Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘cornet’

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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My New Cornet Student Is Only 81!

Posted by glennled on February 18, 2016

1PC-Evolution-font-b-Marching-b-font-Band-font-b-Trumpet-b-font-Player-Fashion-WaterproofUntil now, I’ve never had a trumpet or cornet student who is older than I am! Holy cow, we’re 156 years old! Bob was born in 1934, and is my 26th student. We held his first lesson in his living room on 2 February.

He’s a fan of Joseph W. Marcinkiewicz, author of the instruction book, The Buzzone: The Art of Playing Efficiently and Comfortably. Marcinkiewicz advertises it on his website as “the definitive text for the brasswind player.” Well, blow me down! I had never heard of it. So I bought it. (You never stop learning.)

Bob played cornet all throughout grade school, high school and college but dropped it as he began his career, married, and raised his family. His love of music, especially classical, had convinced him to become a music educator, but he ultimately decided to become an engineer so that he could support his family at the lifestyle level he wanted to. In 1989, 27 years ago, he retired as an engineering manager from U S WEST, a Bell System Operating Company, and now lives with his wife in Snohomish. In retirement, it was time for Bob to do something different. That became travelling in a fifth-wheeler, consulting, listening to music, reading, studying, and today, tutoring mathematics at all levels.

Since college, Bob has been off the horn almost 60 years! Five to 10 years ago, he bought a Bach trumpet and played it for about a year, but its sound was too brilliant for his taste, so he got rid of it. Music gives him “mental stimulation and enjoyment,” he says, and now he wants to become a performer again, not just a listener. (Please see my article, “Hear ‘Your Brain on Music’ by Dr. Larry Sherman,” posted on 2 February 2012.)

Bob’s ambition is to play in a church orchestra by next fall. He has bought a Kanstul cornet, model 1530 (silver) with a 0.470″ bore. Bob’s dream would be someday to play

“Napoli: Variations on a Neapolitan Song,” composed by Herman Bellstedt. The song on which the variations are based is “Funiculi, Funicula” by Luigi Denza in 1880. For a thrill and to appreciate the magnitude of Bob’s dream, copy this link and listen to Ole Edvard Antonsen play it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elo0SPMo6qg. Way to go, Bob—let’s roll!

Never having had private lessons before, Bob realizes that he won’t reach his goals without professional training. He chose me off one of the websites where I advertise myself as a trumpet and cornet tutor. Why cornet (which was very popular in the 19th century), when in the early 20th century, the whole world turned to the trumpet as the “instrument of choice?” Because that’s what he played all through school, and that’s the darker, smoother, mellower sonority that most pleases his ear. Bob remembers that in his school days, he used too much pressure on his mouth. After playing, the mouthpiece’s mark on his lips would stay there for hours. That led him to The Buzzone by Marcinkiewicz. Bob wants to strengthen the muscles in his embouchure so he won’t have to use such heavy pressure to reach the high notes—hard pressure will cut your stamina and endurance and can cause pain or injury.

Zigmant Kanstul launched Kanstul Musical Instruments in 1981. Located in Anaheim, California, one mile east of Disneyland, Kanstul’s 36 craftsmen manufacture a complete line of brass musical instruments. To view Bob’s new cornet, please see http://kanstul.net/detail.php?pass_search=1530.0000&pass_instrument=Cornet.

Marcinkiewicz Co., Inc. makes hand-crafted trumpets, cornets, flugelhorns, trombones, and several unique horns such as pocket and piccolo trumpets, as well as mouthpieces for them all. The factory is in Canby, Oregon. See http://www.marcinkiewicz.com.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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2015 Wreaths Across America–“Never Forget”

Posted by glennled on February 5, 2016

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“Never Forget”

On this same day at this same hour of every year, the same ceremony is conducted in more than 900 locations across America and around the world—wreaths are placed on graves in military cemeteries on the second Saturday of December. It is called Wreaths Across America (WAA) and is an outgrowth of the Arlington Wreath Project, started in 1992. As the popular ceremony spread across the country, WAA was formed in 2007.

Here in Seattle, the theme of the 6th annual ceremony was “Never Forget.” Michael G. Reagan, famed artist of the “Fallen Heroes Project,” was the Keynote Speaker. Reagan was awarded the Citizen Service Before Self Honor (known to some as The Civilian Medal of Honor) on 25 March 2015 by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation in Arlington, VA.

The local ceremony was held at Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, on 12 December. Six military Medal of Honor recipients are buried there. The Navy Wives Club of America (NWCA), Totem 277, led by Donna Turner and Crystal Wilkerson, started hosting this event in 2010. Lorraine Zimmerman is the club’s WAA project leader and site coordinator for Everygreen-Washelli. Totem 277’s territory is from Seattle to Burlington.The primary element of the annual ceremony is the ceremonial wreath dedication by representatives of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and POW/MIAs.

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“Never Forget”–William W. Wilson, former POW, places flag on wreath, followed by hand salute. Photo by Jacque Hodgen.

Zimmerman introduced the POW/MIA representative with these moving words: “William (Bill) W. Wilson, former Prisoner of the Vietnam War, made 33 missions over NVN and Laos, flying an F-111 before being shot down while bombing the Red River docks in downtown Hanoi on 22 December 1972. He evaded capture for a week, was nearly rescued by a Super Jolly Green helicopter, and then was captured by the North Vietnamese on 29 December. He spent a month in the ‘Heartbreak” section of the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ before being moved to the ‘Zoo.’ He returned to U.S. control on the last C-141A out of Hanoi on 29 March 1973 during Operation Homecoming. Bill will now place a flag [on the POW/MIA wreath] in honor of the more than 83,000 United States Servicemen from all branches of the service whose last known status was either Prisoner of War or Missing in Action. These individuals have never returned to their families and homes. We will not forget you.”

Among the many voluntary participants was the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard. As Post Bugler,  I played “Assembly” on my Super Olds cornet at 9 a.m. as Zimmerman issued the Call to Order and the 62nd Airlift Wing Air Force Honor Guard presented the colors. To close the ceremony, the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard fired a perfect rifle salute, and I sounded “Taps.” Afterwards, participants and audience members placed wreaths on numerous tombstones in the cemetery.

For more information, please see:

One photo below is by Geoffrey T. Lewis. All others are by Jacque Hodgen. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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High School Band Day at Husky Stadium—UW vs. Idaho State

Posted by glennled on May 27, 2014

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UW Director of Athletic Bands, Dr. Brad McDavid

On 21 September 2013, the University of Washington Husky Marching Band, under the direction of Dr. Brad McDavid, hosted its annual “Band Day.”  In 2013, the Husky Marching Band, created in 1929, commenced its 84th season.

Selected high school bands from all over the state performed in the second home football game held in the newly renovated Husky Stadium in Seattle. The Huskies beat the Bengals of Idaho State University, 56-0, and as a member of the Husky Alumni Band, I got to play my 59-year old Super Olds cornet again. I’m of the UW Class of 1962.

The photos below were taken by Louis Figueroa (ground level) and Garry Nakayama (press box level). Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

 

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“Taps” for WWII Navy Veteran at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent

Posted by glennled on February 5, 2013

Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA, view of Mt. Rainier

Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA, view of Mt. Rainier

As of now, I have played “Taps” 50 times at various veterans’ memorials and funerals in the Greater Seattle area. The latest veteran so honored was Richard Louis Larson (1927-2013), whose cremated remains were inurned at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent on 2 February.

A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, Richard was renown for his life-long, kind service of others. After he heard me sound “Taps” at a Veterans Day ceremony, he told me he had been a bugler aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Shangri-La (CV-38), where he served from 1945-48 while I was a boy in Texas. According to his memorial service program, Richard saw the first jet airplanes launch from and land on a carrier deck. When that ship crossed the equator, he entered King Neptune’s Realm and

USS Shangri-La (CV-38) underway in the Pacific, crew paraded on flight deck, 17 August 1945, just after V-J Day. U.S. Navy photo.

USS Shangri-La (CV-38) underway in the Pacific, crew paraded on flight deck, 17 August 1946, almost exactly one year after V-J Day. U.S. Navy photo.

was transformed through an old Navy tradition from a pollywood to a shellback. I later learned from Brian Seguin, a fellow VFW and American Legion member with Richard, that in 1946, he participated in Operations Crossroads, during which atomic bombs were tested at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. In September 2011, Brian escorted Richard on his Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. (see www.honorflight.org).  That’s when Brian learned that Richard carried a small Bible, given to him by his parents when he entered the Navy at age ~17.

Richard also was a talented poet and musician. He played cornet, trombone, baritone, and drums in Salvation Army bands. For 35 years, his father had been a chaplain for the Salvation Army men’s service department for alcoholics, helping men rebuild their lives. Richard met Lillian at a Salvation Army camp, and they were married 62 years. Richard often volunteered for the Salvation Army’s Emergency Canteens. And he loved to attend Salvation Army band concerts (see my blog post of 3 June 2012).

He had many more laudable qualities and accomplishments than I have mentioned here—he was special, a man of deep Christian faith and practice, a servant of others. It is blessing to me to sound “Taps” for such men.

Please click on either photo to enlarge it.

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“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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJhYrC8Rq8w.

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 »

“Echo Taps” for War of 1812 Bicentennial Ceremony at Evergreen-Washelli in Seattle

Posted by glennled on July 2, 2012

War of 1812 Monument (front side), Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, Seattle

For six years, the Washington State Society, United States Daughters of 1812 (WSSUSD 1812), labored hard on its project to dedicate a monument honoring those veterans of the War of 1812 who died in Washington Territory. At last, the ceremony was held on Saturday, 23 June, at Evergreen-Washelli, Veterans Memorial Cemetery, in north Seattle. The war had started on 18 June, 200 years earlier, when President James Madison signed the declaration passed by Congress.

The beautiful monument at the foot of the Bell Tower was unveiled by WSSUSD 1812 President Linda Rae Lind of Bremerton. Inscribed on both sides are the names of 16 veterans for whom there are authentic records verifying that they served in the War of 1812 and died in Washington Territory. (Washington became the 42nd state in 1889.)

War of 1812 Monument (back side), Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, Seattle

Of the 16, Abel Ostrander was born first (1777) and William M. Stewart died last (1885), a span of 108 years. Ostrander came from New York and died in Cowlitz County in 1859. Stewart (born in 1794) came from Ohio and died in Pierce County.

Washington State Archivist, Jerry Handfield, was the guest speaker on this day. To conclude the outdoor ceremony, two members of the Washington State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (WASSAR) fired their muskets in a rifle salute, immediately followed by the sounding of “Echo Taps” by me and Lt. Col. Bob O’Neal, U.S. Army (Ret.) who is WASSAR Color Guard Commander. I play a 1954 Super Olds cornet, and Bob plays a 1927 King Silvertone trumpet. Incidentally, 2012 is also the 150th anniversary of the composition of “Taps.”

The War of 1812, fought against the British in the U.S.A., Canada, and in the Great Lakes and on the high seas, is sometimes called the Second War of Independence. It is famous for many things still well-known in American culture. Let me list a few: first, the text of our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” was written by Francis Scott Key during the defense of Ft. McHenry near Baltimore, MD, from British naval bombardment in September, 1814. Second, “Old Ironsides,” the USS Constitution, was never defeated in battle. Named by George Washington, she is the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat and is berthed in Boston. Third, in the midst of the bloody battle between two frigates, USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon, Master Commandant James Lawrence, captain of the Chesapeake, mortally wounded, issued his famous, final command to his men, “Don’t give up the ship!”  Fourth, after a naval battle on Lake Erie in September, 1813, Commodore Oliver Hazard

“Echo Taps” for War of 1812 Vets who died in Washington, sounded by Glenn Ledbetter, VFW Post 1040 Bugler, and Col. Bob O’Neal, SAR (not shown)

Gale Palmer and Stan Wills, SAR, fire musket salute

Perry, U.S. Navy, penned the famous words, “We have met the enemy and they are ours…” Fifth, the British burned the White House and the city of Washington in August, 1814. Sixth, in January, 1815, as the war drew to a close, Major General Andrew Jackson (“Old Hickory”) defeated the British Lieutenant General Sir Edward Pakenham in a lop-sided victory at the Battle of New Orleans. Seventh, Robert Fulton invented the “torpedo,” now known as an underwater mine, and designed the world’s first steam-powered warship, Demologos (later renamed Fulton).

The on-site photos in this post are courtesy of the Washington State Society, United States Daughters of 1812. Please click on any image to enlarge it. For further information on the War of 1812 and the organizations mentioned in this post, please see the following:

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Jonathan Pugh, Cornetist and Trumpeter, Plays Jazz at Third Place Books This Saturday Night

Posted by glennled on March 9, 2012

It’s not often that you can hear outstanding jazz trumpeters play in a family-friendly venue, but this Saturday night you have that rare opportunity! Jonathan (Jon) Pugh, solo jazz cornet and trumpet artist, is playing at 7:30 – 9:30 p.m., Saturday, 10 March, at Third Place Books at 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park. And it’s free!

Meanwhile, if you wish, you can buy an inexpensive meal from the several restaurants surrounding the audience and stage, and you can browse the adjacent bookstore, before and after the entertainment.

His jazz music is melodic! You don’t have to go to a nightclub or bar. Kids of all ages are welcome. It’s totally casual. It’s fun!

Perhaps you have not heard of Jon Pugh. Well, he’s been playing a long time with some famous groups, including being a featured soloist for 30 years with the legendary Don Lanphere (soprano, alto, and tenor saxophonist). Since 1982, he has been a recording artist and clinician representing Conn-Selmer:Holton trumpets/cornets. As a music educator, he’s known for his passion to both entertain, inform, and inspire every member of his audiences. Wouldn’t you like to experience that? Then come hear him, free!

For more information about the event, his jazz style, his discography of CDs, and his background and credentials, please see the following:

Among those listed as artistic influences upon Jon are Tony Frucella, Chet Baker, Clifford Brown and Oscar Peterson.

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