Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘Getzen’

8th Annual “Wreaths Across America” Ceremony at Evergreen-Washelli in Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 29, 2017

Air Force Master Sgt. Shanda De Anda salutes the wreath on which she just placed a flag (2)

Air Force Master Sgt. Shanda De Anda salutes the USAF wreath. Photo by Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.

On Saturday, 16 December 2017, a crowd gathered at Veterans Cemetery at Evergreen-Washelli in north Seattle to participate in the Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony, along with 1,422 other participating locations nationwide. The ceremony is held annually on the 3rd Saturday in December.

Locally, it was the 8th annual WAA event, hosted by the Navy Wives Club of America (NWCA), Totem 277 (Seattle to Burlington), with Lorraine Zimmerman the emcee.
The guest speaker was Col. Anthony D. Babcock, USAF, Commander, 62nd Maintenance Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

At Arlington National Cemetery, more than 75,000 volunteers placed 244,700 wreaths (one for each marker there). It was the largest crowd since the tradition began in 1992. A network of hundreds of volunteer drivers trucked nearly 500 truckloads of  more than 1,565,000 remembrance wreaths to every state in the union.  Other dedicated volunteers committed countless hours to conduct this coordinated event that helps accomplish WAA’s mission to “Remember, Honor, and Teach.” Please see the WAA Official Facebook page and its website,, as well as

VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood, supplied the Color Guard and Honor Guard (rifle team and bugler). I sounded “Taps” on my Getzen bugle at the close of the ceremony. The Post’s website is

For an 11-photo slideshow with captions by Alan Berner, The Seattle Times, please see

For more information on both WAA and this local event, please see my past blog posts of:

  • 30 Dec 2016
  • 5 Feb 2016
  • 28 Apr 2015
  • 9 Jan 2013
  • 16 Dec 2011

These photos are courtesy of Alan Berner, The Seattle Times. 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



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 and 425-201-5284. For SHAG itself, the website is, 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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Photo Gallery of Edmonds Community College’s 5th Annual Veterans Day Celebration

Posted by glennled on November 24, 2017


Color Guard, VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood

As Dr. Jean Hernandez, President, Edmonds Community College (ECC), plans to retire at the end of this year, she leaves behind the thriving Veterans Resource Center (VRC) among the many credits in her education career legacy. This was evident during the recent 5th Annual Veterans Day Celebration at the Black Box Theatre on 1 November.


L to R: Dr. Jean Hernandez, Glenn Ledbetter, and Chris Szarek, during “To the Color.”

Under the leadership of Chris Szarek, VRC sponsored the event and was touted as a model program for other community colleges. Mr. Szarek is a U.S. Navy Seabee (retired).

Please see VRC’s webpage ( and my posts on this blog of 28 June 2017, 20 July 2016, 18 August 2015, and 17 June 2014.

I was again honored to sound the bugle call, “To the Color,” at the opening of the program. Dr. Hernandez was the Guest of Honor; Jade Jeter-Hill was the Emcee; Dr. Bill Keppler, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) Emeritus, was the Guest Speaker; and the POW/MIA White Table Ceremony was led by Jen Matthews, Director, Black Box Theater. During a slide show of ECC veteran students, staff and faculty, a trio of T.C. Kouyeas, Jr., Chris Szarek, and Kelvin Nesvog, performend “I Won’t Back Down,” composed by the late Tom Petty.

Below is a photo gallery of a few of the people who participated in this year’s ceremony. Photos are courtesy of VRC, ECC. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.


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“Taps” at Annual Skyline Memorial Walk in Seattle

Posted by glennled on November 19, 2017

IMG_5975What’s it like, when Veterans Day rolls around each November and Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are fast approaching, to live in a retirement community? If you’ve lost a spouse or child or family or friends or pets, it might be quite lonely. Why not remember, honor, and celebrate those who have passed? That’s the idea behind the 3rd Annual Memorial Walk at Skyline at First Hill, a Presbyterian retirement community in downtown Seattle near St. James Cathedral and Harborview Hospital.

The Memorial Walk is in a lovely courtyard between the facility’s two wings: Skyline Towers (for independent living) and Skyline Terraces (for assisted living). Adjacent is a IMG_5972room where the ceremony was conducted on 8 November. In the weeks prior, residents were asked to submit the names of people they want to be remembered. This year, some 200 names were reverently read aloud to the attendees. Afterwards, people wandered through the courtyard, remembering again.

For more information and photos, please see my post of 10 November 2016. Simply click on that month in the left column of this blog. For the second year in a row, I was honored to sound “Taps” on my Getzen bugle at the close of the ceremony.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.


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Veteran (76) Takes Lessons to Sound “Taps” on His Bugle

Posted by glennled on November 17, 2017

Sounding “Taps” sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it’s not. Just ask my 37th student who started with his first private lesson from me on 6 October 2017. He’s the captain of the Color Guard of VFW Post 3063 in Ballard in Seattle, and he wants to play “Taps” at various military memorials, ceremonies and funerals.

The B-flat bugle (without valves) can sound only harmonics, and “Taps” is comprised only four—G, C, and E on the staff and G above the staff. Moreover, there are only 24 notes in “Taps.” He signed up for five one-hour lessons. You might guess that that would be enough. Maybe so, if you’d played a brass instrument well in your youth. But if you didn’t, and you’re 76 years old? It’s not easy, my friend. Bugler[1] clip art

There are only a few beginning trumpet students in fifth grade who can hit that high G after 9 months of taking band classes at school. But of course, at that young age, band students don’t practice much at home, and their muscles are not yet fully developed.

So, since my man is determined to succeed and his wife is supportive, he can do it—if he is patient and practices regularly. First, he must gain control of the bugle. He must train his embouchure to hit, with consistent accuracy, the “sweet spots” in the slots for each of the four notes. He must learn to properly tongue those notes. Then, we’ll improve his tone and phrasing. He’ll learn how to breathe diaphragmatically and play with an open throat. When he sounds good in private at home, we’ll help him learn how to control his emotions when performing in public. He is my 37th private student and my first bugle-only student. Someday, he’ll master it.

Fortunately, he owns an outstanding bugle. That helps a lot. It’s the same one that I use–the Getzen Field Trumpet Model M2003E with B-flat and G tuning slides. I’ve mentioned it in numerous blog articles, and I featured it with photos at You’ll find this model on the manufacturer’s website,

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Annual “15 Minutes of Fame” at the Independence Day Parade in Edmonds

Posted by glennled on July 10, 2017


Lynnwood Community Band plays the famous march, “Washington Post,” at Edmonds Independence Day Parade, 2017

“9-11” changed everything. As we veterans marched in the parade through the streets of downtown Edmonds on Independence Day, the crowd of thousands continuously clapped and cheered. To us on this perfect, sunny, 71-degree day, the parade was a shower of blessings such as we ordinary men and women undoubtedly will never experience for anything else in our lives. We are not sports or rock stars.

I wore my black and white POW-MIA t-shirt—“You Are Not Forgotten.” I carried my beautiful Getzen Field Trumpet, proud to be the VFW Post 1040’s Bugler.

This parade is our annual “fifteen minutes of fame,” and I will drink of this fountain again next year, God willing.

Photos by Nancy MacDonald and Janelle Squires. Please click on any photo below to enlarge it.

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Glenn, the Edmonds Trumpet Busker!

Posted by glennled on July 7, 2017


Glenn Ledbetter, busking at Veterans Plaza in Edmonds. All donations ($128, so far) go to VFW.

I finally did it—public busking with my Getzen trumpet. It’s an idea that’s been germinating within me for a long time, especially since my wife and I enjoyed listening to a grisly, picturesque old accordion player on the bridge crossing the River Wear in Durham, England in August, 2014, and to a dandy Scottish bagpiper blasting his stirring tunes at the corner of Government and Belleville streets in downtown Victoria, B.C., Canada, on the many occasions we have visited there.  “That’s fun,” I thought. “I can do that.”

So, on three recent Saturdays in June and July, as Nike would advise, I just did it. I donned by veterans cap, American-flag T-shirt, and sat myself down in Veterans Plaza in downtown Edmonds, adjacent to the Saturday Market on 5th Ave. N. and Bell St. As people came and went, walking, sitting, eating, talking, listening, I played for two hours from my busking book of about 125 pieces of music, mostly taken from musicals and movies, plus some patriotic songs and marches.

In my open trumpet case, I placed the sign, “Your Donations Go to VFW.” One Saturday, people donated $48, another $35, and another $45. I sent the $128 to VFW Post 1040 (Lynnwood), where I am the Post Bugler, and VFW Post 8870 (Edmonds), which built the new, outstanding Veterans Plaza. The plaza was dedicated on Memorial Day, 29 May 2017.

Busking is indeed fun. People come up and say the nicest things. Toddlers dance. It’s true—music is the universal language of mankind. Just do it, and you’ll see.

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Fourth Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on June 28, 2017



Kyle Gaul, piper, leads the procession across the Edmonds Community College campus.

On 24 May at Edmonds Community College (ECC), veterans, their relatives and friends, and college officials and students gathered at the Black Box Theatre on campus for the 4th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony. The event is sponsored by the Veterans Resource Center at ECC, headed by Chris Szarek, Director, USN (Ret).

The Guest of Honor and featured speaker was Shannon Sessions, Air Force Veteran and Lynnwood City Council member. After this portion of the indoor ceremony, the group processed to the nearby Boots-to-Books-and-Beyond Monument for the public wreath-laying ceremony.

I had the privilege to sound two bugle calls, “To the Color” and “Taps,” on my Getzen Field Trumpet. Other performing musicians were Native American flautist, Peter Ali, and bagpiper, Kyle Gaul.

For more information about the Memorial Day ceremonies at ECC, please see my blog posts of:

All photos are by Nathan MacDonald, courtesy of the Veterans Resource Center. On the left, Buck Weaver (90+), WWII Veteran, leads the audience in singing, “God Bless America.” On the right is the Color Guard, VFW Post 1040, near the Boots-to-Books-and-Beyond Monument. Please click on either photo to enlarge it.

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“To the Color,” Pacific Little League Day in Lynnwood, 4-22-2017

Posted by glennled on June 7, 2017

Color Guard rehearsal, PLL Day, Lynndale Park, Lynnwood, 4-22-'17 - Photo by

Glenn Ledbetter, VFW Post 1040 Bugler, rehearses the presentation of the colors with members of Girl Scout Troop 44193. Photo courtesy of

Here comes Spring, and I start watching the calendar more closely. Here comes April. Here comes Baseball. Here comes Pacific Little League Day. Here comes my sixth annual opportunity to sound the bugle call, “To the Color,” as I stand in front of home plate at Harry H. Moore Field at Lynndale Park in Lynnwood, Washington. I tell you, it’s such an honor. I love it. And I love playing my beautiful Getzen Field Trumpet (bugle). This year, the Color Guard was composed of kids from Girl Scout Troop #44193 and Boy Scout Troop #331.

For more information about the Pacific Little League and its recent season-opening ceremonies, please see my previous blog posts on these dates:

  • 19 July 2016
  • 4 May 2015
  • 7 June 2014
  • 26 May 2013
  • 22 May 2012

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150th-151st “Taps” on a Saturday at Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery in Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 31, 2016

So, who’s counting? Buglers, that’s who. And yes, I am aware that some have sounded “Taps” thousands of times and that I evergreen-washelli-seattle-wa-0021-copynever will reach those numbers. For one thing, I don’t live near a national cemetery, and for another, it’s my age. But on Saturday, 17 December, I passed another of my own, personal, little milestones.

In freezing weather, at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Veterans Cemetery at Evergreen-Washelli (E-W) in north Seattle at about 9:30 a.m., I sounded “Taps” for the 150th time while serving as bugler with the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard during the past five years. Then at noon, I did it again at the North Evergreen Court Mausoleum (also at E-W) for the entombment of Lois Kathryn Grasmick, the wife of an Army veteran.

In honor of those who have served, I had my new Getzen bugle engraved with this inscription: John 15:13.

Photos below by Tonya Christoffersen, courtesy of Navy Wives Club of America, Totem 277. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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