Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Archive for November, 2011

“Taps” at Rainy Veterans Day Ceremony at Lynnwood Veterans Park

Posted by glennled on November 19, 2011

NW Junior Pipe Band (center) plays as firing squad awaits (right)

For one second on this special Veterans Day, the time was exactly 11:11:11 on 11-11-’11. A few minutes later, I sounded “Taps” for all our veterans, including me (Navy, Vietnam). Prior to the ceremony, Martin Spani, Commander of VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood, had stationed me where the silver sculpture stands on a knoll in the Veterans Park in downtown, just south of the library. “After the NW Junior Pipe Band plays ‘Amazing Grace,'” he said, “the firing squad will fire three volleys. When they come to Present Arms, you play ‘Taps.'” And that’s just how it happened, probably very similar to many thousand other ceremonies this day across America, except for our pouring-down rain.

Out of curiosity, I looked for the plaque that would tell me about the stainless steel sculpture where I stood to sound “Taps”—it’s untitled (1979) by Bruce West.

Steven A. Rintanaki, Cpl, USMC, of Lynnwood, died Al Anbar Province, Iraq, 9/16/2004 - Portrait by Michael G. Reagan

The guest speaker was Michael G. Reagan, Edmonds artist, who spoke about his foundation’s Fallen Heroes Project. “Our mission,” he says, “is to honor the American Fallen Heroes for their ultimate sacrifice during the war against terrorism. The foundation will provide the resources to produce and distribute to each family a hand-drawn portrait of their Fallen Hero, created by artist Michael G. Reagan, free of charge. Each portrait is intended to show our Love and Respect for these Heroes and their families.” See http://www.fallenheroesproject.org/.

Commander, VFW Post 1040

If you donate $30 to VFW Post 1040, you can have a 7″ x 9″ inscribed memorial brick installed in Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Lynnwood in honor of a veteran, living or deceased. Currently, 805 such bricks line the pathways and plantings in the park. See http://www.vfwpost1040.org/index.php.

Click on any image to enlarge it.

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Husky Alumni Band Teeters as UW Tumbles to Oregon, 34-17

Posted by glennled on November 18, 2011

Near capacity crowd pushes Alumni Band out of the stands and onto the track

As the largest crowd of the season, 69,407, watched the UW Huskies fall to the University of Oregon Ducks, 34-17, the Husky Alumni Band was wondering about it future. Will the band play at the Husky home games at Century Link Field in 2012? Will the band be allocated free seats and play at games in the newly renovated Husky Stadium in 2013 and beyond? As the band pondered its future and consulted with the university, so did The Seattle Times in an article on 4 November, wondering what will become of the band and its traditions  (see http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016692667_alumniband05m.html).

At the game day rehearsal prior to kickoff, the president of the Husky Marching Band Alumni Association (HMBAA) announced to the band that the university has committed to keeping the Alumni Band as “part of the game day experience” for Husky fans. Exactly what that means and on what terms it would be implemented are yet to be determined.

Husky Alumni Band President, Tameem Bakkar (right), makes announcements at pre-game rehearsal

At present, the band gets free parking and arrives ready for rehearsal three hours before the game. Then we play for tailgaiting fans at 4-5 pep rallies at different spots surrounding the stadium. The last spot is always by the bronze husky and Coach Jim Owens statues at the west entrance. Once inside, we sit in free seats in the west end of the stadium. If the game is not a sellout (or nearly so), then we sit in the stands, but if fans buy all the tickets (or nearly so), then portable chairs are set up for us on the track. We play during selected timeouts, and we play in front of the south stands following the Varsity Band’s half-time performance. After the game, we again play for the fans as they depart the stadium. We like playing fun music and enhancing others’ enjoyment of the day.

Beyond that, where does the band play? at some Husky basketball and volleyball games and other venues when the Varisty Pep Band is not available. Also, at special parties, celebrations, and events when requested. The band mixes with the Varsity Marching Band for the Seattle Torchlight Parade, the opening home football game of each new season, and the annnual Homecoming game.

Two Alumni Band members chat: Ward Brannman (L) is band director at Kamiakin Jr. High in Kirkland and Jeff Miller (R) is band director at Pine Lake (Sammamish) and Pacific Cascade (Issaquah) middle schools.

Besides performing at home football games, what does the HMBAA band do to merit free parking and seats?  It raises scholarships funds for Husky Varsity Band students. Each August for the past 8 years, HMBAA has sponsored the Husky Alumni Golf Classic and Auction to raise such funds. The fees charged when the Alumni Pep Band plays for special events also go into the scholarship fund. Would you dine out to support these scholarships? Duke’s Chowder House (at three locations) designated a certain night in October when a portion of the revenues were donated to the band. Georgetown Brewing Co. donated a keg of Manny’s Pale Ale for each location, and 100% of all proceeds were given to the band. Last year, the Husky Alumni Band awarded $28,400 in scholarships!

The motto of the Husky Alumni Band is “A Touch of Class.” And yes, it is indeed a classy organization worthy of the University of Washington.

The following photos of the UW Varsity Marching Band were taken by Louis Figueroa (field) and Garry Nakayama (pressbox). Click on any photo to enlarge it.

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

My Trumpet Student Stars in Bizet’s “Carmen” at Seattle Opera

Posted by glennled on November 1, 2011

Anita Rachvelishvili (Carmen) with ensemble; © Elise Bakketun photo, courtesy of Seattle Opera, http://www.seattleopera.org.

My trumpet student, John (51), may cringe when he sees that headline, but that’s too bad—to me, he’s a Star! No, he doesn’t play in the orchestra. No, he doesn’t sing a major role in any opera. No, he doesn’t sing in the opera chorus. He’s simply a “super”—an “extra.”

In Carmen, just finished at the Seattle Opera House, he was a banderillero at the bullring in Seville, Spain. Wearing the traditional black and silver costume and carrying his bright yellow banderilla, he lead the parade of bullfighters into the ring. Banderillas are sharp,

Planting the banderillas

barbed sticks which are planted into the bull’s shoulders to weaken it for the kill.

On 4 October, he appeared in full costume on King 5 TV during a segment of the New Day Northwest show, promoting Carmen for the Seattle Opera (see http://www.king5.com/new-day-northwest/The-Seattle-Opera-Performs-131056473.html  toward the end of the segment). He was on stage only twice per performance in this opera.

John has been a faithful and competent extra in enough operas so that the opera company gave him a couple of complimentary tickets for the Friday night performance on 28 October. The seats were outstanding—right in the center section on the Orchestra Level (main floor) of McCall Hall . He kindly offered them to me and my wife, and we quickly and gratefully accepted. We usually attend one or two operas per season. We just saw Porgy and Bess last August (see my post of 15 August 2011).

Georges Bizet, 1838-1875

Carmen is now our favorite, supplanting La Boheme by Puccini. Both are consistently among the top 10 operas performed annually throughout the world. Carmen was first performed 136 years ago in Paris on 3 March 1875. It struggled to survive, and Georges Bizet, composer, died on 3 June just after its 30th performance. He could never have guessed its prominence today in operatic lore. In 1962, I was lucky enough to play second trumpet in a production in the old Meany Hall at the University of Washington. The Dean of the School of Music, Dr. Stanley Chapple, was the conductor.

John, originally from New York, commenced trumpet lessons with me almost two years ago (see my post of 7 January 2010). Carmen is John’s fourth opera, all in Seattle. In 2008, he was a soldier in the grand processional march in Verdi’s Aida. In 2009, he was a lackey/servant in Verdi’s La Traviata.  In 2010, he was a Normano guard/soldier in

Poster, American Production, 1896

Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. He did it the first time because it sounded like so much fun. It was, so two of his good friends decided to do it also. He says he keeps doing it because he loves opera—the acting, singing, orchestral music, and (sometimes) dancing. “Being on stage with some of this incandescent talent is a very special experience [and that gives him] “the best seats in the house! Someone asked me what I get paid to do it, and I told them that when I interviewed for the role, I asked if I had to pay.”

When Carmen ended Saturday night, another “super” (a Microsoft corporate Vice President) hosted an after-hours party at Ten Mercer in Lower Queen Anne, about a block from Seattle Center. John contributed some wine. “Just about everyone showed up, including all the principals,” he says, and “we didn’t get outta there until 2:30 a.m.”

Somehow, I think that if he could, Georges Bizet would have been there, too, happy and proud.

Posted in Professional Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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