Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘cornet’

Trumpet Show at Fairwinds Brighton Court Retirement Community in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on September 29, 2018

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Residents of Fairwinds Brighton Court in Lynnwood applaud Trumpet Show, “Showtune Favorites,” by Glenn Ledbetter

 

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Ruth M. MacDonald celebrates her 84th birthday on New Year’s Day, 2010

Last year, when I first thought of performing a trumpet show at numerous retirement homes, Fairwinds Brighton Court (FBC) was my initial target venue. That’s because my dear mother-in-law, Ruth M. MacDonald, lived there in Room 344 for three years, 2010-2012. She enjoyed the various shows on Sunday afternoons, and we relatives enjoyed attending with her often. So, on 23 September, I dedicated my performance and paid tribute to her—a bright spirit with a warm heart full of love, kindness, and good humor, may she rest in peace. My wife, daughter, and granddaughter attended and honored her with me.

My one-hour trumpet show, “Showtune Favorites,” comprised 24 songs from musicals and movies that are quite familiar to the audience of about 25-30. In fact, they sang along with many of the songs, including “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'” from Oklahoma!, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz, ” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady.” 

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Juna Davies, accompanist to Glenn Ledbetter on trumpet, playing “You’re A Grand Old Flag”

For the finale, I was accompanied by pianist Juna Davies, a FBC resident and former friend of Ruth’s.  We distributed a handout of the lyrics, and the audience sang as we played “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” It was written by George M. Cohan in 1906, for the musical, George Washington, Jr. It is said to be the first song from a musical to sell more than one million copies of sheet music. Today, most of us know it from James Cagney’s performance in the 1942 movie, Yankee Doodle Dandy. 

During the show, I used two trumpets and one cornet, two mutes, and four mouthpieces.

Fairwinds Brighton Court

Located at 6520 196th St. SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036, a couple of blocks west of Highway 99,  FBC was built in 1989. It is quite lovely and offers both independent and assisted living apartments for seniors. They come in three types: studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom, all with fully equipped kitchens, walk-in closets, individually controlled heating, and built-in emergency communication systems. The studios are 377 sq. ft., one-bedrooms are 547 sq. ft., and two-bedrooms are 788 sq. ft. The floor plans and 34 beautiful photos of the exterior and interiors are shown on the website, https://www.leisurecare.com/our-communities/fairwinds-brighton-court.

Some of the many apartment features and facility amenities are listed here:

  • Wall-to-wall carpeting
  • Showers and safety bars in every bathroom
  • Full-service dining, seasonal menus, healthy choices
  • Intimate dining room for private parties
  • Bistro
  • Room service for in-room dining
  • Accepts indoor cats and small dogs
  • Reserved parking
  • Full-service salon
  • Health and wellness center
  • Complimentary laundry facilities
  • Weekly housekeeping and linen service
  • Concierge services
  • Regularly scheduled shuttle service
  • Activity rooms
  • Card, bingo, bridge & poker rooms
  • Interior courtyard
  • Luxurious entertainment lounge with piano and fireplace
  • Full calendar of fun and engaging programs, events and activities

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Photos of the trumpet show are by Ruth’s granddaughter, Janelle Squires.

 

Photos Courtesy of Fairwinds Brighton Court

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My 43rd Trumpet Student—5th Grader at Northwood Elementary School, Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on July 14, 2018

My newest trumpet student—No. 43—will enter fifth grade this fall at Northwood Elementary School on Mercer Island, where I lived for 30 years before moving to Edmonds. He plans to join the beginning band, and to get a jump start, we began lessons on 16 June. I now have two M.I. students (please see my blog posts of 18 November 2017 and 21 May 2018). dc8Mgnjgi[1]

How and why did he choose trumpet? He heard his cousin play trumpet, and he liked the sound of it. (That cousin has since moved from M.I. to California.) It was that simple and easy. His two older brothers play piano, and he also started piano lessons earlier this year.

What’s the M.I. 5th grade band program like? According to the Northwood website, Carol Krell is the Director, and the band is supported by the Mercer Island Schools Band Boosters (please see http://www.mercerislandschools.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=5624 and http://www.misbb.wordpress.com). The first school band lesson will be on the evening of 12 September. Band classes begin on 17 September, meeting twice per week from 8:15 – 9 a.m. Each student has one class with a specialist on their instrument, and one full band class. The instruction book will be Essential Elements 2000, Book 1.

Where is my student eventually headed? To the Mercer Island High School Band! And then he’ll get to do some very cool things like this: on New Year’s Day 2019, the MIHS Band will march in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA prior to the Rose Bowl Football Game. I did that as a member of the Varsity Marching Band playing cornet, University of Washington, 1 January 1961, when the UW Huskies beat the top-ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, 17-7. May my newest trumpet student have as much fun in band as I did!

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Milestone—My First Tutored Student’s Last Concert at Garfield High School

Posted by glennled on June 26, 2018

 

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Benjamin Laverde, Principal Tubist, Senior, Garfield Symphony Orchestra, 2018, conducted by Kimberly Roy

 

“Become Your Best!” is the motto I printed on my business card in 2009 when I began private tutoring of trumpet and cornet students. In the nine years I’ve been doing this, the most accomplished musician to whom I ever gave private lessons just graduated from Garfield High School and will attend Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts this fall. He is Benjamin Laverde, tubist.

Benjamin Laverde (R), cornetist, 4th grader, plays in his first public school concert, Lowell Elementary School, Seattle

Ben was my very first student. I taught him to play his cornet when he was a 4th and 5th grader at Lowell Elementary School on Capitol Hill in Seattle. He made All-City Honors Elementary Band in 2011 as a 5th grader (see my blog post of 10 April 2011). Our lessons were fun. Often, for example, when I would arrive at his home in Crown Hill, we would play “Hide and Seek.” I’d walk in the front door and ask his mom, “Where’s Ben?” He would be lying flat, face down, arms tight against his sides, rigid, on the living room couch. She’d say, “I don’t know. Perhaps he’s downstairs.” I’d say, “I’ll just wait here on the couch while you go find him.” At the last instant as I sat down, he would quickly squirm out of the way, and I would say, “Oh, here he is! I found him.” And we would all laugh and get down to business. He was always smart, talented, curious, explorative, and energetic.

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Benjamin Laverde, Senior, Garfield High School, Seattle

From the very beginning, he told me that he ultimately wanted to play tuba. His chance to do so came when he was preparing to enter Hamilton International Middle School (HMIS) in Wallingford as a 6th grader. At a music orientation session in the spring while he was still a 5th grader, he told the HMIS band director, Daniel Rowe, that he wanted to play tuba, so Mr. Rowe gave him a smaller-size tuba to practice that summer. Alas, after two years (2009-2011), I lost my first “trumpet” student. (But he still owns his cornet.)

Ben Tackles the Tuba

Meanwhile, I had picked up Trumpet Student No. 11  who lives in Magnolia and was attending Lawton Elementary School (see my blog post of 14 November 2010). Eventually, he also entered HMIS, and when I attended some of his band concerts, there also was Ben on tuba in the more advanced band. At one such concert in 2014, I learned from his parents that, as an 8th grader in 2013, Ben had made the beginning orchestra of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) and that Ben would be attending Garfield High School.

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Ben Laverde, Principal Tubist, Garfield Symphony Orchestra, 13 June 2018

Year by year, Ben progressed through SYSO’s system of the four full orchestras which include brass players: Symphonette (Beginning), Debut (Intermediate), Junior (Advanced Intermediate), and finally, while a senior at Garfield, the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (Flagship) where he was principal tubist. According to the SYSO website (www.syso.org), “The orchestra performs three regular season concerts in Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony, and regularly partners with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Seattle Opera, regional Broadway musical theater organizations, local choruses, and internationally acclaimed guest artists and conductors.” SYSO was founded in 1942, during World War II. Ben performed in yearly side-by-side concerts with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra for four years (2015-2018).

In 2016, Ben made All-State Concert Band, sponsored by the Washington Music Educators Association. He has studied with the following tuba tutors:

  • 2012-13—Ryan Schultz, current principal tubist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet
  • 2014-15—Chris Olka, former principal tubist of the Seattle Symphony
  • 2016-17—Jon Hill, former Artist in Residence, University of Washington
  • 2018—John DiCesare, current principal tubist Seattle Symphony

Recently, when I asked Ben what had always attracted him to tuba, he said that originally, it was because he liked the Sousaphones which he saw in a marching band. They looked cool, and he liked the sound. Ironically, he’s never played in a marching band. It doesn’t bother him that he almost never gets to play melodies and solos. In fact, for him, playing bass is more fun and less stressful.

Among his most memorable highlights while at Garfield was a trip to New York City in March 2017, when the orchestra performed at Elizabeth High School in New Jersey. Another was performing in May 2018, with the famous Seattle rapper, Macklemore, at the Seattle Symphony’s “Youth. Equity. Access” concert hosted by Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback. A third was when he performed in June 2015, at the benefit, “Canoche, a Night with Robinson Cano & Friends.” Cano is the Seattle Mariners’ All-Star second baseman, and at the dinner were some of Cano’s friends from both the Mariners and New York Yankees, the Seattle Seahawks, and rapper mogul and agent, Jay-Z.

Ben’s Last Garfield Orchestra Concert

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Aadi Lahiri, principal trumpeter, Garfield Symphony Orchestra, played the solos in Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks,” 13 June 2018

On 13 June 2018, as Principal Tubist of the 82-member Garfield Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kimberly Roy, Ben performed in his last school concert—the Graduation Concert. I made it a point to attend and mark this milestone by seeing and hearing my most accomplished former student one final time. I met him, his parents, William and Kara, and his grandparents there. The orchestra, which includes five trumpeters, performed the following challenging pieces splendidly:

  • “Music for the Royal Fireworks” by George Frideric Handel, featuring Aadi Lahiri, trumpeter
  • “Cello Concerto, op. 85” by Edward Elgar, featuring Jonathan Lin, cellist
  • “Concerto in C, op.37” by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, featuring Zofia Sabee, cellist
  • “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein

Aadi Lahiri, trumpeter, will be attending St. John’s College in the fall, majoring in philosophy and math with a minor in music. St. John’s is one college with two campuses, one in Annapolis, Maryland and one in Santa Fe, New Mexico, both historic state capitals.

Ben’s Future: Clark University

Ben will attend Clark University on an academic scholarship. He says he’s undecided about a degree major, but it seems unlikely to be music. However, his parents say they would not be surprised if Ben finds some way to continue to playing tuba while at Clark.

A liberal-arts based, private non-profit, research university, Clark was founded in 1887. According to its website, it has a student/faculty ratio of 10:1. The average undergraduate class size is 21. The total enrollment of degree-seeking students in 2017 was about 3100. The average high school GPA of its first-year undergraduates (day college) is 3.63. The most popular declared majors (5-year average, including double-majors) are Psychology (17%); and Biology, Economics, Political Science, and Business Management (7% each). Ben is very impressed with Clark’s geography degree program. The Graduate School of Geography at Clark has granted more Ph.D degrees in that field than any other program in the USA. As of May 2017, Clark had about 550 endowment funds with a combined market value of ~$411 million. The percentage of undergraduates who receive some kind of financial aid is 93%. Please see http://www.clarku.edu.

Worchester is the second most populous city (~185,000) in New England, after Boston, which is about 40 miles east.

“Become Your Best!”—has Ben been done it? For now, yes indeed, but forever, no. His adult life is just beginning, and we can all continuously get better until we pass. I’m very proud of him. Viva Ben! Viva La Musique!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Trumpet Show at Covenant Shores Retirement Community on Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on May 24, 2018

 

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Covenant Shores, Mercer Island

Fifteen years after moving from Mercer Island to Edmonds, I returned to M.I. to do something I had neither dreamed of nor could have predicted when I lived there for 30 years (1973-2003)—i.e., perform a one-hour show on my trumpet! Oh, I still have my car serviced at Mercer Island Service Center, and I still use my same dentist, Lewis and Gibson, DDS, after all these years. But to play “Showtune Favorites: Hit Songs from Musicals and Movies” for about 50 residents of Covenant Shores (CS) Retirement Community—“Who’da thunk it?”

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See? Here’s proof: some of my jokes are funny!

The CS Chaplain, Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos, longtime family friend, invited me to Fellowship Hall for the show on 17 May. That’s Norwegian Constitution Day—his mother, Star (91), is of Norwegian descent. The day commemorates the signing of the Norwegian Constitution in Eidsvoll 204 years ago on 17 May 1814. More about this later.

“Showtune Favorites” features 25 songs written during 1906 to 1992 which were sung in  South Pacific, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, Show Boat, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, Hello Dolly, Gigi, Grease, Aladdin, and others. The audience sings along with me, as I play. I use two trumpets, one cornet, two mutes, and three mouthpieces.

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“Showtune Favorites” trumpet show by Glenn Ledbetter

The finale was “You’re a Grand Old Flag” by George M. Cohan in 1906. It was sung by James Cagney in the movie, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942). I invited Chaplain Greg on stage with me to lead the singing, and Roxanne Helleren, CS’s Resident Life Director, accompanied us on the piano. Suddenly, Chaplain Greg vigorously waved the Norwegian flag! After the laughs, he brought out the American flag, and we burst into song. It was rousing, and the audience clapped in rhythm as they sang.

Covenant Shores opened in 1978, and today, it occupies 12 acres of land on Lake Washington waterfront with a private marina. There are 298 apartments for rent, as follows:

  • Residential Living: 208
  • Assisted Living: 32
  • Memory Care: 15
  • Skilled Nursing: 43

Floor Plans:

There are 12 different floor plans in the complex of buildings. Please see https://www.covenantshores.org/floor-plans.

  • Adventurer: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 806 s.f.
  • Tradewinds: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 633 s.f.
  • Tradewinds: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 806 s.f.
  • Islander: 2 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 955 s.f.
  • Custom Islander: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,600 s.f.
  • Tradewinds: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 955 s.f.
  • Tradewinds Plus Den: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,300 s.f.
  • Voyager: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,182 s.f.
  • Lighthouse: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 1,086 s.f.
  • Lighthouse Plus Den: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,753 s.f.
  • Lighthouse Plus Den: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,504 s.f.
  • Shoreview: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 955 s.f.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Photos by Greg Asimakoupoulos and Bob Bowen, Covenant Shores:

 

Courtesy of Covenant Shores:

 

Photos by Glenn Ledbetter

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Trumpet Show at Chateau at Bothell Landing

Posted by glennled on May 14, 2018

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Glenn Ledbetter’s “Showtune Favorites Trumpet Show” at Chateau at Bothell Landing

 

More than 25 residents of the Chateau at Bothell (CABL) Senior Living Community came to hear me perform my one-hour trumpet show, “Showtune Favorites,” last Thursday, 3 May. My show consists of about 25 well-loved songs from musicals and movies such as South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Carousel, Show Boat, Hello Dolly, Gigi, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Grease, Aladdin, and more. I used two trumpets, one cornet, four mouthpieces, and two mutes. Residents sang along as I played and kindly laughed at my jokes.

CABL is located on a hillside, and its buildings and grounds are strikingly beautiful. It opened in 2003, and has a total of 262 rooms for rent, offering independent living, assisted living, memory care (25 residents), and respite care.

There are a plethora of Life Enrichment Amenities:

  • Stage and auditorium
  • Elegant dining room
  • Modern bistro restaurant
  • Private dining room
  • Outdoor dining courtyard
  • Health club
  • Fitness studio
  • Heated indoor therapy pool
  • Heated indoor lap pool
  • Library
  • Computer stations with internet access
  • Woodshop
  • Parking garages
  • Spa room
  • Full-service salon
  • Complimentary laundry facilities
  • Concierge services
  • Air conditioned bus with wheelchair lift
  • Chateau car service

There are 20 different Floor Plans: please see http://www.chateau-bothell-landing.com/senior-living/wa/bothell/floor-plans

  • Studio (3) – 404-470 s.f.
  • 1 Br, 1 Bth (10) – 603-780 s.f.
  • 2 Br, 2 Bth (7) – 930-1287 s.f.

Photos of are courtesy of Chateau at Bothell Landing (except for a couple of the front entrance by me). Aly Winters of the CABL’s Life Enrichment Team, headed by Lacy Steed, L.E. Director, took the pictures during the show. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

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“Showtune Favorites” Trumpet Show at Chateau Pacific Retirement Community in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on April 18, 2018

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Glenn Ledbetter’s “Showtune Favorites” trumpet show, Chateau Pacific Retirement Community, Lynnwood

Trumpet shows at retirement communities are unusual. More often, the residents are treated to piano, guitar, or flute music and singers. But after I performed a one-hour show entitled “Showtune Favorites: Hit Songs from Musicals and Movies” on 29 March for an audience of about 40+ in the Fireside Lounge at Chateau Pacific in Lynnwood, Andrea Uchytil, the Life Enrichment Director, said to me, “We want you back soon!”

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Andrea Uchytil, Life Enhancement Director, Chateau Pacific Retirement Community

Before the show, she had warned me, “People come and go during these shows.” But there was very little of that. People hummed and sang along to songs from The Sound of Music, Porgy and Bess, Casablanca, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, Hello Dolly, and more. And they chuckled or groaned at my jokes. I performed at Happy Hour (3:30 p.m.), and indeed, it was a happy time for all of us.

I used three horns, two mutes, and three mouthpieces during the show: my Super Olds cornet (1954), Getzen Eterna Severinsen trumpet (c. 1977), and Jupiter JPT-416 Pocket Trumpet (2000). IMG_4983

Meanwhile, I enjoyed learning about Chateau Pacific Retirement Community (see http://www.chateau-pacific.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/Chateau-Retirement-144233238701/ ). It is located near the intersection of State Highways 99 and 525 in north Lynnwood.

Chateau Pacific was built in 2000, and is 4 stories high. The community has the capacity of 147 apartments, including the Memory Care units which can accommodate 24 residents. The Independent and Assisted Living units are integrated throughout the whole community. Units for Respite Care are not available on a regular basis.

There are five basic floor plans. Counting the variations of those plans, there are actually 15 different layouts, as shown on the website:

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Chateau Pacific Retirement Community, Lynnwood

  • Studio, 1 Bth – from 294 to 431 sq.ft.
  • 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth – from 457 to 738 sq.ft.
  • 2 Bdrm, 1 Bth – from 821 to 834 sq.ft.
  • 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth – from 854 to 895 sq.ft.

The Photo Gallery at http://www.chateau-pacific.com/senior-living/wa/lynnwood/photo-gallery contains 20 photos, showing the rooms, common areas including indoor pool and fitness room, garden, patio, fireside lounge area, game room, and library reading room.

Photos by Brian Seguin, Gary Walderman, and Chateau Pacific. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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My “Things Remembered” Show at SHAG Retirement Community in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 20, 2017

 

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Glenn Ledbetter (background) plays trumpet and cornet in his one-hour show, “Things Remembered,” for SHAG’s Lynnwood City Center Senior Living residents

 

Last Saturday afternoon, 15 December 2017, about 45 people in a retirement community whom I’d never met came to hear me play trumpet. I had promised to perform a one-hour show for them, playing a mixture of 25 songs—12 Christmas songs and 13 songs from classic musicals and movies. I entitled my show “Things Remembered.”

I chose songs to induce them to remember different times and stages in their own lives. Here are some examples. One of the most beautiful songs ever written, “Over the Rainbow,” expresses our universal hopes and dreams about finding happiness and IMG_4631success, and “I’ve Got the World on a String” expresses our achievements of the same. But then, “Stormy Weather” expresses our feelings of failure and depression, while “Make Someone Happy” answers the question of how to make those Over-the-Rainbow dreams come true—love. For caring for babies, those helpless, totally dependent creatures we conceived, “Summertime” says it best.

The Christmas songs I played were to entice us to remember being a kid and later, having kids and grandkids. They tell us of the birth of our Savior. They renew our spirit, they spark new hopes and plans and joy and peace. My elderly audience sang the words from memory.

IMG_4641For thinking about retirement, I chose “When I’m Sixty-Four.” For feeling gratitude, I played “God Bless America.” For summing up our lives, I played the lovely, precious “What a Wonderful World,” and then finished with this earnest farewell, “Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas.”

Amongst the songs, I worked in a dozen jokes that I have shared this year with my 12-year old granddaughter, who last Christmas gave me a whole book of jokes. And I offered a handout to the audience—a list of 50 jokes and riddles from that same book, so that they could share them with their own grandchildren. All 30 copies disappeared.

I played both my Getzen trumpet (Doc Severinsen model) and Super Olds cornet (63 years old). Sometimes I used a Harmon mute, as in “Santa Baby.” When I use a deep-cup mouthpiece with the cornet, it sounds like a flugelhorn. I tried to make my horns sing the lyrics of those lovely songs. IMG_4599

Their kind gifts totaled $20, which I then donated to VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood, where I am the Post Bugler.

 

SHAG’s Lynnwood City Center Senior Living

Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG) is a non-profit organization formed in 1988 and is the largest provider of affordable senior apartment homes in Washington State. SHAG offers some units at market rates with no tenant-income restrictions, and others which are for tenants living on limited incomes. In compliance with state and federal laws, SHAG gladly accepts Section 8d and VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) certificates and vouchers.

SHAG  communities serve more than 5,000 active, independent seniors in 25+ locations in the Puget Sound region, from Bellingham to Olympia, including eight locations in Seattle. These locations are near public transit hubs, retail shopping and public services.

All SHAG senior living communities have income and/or age restrictions that residents must meet in order to qualify for an apartment. The Lynnwood City Center Senior Living community serves seniors of all income levels who are 61 or older by the end of the IMG_4649 current year or 55 or older and disabled. The minimum lease term is 6 months, if available, but leases are generally for 12 months. The units are 1- and 2-bedroom size. Certain units have washer/dryer hookups and reserved garage parking. However, you need not own a car to live here. If you qualify, you can join SHAG’s Nissan Leaf Program and drive a so-called “company car.” Many SHAG residents contract with in-home care providers for housekeeping and medical help.

Amenities at Lynnwood City Center include courtyards, a rooftop deck, fully equipped fitness center, social room and TV lounge, craft and game room, business center, pea patch, rooftop dog run, free Wi-Fi in common areas, and social activities. Small pets, such as cats or dogs weighing 25 lbs. or less, are welcome. There is a two-pet maximum per household, and a $100 fee per pet is due at move-in. All pets are subject to approval.

You can reach SHAG’s Lynnwood City Center at www.shaglynnwood.com and 425-201-5284. For SHAG itself, the website is http://www.housing4seniors.com, telephone 1-844-592-SHAG (7424).

Photos are courtesy of SHAG’s Lynnwood City Center. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

 

 

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Busking for VFW at Edmonds Veterans Plaza

Posted by glennled on October 11, 2017

 

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Glenn Ledbetter, busking at Veterans Plaza in Edmonds

The ad said that Saturday, 7 October, would be the last day this year for the Edmonds Museum Summer Market (see http://www.historicedmonds.org/summermarket). So I hustled down to the adjacent Veterans Plaza, set up my trumpet and cornet at about 10:30 a.m., and played for 1.5 hours until noon. It was the first time I’d done it since 1 July—my wife and I had traveled to Washington, D.C., Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England for most of July and August.

My repertoire of some 125 songs comes mostly from musicals and movies, plus patriotic songs. Kind and generous people came up to make donations and talk. Music brings out the best in us, doesn’t it? To me, that’s why God gave us beauty and spread so much artistic talent among all the nations and cultures on earth. I often ask my listeners, “What’s your favorite musical?” One woman said Hello, Dolly, so I played the title song. Another said Fiddler on the Roof, and I played “If I Were a Rich Man.” Sometimes I sing, too, just because it’s so much fun, not because I can sing well, believe me. I like to sing “O, What a Beautiful Morning,” “St. James Infirmary,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Shenandoah,” “When I Fall in Love,” “What a Wonderful World,” and a few others.

I raised $52 in that hour and a half. Then I gave half of it to VWF Post 8870 in Edmonds and VFW Post 1040 in Lynnwood, where I am the Post Bugler. Busking and teaching trumpet make me feel like Johnny Appleseed. Try it—you’ll like it, too.

 

 

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“Taps” for Skyline’s Annual Memorial Walk in Seattle, Honoring Veterans

Posted by glennled on November 10, 2016

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Skyline at First Hill is a Presbyterian retirement community in downtown Seattle near St. James Cathedral and Harborview Hospital. Between its two wings, one for independent living (Skyline Towers) and the other for assisted living (Skyline Terraces), is a courtyard. That’s where I stood in the rain on 2 November to sound “Taps” on my Getzen bugle after the responsive reading of “We Remember Them” by Sylvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Riemer, which is found in the Jewish Prayer Book (please see http://hmd.org.uk/resources/poetry/we-remember-them-sylvan-kamens-rabbi-jack-riemer). Then “Taps” closed the second annual “Skyline Memorial Walk” ceremony hosted by Skyline’s chaplain, The Reverend Elizabeth Graham.

img_4393Earlier, the residents and staff of Skyline had been invited to submit the names of veterans and others whom they wished to be remembered in advance of Veterans Day, 11 November. Their names—about 200—were read aloud, interspersed with periodic bell ringing, before the audience. Twenty, mostly elderly people gathered in the Madrona Community Room: two men, 18 women, silent in their memories of their dear veterans of WWI, WWII, and every conflict since, and others.

The names were then written on individual placards staked into the fertile soil in the planters in the courtyard, where they remained for a week so that the residents, staff and guests could walk among them. img_4419

Isn’t it amazing? In place after place across the nation, around the world, year after year, our veterans are honored. The lowest, the highest, it matters not. To paraphrase a famous saying, when you put on the military uniform, whether on active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve, you write a blank check at that point in your life, made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including your life.” Engraved on my bugle is a citation of the Biblical verse, John 15:13. We honor such men and women.

Rev. Graham found me through my membership in Bugles Across America (please see http://www.buglesacrossamerica.org/ and my post of 4 May 2015). I’m glad she did. I’m glad I played cornet through high school and college. I’m glad I teach private trumpet lessons. I’m glad I teach beginning brass at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell. I’m glad I play trumpet in the Husky Alumni Band. I’m glad I play in the Alderwood Community Church Orchestra in Lynnwood. I’m glad I’m the VFW Post 1040 Bugler. All these things enable me to sound “Taps” for veterans every chance I get—it’s my honor, and I’m grateful. Lucky me.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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7th Annual Trumpet Recital in Edmonds, 18 June 2016

Posted by glennled on July 24, 2016

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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.

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