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Archive for May, 2019

“Taps” and “The Navy Hymn” for Burials-at-Sea in Puget Sound Off the Ferry, Spokane

Posted by glennled on May 11, 2019

 

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“Let me go”—Joseph P. Doyon, 1922-2018

 

At about 9:50 a.m. on Saturday, 4 May, the Washington State Ferry, Spokane, enroute from Edmonds to Kingston, cut her engines and drifted for about five minutes in the ebb tide of Puget Sound while the ashes of Joseph P. Doyon and his oldest son, Paul, were committed to the sea. Joe died on 13 September 2018, age 95. His last home was in Tigard, Oregon, and his funeral service was held at Finley Sunset Hills Park and Mortuary in Portland on 7 October 2018. Paul died on 9 December 2017, age 62.

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Glenn Ledbetter plays “The Navy Hymn” aboard the ferry, Spokane

Joe was a World War II Navy veteran who participated in the D-Day landing at Normandy. I sounded “Taps” on my Getzen bugle, and the ferry captain gave three long blasts of the ship’s whistle in honor of him. As the ferry engines powered up and the ferry came up to speed, I closed the ceremony by playing “The Navy Hymn” on my Getzen trumpet. The family sang two verses:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
And those who on the ocean ply;
Be with our troops upon the land,
And all who for their country stand:
Be with these guardians day and night
And may their trust be in thy might.

Dale, Joe’s younger son, and his wife, Michelle, arranged this event. Michelle said that Joe loved to fish, golf and dance and was very sociable all his life. She called him a great man with many friends, a very hard worker, and a true gentleman. He spent many years writing the memoirs of his four years in the Navy and his WWII experiences. Dale intends to publish them soon. Michelle said that had Joe attended his own burial-at-sea ceremony, he would have said, “This is Marvelous!”

IMG_1473 - Joe Doyon (center with pistol in hand) - note caption (2)

Joe Doyon is standing (center) with pistol in hand during the Normandy invasion, 6 June 1944. The caption reads, “German prisoners were carried back to the west bank of the Rhine in landing boats. Prisoners on the boat fish some comrades out of the drink.”

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Joseph Paul Doyon, 1922-2018, U.S. Navy veteran, WWII

Fourteen family members attended; one daughter, JoAnn Watson, traveled from Arizona. Among others taking photos was a step-grandson, Matthew, an Eagle Scout and a trumpeter.

Joe was born in Augusta, Maine in 1922, and served in the Navy from 1943-1946. He became a Motor Machinist Mate Second Class. At age 21, he was aboard one of the first amphibious landing boats at Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Joe was awarded many medals (see photo). He was a member of the U.S. LST Association (see https://www.uslst.org/). He lived in Edmonds, Washington for about 45 years and had a 41-year career at University Swaging, shaping and joining metals for its clients. In 1987, he retired as Vice President and Manager of the Boat Division. He also lived for several years on a houseboat on Lake Union. Joe and Paul often fished in Appletree Cove and off Apple Cove Point near Kingston. It was Joe’s favorite spot. Paul’s death was devastating to his father. Joe had six children (two boys and four girls), four step-children, 12 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Burial-at-Sea Memorial Services

If approved by the Washington State Ferry Service, burial-at-sea memorial services are free but subject to the ferry captain’s final discretion due to weather or unforeseen operational issues. Cancelled services may be moved to another vessel or rescheduled. Advanced reservations are required, and memorials are permitted on six routes only: IMG_2884 (2)

  • Seattle/Bremerton
  • Seattle/Bainbridge
  • Edmonds/Kingston
  • Mukilteo/Clinton
  • Anacortes/Friday Harbor/Orcas
  • Port Townsend/Coupeville

Permissible times are during non-peak hours only:

  • Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday/Sunday, prior to 10 a.m.

Ashes must be contained in so-called “journey urns” which dissolve quickly after being dropped in the water.

Reflections

Memorial ceremonies call us, compel us, to reflect upon our own mortality. Each person who participated in or witnessed the Doyon burial-at-sea had his/her own memories and thoughts about the deceased father and son, life, and death. I did not know the Doyons, but here are my personal thoughts, brought up from the deep to the surface of me by this burial-at-sea.

First, Joe’s military service. I am immensely grateful to Joe and his generation. Without their values and fortitude, we Americas probably would now be speaking German or Japanese. Joe was a veteran who served with honor and survived D-Day. And as Jose N. Harris wrote, “A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life.” And as Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” And as Raelynn Ricarte of Hood River, Oregon, who lost her son, a Marine Corps Captain, says, “Be an American worth dying for.” The Doyon family lost such a man—Joe. I bugle for such men and women. IMG_4135

Second, Joe’s disappearance. Through cremation, the major parts of the bodies of Joe and Paul were combusted, vaporized, and oxidized. Their ashes (mostly pulverized bone fragments) have now been separated, mixed and scattered in 3-D salt water. Their particles may someday settle to the sea bottom, or circulate in the North Pacific gyre, or be taken up into the atmosphere and fall again in the rain on a distant continent or ocean, circulating here and there around the globe throughout the ages. At various times in various places, their particles probably will be chemically broken down into their inherent molecules and even reformed into other compounds. By choice, Joe’s and Paul’s bodies are no more, vanished without trace, except in memories and images. “Let me go” was Joe’s last message, expressed in the program at his funeral service in Portland last fall. Last Saturday, his and Paul’s ashes blended with nature.

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Dale and Michelle Doyon hold Dale’s father’s ashes in the biodegradable urn as the ferry, Spokane, approaches the Edmonds landing

Third, Joe’s life lessons for me—the afterlife. Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there” (Job 1:21). God said to Adam, “…for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen 3:19). But wait—the assemblages of organic matter that were identified as Joe and Paul are disintegrated, lost, gone. And my body, also, will be cremated. But wait again—Joe left his memoirs. Was he a believer? I don’t know. But it’s clear that Joe pondered such things in his heart. There is a saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” In other words (according to the saying), when under extreme stress, all people believe in, hope for, even call upon and appeal to a higher power. Joe certainly had been in the line of fire. How did it form him or change him, spiritually? Perhaps his memoirs will tell us.

But wait yet again—Joe is gone. I will follow, but for now, I’m still here, still vertical, still thinking, feeling, and kicking, “Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive,” as the Bee Gees sing. Is death the end of me? C.S. Lewis said, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” Ah! Despite cremation and even burial-at-sea, our distinct, individual identities, our being, are preserved.

Change is the only constant in life, said Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher. “To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). And Lord Alfred Tennyson writes in his poem, The Brook, about how the water keeps on flowing after we are gone. The brook is the narrator:

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

“Change…a season…a time…heaven…forever…” The tide comes in and goes out. Day changes to night, and winter passes into spring. Years turn into eons. Millions multiply into billions, and so on. We die, and life goes on without us. But no, ultimately, the brook also will not survive. Scientists say that Earth itself will be consumed by the expanding Sun. The Sun, too, will die. The whole Milky Way Galaxy will be swallowed by a Black Hole. Everything—an atom, a toothpick, an aircraft carrier, a solar system, a galaxy—has a life cycle. Perhaps even a Black Hole. Perhaps even our entire universe. But, by definition, not Heaven. There dwells the Absolute, the Infinite, the great I AM, in Eternity. Endless time. No more cycles. Everlasting life in love, peace and joy. Justice—the triumph of Good. The promised ideal, made possible only by Grace.

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis said, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

In his song, “Gotta Serve Somebody,” Bob Dylan sings:

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“Laughing Jesus” by Segura

“You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls…

“You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything but no matter what you say

“You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
Indeed you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody”

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalms 53:1). Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:44). In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:2-3). Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). Then he [one of the two criminals who were crucified with Jesus] said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:42-43). In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed…O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (I Corinthians 15:52,55).

Photos are courtesy of the Doyon family. Please click on any photo below to enlarge it.

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

My Trumpet Student—First to Perform with Piano Accompanist at Spring Recital, Lessons in Your Home, Seattle

Posted by glennled on May 10, 2019

 

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Trumpet Solo with accompaniment, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” LIYH Spring Recital, Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, Seattle, 4 May 2019

 

My trumpet student from Mercer Island has now played in three recitals in Seattle featuring students who are enrolled in Lessons in Your Home (LIYH – please see http://www.lessonsinyourhome.net/). But this time, on 4 May, he did something I’ve never seen done by any other student at this semi-annual recital. But before I reveal it, let me tell how it happened.IMG_0316

The mother of this student found me in the fall of 2017 by searching the internet for a private trumpet tutor in the Seattle area. She found me through LIYH (please see http://www.lessonsinyourhome.net). After months of lessons, he played “The Serpent Charmer” in his first LIYH recital in spring, 2018. In the fall recital, he played “La Bamba.” As this spring’s recital approached, I had a bright idea (it happens occasionally). I knew his best friend studies piano. They are classmates at St. Monica Catholic School (pre-K through 8). Why not ask his friend to accompany him on his solo at this spring’s recital?

The friend, his parents, his piano teacher, and the LIYH Seattle Director all said “Yes,” and I furnished the boys with Beginning Trumpet Solos by The Canadian Brass, Fred Mills and Ron Romm, editors (1992). Of the 17 pieces in this collection, they selected “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer in 1908, which has become the unofficial anthem of American baseball. Then began the individual rehearsals, each with his own tutor. Next, on 3 April, we all met for the first joint, coached rehearsal at the piano teacher’s studio on Mercer Island, Jeanne Ellis (please see http://www.trymusiclessons.com/). The rough spots were exposed, and the boys agreed to practice together weekly. When we all met again, five days before the recital, they were much improved. They had even practiced what to do in case they had to re-start during the actual performance. Finally, they rehearsed together twice more before the main event.

Spring Recital, LIYH, Saturday, 4 May, 2:00 p.m. Session, at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, Seattle, hosted by Scott D’Angelo, Seattle LIYH Director

IMG_0396They were ready. The program listed 27 student soloists, the pieces they would play, and the composer of each piece. Our pair was #10 to perform. Twenty-five (93%) of the soloists were piano students. The other two were a violinist and my trumpet student. Sure enough, my student and his friend were the only performers featuring a student soloist accompanied by another student! Oh, there were a few duets, where the teacher played with the student and in one case, where two brothers played together. But our pair was the standout. In fact, in the three LIYH recitals I’ve attended, they were the first ever to do this. Bully, bully!

It was a very important step in their development as musicians. They attend a private school where there is no band or orchestra. They had to listen and adjust to each other. They had to become a team. Each one had to do his part and carry his load. They had to organize themselves so that they could stay together at their optimal tempo and had to learn how to handle mistakes and recover if they fell apart. They had to be patient and persistent, get along, and help each other. And they got to experience the improvement that hard work and regular practice produce. They experienced the pride of success together. They found that music is richer when there is harmony between different instruments making different sounds. They grew more confident. It’s wonderful to listen to and appreciate beautiful music. It’s a whole different thing to play it.

My student’s mother says this was a big hit with the boys and thanked me “100 times.” The pianist’s mother also is very grateful. (The two mothers are friends.) The boys are planning to play it again at the accompanist’s piano recital on 2 June. Their friendship is now even closer. Music does that—brings people together, doesn’t it? Do you listen and dance and march, or do you play and sing? Do you compose, arrange, improvise, and teach? Lots of people can do three of these, even four, but fewer and fewer can do five to nine of them. Either way, it’s real joy, and it’s really fun.

Please click on any photo below to enlarge it.

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New Trumpet Student #47 from Lockwood Elementary in Bothell Prepares for 5th Grade Band

Posted by glennled on May 9, 2019

th[4]He’s about to finish 4th grade at Lockwood Elementary School in Bothell and has a close friend who has registered for band next year—so he’s registered, too. That’s why he chose trumpet. His mother contacted me on 12 March, and we started weekly private lessons on 2 April. He wants to get a head start.

She bought him the instruction book which the band uses, Standard of Excellence, Book I, by Bruce Pearson. We’re working our way through the early pages and the inside back cover, concentrating on “the first six notes,” C through A of the C Major Scale. He’s learning the very basics: how to hold the trumpet properly, sit properly, buzz in the mouthpiece, understand the route of his air through the valves and slides, oil the valves, release the water that collects in the horn, breathe while playing, set his embouchure to sound each different note, read the time signature, recognize the shapes of quarter, half, and whole notes and rests, play different rhythms at different tempos, and so forth and so on.

Every page introduces new things to learn and master. There is so much to remember to do, all it once! Yet it looks so simple—the trumpet has only three buttons—it appears deceptively easy. He has shown me that he can handle it—and he will master it if he practices. He has the natural ability. He already has a head start. He’s getting better, step by step. And so far, he tells me, he likes playing trumpet. I’ve invited him and his family to attend my 10th Annual Trumpet Recital in Edmonds on 25 May as observers. Here’s hoping he attends next year as a participant.

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Joint Concert—Two Orchestras and Two Choirs at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on May 8, 2019

On the evening of 31 March, two outstanding church orchestras and choirs (O&C) presented a joint concert to a packed-house audience at Alderwood Community Church (ACC) in Lynnwood. The host O&C was from ACC, and the visiting O&C was Mosaic Arts Northwest, based at North Sound Church in Edmonds. It was billed as “Voices of Praise, An Evening of Inspirational Music.” And that it was!

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ACC Orchestra and Choir, 2017

Of special pride to me, of course, was the privilege of playing in the ACC trumpet section, led by Rob Rankin, our superb principal. The ACC C&O performed first, followed by Mosaic, followed by the combined C&Os. The combined orchestra gave us six trumpets, five trombones, two French horns, and one tuba. It was grand.

For the past 9 years, I have played 3rd trumpet in the ACC Orchestra, under the direction of Linda Collins, outstanding Director of Worship Arts Ministry (please see http://www.alderwoodchurchfamily.org/). I have posted numerous blog articles about my experiences, so for this article, let me focus on Mosaic.

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Mosaic Arts Northwest Orchestra and Choir, 2014

Mosaic Arts Northwest (MANW) is a non-profit organization (please see https://mosaicartsnw.wordpress.com/). The 80-member Mosaic C&O is directed by Allan Skoog, who has been an outstanding music director for 45 years. At the time of this joint concert, he was battling cancer. Mosaic originated in 2006, and performs several concerts each season in various locations. Their repertoire includes gospel, classical, a cappella, Americana, and patriotic music. Their music comes alive with energy and sound, appealing to musical audiences of all ages.

According to their website, “Our requirements for membership are simple: work with us. Come to the rehearsals, learn the music, travel to the concerts, become a part of us. There are no auditions.” Mosaic C&O rehearses weekly at Westgate Chapel in Edmonds. “With the goal of creating the best blended sound possible, the members of Mosaic, as much as possible, stand in quartets (SATB) during rehearsals and concerts, rather than typical choral sections.”

Together with the audience at the joint concert at ACC, the sentiment in both choirs and orchestras was—“Let’s do this again!”

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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St. Patrick’s Day Private Concert in Condo of an Irish Couple in Edmonds

Posted by glennled on May 7, 2019

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L to R: DeeDee Kelly, Nancy MacDonald, and Robert E. Kelly

Sunday, the 17th of March, was St. Patrick’s Day, celebrating the life of the patron saint of Ireland who died during Lent on this date in 461 A.D. My wife’s cousin and her husband, DeeDee and Bob Kelly, in Edmonds are thoroughly Irish, so I offered to play a few Irish tunes for them in their own condominium. They chose five traditional Irish songs:

  • “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”
  • “Danny Boy”
  • “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral”
  • “Molly Malone”
  • “My Wild Irish Rose”

I played three instruments: my Getzen Eterna Severinsen trumpet, Super Olds cornet, and Jupiter pocket trumpet.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Posted in Musical Events at Home | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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