Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘Husky Stadium’

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 »

Skyview Jr. High Winter Band Concert at Northshore Performing Arts Center (NPAC)

Posted by glennled on December 23, 2010

Mr. McGinn leads the Jazz Band

Mr. Shawn McGinn, director of bands and orchestra at Skyview Jr. High in Bothell, wore a tuxedo with cummerbund, and the students were all dressed in solid black. That tells you how classy this concert was! It was held last Thursday in the 600-seat Northshore Performing Arts Center (NPAC), and the house was packed.

Like all of Mr. McGinn’s school concerts, this one was well-organized and well-rehearsed. The students knew what was coming and what to do when the time came…and they did it well! It was a very entertaining and impressive evening event.

More than anything, I am impressed with the breath and depth of the music program he is building. It has to be one of the best within the Northshore School District, and it’s getting bigger and better all the time. At this concert, the opening act was a self-directed jazz sextet with vocalist, and that was followed by the orchestra, conducted by Mr. McGinn. Next he led the 7th grade band, after which he conducted the 8th-9th grade band and the jazz band.

Wow! There are about 180 students under his tutelage. They are at about six levels of proficiency. Makes you wonder when and where all

The Orchestra

 these groups practice. And remember, Mr. McGinn has been doing this for several years! That really pulls and stretches a teacher. Does this man have passion and drive? Does he have purpose? As an audience member, it’s a pleasure to witness all these people on stage, striving with their leader for excellence.

And just think: this is happening all over America and in some form or another, all over the world. Music is a giant. It pervades every culture. How did this come to be?—because the gifts of natural musical talent and ability are not rare. Yes, great talent is indeed quite rare, but many, many people worldwide are born with excellent musical talent and then develop outstanding abilities. It is quite common among us. Why? Is there some noble, universal purpose to this? For me, the answer is clearly yes—so we can express ourselves, so we can communicate with each other in infinite ways by infinite means, so we, too, can create beauty, so we can give and share among our communities. When we play our instruments and sing for others, even in the school cafeteria or NPAC or Husky Stadium, we are on the world stage.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear the Words of Aldous Huxley: After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

Jazz Band

 

 

7th Grade Band

8th-9th Grade Band

Trumpeter takes a solo

     

Another trumpeter solos

Another trumpeter solos

     

Opening Act: Jazz Sextet with Vocalist

      

Posted in School Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ballard High Freshman Tackles Trumpet

Posted by glennled on September 6, 2010

My 9th trumpet student is from Magnolia and enters Ballard High School next Wednesday, the 8th. He’s never played trumpet before, but his grandparents encouraged him to take it up now, even when many of his classmates have already been playing for about four years. To catch up to their level and be admitted into the high school band, if he wants to, would be quite a challenge. He’s almost 15 years old. “Better late than never” is just part of the grandparents’ idea, and so we began in late July. They really just want him and his three younger siblings to learn to play, understand and enjoy music. On top of that, if he decides to join band someday, that’s fine. If not, fine.  His little sister already plays the flute. His two brothers have taken a few beginning lessons with me, too, and it is yet to be determined whether they will continue. Perhaps their big brother’s experience will influence them. BTW, their older cousin is a Husky football player at UW. Wouldn’t it be very special if, as trumpet players, they also someday play on that field at Husky Stadium in front of 72,000 cheering fans?! But if not, that’s fine, too…  😉

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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