Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘Coach Jim Owens’

Who, Me—Aspire to Inspire—Really?

Posted by glennled on September 2, 2011

“I was only two years old then!” said Dave after he heard me say that I graduated from the University of Washington in 1962. The tall trumpeter with his bright eyes, wide smile, and salt and pepper beard is a fellow-member of the Husky Marching Band Alumni Association (HMBAA). A few minutes before, Dr. Brad McDavid, Director of Athletic Bands at UW, had asked for a show of hands of those Alumni Band members who graduated in the 1990’s: many hands were raised; 1980’s, fewer hands; 1970’s, very few hands; 1960’s, one hand—mine!

We were standing on the field of Husky Stadium last Wednesday night, about to begin a three-hour rehearsal with the Varsity Band in preparation for the pre-game and half-time shows at this Saturday’s football game, opening the new season. The Huskies are playing the Eagles from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, near Spokane. Last season, the Eagles won the 20-team playoff and are the 2011 national champions of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) of the NCAA. And this year, they are again ranked No. 1 in the nation in the pre-season polls. FCS is only one level below the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in which the Huskies play.

New Pac-12 logo painted on Husky Stadium field (photo by Dan Niven)

Classes at UW begin in about four weeks on the 28th of September, and most students have not yet arrived on campus. So, it’s traditional for the Varsity Band to combine with the Alumni Band to perform for the fans and team at the first football game of the year. A few weeks ago, when I volunteered to play at this game, I did not realize what I was getting in for. This Saturday, I’ll be marching on the field alongside and among those smart, lively, 19-22 year old kids, all good musicians, pumped full of adrenaline and testosterone. There will be about 160 of us. That’s bigger than the entire Varsity Band when I was in school. “What have I done?” I thought.

Then I counted the years since I last marched in the band on this field, playing my Super Olds cornet—50 years ago, in 1961, the year the Huskies, led by Coach Jim Owens, won the Rose Bowl game, beating the Minnesota Gophers, 17-7. Holy cow, it’s like a Golden Anniversary! And this is the last year for this stadium. It will be demolished and rebuilt after this season.

After rehearsal, as I was walking slowly back to my car on tired feet, Dave caught up with me, and we chatted about the experience. As our pathways diverged, he shouted, “You’re an inspiration!”

 No—really? Shocking! I didn’t aspire to that. But age just happens, doesn’t it, if you’re lucky like me. I arrived home after 10 p.m., and my wife and I had a long chuckle before going to sleep.

Posted in HMBAA - Husky Alumni Band | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Huskies 30, Cougars 0–Alumni Band Helps Again!

Posted by glennled on November 29, 2009

Glenn's Proud!

Pre-game rehearsal
One push-up for each Husky point scored

For the first time since 1968 (41 years!), the Apple Cup ended in shutout–this time the Huskies held the Cougars scoreless. The headline on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s website on Sunday morning read, “Huskies Crush Cougs in Apple Cup Blowout.” This 102nd game between the two schools started at 3:30 p.m. and was played under lights as a cold wind blew wildly around the stadium. We were among the ~67,000 fans who were so grateful it did not rain. Chris Polk rushed for 130 yards and became the first true UW freshman ever to rush for over 1,000 yards in one season. Jake Locker had the kind of game everyone has expected of him every time he’s played these past three years, running for 94 yards, passing for 196, scoring one touchdown himself, passing for another.

Once again, I attended for free as a member of the Husky Alumni Band (HMBAA). The band’s routine goes like this. We arrive three and half hours before kickoff and have a short rehearsal at the tennis court grandstand just north of Hec-Ed Pavillion. Then we walk to 4-5 tailgate venues in different parking lots. At each site we play about five tunes, ending up with a little longer session at the final stop near the Husky dog and Coach Jim Owens statues at the stadium entrance. In addition to the songs mentioned in my post (below) on 11 October, we played a bunch of other tunes yesterday, including “Shake a Tail Feather,” “Hey! Baby!”, “Vehicle,” “Find Myself a Sunny Spot,” “Polynesian Paralysis,” “Separate Ways,” and one of my favorites, “You Can Call Me Al.” Of course, we always play “Victory for Washington” and “Bow Down to Washington” everywhere–those two are givens.

During the game itself, the routine continues. We play a few tunes during some of the time-outs. Our turn to play is all coordinated with the UW Varsity Band via headsets. Then, after the Varsity Band concludes its half-time show, we play a few tunes from the track in front of the main southside grandstand until the teams return and the second half begins. Next, after the game ends, we play a few tunes in front of the people in the “horseshoe” stands at the west end, where we always sit during the games. Our last song there last night was “Celebration.” People in the stands sang along and swayed to music…it’s great to relish a victory.

Finally, we walk back to the Nordstrom Tennis Center behind Hec-ED, and play some more. I walked there with Dan Niven (see my post of 9 September below). Dan plays trombone, manages the Mills Music Store in Lynnwood, sings in the Total Experience Gospel Choir of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Seattle, and is an actor in various community theater groups. He’ll play the Ghost of Jacob Marley in the Evergreen Family Theatre’s production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Redwood Family Church in Redmond in early December.

We overheard a couple of very pleased fans talking about this victory and about beating the University of California Bears next Saturday. Dan noted that they spoke using the pronoun “we,” meaning the Husky football team. He observed that it’s funny how people own the team when it wins but disown it when it loses, switching to the pronoun, “they.”  It’s “we did this and that” when our team is winning, and “they did this and that” when our team is losing…chuckle.

How did the Alumni Band help “our” team win this historic game? Well, several times during the tailgate playing tour, we played our special version of the “WSU Fite Song.” We started out with the regular tune but suddenly broke into “Old McDonald Had a Farm.” Then we switched back to the regular fight song, only to interrupt it again with “The Farmer in the Dell,” immediately concluding with a most discordant, emphatic “Splat!” And that’s how WE really won the 102nd Apple Cup!

Posted in HMBAA - Husky Alumni Band | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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