Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Archive for March, 2018

My New Jupiter Pocket Trumpet

Posted by glennled on March 31, 2018

 

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Jupiter Pocket Trumpet JPT-416

We’ve been travelling more than ever in the past few years, and each time we return, it takes me awhile to regain my embouchure strength, stamina, power, and slotting control. For years, I would take along my mouthpiece and/or my P.E.T.E. (Personal Embouchure Training Exerciser—please see http://www.warburton-usa.com/index.php/pete).  My intent was to maintain as much embouchure fitness as I could while away, but I missed the many benefits (such as eye-to-hand coordination) of actually playing. A pocket trumpet is specifically designed to fix this problem. I’ve wanted one for a long time.

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L to R: Getzen Eterna Severinsen model 900S, made in c.1977; Jupiter Pocket Trumpet, JPT-416, made in 2000; and Super Olds Cornet, made in 1954 and given to me by my parents as I became a freshman in high school band

Then recently, an excellent trumpeter in Edmonds posted on Facebook a picture of herself playing her pocket trumpet while on a cruise. Enviously, I commented that I want to buy one for myself. Well, in late February, she contacted me and said she was going to sell it—would I be interested in buying? We set an appointment for a tryout. In short, I liked it very much and bought it on 7 March.

It’s a Jupiter model JPT-416. She inherited it when her Dad passed away in 2016. He was a trumpeter also and often sounded “Taps” at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington. She said he purchased it new in 2000, so I am now the third owner. It came with a case and a Bach 1-1/2C mouthpiece. I’m thrilled! It’s in beautiful condition and plays so well. Of course, this model has now been superseded. What is the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) for the current model, JTR-710? Jupiter informs me that in 2017, it was $1,159.

Before this, I had played only one pocket trumpet, and it gave me fits. I had a great deal of trouble with slotting. I splattered notes all over the place. My embouchure settings from playing my Super Olds cornet and Getzen Eterna Severinsen trumpet simply did not translate to that pocket trumpet. Also, I’d always been warned that many pocket trumpets play out of tune and produce poor tonal quality. So I was concerned.

But I had no such troubles playing this Jupiter. It played easy, open and free, with a solid sound in all registers. My slotting was right on. I used a tuner to check whether the intonation was erratic—I found that it had no more variability than a good quality trumpet. Its clear lacquer finish was impeccable. So I bought it right then and there.

You can bet that on our next trip, it’s going into my suitcase (along with my practice mute)!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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41st Trumpet Student Comes from Queen Anne Elementary in Seattle

Posted by glennled on March 28, 2018

What do you do as a parent when your child is in 5th grade, wants to play trumpet, and attends a school where there is no band program? This parent rented a horn and started teaching him some music on her own last January. But he quickly adapted so well and got so good that she soon realized that what she was teaching him using the piano at home was not teaching him the trumpet. little-einsteins-quincy[1]

So she found me on the internet through Lessons In Your Home, http://www.lessonsinyourhome.com. We began with his first lesson on 6 March, using the instruction book, Progressive Beginner Trumpet, by Peter Gelling (see  https://www.amazon.com/CP69122-Progressive-Beginner-Peter-Gelling/dp/1864691220). When I first listened to him play, I found that he already has a solid tone, strong sense of rhythm, and a range up to C on the staff—things that it takes many 5th graders in band about 6 months to develop.

My 41st trumpet student is an enthusiastic, eager boy who will turn 11 this summer and is multi-talented—he loves sports, too! His eyes are bright, and his smile is ready and wide. Some techniques come quickly and easily to him. His mom says he loves music—he whistles and sings a lot. She says he needs challenges, responds to goals, and likes structure and assignments. (That sounds like a good formula for success, doesn’t it?) But at Queen Anne Elementary in Seattle, he attends a 45-minute music class only once a week. There are a few trumpeters besides himself, but “it’s not exactly band.” It’s a music program that the school started just this year.

So, here we go! Taking private lessons involves a lot of practice, and practice requires a lot of repetition. That can get old—gotta keep it fun. Along with his excellent disposition and talent, does he also have patience and tenacity? How can I help him handle obstacles and frustration? The instruction book we’re using is well-suited for him. And my motto is printed on my business card—“Become Your BEST!” Let’s make it happen.

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Trumpeters at 2018 WMEA All-State Music Concerts in Yakima

Posted by glennled on March 23, 2018

Congratulations! Sixty-six trumpeters made WMEA All-State this year. They were spread among 8 different groups: Jazz Band (5), Wind Symphony (8), Concert Band (18), Wind Ensemble (8), Symphony Orchestra (6), Chamber Orchestra (3), Junior Baker Band (9), Junior Rainer Band (9). X-IMG_4905 (2)

All-State recognition is awarded by the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA)—see http://www.wmea.org. On Friday-Sunday, 16-18 February, WMEA hosted six All-State Concerts in Yakima, Washington

Students apply in the fall for All-State selection and submit an audition recording which is then judged and ranked by a screening committee. Next, the All-State Group Managers assign each selected student to an appropriate ensemble, orchestra, symphony, or band. This year, Mike Mines was Group Manager for the All-State Jazz Band. Others included:

  • Mark M. Schlichting, Symphony Orchestra
  • Chase Chang, Chamber Orchestra
  • Naomi Ihlan, Wind Symphony
  • Andrew Robertson, Concert Band
  • Dan Lundberg, Wind Ensemble

Junior All-Staters come from grades 7 and 8. All-Staters come from grades 9-12. In early January, concert music is sent to those who are selected.

Did you ever wonder where all these trumpeters typically come from? Probably not. But I did. Would you think that Seattle might dominate? Or Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett, Bellingham, Vancouver, or Spokane? Here are the 2018 statistics.

The 48 high school all-staters represent 39 different schools. Ten students came from 7 cities in Eastern Washington, including three from Spokane. Thirty-eight students came from 24 cities in Western Washington.

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ACC Orchestra trumpeters, “New Life of the Land,” Dec 2017 (L to R): Rob Rankin, superb Principal; Corban Epp, Washington All-State Jazz Band (2018); Glenn Ledbetter, Texas All-State Band (1958). Photo by John Crozier.

Schools in Bellevue, Redmond, Tacoma, and Spokane produced three trumpeters each for a total of 12 (25%). Nine schools placed two trumpeters each for a total of 18 (37.5%). Seattle schools were among 18 schools which placed one trumpeter each for a total of 18 (37.5%).

The 18 junior all-staters represent 13 different schools, all located in 9 cities in Western Washington. One school produced five all-state trumpeters—Pacific Cascade Middle School in Issaquah. One of these made the Junior All-State Baker Band, and four made the Junior All-State Rainier Band. Imagine that—five stellar trumpeters in the same middle school band—holy cow, that’s amazing! Congratulations to Philip Dungey, Director, PCMS Bands, himself having a Master’s Degree in Trumpet Performance and Music Education and the Principal Trumpet in the Northwest Symphony Orchestra.

As I wrote in my blog post of 17 February 2012 (see Archives in left column), I really want one or more of my trumpet students to make All-State Band or Orchestra someday. “I want to help someone become the best he or she can be!”

Corban Epp, 4-time WA All-State trumpeter

Corban Epp, Lead Trumpet, Washington All-State Jazz Band, 2018

Among the 66 trumpeters, I have a connection with only one—Corban Epp, a senior at Glacier Peak High School, Snohomish. I had the privilege of playing twice with him and Rob Rankin, a retired Boeing Engineer who is the superb principal trumpet in the Alderwood Community Church Orchestra. We performed together in two Christmas productions, “All I Want for Christmas” (2016) and “New Life of the Land” (2017). Corban played a jazz solo in the former musical.

In Corban’s freshman year, he made All-State Concert Band. As a sophomore, he participated in the All-State Symphony Orchestra. In his junior year, he was selected for All-Northwest Band, and of course, he was chosen for the All-State Jazz Band this year. At the Jazz Band concert on 16 February, Jay Ashby conducted five pieces on the program. Corban played lead trumpet on four of them, and Alessandro Squadrito of Snohomish High School did so on the other. Corban played two solos in the program—one in the song, “El Final Del Verano [End of Summer],” by Armando Rivera, and the other in “Fill in the Blank Blues” by Rosephanye Powell, in which Corban had a solo battle with the whole trumpet section!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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