Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

  • March 2018
    S M T W T F S
    « Jan    
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 41 other followers

  • Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Musical Events at Home’ Category

Christmas Eve Celebration at Home, 2017

Posted by glennled on December 31, 2017


Homemade book of Christmas lyrics

Our family has an elaborate, celebratory Christmas Eve program. First, a bountiful dinner. Then, a spiritual program about the birth of Jesus Christ and his significance to us and the world. Next, a trumpet solo of a Christmas carol by me (this year, “O Come All Ye Faithful”), followed by a sing-along of more carols and songs, accompanied by my wife on the piano. After that, gift presentations and openings. Then, a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” followed by a “midnight” snack. Finally, we empty our stockings of their small “stuffer” gifts and decorate the gumdrop tree.

There is time for both solemnity and frivolity, mixed with love and gratitude. All this we did on Sunday, 24 December 2017.

Music belongs in any celebration. If you play and/or sing at any level, include it in your own celebrations of holidays and birthdays. Play your trumpet for your family. It’ll make them happy…you’ll see.

Hope you had as much joy and fun as we did!

To enlarge the photo, simply click on it.

Posted in Musical Events at Home | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

7th Annual Trumpet Recital in Edmonds, 18 June 2016

Posted by glennled on July 24, 2016


Photo by Nancy MacDonald

Three students performed at the 7th Annual Trumpet Recital in our home in Edmonds on 18 June, and three more were unable to attend. Of the performers, two are going into 8th grade next fall, and one is going into 9th grade. One began private trumpet lessons with me in December 2013, another in September 2014, and the third in February 2016. Selections included music by Elton John, Tim Rice, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, John Williams, Pat Ballard, Francoise Couperin, and John Kander. Popular pieces were Hedwig’s Theme, Cabaret, and When I’m 64.Jessica Moore - IMG_4844

After the performances, I gave a brief clinic and demonstration of the Herald Trumpet, English Bugle, Getzen Field Trumpet, Cornet, and Trumpet, so that the parents, relatives and friends in the audience could better appreciate the history and complexity of these instruments, as well as the difficulties which students must learn to control in order to master them. Refreshments were served after the recital.

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

Christmas Eve, 2015, Features Trumpet, Viola, and Piano

Posted by glennled on February 17, 2016

Christmas Day 2015My wife and I have 9 wonderful grandchildren. One in New Zealand plays the drums. One in Alaska plays the violin, and another there plays the saxophone. One in Bellingham, Washington plays the ukulele. And now, this year, one here in Edmonds is learning to play the viola. My wife plays the piano, and I play the trumpet.

We could have a family septet, but what composer ever wrote music for that combination of instruments and when/where would we ever get together? We need an arranger, and then maybe we could all assemble somewhere for Christmas someday and perform.

We’re traditionalists. Each year after our traditional Christmas Eve ham dinner, we then participate in a traditional program in the living room of our home, reading the prophecy of Isaiah about the coming of a Savior and the story of Jesus’ birth, praying, singing and playing Christmas carols and songs, and opening gifts. That’s when three of us did play this year for the family—trumpet, viola, and piano.

From “The Big Book of Christmas Songs,” I played “O Holy Night,” accompanied by my wife on piano, and soloed “Santa Baby,” showing off my new Getzen trumpet (see my post of 14 December). Our granddaughter played a few pieces on her viola—some solo and some with accompaniment—from the instruction book, “Essential Elements for Strings, Book 1” by Robert Gillespie, Pamela Tellejohn Hayes, and Michael Allen. And while my wife played the piano, all six of us sang from her own beautiful songbook, “Christmas Songs and Carols for a Season of Happiness.” The songbook contains the lyrics to 39 pieces, and she plays the music by memory!

Next year, perhaps we’ll all three play together as a trio. Perhaps someone else will then join us, and we’ll work our way up towards becoming a family septet. Or maybe the other two grandchildren will choose their own favorite instruments and take some lessons so we can become a nonet.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.


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

5th Annual Trumpet Recital at My Home

Posted by glennled on June 22, 2014

Sarah, Robert, Finn, Glenn Ledbetter, Erik, and Vaughan

Sarah, Robert, Finn, Glenn Ledbetter, Erik, and Vaughan

Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland was the featured piece on the program on Sunday, 8 June, when my wife and I hosted our fifth annual trumpet recital in our home in Edmonds. Coincidentally, on 25 May, I played the same powerful, dignified piece with the 13-person, brass and percussion ensemble at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood (see my post of 18 June 2014).

Copland wrote Fanfare for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1942, shortly after America entered World War II, and it premiered on income tax day, 12 March 1943. As America built up its war effort, the Vice President of the USA called the 20th century the “Century of the Common Man.” Copland borrowed that phrase to entitle his brass ensemble piece.

Aaron Copland, 1900-1990

Aaron Copland, 1900-1990

At the recital, however, we had only the three trumpet parts—no French horns, trombones, tuba, timpany, tam-tam, or bass drum. And the three trumpeters come from different high schools—one at Bothell, one at Juanita, and one at Inglemoor. Later in the program, each played a solo piece. The Bothell High sophomore played “Aire” by Johann Sebastian Bach. The sophomore at Juanita played “Le Tambourin” by Jean Philippe Rameau. And the Inglemoor High junior played “Etude 1” by Sigmund Hering.

In between Fanfare and the older students’ solos, my fifth grader from Morningside Academy played “Ode to Joy” and “Sawmill Creek.” Next came my seventh grader from Hamilton International Middle School, playing “The Victor” by R.M. Endresen and “Riqui Ran,” a Latin-American folk song arranged by James Curnow.

Recitals give parents, relatives and friends proof that private lessons work in helping build musicianship and character.

Various photos were taken by Ping Qian, Leslie Lowell, Nancy MacDonald and Glenn Ledbetter. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.


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

“Mele Kalikimaka” Honors Lost Family Matriarch on Christmas Eve at Home

Posted by glennled on January 12, 2013

Glenn Ledbetter plays "Mele Kalikimaka" on his Super Olds Cornet (1954)

Glenn Ledbetter plays “Mele Kalikimaka” on his Super Olds Cornet (1954)

Our family tradition on Christmas Eve includes singing Christmas carols after dinner and before opening gifts. My wife plays piano as we sing, and a few years ago, we added a couple of trumpet solos to the program. This year, I played “Mele Kalikimaka” because on all our minds was the recent loss of my wife’s mother, Ruth, who died peacefully on 12 October. This was our first Christmas without her.

To Ruth, Hawaii was paradise. She and her husband, Mac, first went to Waikiki to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They always returned annually until he passed away, and then she continued to go back. In all, she vacationed there for 39 straight years! She was a bright spirit, and we miss her so much.

“Mele Kalikimaka” means “Merry Christmas,” and Robert Alex Anderson wrote the song in 1949. Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters recorded the song in 1950 on Decca 27228 (78 rpm)/9-27228 (45 rmp). To hear their recording, please see

For my second trumpet solo, I played “Angels We Have Heard on High,” a traditional French carol.

Posted in Musical Events at Home | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Nine Students Perform at Trumpet Recital in Edmonds

Posted by glennled on June 12, 2012

About 40 guests from the Greater Seattle area came to the home of their favorite tutor (me) in Edmonds on Saturday, 9 June, to the 3rd annual trumpet recital featuring my 9 current students. They take lessons from me in their own homes once a week. Eight attend the following schools: Lawton, Crystal Springs, and Tukwila elementary schools; Kamiakin, Kenmore and Skyview junior highs; and Eckstein Middle School. Of these, four students are moving up to Nathan Hale, Inglemoor, and Juanita high schools in the fall. There was a morning and an afternoon session, and each student played two pieces. Refreshments were served after the performances. Most of the music selections come from musicals, movies, the Beatles, and patriotic compositions.  Here is a gallery of photos. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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

Cornet Solos at Home with the Family on Christmas Eve

Posted by glennled on December 31, 2011

Glenn Ledbetter on cornet

After a wonderful, hearty dinner on Christmas Eve, we carried on our traditional family program: readings from Isaiah and Luke about the birth of the Christ child, prayers, carols, gift opening, and snacks. Meanwhile, about four cameras were continuously flashing and whirring. For music, my wife passed out our colorful booklet of carols (which she produced herself) and played the piano while we sang. Normally, I play one or two tunes on my cornet, too, always with her accompaniment. This year, I soloed. I played “Angels We Have Heard on High” straight as written, but to “Santa Baby,” I added a little fun with some special sound effects using my Harmon (wah-wah) mute in the middle of the piece and a long, quick glissando from G to an accented High G at the end! (Smiles and applause!)

Happy New Year!  😉

Posted in Musical Events at Home | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Students Show Off at Annual Trumpet Recital in My Home

Posted by glennled on June 11, 2011

On 11 June, my trumpet students brought their horns, music, parents, relatives and friends to my home for the second annual trumpet recital. Eight of my 9 players were scheduled to play their various solos, four trumpeters in the morning and four in the afternoon. Some of the tunes came from musicals and movies, including “I Whistle a Happy Tune” (from The King and I); “Do-Re-Mi” (from The Sound of Music); “Chim Chim Cher-ee” (from Mary Poppins); and “Pirates of the Caribbean” (from the movie of the same name).

Other songs were patriotic, including “Yankee Doodle,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “America the Beautiful,” and “The Star Spangled Banner.” Still other pieces included “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man,” “This Land is Your Land,” “German Waltz,” “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In,” and “Happy Birthday.”

After each session, refreshments were served. I am proud of all my students for the improvements they have made and the excellent performances they gave this day. Private lessons work! We strive for excellence–“Become Your Best!” is our motto.  🙂

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

Christmas Eve Duet: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” with Cornet and Piano

Posted by glennled on December 26, 2010

Glenn Ledbetter plays his 56-year old Super Olds cornet

Know how a song pops into your mind from nowhere, seems significant, and won’t go away? Early during the last week of Advent before Christmas Day, my wife “heard” me sweetly playing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” on my cornet on Christmas Eve. So on Thursday I practiced it, and on Friday night in our living room filled with family members, I played it at a moderate beat with plenty of vibrato and careful phrasing and dynamics. The first verse was solo, and on subsequent verses, she joined in on the piano, and everyone sang.

And then we sang lots of other carols, too, from the booklet of lyrics which she self-published a few years ago. That’s part of the way we celebrate on Christmas Eve (see my post of 30 December 2009, on the duet we played last year—“O Holy Night”—and more).

Late Christmas morning, some dear relatives who were not with us on Christmas Eve came over to visit, and after some delicious treats, we repeated the performance. They arrived happy and left happy. And so, as Dickens’ Tiny Tim said, “A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!”

Posted in Musical Events at Home | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

“Homey” Spring Recital for Trumpets & Piano

Posted by glennled on June 9, 2010

“Oh, no!” is sometimes a student’s first reaction to hearing that a recital is coming. But that soon turns to “OK,” and afterwards, the feeling is “Ah, that wasn’t so bad” and even “Wow! that was fun. I’ll do that again.”

It certainly was fun for me and my wife. Six of my students came with their trumpets and cornets and one of her piano students came to our home last Saturday to play music. We filled the living room with chairs for grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. Four students played in the morning session, and three played in the afternoon. One trumpet student was away on an overnight school trip. Think of it: my first student began taking lessons with me just 10 months ago!

The printed program showed who played what and when. Most played two pieces, and a few played three. I accompanied the ninth grader on “Fanfare for the Common Man,” one of my favorities by Aaron Copland, first performed in 1942, during World War II.

After the program, everyone enjoyed cookies, sparkling apple cider, and conversation. My wife told them that after a few recitals, the group begins to feel like a little family.

Here’s the thing about recitals. Students should feel confident and comfortable with the music. Playing in front of people, including strangers, produces the jitters and the butterflies in one’s stomach. Good, that’s part of music education and development from students into performers. We all learn to handle these situations only by doing. It comes only through experience. But remember the good feeling that comes after a performance, even if it was not perfect? That’s one of the best lessons of the whole adventure: there is life after a recital! You live through it. It doesn’t kill you. And, in the end, it’s fun. And imagine experiencing this: people are proud of you, even if you’re not perfect, and they enjoy supporting and participating in your growth and progress. You feel good about yourself for having done it. We’re talkin’ acceptance and love. It’s all part of becoming your best.

Among the pieces played were “Lavender’s Blue,” “Mexican Hat Dance,” “Minor Rock,” “Doxy,” “Tattoo,” “Yankee Doodle,” “This Land is Your Land,” “Taps,” and “Feather Theme.”

Posted in Musical Events at Home, Recitals | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: