Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘HMBAA’

Husky Alumni Band Teeters as UW Tumbles to Oregon, 34-17

Posted by glennled on November 18, 2011

Near capacity crowd pushes Alumni Band out of the stands and onto the track

As the largest crowd of the season, 69,407, watched the UW Huskies fall to the University of Oregon Ducks, 34-17, the Husky Alumni Band was wondering about it future. Will the band play at the Husky home games at Century Link Field in 2012? Will the band be allocated free seats and play at games in the newly renovated Husky Stadium in 2013 and beyond? As the band pondered its future and consulted with the university, so did The Seattle Times in an article on 4 November, wondering what will become of the band and its traditions  (see http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016692667_alumniband05m.html).

At the game day rehearsal prior to kickoff, the president of the Husky Marching Band Alumni Association (HMBAA) announced to the band that the university has committed to keeping the Alumni Band as “part of the game day experience” for Husky fans. Exactly what that means and on what terms it would be implemented are yet to be determined.

Husky Alumni Band President, Tameem Bakkar (right), makes announcements at pre-game rehearsal

At present, the band gets free parking and arrives ready for rehearsal three hours before the game. Then we play for tailgaiting fans at 4-5 pep rallies at different spots surrounding the stadium. The last spot is always by the bronze husky and Coach Jim Owens statues at the west entrance. Once inside, we sit in free seats in the west end of the stadium. If the game is not a sellout (or nearly so), then we sit in the stands, but if fans buy all the tickets (or nearly so), then portable chairs are set up for us on the track. We play during selected timeouts, and we play in front of the south stands following the Varsity Band’s half-time performance. After the game, we again play for the fans as they depart the stadium. We like playing fun music and enhancing others’ enjoyment of the day.

Beyond that, where does the band play? at some Husky basketball and volleyball games and other venues when the Varisty Pep Band is not available. Also, at special parties, celebrations, and events when requested. The band mixes with the Varsity Marching Band for the Seattle Torchlight Parade, the opening home football game of each new season, and the annnual Homecoming game.

Two Alumni Band members chat: Ward Brannman (L) is band director at Kamiakin Jr. High in Kirkland and Jeff Miller (R) is band director at Pine Lake (Sammamish) and Pacific Cascade (Issaquah) middle schools.

Besides performing at home football games, what does the HMBAA band do to merit free parking and seats?  It raises scholarships funds for Husky Varsity Band students. Each August for the past 8 years, HMBAA has sponsored the Husky Alumni Golf Classic and Auction to raise such funds. The fees charged when the Alumni Pep Band plays for special events also go into the scholarship fund. Would you dine out to support these scholarships? Duke’s Chowder House (at three locations) designated a certain night in October when a portion of the revenues were donated to the band. Georgetown Brewing Co. donated a keg of Manny’s Pale Ale for each location, and 100% of all proceeds were given to the band. Last year, the Husky Alumni Band awarded $28,400 in scholarships!

The motto of the Husky Alumni Band is “A Touch of Class.” And yes, it is indeed a classy organization worthy of the University of Washington.

The following photos of the UW Varsity Marching Band were taken by Louis Figueroa (field) and Garry Nakayama (pressbox). Click on any photo to enlarge it.

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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.

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Husky Alumni Pep Band Plays UW-UCLA Basketball Game on New Year’s Eve

Posted by glennled on January 1, 2011

UCLA applied full-court pressure on almost every UW possession

‘Twas the day before New Years, when a skeleton crew of the Husky Alumni Pep Band played for the crowd of 1,783 at the UW-UCLA women’s basketball game in Seattle. We were on hand because the Varsity Marching Band was enroute home from San Diego where the night before, the University of Washington football

HMBAA Pep Band in foreground

team upset the University of Nebraska, 19-7, in the Holiday Bowl.  Here’s how I saw the basketball game.

UCLA triumphed, 60-48, with a smothering full-court press and stifling defense. The Huskies (5-5, 0-1 Pac 10) handled it well for most of the game, shooting 62.5 percent in the first half, and were leading, 36-28, several minutes into the second half. But when UW got into foul trouble, the game turned in UCLA’s favor. Three players fouled out in the final five minutes, and the Huskies committed 25 turnovers. The No. 8 Bruins (11-1, 1-0) had more depth, as one of their bench players scored 15 points. UW junior Mackenzie Argens, 6 feet 3, scored her first double-double of the year with 18 points and 11 rebounds,

Kingma hits a three!

 but scoring leader, guard Kristi Kingma, was held to 12 points.

Meanwhile, the band played on. As the game was played on Friday afternoon, we were a little short-handed. For example, we like to have six trumpet players but had only four. But it was fine, and as we filed out of the stands to go check in our music folders and pack away our horns, we got lots of compliments from nearby fans. It was a good week to be a Husky. The men’s basketball team pulled off a rare sweep in Los Angeles, beating USC, 73-67, on Wednesday and UCLA, 74-63, on Friday, while the football team won their only bowl game since 2002. Wuff-wuff and Happy New Year!

Skeleton crew of the HMBAA Pep Band pauses between songs in second half

HMBAA Pep Band swings into song during a time out late in the game

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Upset at Husky Spring Football Game!

Posted by glennled on May 11, 2010

Purples 14, Whites 13! The team with the second-string offense, led by freshman quarterback Nick Montana, beat the team with the first-string offense in the Huskies spring game on Friday night, 30 April. Montana, the son of NFL Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana, was 21-34 for 156 yards, capped by his 2-yard touchdown pass on the final play. Earlier, he threw a 31-yard touchdown strike down the middle in the third quarter. The Whites got a touchdown in the first quarter from an interception off Montana, his only big mistake on a cold, windy, rainy night.

The Husky Varsity Band was among the crowd of 15,000, and a few Alumni Band (HMBAA) members mixed in and played with them. Everyone is very excited about the good recruits coming to Washington next fall, and we’re all hoping for an improved team and a better win-loss record next season…maybe even a bowl game! It’s only a few months away. When the Torchlight Parade (31 July) and SeaFair Sunday (8 August) roll around, then the next big event is fall football–Go Huskies!

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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!

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Huskies 36, Wildcats 33 – Alumni Band Helps!

Posted by glennled on October 11, 2009

Alumni Band plays for tailgaters in SE parking lot.

Husky Alumni Band plays for tailgaters in SE parking lot.

Squad, pre-game huddle, chanting and swaying, getting all fired up!

Squad, pre-game huddle, chanting and swaying, getting all fired up!

Things were looking impossible at the football game last night: the UW Huskies were down 33-21 to the University of Arizona Wildcats with only about four minutes left to play in the game. Suddenly, with hands clasped in front of his face and then raised to the sky, the Husky Alumni Band (HMBAA) trumpet player sitting next to me openly prayed aloud to the “Husky God” for a “miracle in our house.”  Sure enough, within the next ~1.5 minutes, the Huskies had scored 15 points and won the game. Actually, the four plays (pass, extra point kick, interception, two-point conversion)  which yielded those 15 points took only 18 seconds off the game clock.  “Unbelievable!” screamed the 1.5″ headline in the Sunday Seattle Times.

Now it was really fun playing again in the Husky Alumni Band…lotsa good musicians having fun like the college kids we once were. “You Can Call Me Al,” “Louie, Louie,” “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Johnny Q,” “Celebration” are just a few of the many songs we played before masses of people tailgaiting in various parking lots around Husky Stadium. And of course, “Victory” and “Bow Down to Washington” many times. Three vintage trumpeters, Dave, Dave, and Stan, showed me around and were especially fun to play with. I’ll be back for the Apple Cup against WSU on 28 November (Thanksgiving weekend), God willing!

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Mills Music Store, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on September 9, 2009

Recently, I met the highly personable, enthusiastic Dan Niven, manager of the Mills Music Store in Lynnwood. Turns out that he plays trombone in the Husky Alumni Band at UW football games. It’s organized by the Husky Marching Band Alumni Association (HMBAA), www.hmbaa.org. I’m a “Hum’-ba” member, too, and am looking forward to playing at the Arizona game at Husky Stadium on 10 October. “See you at the Horseshoe!” he says to me. At the store, there are studios where instructors teach private lessons. For those students who prefer it, we can meet there for our sessions. It is located at 20505 Highway 99 (east side of the road), telephone 425-775-6500. Great place to rent or buy your instrument, music books, supplies and accessories. It’s one of 11 Mills Music stores. Try them!

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