Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘jazz band’

My Trumpet Students #42, #54, and “The Backyard Trio” in South Wedgwood Neighborhood of Seattle

Posted by glennled on July 19, 2020

The Backyard Trio plays “Bourbon Street” by Nick Homes
(L to R: Student No. 54, Glenn Ledbetter, and No. 42)

Last March, Covid-19 restrictions forced me to stop teaching trumpet lessons in my students’ homes, something I’ve been doing since 2009. We switched to online lessons. I now have six students doing this. But on 6 May, as the restrictions eased, I returned to the home of one student at the request of his parents. The mother is a nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center (where my oldest son was born). We held the lesson in their back yard and practiced social distancing! And that led to the later creation of “The Backyard Trio.” Let me explain.

R: Student No. 42

I’ve been teaching their son for the past two years (please use the Archives column on the left to find my blog post about him on 18 May 2018). He was my 42nd trumpet student, and his first goal was to make Jazz Band at Eckstein Middle School in the South Wedgwood neighborhood in Seattle. He made it! Not only that, but, as a 6th grader, he played a solo at the “Jazz Night” concert at Eckstein last year under the direction of Mr. Cuauhtémoc Escobedo (“Mr. E” or “Moc”). Please see my blog post, with photos, of 20 December 2019.

L: Student No. 54

Also playing trumpet at that concert and also pictured in that blog post was one of his best friends, who has recently become my 54th trumpet student. Our online private lessons commenced on 1 July. No. 54 says that when he first had a choice of instruments, he didn’t like the sound of the violin; the clarinet and saxophone required too much air; but the trumpet had a “cool sound and only 3 buttons.” He loves sports, including downhill skiing and mountain biking (two favorites), basketball (wing), baseball, swimming, water polo, and ultimate frisbee. Both he and No. 42 do water polo and ultimate frisbee. Both are multi-talented, and on trumpet, both have natural ability and pick up new things quickly. Next fall, they will be 7th graders, playing in two different jazz bands at Eckstein. They’re preparing for it this summer.

You see, the parents of both boys set this up. The mother of No. 54 found some duets for the boys to play. We all ordered “Jazz Duets (Easy)” for trumpets by Nick Homes online at http://www.jazzduets.com. The e-book contains 8 duets. Then, on Wednesday afternoons, we held a 45-minute Zoom meeting (https://zoom.us), with each of us in our separate homes. But as you know, there is a latency problem when teaching music online. Because of communications delays, you can’t play together simultaneously. So, each person, including me, has to play independently. We were playing duet parts separately and alternately. The lessons were very good but never “whole.”

The Backyard Trio (L to R: Student No. 54, Glenn Ledbetter, and Student No. 42

Then the mother of No. 42 suggested that all three of us meet in their backyard when the weather was nice. We would bring our own music stands, sit far enough apart in our straight-backed chairs, play our duets, and I would teach trumpet jazz. On 6 May, we did it for the first time, and on 15 July, we did it again. That’s how “The Backyard Trio” was born.

Now, we’d like to continue doing it (Covid-19, weather, and schedules permitting) through the remainder of the summer. Meanwhile, I also teach each boy a 30-minute online private lesson every week. We’re starting to move on to other songs now. Last session, I gave them the trumpet sheet music for “Bernie’s Tune” by Bernie Miller and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman. Let’s roll, boys. We’re “The Backyard Trio!”

Video and photos by Mom of No. 42.

Posted in Musical Events at Home, New Students - Intro Posts, Rehearsals, Practices | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

 
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