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Archive for the ‘Church Music’ Category

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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Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of WWI Armistice at Veterans Day Ceremony in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 17, 2018

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Most Veterans Day ceremonies in the USA were held this year on the observed holiday, Monday, 12 November, but VFW Post 1040 elected to conduct theirs on the real date, Sunday, 11 November—celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the World War I armistice at 11 a.m. on 11/11/1911.

Using my beautiful Getzen bugle, I sounded “Assembly” to call the ceremony to order, followed by the entrance procession, led by the Northwest Junior Pipe Band playing “The Marine Corps Hymn” honoring the 243rd birthday of the Corps. NWJPB was followed by the Legion of Honor of the Nile Shrine Center and the Honor Guard of VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood. As the ceremony closed, I was honored to sound “Echo Taps” with my trumpet student, Aidan Grambihler, trumpeter in Garfield High School’s Concert Orchestra in Seattle. Bryan Kolk is conductor of GHS’s three orchestras.

Aidan started lessons with me almost three years ago (please see my blog post of 13 April 2016). As Aidan has learned, playing bugle calls helps a trumpeter keep sharp articulation and slotting.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Courtesy of Lynnwood Today

 

By Myra Rintamaki

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Boy Scouts of America, Lynnwood Troop 49 and Cub Scout Pack 331

 

By Holly Grambihler

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“New Life of the Land”—2017 Christmas Musical Drama at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 13, 2017

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ACC cast, “New Life of the Land,” Dec. 2017

 

On 1-3 December 2017, Alderwood Community Church (ACC) presented its 29th Christmas program in five public performances, drawing a total audience of more than 3,000. This year marked the 100th year since the Puget Mill Company developed the planned community called Alderwood Manor in 1917. As residents settled there, they wanted a church. In 1920, Alderwood Manor Community Church was born.

To celebrate this 100th anniversary year, ACC commissioned Matthew Wilson to write the play, “New Life of the Land.” Mr. Wilson attended ACC while growing up. It was presented as a musical drama, not a typical musical. None of the main characters sings play-87or dances. In one comedic relief scene, a barbershop quartet is featured as they rehearse “Deck the Halls.” Instead, the orchestra and choir, under the direction of Linda Collins, perform music to open and close the drama; intersperse different scenes with songs; and provide soft, instrumental music (underscore) while the actors continue with the play. The stage sets employ mixed media: some outdoor scenes are presented by videos on three huge screens above the stage floor. The entire drama takes play-95place during slightly more than one hour on Christmas Eve in 1917. A young couple who intend to marry obtains a 5-acre plot of land through the dramatic, providential trade of their train ticket with a stranger at the Alderwood Manor trolley station. They plan to raise chickens to support themselves and their (eventual) children.

The theme of the play is hope. Each of the four main characters have different hopes for themselves and each other. The hopes of Margaret (played by Hannah Blomberg) and Jebediah (Charley Delaney) come true. Eliza (Deborah Turcotte) is forced to abandon her hope for her granddaughter, Margaret. Finally, John (Mike Tate) undergoes a renewal: in the beginning, he has lost hope and is melancholy, having been crippled by polio. He wants to marry Margaret but has no job. In the end, he enthusiastically adopts her hope of staying in Alderwood Manor, establishing a chicken farm, and raising a family there. When they do acquire the land, he proposes marriage, and she accepts. They will enroll in the “New Life of the Land” program created by Puget Mill Company to help settlers learn to raise chickens and certain vegetable crops for sale and family food.

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L to R: Rob Rankin (lead), Corban Epp, (2nd), Glenn Ledbetter (3rd), ACC Orchestra trumpeters

I have now played trumpet in four Christmas programs at ACC. Please see my blog posts of 23 April 2015, 15 December 2015, and 10 December 2016.

More ACC, Alderwood Manor, and Lynnwood History and Future Plans

The musical drama aroused my curiosity. I’ve lived in Edmonds for 14 years and don’t know much about Lynnwood history. What happened after 1917? How did we get to where we are now? Here’s some of what I’ve learned as a result of this Christmas program.

Before 1910, only a few hearty pioneers lived in the area. It took about two days to travel some 13 miles to Seattle. Then, in 1910, the electric trolley line which connected Seattle to

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Linda Collins, ACC Orchestra and Choir Conductor

the Esperance stop near Hall’s Lake was extended to Everett. That cut the travel time from the Forest Park stop (later re-named the Alderwood Manor stop) to about one hour.

Around the turn of the 20th century, the Puget Mill Company owned thousands of acres of forest land north of Seattle. Once the land was logged, taxes remained the same as if it still was timbered. To reduce its tax burden, the company decided to sell off some 7,000 acres then covered with blackened stumps and snags. In 1917, it offered land for sale in 5- and 10-acre parcels, known as “stump farms,” within a planned community that it named “Alderwood Manor.” [Incidentally, 1917 is the year of my mother’s birth, may she rest in peace; it’s also the year that the Ballard Locks officially opened for boat traffic and America entered World War I.] play-127

The Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway ran through Alderwood Manor. Just east of the electric trolley tracks, Puget Mill Company built a 30-acre Demonstration Farm to promote land sales. Here, land purchasers could learn to raise chickens, farm fish, and grow fruits and vegetables both for sale and family food. “New Life of the Land” was the name of this project. On the Demonstration Farm was a superintendent’s cottage, hotel, community hall. water tower, chicken houses, and an incubator house. The preferred chicken species was the single comb white leghorn. By 1921, the American Poultry Association had recognized Alderwood Manor as one of the nation’s greatest poultry centers.

Meanwhile, the early residents had a strong desire for a Christian church in their community. They began by meeting for Sunday School in private homes in 1919. On 28 November 1920, Alderwood Manor Community Church was born. They built a wood-frame building on the present site of ACC.

Through the years, things changed. Highway 99, to the west, was completed in 1927. The play-31Great Depression hit Alderwood Manor hard, the price of eggs fell, and many residents left the business. Land parcels were subdivided and sold off. The Demonstration Farm was closed. In 1939, the crucial Interurban Railed ceased operations.

In the late 1940’s, after World War II, a community named Lynnwood (named after Lynn, a real estate agent’s wife) began to emerge around the intersection of Highway 99 and 196th Street SW. In 1939, the Interurban railway was converted into a power line corridor. In the 1990s, the right-of-way was opened to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Today, the Interurban Trail is a 16-mile, hard-surfaced, non-motorized, rail trail.

The City of Lynnwood is now planning another major transformation. It is converting to high-density, high-rise, mixed-use (commercial and residential) zoning in its City Center. Among the regulatory changes is this: the maximum allowable building height in the City Center Core is up to 350 feet. Assuming that one story equals 10 feet, that’s a building height of 35 stories! The City’s long-range, 20-year vision is to become the “Bellevue of the North.” The current population of Lynnwood is about 38,000. play-118

Much of Alderwood Manor and Lynnwood history is preserved in Heritage Park which opened in 2004 at 19921 Poplar Way. Even some of the original buildings and a railway car, Interurban Car 55, are located there. For more information about this area’s history and its future plans, please see:

 

play-1202020 will be ACC’s 100th anniversary. I wonder what musical they will choose for their 32nd Christmas program. Will I still be playing trumpet and blogging in 2020, at age 80? As my dear, late mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, was fond of saying, “Time waits for no man.”

Photos courtesy of John Crozier, http://www.crozierphotography.com. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

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“All I Want for Christmas,” the 2016 Musical at Alderwood Community Church, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 10, 2016

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Curtain Call, “All I Want for Christmas”

More than 3,100 people, spread over six performances, came to see this year’s musical, “All I Want for Christmas,” at Alderwood Community Church (ACC) in Lynnwood. This is the 28th consecutive Christmas show produced by the church (see http://www.amcc.org). And it is the second straight year that the play was written by Lauri Evans Deason of Los Angeles (see my blog post of 15 December 2015). And it is the third consecutive time that I have played trumpet in the ACC Orchestra at these Christmas productions. I am continually impressed with how much talent of all ages there is among these church members.

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Glenn Ledbetter, 2016

The lead character is Lyric Jensen, played admirably by McKenna Sessions, a high school senior with a lovely voice and accomplished singing style. Lyric’s birth mother, Molly, abandoned her when she was only two-days old in a manger in the nativity scene in front of a church on Christmas day. The Jensens, Steven and Nora, found her and adopted her. Nora died three years later, and Steve continued to raise her.

Seeking greater happiness at age 17, Lyric longs to find her birth mother. Instead, she finds a woman who is later exposed as an imposter, pretending to be her birth mother in hopes of financial gain. Lyric realizes that real love and happiness is with her Dad. The story is an allegory about God’s unconditional love for humankind, his adopted children.

For me, the hit songs in the musical are “All I Want for Christmas,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” and “When Love Takes You In.” The first is by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXQViqx6GMY). The second is by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Jean Baptiste Calkin, with new words and music by Bernie Herms, Mark Hall and Dale Oliver, arranged by Dave Williamson. The third is by Steven Curtis Chapman, orchestrated by Sherry Joos.

The musical photos are courtesy of John Crozier, http://www.crozierphotography.com. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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“Home for Christmas” at Alderwood Community Church, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 15, 2015

 

Who says Christmas plays and musicals have virtually disappeared? Not at Alderwood Community Church (ACC) in Lynnwood, where some 2,800 people attended five performances of Home for Christmas on the weekend X-IMG_7386

of 4-6 December. And another 600 attended the dress rehearsal and preview performances, for a grand total of 3,400!

No wonder. This was the 27th straight year this church has produced a Christmas show. Linda Collins, Music Director, started the tradition in 1989. And this was the second time this particular musical has been presented at ACC; the first time was in 2006. Before that, it had premiered at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle. [Where were you in 1989? That’s when I started my real estate career on Mercer Island. I was no member of any church.]

At ACC last weekend, I was one of three trumpeters who played in the orchestra. My new (to me) Getzen Eterna Severinsen trumpet arrived just in the nick of time for me to play it in all five performances (see my post about it on 14 December).

The story goes like this. Laine Wilson has invited Adam Owens to meet her family at their home on Christmas Eve. Adam intends to “pop the question” and has an engagement ring in his pocket. But things go amiss, and therein lies some comedy. For one thing, the image he presents to her father, a very successful, nationally known psychologist and author, Dr. Ron, does not go well. Meanwhile, there are songs to be sung, dances to be danced, and stories to be told. Through it all, he feels worse and worse, loses all confidence, and gets ice-cold feet. Just as he is about to give up, turn around and walk away, Laine poses a life-changing question. How does he respond? What lessons does he learn? You’ll have to see it to believe it.

The script, written and copyrighted by Lauri Evans Deason of Los Angeles, has no music. It simply indicates where it is appropriate to insert music. Ultimately, Linda Collins chose the 10 pieces of music for choir and orchestra that were used in this production, converting what was an allegorical stage play into a musical. For this production, Deason updated the original script, mostly changing some dialogue to reflect “the way our culture has been forever altered by (among other things) smart phone apps, selfies, and a certain snow queen we’d never heard of in 2005.” She called this opportunity “the best anniversary present ever.”

As I have said, I like musicals that plant a melody in my head and have me singing afterwards (see my posts of 6 June 2014, and 23 April 2015, about the musicals, A Room With a View, and A Time for Christmas, respectively). In this case, on the day after the last performance, I found myself humming phrases from three pieces of music:

  • “The Sounds of Christmas” Arr by Bradley Knight
  • “Happy Birthday, Jesus” by Carol Cymbala
  • “Oh, What a Love!” by Carol Cymbala

Linda Collins told me that another great piece, “Laine’s Song,” was written especially for this musical back in 2006, by the pianist in the ACC orchestra, Darla Sewall. It was orchestrated by Sherry Joos.

I suppose ACC (see http://www.alderwoodchurchfamily.org/) will get around to presenting this production again in another 9 or 10 years. When they do, “Try it. You’ll like it.”

Please click on any photo below to enlarge it. All were taken by John Crozier of Edmonds (see http://www.crozierphotography.com).

 

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My New Getzen Eterna Severinsen Trumpet

Posted by glennled on December 14, 2015

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Getzen Eterna Severinsen Model (900S)

 

My beautiful, loving wife bought me the most wonderful Christmas gift! My new B-flat trumpet was delivered to our home in the late afternoon of Friday, 4 December, just a couple of hours before I was due to perform in the musical, Home for Christmas, with the Alderwood Community Church Orchestra in Lynnwood. I blew a few notes from low G to high C, took it with me, and played it in public that very evening.

It was manufactured by Getzen Company in Elkhorn, Wisconsin in c.1977. It’s the 900S model  with medium large bore (.460″), Amado water keys, first-valve trigger, third-valve slide, bright silver plate finish, and case.

It was named for Carl “Doc” Severinsen, who was then Vice President of Research and Development. Severinsen is a nationally famous television artist (most notably, Music Director, “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson), a clinician, and guest soloist. According to the company’s 1977 brochure, it took almost two years of development before the model was accepted for market. It’s designed and built for professional trumpeters. One of the all-time great jazz trumpeters, Freddy Hubbard, is among the pros who played this model.

I’ll be using it not only to play gigs but also in teaching private lessons. I’m thrilled. What a great Christmas present!

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“A Time for Christmas,” the 2014 Musical at Alderwood Community Church, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on April 23, 2015

"It's a Merry Christmas Eve!" sung on a city sidewalk by townspeople and carolers

“It’s a Merry Christmas Eve!” sung on a city sidewalk by townspeople and carolers

I confess–I love musicals more than I love opera. I’m simple. After most musicals, I walk out of the theater with some song in my head, some melody in my heart, some lyrics on my lips. I like that. But although some opera music is magnificently beautiful and I like it, too, I often can hardly hum even my most favorite arias.

And so it was when I was invited to play trumpet with the orchestra of Alderwood Community Church (ACC) last Christmas season. Each year, ACC stages a Christmas play, and in 2014, the choice was the superlative religious musical, “A Time for Christmas” by Paul McCusker, David T. Clydesdale, Steven Amerson, and Lowell Alexander.

Mistress Lewis and children sing and dance at the orphanage in 1850 to "With A Little Bit of Faith"

Mistress Lewis and children sing and dance at the orphanage in 1850 to “With A Little Bit of Faith”

The plot features the very hard-working Bill, a young businessman who gives lip service to Christmas but is too busy to celebrate it, and his consultant, Mary, who understands the meaning of Christmas and loves the joy and hope found in the celebration of it. In a dream, Bill encounters Bartholomew, a mysterious stranger, who leads Bill on a journey through five scenes of various Christmases past, from the birth of Christ to the present. It awakens Bill—through watching others in other times and places, he begins to realize what he’s missing and warms to Mary.

play2014-2The orchestra and choir were conducted by Linda Collins, and the musical was dedicated to Dave Ballbach, “whose support and encouragement has inspired this endeavor for two decades.” It was presented five times during the weekend of 5-7 December at the church, which is located in Lynnwood near the intersection of I-5 with 196th St.

What tune was I singing when I left the church after the performances? Well, sometimes it was “With a Little Bit of Faith,” but more often it was “It’s a Merry Christmas Day!” And you know it’s a truly special musical when there are TWO songs stuck in your mind and heart!

The photos in the gallery below were provided courtesy of the professional photographer, John Crozier of Edmonds (see http://www.crozierphotography.com). Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

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“Fanfare for the Common Man”—Brass Ensemble at Alderwood Community Church, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on June 18, 2014

Aaron Copland, composer, teacher, writer, conductor, 1900-1990

Aaron Copland, composer, teacher, writer, conductor, 1900-1990

On Sunday, 25 May, I played trumpet in the Brass Ensemble, conducted by Linda Collins, at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood. During the worship service, recognition was given to Memorial Day, which was to be celebrated across the nation the next day.

Our featured piece was the thrilling Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland, written in 1942 and first performed in 1943 during World War II. It’s powerful and brings dignity to every event at which it is played. In America, regardless of status, we are all common—“All men are created equal,” and it’s “One man, one vote.”

Here are some videos of performances by others which pay tribute to the USA and its military men and women: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXytluK9QVk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGu5Iz_h7Yo.

In the gallery of caricatures below, credit is given where the artist is known to me. Please click on any image to enlarge it.

 

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Church Orchestra and Choir End Season with “Glory”

Posted by glennled on June 9, 2012

‘Twas the last Sunday of the season for the church orchestra and choir, 3 June. Now comes the summer break. Lucky me, I got to play 3rd trumpet when one of the regular players had a conflict. This church conducts three services every Sunday morning, and we played four songs—three at each service. It’s easy to see why our conductor favors the arranger, Dan Galbraith—he’s superb!  He arranged three of the pieces below. And B.J. Davis did a super job, too, arranging Nichole Nordeman’s beautiful song, “Glory.” She is a Dove Award-winning songwriter (see http://www.doveawards.com/).

If you want to look over the scores and hear samples of the orchestration and arrangements, please see the following:

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“A Baby Changes Everything” as Christmas Nears

Posted by glennled on December 18, 2011

Today, I got to play 2nd trumpet in the church orchestra that I like so much. At the 7:20 a.m. rehearsal before the first of three Sunday church services, the Worship Director called out the next song—“A Baby Changes Everything.” Quietly, the lead trumpeter quipped, “We don’t do baby changes,” and a French horn player added, “No more baby changes, never again!”

And then we rehearsed one of the loveliest songs ever written about the coming of the Christ child. The arrangement we played was by David T. Clydesdale and is available through Word Music (see http://www.wordmusic.com/item/080689886270). The concluding lines are “My whole life has turned around, I was lost but now I’m found. A baby changes everything, yeah, This baby changes everything.”

It was written and composed by Tim Nichols, Kim Wiseman, and Craig Wiseman. Faith Hill made it a #1 hit in 2008. To see and hear her sing it, please see:

Think about this special baby—can you name any other man who has ever had a more profound, widespread, long-lasting impact on humanity and human history?

We also played several hymns and Christmas carols. The jazz arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Tom Payne was especially good (see http://www.praisecharts.com/detail/arrangement/2132).

For my four other posts about playing in this church orchestra, simply click on Church Music at the beginning of the paragraph below this post.

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