Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘band’

New Trumpet Student (#55) Is 6th Grader at Sherwood Elementary School in Edmonds

Posted by glennled on December 6, 2021

Last June, my 55th trumpet student moved to Edmonds, Washington from Johns Creek, Georgia, just north of Atlanta, but there is no southern accent in his speech. How could that be? Perhaps it’s because his Mother once lived in Edmonds and Olympia during her childhood, and his Dad is from Puyallup. So, they must have passed along their Washington accent to him, but they did not pass along or push him into music, although his Dad once played the saxophone. His Mom says he developed his love of trumpet entirely on his own in about the third grade.

Back in Georgia, my trumpeter (now 12) attended Dolvin Elementary School, and now he’s a 6th grader at Sherwood Elementary School. In-person classes have resumed, and he’s in the school band, directed by Lance Ellis. I’m his third trumpet teacher, and for now, all our sessions are online, using Zoom.com. In Johns Creek, his first tutor retired from teaching due to Covid. His second one taught him until the family moved back west this past summer.

During our first lesson last June, I was amazed that he practically had “The Star-Spangled Banner” memorized. He had no trouble with the high F, except that after a short time, his throat would hurt. So, I taught him what it feels like to play with an open throat. He owns a student horn, the Bundy BTR-300 series. He could also play “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again.” Where did his attraction to patriotic songs come from? Again, his Mom says he did it on his own. She says he does like sports (NFL football and NASCAR), so maybe he picked it up from that. He wants to become a firefighter. He sounds like a red-blooded, All-American boy to me!

We began with his school band exercise book, the familiar “Essential Elements, Book 1, Bb Trumpet,” and I had his Mom order Michael Sweeney’s “Patriotic Favorites, Bb Trumpet.” It contains 11 songs, and he can play most of them. He’s at the point in his development where he’s learning a little syncopation. We’re working on rhythms that employ dotted-half, -quarter, and -eighth notes and rests—tricky stuff, learning to count beats and figure out rhythms in different time signatures, learning to recognize downbeats and upbeats.

I believe he is well-advanced for his age. And I love his wonderful smile, enthusiasm, and desire to excel. Our lessons are fun! He already has that competitive drive and pride for which trumpeters are known. It’s the best instrument of them all—that’s what we believe!

How do you get a trumpet player to play fff volume?

Write “mp” on the part.

Why did the military brat stop practicing his trumpet at Christmas?

Because his mother prayed for peace on earth.

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Wow! Arturo Sandoval at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle

Posted by glennled on August 16, 2021

Trumpet superstar Arturo Sandoval came to town, so my wife and I went to hear him play at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle on 22 July. He was there Thursday through Sunday nights, playing one set on the first night and two on the others. We had dinner and enjoyed the show. I confess—I’ve seen his exercise books in the music stores and heard more about him than actually heard him play, and I was very curious to listen and learn.

The music was highly energetic most of the time, but occasionally, things would slow down, like when he would insert his mute but most notably when he left the stage and wandered through the audience singing, “When I Fall in Love,” made most famous by Nat King Cole.

I had not realized how versatile, multi-talented, and widely accomplished Arturo is. I had thought of him mostly as a screamingly-high trumpeter, amazing improvisor, and fast-riff performer. But that evening, I heard him sing, saw him move, listened to him play drums, piano, and synthesizer. And his band—five guys just like him! The man on the bongos was my favorite. The sax player and guitarist are great technicians, but I’m mostly a brass and piano fan.

Arturo talked about coming to the USA from his native Cuba in his 40s, learning to speak English, and about now finally emerging from Covid isolation back into live performances at his age (72)—how good it feels and how much it means to him to be back in front of people, making music, with his band. And his avid fans adore him. It was great to be there!

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Two Buddies from Lawton Elementary School in Magnolia, Seattle Are My Nos. 52 and 53 Trumpet Students

Posted by glennled on July 16, 2020

Think about it—last fall, two good friends start 5th grade at Lawton Elementary School in Magnolia, Seattle and decide to join band together. They both have the same first name, and they live only about 10 blocks apart. What instrument(s)? They decide to play trumpet together. And then this spring, they both decide to take trumpet lessons—from me!

One boy (12) rented his horn from Ted Brown Music in the University District (please see https://www.tedbrownmusic.com/t-seattle.aspx). When band started, there were six trumpet players, but they met only once a week. He was not learning to read music, so his parents offered him private lessons. They found me on http://www.LessonsInYourHome.com, and so it was that I came to their home for the first lesson on 27 February 2020, and began teaching my 52nd trumpet student.

One thing led to another. My wife and I went away on vacation in Honolulu in March. When we returned, Covid-19 restrictions had been imposed, and we self-quarantined for two weeks.

My 53rd student (11) said that at the beginning of school last fall, he had a choice of violin, cello, trumpet, trombone, or clarinet. The clarinet was too long and had too many buttons. The violin would be uncomfortable on his shoulders. He says his arms are too short for the trombone. And the trumpet had only three buttons—aha, the winner! So, he, too, went to Ted Brown Music and rented his trumpet.

There were six trumpeters in the boys’ class. The music teacher, Timothy Burk, told them to learn the notes, and even though he and his friend were not doing that so well, they still were ahead of their classmates. When No. 53 learned that No. 54 was taking private lessons, his parents agreed to let him take lessons, also.

And so it began with our first half-hour lesson on 31 March—online—one boy at 2 p.m., the other at 3 p.m. Good players, both.

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Elementary Band Concert at Skyview Middle School–First of Three for this School Year

Posted by glennled on January 20, 2020

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“Our First Concert!”, Skyview Elementary Band, 12-18-2019

 

My, oh, my—how far they have come since that first day of band class on 7 October! Here they are on 18 December, 73 days later, playing “Jingle Bells” and other tunes on stage at Skyview Middle School in Bothell. It was their very first concert before a large crowd of parents, relatives and friends. IMG_6224

The band is comprised of three sections: brass, woodwinds and percussion. The percussion section started the concert with a stellar, choreographed rendition of “Hot Cross Buns.” Then the woodwind section played “Merrily We Roll Along.” These clarinet and flute players are exceptionally strong this year. Next, the brass section was featured, playing “Lightly Row.” Dan Carlson is the Band Instructor and is assisted by Jane Lin, Percussion Instructor, Tyler Rogers, Woodwind Instructor, and me, Brass Instructor (here at Skyview in my 9th year).

After the sectional features, the whole band played “Good King Wencelas,” “Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” and “Jingle Bells.” IMG_6204 (2)

When the band returned to school on 6 January 2020, it began preparing for its Spring Concert on 11 March at 7:00 p.m. at the Northshore Performing Arts Center (NPAC), located on the campus of Bothell High School (please see http://npacf.org/about-us#directions). The Final Concert of this school year will be at Skyview Middle School Gymnasium on 27 May at 6:00 p.m. Please mark your calendars.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Meadowdale High School’s Winter Band and Orchestra Concert, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on January 3, 2020

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Full Orchestra, Meadowdale HIgh School, Edmonds, 12-17-2019

 

Seven different bands and orchestras from Meadowdale High School (MHS) in Edmonds performed a dozen pieces at the Winter Concert in the Great Hall on 17 December. My wife and I were there to see and hear our granddaughter play in the 22-member Concert Orchestra. Emily Hurd conducts the bands, and Nathan Rengstorf conducts the orchestras.

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Four trumpeters, MHS Wind Ensemble

The Concert Orchestra played “Greensleeves” and “Danza, II Allegro.” As a trumpet player and teacher, I especially enjoyed the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Full Orchestra. “Minor Alterations: Christmas Through the Looking Glass” was the most memorable piece to me, and it was a huge treat to hear the Full Orchestra play “The Polar Express.” The 61-member Full Orchestra  blends strings with brass, woodwinds, and percussion for a big, colorful sound. The concert concluded with the Combined Orchestras (71 members, including two guitars and two percussion) playing “Boughs of Holly.”

The Meadowdale Arts & Music Booster Organization (MAMBO) was there to support and promote the school’s music program. Learn more about MAMBO at http://www.mhsMAMBO.org.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Full Orchestra

 

Wind Ensemble

 

Symphonic Band

 

Combined Orchestras

 

Chamber Orchestra

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Nathan Rengstorf, Conductor

Symphonic Orchestra

Concert Orchestra

MAMBO

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“Sound Wave” Band Sounds Its Last 2019 Sound Waves—And Sounders FC Are MLS Champs Again!

Posted by glennled on December 22, 2019

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Seven trumpeters, Sound Wave Band, MLS Cup match, Century Link Field, 10 November 2019

 

“You’re the Top!” wrote Cole Porter in 1934 during the Great Depression for the musical, Anything Goes. But there’s nothing depressing in 2019 about the FC Sounders and their terrific Sound Wave Band—both are champs! On 10 November, the Sounders beat Toronto FC, 3-1, and won their second MLS championship (2016, 2019).

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Trumpet soloist

I was lucky enough to be there at Century Link Field, thanks to my son-in-law and his wife who have season tickets. They bought two extra tickets, and I sat in the third deck with my 14-year old granddaughter. It was spectacular. We rode the Sounders game train to and from Edmonds. The game, the win, the MLS trophy, the celebration, the music were spectacular!

The Sound Wave Band is comprised of trumpets, mellophones, trombones, baritones, and other instruments (mostly drums). They play before, during and after each match. First, they play in Occidental Square, and then they lead the “March to the Match” at Century Link Field. Once there, one hour prior to kick, they play for the gathering fans outside the stadium, typically at the Northwest Bollards. During the match, they sit on the Green Zone beneath the Hawks Nest and perform the Sounders FC fight song, corner kick grooves, and the Sounders Samba. And finally, after the match, they play for 30 minutes on the stadium’s North Stairs. It’s very stirring music, with many solos and almost continuous choreographed movements—all memorized. They’re tops!

Keith Rousu has been the band director for 11 seasons. He is also Director of Blue Thunder (Seattle Seahawks). He’s a graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University with a Master’s degree in Sports Administration and Leadership. A drummer, he manages the music selection, music arranging, and performance effectiveness.

Sound Wave is available year-round for special performances and events. If you want to join the band, submit your application online at https://www.soundersfc.com/matchday/sound-wave. Annual auditions are held in January.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Before the match

 

 

After the match

Posted in Selected Trumpet Music, Sports Event | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My Trumpet Student Solos at “Jazz Night” at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 20, 2019

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Junior Jazz Band, Eckstein Middle School, Seattle

 

One hundred and eighty-six student musicians performed for a packed audience on “Jazz Night” on 21 November at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle. And one of them was a 6th grade trumpet player who has been taking private lessons from me since May 2018. I recall that he originally chose trumpet because it sounded “jazzy” (see my blog post of 12 May 2018). And here he was now, one and a half years later, my 42nd trumpet student, at this evening concert—the featured trumpet soloist when the 29-member Junior Jazz Band played “Second Line” (Joe Avery Blues). IMG_5627

Mr. Cuauhtémoc Escobedo (“Mr. E” or “Moc”) is Director of Bands, Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz. After the Junior Jazz Band opened the concert, Vocal Jazz II performed two songs.  Next, the 28-member Intermediate Jazz Band, with 7 trumpeters, played four pieces. Fourth on the program was Vocal Jazz I, the largest group (67 members). Lastly, the strong Senior Jazz Band (41 members, including 7 trumpeters) concluded the concert with five pieces.

As I sat again in Eckstein Auditorium, I was reminded of a former trumpet student of mine who also played in the winter concert there, also conducted by Mr. Escobedo, 8 years ago (please see my blog post of 14 December 2011). I remain in touch with his mom, a nurse. She says he continued to play trumpet in the concert, jazz, and pep bands through four years at two high schools. “Band was great for him,” she wrote to me. “It gave him a home wherever he went.” He’s now a senior at Western Washington University in Bellingham, studying manufacturing engineering. “He is quite the young man. I am very proud of him. He has had several 4.0 quarters and is on the Dean’s list. Hopefully, his job search will go well when he finishes.” IMG_5723

That prompted me to re-read my first blog post about him, then a sixth grader and my fourth student. (Please use the Archives in the left column to find 18 November 2009.) He sounded good in tone and articulation but was very frustrated, struggling with fingering, range, and reading music—no wonder—almost no one can teach themselves to play trumpet well. I wrote, “It is my pleasure to help this gentle boy overcome these obstacles. Let’s give the kid some successes! and who knows? maybe we’ll be listening to him play in the jazz, concert and marching bands soon…maybe in the symphony or opera orchestras someday…maybe on some CDs or in the movies when he’s that good. Let him dream! Help him dream! Help him achieve his potential. Or maybe he’ll simply enjoy playing in the school band with his friends for a few years and never take it any further…that’s fine, too. You find good people in bands. Good memories accumulate with the many events, and lifetime friendships often form–even marriages!”

My 42nd student, now at Eckstein, doesn’t struggle with trumpet the way my fourth student did. He’s quite talented and advanced for his age. But I feel the same about both of them. “Let’s give the kid some successes!…Let him dream!…Help him dream!”—and then watch what happens!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Junior Jazz Band

 

Intermediate Jazz Band

 

Senior Jazz Band

 

Vocal Jazz I & II

 

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New Student (#51) in Lynnwood Is in the Homeschool Connections Intermediate Jazz Band

Posted by glennled on December 18, 2019

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Classes for the Homeschool Connections Intermediate Jazz Band are held at Woodinville Alliance Church

 

My 51st trumpet student is my first homeschooled student. He now lives in Lynnwood, but until this year, he had been attending Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, where he was a band member. When he and his parents decided to leave the public school system, he asked them, “What about playing trumpet in band?” They found the solution at Homeschool Connections (please see http://www.connectionsnw.org).

He participates in the Intermediate Jazz Band class on Wednesdays at Woodinville Alliance Church (http://www.wachurch.us/). There was an evening band concert on 2 December at Northlake Christian Church in Bothell (see http://www.northlakecc.org). It was called the Connections Christmas Concert, featuring the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Bands; Intermediate and Advanced Jazz Bands; and Jazz Combo.

My first private, half-hour lesson with him was on 20 November. I always listen to my students play before I choose an instruction book for them. From his middle school band days, he still has the Essential Elements, Trumpet, Book 1, so we decided to keep working out of that. In addition, I had him buy 101 Jazz Songs, Trumpet, published by Hal Leonard, so that he can have fun becoming familiar with some well-known pieces.

I found that his range topped out at D on the staff. So, on the first day, I taught him to play “G” above the staff, and before I left, he had played a note above high C above the staff. Also, he was making an “H” sound into the mouthpiece. Students who do that will not be able to play at fast tempos or learn double- and triple-tonguing. So, I taught him to make a “T” sound into the mouthpiece. He now has to work to make these techniques natural and habitual.

At this stage, my first job is to help him learn the fingering and embouchure positions for each note in the chromatic scale. We want him to develop instant recognition of the names and settings for each note within a two-octave range, low to high G. It is not enough to memorize things intellectually. We must learn by doing. That means “practice, practice, practice.”

I asked how he chose the trumpet. He said there was no demonstration at school where he could try playing various instruments. He chose trumpet from photographs!

According to the Homeschool Connections website, the Intermediate Jazz Band is taught by Robin Strangland. She plays and teaches French horn and plays trumpet in the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO—see http://www.swojo.org). She started the Homeschool Band in this area in 1993. She and her husband run the Northend Jazz Camp. The Advanced Jazz Ensemble is taught by Kevin Hall, trumpeter. He is a Director of Jazz at Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek. Twice, he has received the prestigious “Outstanding Soloist Award” from the International Association of Jazz Educators. He is a Festival Director for the Snohomish Valley and Mill Creek Jazz Festivals. You’ll find more information about both these instructors at http://www.connectionsnw.org/about-us/.

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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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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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