Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

  • March 2013
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Archive for March, 2013

Check it Out: National Trumpet Competition, 14-17 March

Posted by glennled on March 12, 2013

Doc Severinson with the Stiletto Brass Quintet

If you’re attending in the 22nd Annual National Trumpet Competition this week, you’re probably already in Arlington, Virginia where it begins this Thursday on the campus of George Mason University. If not, like me, then you might want to check it out at

The competition is comprised of six divisions: junior, high school, undergraduate, graduate,  jazz, and ensemble. In the junior division, there are six competitors; high school, 33; undergraduate, 41; graduate, 36; jazz, 12; and ensemble, 30. Two ensembles are from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.

The U.S. Navy Band opens the event with a concert, also featuring Tromba Mundi and others, on Thursday, and the Stiletto Brass Quintet (five women, including Amy Gilreath and Cathy Leach on trumpet) plays a two-hour concert featuring Doc Severinson on Friday. That evening, Tom Harrell and his Jazz Quintet appear in concert at Harris Hall, free admission.

Trumpeters conducting clinics and master classes include Charles Lazarus, Vince DiMartino, Joey Tartell, Chris Moore, and Etienne Charles.

For more information, please see:

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Six Student Trumpeters Solo at 2013 Northwest Trumpet Arts Festival at SPU

Posted by glennled on March 6, 2013

Cole, a junior at Edmonds-Woodway High School, plays with Peter Bond of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York

Cole, a junior at Edmonds-Woodway High School, plays with Peter Bond of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York

Yes, the evening concert at the fourth annual NW Trumpet Arts Festival on 3 March at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) featured five highly accomplished, professional trumpeters, headed by Peter Bond of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York and Dr. Brian Chin of SPU and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra.

But I went to the festival to hear the kids play. The afternoon program consisted of two Master’s Classes and a Student Concert. Peter Bond taught the class on “Practicing Fundamentals,” and Chad McCullough taught the one on “Practicing Jazz Improvisation.” There were almost 50 people at these sessions. Dr. Chin emceed the event, sponsored by the Yamaha Corporation, Kennelly Keys Music, and SPU.

The Student Concert gave six trumpet students the golden opportunity to play, with piano accompaniment, in a non-competitive environment for their peers, the five professional artists, and an appreciative public audience. All the students played very challenging music. They received written feedback from the professional trumpet artists and a classy festival T-shirt. What a special event this is! As it continues to grow, the festival aims to draw at least 100 people.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Surprise Response to Puccini’s “La Boheme” at Seattle Opera

Posted by glennled on March 5, 2013

blog_poster_bohemeWhat does it mean when you cry in Act I of Puccini’s opera, La Boheme, and not when Mimi dies at the end of Act IV? Well, it must have a little to do with the fact that this is the second time my wife and I have seen La Boheme at the Seattle Opera. And it must have a lot to do with the singers and the music itself—there are a couple of outstandingly beautiful arias and a duet in Act I, sung by the lead soprano (Jennifer Black) and tenor (Michael Fabiano) when we attended on 24 February. And finally, it must have something to do with me, myself, and I.

Two trumpeters lead the parade by Cafe Momus in Act II. Photo by Elise Bakketun.

Two trumpeters lead the parade by Cafe Momus in Act II. Photo by Elise Bakketun.

In Act I, young Mimi and Rodolfo fall in love. Mimi is a seamstress and courtesan, and Rodolfo is a poor poet, living in the same cheap apartment house in Paris. She is ill, but their love is strong. Their future brims with hope and promise. Who does not remember an intense, dreamy, romantic love in one’s youth? A tear sneaks down from the corner of my right eye.

They nearly break up in Act III. and then in the climax of Act IV, Mimi passes away after a long bout with consumption. Rodolfo is the last in the room to realize that she is dead. And out in seat E-2, a pair of dry eyes watch. Whazat? Most people cry in all the right places. Not me, not this time. Surprise.

Love is born—tears. Love is lost—no tears. I’ve seen it before—I know this love will die. But we never let tragic love stories, beautifully told, die. This great opera should always remain one of the world’s most popular. It premiered 117 years ago at Teatro Regio in Turin, northern Italy on 1 February 1896. The opera is “about young people caught in a difficult economic situation in desperate and conflicted love,” writes Speight Jenkins, General Director of the Seattle Opera. “There is no opera that so immediately speaks to everyone’s youth, even to those very young.”

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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