Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Milestone: 50th Trumpet Student Attends Carl Sandburg Elementary School in Kirkland

Posted by glennled on December 16, 2019

Carl Sandburg Elem School, Kirkland, 12-13-'19

Carl Sandburg Elementary School, Kirkland

I don’t have a studio in my home where private trumpet students can come for lessons. I’m not affiliated with a music store or company that has practice studios, although I do occasionally use the rooms at Ted Brown Music in the University District, which rents studios. If I had my own or a company studio, I think I’d have reached this milestone–50 trumpet students–much earlier. So, since I started in 2009, I’ve been driving to people’s homes and teaching my students in their living rooms or basements or wherever.

My 50th student is a quiet, cute, petite girl with a charming smile who attends 4th grade at the Carl Sandburg Elementary School (CSES) in Kirkland. The Music Teacher there is Mr. Bryan Melerski. He conducted a recital at the school on 17 December at which my student’s ensemble played three pieces. Her group consists of trumpet, trombone, baritone, flute and clarinet players.

Our first lesson was on 19 November. She recalled how she chose trumpet. The trombone and baritone were too big for her to carry home. So she tried playing the trumpet first, then the flute and clarinet, and finally, the trumpet again. She made a good sound that she liked. Also, the trumpet had only three valves, and she liked pushing down the buttons. That was it—the choice was easy. She’s smart, earnest, and pleasant. She’s had piano lessons in the past, and her music knowledge is far better than other 4th grade students I’ve taught. Some techniques and skills just seem to come naturally to her. She shows good promise.

According to the CSES’s website, enrollment was 459 in October 2017, and there were 27 teachers, 70% of whom had at least a Master’s Degree.  The unexcused absence rate was 0.3%. Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) was a famous, popular American poet, journalist, biographer, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes (1919, 1940, and 1951). Born in Illinois, he lived and worked in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina, where he died at age 89. Numerous schools are named after him throughout America.

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“Showtune Favorites,” My Trumpet Show at Fairwinds, Redmond Retirement Community

Posted by glennled on December 13, 2019

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Fairwinds, Redmond, a Leisure Care Retirement Community

 

About 30 residents of Fairwinds, Redmond gathered on 16 November to hear my trumpet show, “Showtune Favorites.” For one hour, I played 25 hit songs from musicals and movies of the residents’ era, such as “Over the Rainbow,” “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Bali Hai,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Hello Dolly,” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” And along the way, I told a few jokes.

I brought three horns—my Getzen trumpet, Super Olds cornet, and Jupiter pocket trumpet—along with a Denis Wick 4 mouthpiece to make the cornet sound like a flugelhorn. And I used either a Harmon and straight mute for certain tunes. Fun!

Randee Young is the Guest Services Manager at Fairwinds, Redmond. When I return here someday, I’ll perform a different show—I have six.

Fairwinds, Redmonds

This facility is among the family of 53 Leisure Care retirement communities located in 18 states (https://www.leisurecare.com/our-communities). There are 9 in Washington state. Fairwinds, Redmond offers independent and assisted living accommodations and amenities in the Education Hill neighborhood. There are 22 floor plans and two dining venues, along with a private dining room, fitness room, pool, theater, salon, game room, activity room, patio, and garden. The size of the apartments range from 468 s.f. for a studio to 1,504 s.f. for a two-bedroom with den. Please see https://www.leisurecare.com/our-communities/fairwinds-redmond.

Two photos of the entrance (below) were taken by me. All others in this article are courtesy of Fairwinds, Redmond. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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“Taps” for Veterans Day Ceremony at Cottage Lake Elementary School in Woodinville

Posted by glennled on December 11, 2019

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Annually, Cottage Lake Elementary School (CLES) in Woodinville presents an exceptional Veterans Day Ceremony, and for the second year in a row, I had the privilege of sounding “Taps” near the end of the program on 12 November. That was immediately followed by the flag-folding ceremony. Brigadier General Raymond W. Coffey, U.S. Army Volunteer Reserve (USAVR), who was emcee of and principal speaker at the ceremony, read a script explaining the symbolic meaning of each of the 13 folds. Please see https://www.ushistory.org/betsy/more/folds.htm.

The principal of CLES is Jennifer Welch, and the chief organizer of this event was Kelsey Brady, music teacher. She played the piano and conducted the school choir in a number of patriotic songs. Students conducted the White Table Ceremony (aka Missing Man Table, Fallen Comrade Table, Fallen Soldier Table, POW/MIA Remembrance Table, and POW/MIA Empty Chair Ceremony). Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_man_table.

About 20 veterans, most wearing clothes that identified them with their military service, were honored by the school and the large audience of parents, relatives and friends. These vets have children or grandchildren who attend CLES. In addition to “Taps,” I sounded two other calls on my gorgeous Getzen bugle—“Assembly” and “To the Color.”

Please use the Archives column (left) to find the article of 18 December 2018 and read about and see many photos of last year’s ceremony.

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“Echo Taps” at Veterans Day Ceremony in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 10, 2019

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“Echo Taps” performers

Veterans Day, 11 November—annually, VFW Post 1040 hosts the ceremony at Veterans Park in downtown Lynnwood, and typically, 100-200 people show up to remember, honor, and thank all veterans for their military service.

And for me, it’s another opportunity to sound “Echo Taps” for them all. Each year, I select one of my past students to play the “Echo” part. This year, it was an 8th grader at Skyview Middle School who plays lead trumpet in the jazz band there. He was a good student in my 5th and 6th grade brass classes. (I’m in my 9th year of teaching as a para-professional at Skyview.) At this year’s ceremony, we both played Getzen horns—he, his trumpet and me, my bugle.

Organizations participating in the ceremony included VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard, Northwest Jr. Pipe Band (Kevin Auld, Director), Nile Shrine Center’s Legion of Honor, Gold Star Mothers, American Legion Lynnwood Post 37, Boy Scouts of America Troop 49,  Sound Church of Lynnwood, and City of Lynnwood. The featured speaker was John Natterstad, Deputy Commander, U.S. Volunteers-Joint Services Command, and an Air Force veteran (www.usvjsc.org).

There are more than 1,000 engraved bricks in Veterans Park, honoring living and deceased veterans. Members of the public donate $30 per brick, simply to cover engraving costs.

For blog articles about past Veterans Day ceremonies involving other trumpet students, please use the Archives column (left) to find:

  • 17 Dec 2018
  • 21 Dec 2016
  • 26 Nov 2015
  • 15 Apr 2015
  • 19 Nov 2012
  • 19 Nov 2011

As is customary, I sounded the bugle call, “Assembly,” to commence the ceremony.

Photo is by Brandi Lacombe.

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My Trumpet Student from Mercer Island Performs at Autumn Recital by Lessons In Your Home

Posted by glennled on December 6, 2019

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Trumpet solo, “Merrily We Roll Along”

On Saturday, 9 November, the main event in Seattle for many of us was the recital hosted by Lessons in Your Home (LIYH) at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. On stage in the morning session (11 a.m.) was my trumpet student from Mercer Island, playing “Merrily We Roll Along.”

She was one of 38 musicians who performed before the audience of about 100 parents, relatives and friends. The afternoon session (2 p.m.) probably had as many performers and audience members, too.

She is my second trumpeter to perform at these recitals, and they have always been the only trumpeters at these recitals. Most Seattle LIYH students play piano and guitar, but LIYH also teaches voice, drums, violin, bass, and more. LIYH hosts one recital in the fall and one in the spring. For more information, please see https://start.lessonsinyourhome.net/music/seattle/?msclkid=f54abce17e3f174e63cce10868a590d9&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=New%20-%20Seattle&utm_term=lessons%20in%20your%20home&utm_content=Brand. Scott D’Angelo, Seatttle LIYH Director, is very personable and exceptionally competent.

For other articles about trumpeters at past LIYH recitals since spring 2016, please use the Archives in the left column to read my blog posts of 10 May 2019, 21 May 2018, and 22 March 2016.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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“Taps” Twice at Veterans Day Ceremonies at Crystal Springs Elementary School in Bothell

Posted by glennled on December 4, 2019

 

Now and then, a song will pluck your heart strings in a special way. That happened to me when I first heard “We Honor You” by Roger Emerson, a prolific, award-winning composer and arranger of choral music with over 900 titles in print and 30,000 copies in circulation. He wrote this song in 2016 and told me, “I have always felt a huge debt to those who fought our wars.”

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“Taps,” alongside the CSES 4th grade choir

I was at Crystal Springs Elementary School (CSES) in Bothell to sound “Taps” at the close of two school assemblies on 8 November. At 9:40 a.m., the K, 3rd, and 4th grade choirs performed, and at 10:25 the 1st, 2nd, and 5th grade choirs did so, under the direction of Jane Lin, general music teacher. It was the 4th graders who sang “We Honor You.”

Afterwards, I emailed Mr. Emerson (please see http://www.rogeremerson.com) in appreciation of his words and music: “I’m a VFW Bugler and play various calls at many military ceremonies and funerals. I’ll admit that it now takes something unique to move my heart strings. Last Friday…I heard ‘We Honor You’ for the first time. I am a Vietnam vet. The young voices of the 4th grade choir singing your song really got to me. They sang with innocent voices about things they never experienced but I did. They have the freedom we fought for.”

Ms. Lin’s programs were unabashedly chocked full of patriotism. A Cub Scout Color Guard presented the flags, and the kids and the audience of about 300 parents, relatives and friends stood with hands over their hearts, reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance.” Altogether, counting both assemblies, the choirs sang 11 different songs:

Jane Lin & Glenn Ledbetter, CSES, 11-8-'19

Jane Lin and Glenn Ledbetter

  • I Love America
  • The Great Defenders
  • One Nation
  • We Won’t Forget
  • On Veterans Day
  • We Honor You
  • Thankful for the USA
  • Thank you to Our Veterans
  • Grand Old Flag
  • Thinking of You
  • Hallelujah (Veterans version), accompanied on guitar by Collin Sarchin, CSES general music teacher

The well-organized programs moved along smoothly and timely. The choirs were well-dressed and well-rehearsed. Their movements were well-choreographed. They sang with feeling, precision, and fun. They spoke and read their parts nicely. Everyone knew what was next, and they were ready for their turn on the program. They were engaged—not bored and drifting. And they clearly loved their leader. The sound system, slide show, and light controls functioned perfectly. If this were a military unit, we would say they were proud and ready. And so was I when I sounded “Taps” for them on my beautiful Getzen bugle—twice!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it. The video is courtesy of Jane Lin, Crystal Springs Elementary School.

First Assembly (9:40 a.m.)

 

Second Assembly (10:25)

 

Audience

 

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“To the Color” for 7th Annual Veterans Days Ceremony at Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on December 3, 2019

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Boots to Books and Beyond Monument, Edmonds Community College

For the seventh straight year, we gathered at the Black Box Theatre on the campus of Edmonds Community College (ECC) on 6 November for a ceremony to honor all the nation’s veterans on the holiday established for this special purpose–Veterans Day.

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L to R: SSGT Ahmad Al Rawi, Chris Szarek and Fernando Moratalla

Dr. Amit Singh, ECC President, was present and spoke. So did Mayor Nicola Smith, City of Lynnwood. But the major speakers were Ahmad Al Rawi, and Fernando Moratalla because this year’s theme was to honor immigrant veterans. SSgt. Al Rawi told how he came from Iraq to the USA and became a Marine, now serving at the Navy Recruiting Station near Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood. Sgt. Moratalla, told how he came from Venezuela, became a Marine, and is now Senior Security Guard at ECC. Both sergeants were compelled to serve, and their stories were inspirational.

IMG_1386Dr. Peter Schmidt told the story behind the “Boots to Books and Beyond Monument” on the campus. This year is its 10th anniversary. A fascinating staff and faculty slideshow, compiled by Sgt. Moratalla and featuring “We Are the Champions” by Queen, was presented.

Chris Szarek, Director, Veterans Resource Center (VRC), ECC, U.S. Navy (Ret.) was emcee of the ceremony. I was again honored to sound “To the Color” on my Getzen bugle (aka field trumpet). Please use the Archives in the left column to see my blog article of 24 November 2017 about that ECC Veterans Day ceremony.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it. All photos except the main one featured above, are courtesy of VRC, ECC.

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Fall Band and Orchestra Concert at Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on October 31, 2019

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Wind Ensemble, Meadowdale High School, Lynnwood, Emily Hurd, Conductor, 10-30-2019

It was a full house in the Great Hall of Meadowdale High School (MHS) in Lynnwood on 30 October to hear the concert by six groups of musicians—Percussion Ensemble, Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Symphony Strings, Wind Ensemble, and Chamber Orchestra. All told, they performed 15 pieces.

Why would I attend? Not because I might have a private trumpet student who was playing in one of the two bands—I don’t. Not because MHS is in the Edmonds School District and I live in Edmonds—that wouldn’t do it. Nope—I gladly went because my precious granddaughter plays in one of the groups—that’s it!

Nathan Rengstorf is the director of the three orchestras, while Emily Hurd is director of the Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. I particularly enjoyed “Technology,” “Wood Splitter Fanfare,” “The Irish Baker,” “Waltz of the Wicked,” “Puszta Mvt. 1,” and “Incantations.”

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Percussion Ensemble and Concert Orchestra

Symphonic Band

 

Wind Ensemble

 

 

 

 

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Fall Cleaning of My Four Horns—Now I’m Ready!

Posted by glennled on September 11, 2019

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Four trumpets, all completely disassembled and ready to clean. Upper left: Getzen Eterna trumpet, Super Olds cornet, and Jupiter pocket trumpet. Upper right: Getzen field trumpet (bugle). Lower left: all the slides from the three horns above. Lower right: Nine valves and 11 mouthpieces (including one trombone).

 

I’m switching from petroleum-based valve oil to synthetic, so I want to take no chances on possible incompatibility. If the two brands don’t mix, they can cause the valves to stick badly—almost freeze. So I wanted to rid my horns of all traces of the petroleum oil before I applied the synthetic.

On 25 August, I took over the kitchen for a few hours. And as long as I was going to clean my three horns with valves, why not clean the bugle, too? These are the four:

  • Getzen Eterna Trumpet, Doc Severinsen Model (c.1977)
  • Super Olds Cornet (1954)
  • Jupiter Pocket Trumpet (2000)
  • Getzen Field Trumpet [bugle] (2015)

It’s fall. Had to get my horns ready. In September, UW football games began, and I’m in the Husky Alumni Band. We play at home games. Also, the orchestra at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood resumes performances at certain Sunday services and begins preparations for the annual Christmas musical in December. I’ve played in this orchestra since 2010. Sometime in September, I’d like to busk at Veterans Plaza in Edmonds one more time before this year’s nearby Saturday Market shuts down until next May. I do it to fundraise for the VFW. In October, I begin my 9th year teaching beginning brass at Skyview Middle School in Bothell. And meanwhile, I’m booked to play one-hour trumpet shows at some retirement homes this fall. It’s all very fun.

My horns are now ready. I’m ready. Needless to say, I admire and love my horns. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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More Bands with Brilliant Brass at 2019 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland

Posted by glennled on August 27, 2019

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Opening Fanfare, 2019 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 

The theme of this year’s Royal Ediniburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland was “Kaleidoscope 2019—A Celebration of Glorious Symmetry.” This iconic tattoo is in its 69th season. More than 14 million people have attended the tattoo, and attendance has been a sell-out for 20 consecutive years. It’s spectacular. This year’s show was performed nightly from 2-24 August (~three weeks) on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, and my wife and I attended for the fourth time. We went on opening night. The planning, skill, fitness, discipline, obedience, alertness, teamwork, intelligence, and willpower on display in this show are indicative of what makes an effective, victorious military. And the music is terrific!

The current show features more bands with brass instruments than the other three that we have attended, so it’s one of my favorites. I shot about 400 photos, with close attention on trumpet players. Wouldn’t it be a thrill to perform in this world-famous tattoo, “the Granddaddy of Them All?” Here are a few photos.

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Pipe bands cross the Edinburgh Castle drawbridge onto the esplanade

Performers came from Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, France, China, Nepal, Tasmania, Nigeria, Trinidad, and Tabago. I love the pipes and drums, but I also love conventional wind bands comprised of brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. This year, there were more than the usual number of the latter (in order of appearance):

  • Guards Brigade Band, Silent Drill Platoon and Nigerian Cultural Ensemble
  • Heeresmusikkorps Kassel (Army Band Kassel, Germany)
  • Music De L’Artillerie (Artillery Band of the French Army)
  • Beijing Marching Wind Band and Cultural Display (China)
  • New Zealand Army Band
  • Band of the Scots Guards
  • Band of the Irish Guards
  • Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Tattoo Stage Band

For me, the abundance of these bands made this year’s tattoo one of the top two which I’ve attended. And I’m always thrilled with anticipation when the herald trumpets sound the fanfare to open the show. This year two trumpet ensembles played “Pure Light” and “The Prism.”

The kaleidoscope was invented in 1816 by the Scotsman, Sir David Brewster. The instrument displays infinite combinations of patterns and colors. One hundred and twelve years earlier, in 1704, Sir Isaac Newton named seven hues of color in the visible spectrum of light: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (ROYGBIV). Various mixtures of these hues form all colors, including white. Each group in the show was assigned one of Newton’s hues to use in its performance, thus creating a kaleidoscopic effect, representing the “fabulous and constantly changing human mosaic.”

More than 800 musicians created a human kaleidoscope image when they assembled together as the massed military bands and massed pipes and drums . Watching the many intricate, technically precise formations, maneuvers, and movements of the marchers and dancers, dressed in multi-colored uniforms and clothes, was like watching the ever-changing images inside a kaleidoscope.

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Side-stepping by The French Artillery Band Lyon

If you can’t get to Edinburgh for the next tattoo, perhaps you could attend one of these:

Anne, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, is Patron of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. She writes in the tattoo program, “…the glorious symmetries of marching men and women, their disciplined approach—whatever the weather!—the music, the lighting, the projections [onto the castle wall], fireworks, special effects, the storyline and the appreciation of the audience are the very essence of ‘Tattoo.'”

The tattoo is a not-for-profit charity and has raised more than 11 million pounds for many good armed services beneficiaries and arts organizations over the years.

For my accounts of two of the past three tattoos we have attended, please see my blog posts of 6 September 2018 and 18 September 2014, using the Archives in the left column. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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