at Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park on Hwy 99 in north Seattle.

These men, plus a Silver Star recipient, were honored on 16 July at a special ceremony, as reported in my blog post below (2 July). The ceremony featured the unveiling of seven large, permanent, granite markers, engraved with their individual stories of heroism. In August, these are to be placed at the respective graves, so that visitors may read them on site.

Here are some interesting facts about the Medal of Honor, extracted from the website of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society (see The first medal was awarded in 1863, during the Civil War. During that war, in which there were about 625,000 deaths, 1,522 Medals of Honor were awarded. During the Korean War, 136 medals were awarded, and 248 were presented during the Vietnam War. Others: WWI (119); WWII (466); Iraq (4); and Afghanistan (5).

At last Saturday’s event, at least two local TV stations had cameras present and carried stories on the evening news. Please watch the video

Air Force created as separate military branch, 1947; distinct design of AF MoH authorized, 1956; AF design adopted, 1965

(1:48) from KOMO-TV for the excellent report, “Heroes honored: ‘They did things I can’t even imagine doing’.” See The editing and presentation are outstanding. Included among the scenes is one brief clip of me playing “Taps” shortly before the Retiring of the Colors.

As the audience of about 100 family and friends, many with raincoats, hats and umbrellas on this cool morning, slowly arrived, the Washington Letter Carriers’ Band played a 30-minute opening concert. Reportedly, this band is the oldest of its kind in the state, founded in the late 19th century.

Seattle’s soft rain fell upon us in the beginning and quit about mid-way through the ceremony. As the keynote speaker, MG James M. Collins, Jr., U.S. Army (Ret.), summarized each man’s story, he asked the family and friends of each hero to stand for recognition and honor. Scott Sheehan, General Manager of Evergreen Washelli, said that as a result of this event, another person who is

Glenn (right) sounds "Echo Taps" near firing squad - Photo by Janelle Squires

buried there has been identified as a recipient of the Silver Star and will also be honored with a marker.

Then a firing squad of seven fired three volleys. At the command, “Present Arms,”  I commenced sounding “Echo Taps” while standing nearby. Roy Pollock, lead trumpeter of the WLC Band and my fellow member in the Husky Alumni Band, played the echo from near a large tree across the open field. 

Families lay flowers on markers of the seven valiant men - Photo by Evergreen Washelli

Super Olds cornet (1954) - Photo by Janelle Squires


Roy Pollock waits (beneath tree) to sound echo in "Echo Taps" - Photo by Janelle Squires


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Playing “Taps” for Medal of Honor Recipients at Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park in Seattle on 16 July

Posted by glennled on July 2, 2011

Photo by Thad Westhusing,

Until this year, I did not realize that Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park is the final resting place for one Silver Star and six Medal of Honor recipients. The Silver Star recipient and two of the Medal of Honor recipients fought in Vietnam. Another two Medal of Honor recipents fought in World War II, and the other two fought in the Spanish/American War. These wars span 77 years, from 1898 to 1975.

I am so lucky. Just before the conclusion of a special ceremony for the public on Saturday, 16 July, I get to play “Taps” to honor these very special men. It is said that playing “Taps” is the most sacred duty of a bugler. I feel it. The last time I felt it, I was in high school when I played “Taps” at a ceremony in my home town, Sinton, Texas, on either Memorial Day or Veterans Day. I want to feel it again.

The ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. with a half-hour concert by the Washington Letter Carriers Band. Next comes the Parade of Colors at 11 a.m., followed by The National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, and Invocation. The speaker is Major General James (“Jimmy’) M. Collins, Jr., U.S. Army (Ret.). The program concludes with a salute from members of the Washington Army National Guard, followed by “Echo Taps,” the Benediction, and the Retiring of the Colors at about noon.

To pay tribute to these fallen heroes and to thank them and their families for their selfless and courageous service to our country, Evergreen Washelli is creating a permanent marker which will tell each medal recipient’s heroic story. You are invited to attend the ceremony, witness the unveiling of their permanent memorials, visit their graves, read their stories, and see images of the medals received. Their names: Albanese, Horton, Leisy, Nakamura, Bloch, Fadden and Alakulppi.

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