Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘John Williams’

Exceptional “Winter All Bands Concert” by Hamilton International Middle School in Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 24, 2012

Symphonic Band, Hamilton International Middle School, Seattle

Symphonic Band, Hamilton International Middle School, Seattle

“The music program at Hamilton is thriving,” said Daniel Rowe, Music Director of Bands, “and we’re making beautiful music!” The standing-room only audience responded in loud applause as the Symphonic Band from Hamilton International Middle School (HIMS) prepared to play the concluding, ever-popular piece, “Sleigh Ride,” by Leroy Anderson. The two-hour Winter All Bands Concert was held on 13 December in Lincoln High School Auditorium in Wallingford in Seattle.

The Finale: Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride"

Concert Finale: Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride”

The total membership of the four bands at Hamilton is 295 student musicians: the Beginning Band has 58 members, Cadet (86), Concert (75) and Symphonic (76). That’s almost one-third of the entire student body of about 1,000. The growth that’s underway is exceptional. Mr. Rowe recalled that the Concert Band had 31 members only three years ago. Some 600 students are involved in the bands, orchestras, jazz ensembles, and choir. The music program is supported by the non-profit organization, The Friends of Music at Hamilton International (FOMAHI)—see, which coordinated arrangements for this concert. This year, Hamilton musicians will perform in almost 40 concerts.  Before Mr. Rowe came to Hamilton, he taught in the highly successful music program at Eckstein Middle School (see my post of 14 December 2011).

Six trumpeters in the Cadet Band, HIMS

Six trumpeters in the Cadet Band, HIMS

I went to hear one of my trumpet students, a 6th grader, perform in the Cadet Band. On top of that, I got an unexpected surprise—my very first cornet student also performed in the Symphonic Band (see my post of 14 August 2009). He’s now an 7th grader, and he switched to tuba last year. Both these students had made the Seattle Public Schools’ All-City Honors Elementary Band (see my posts of 10 April 2011 and 2 April 2012). It was a thrill to me to see and hear them both perform on the same stage on the same night! Both come from great families, and it was fun to see the relatives there, too.

Each band had its highlights, and I’ll mention only a few. The Cadet Band featured its 15 trumpeters in “Trumpets of Symphony Hall” by Don Brubaker. Among the four pieces played by the Concert Band, “The Hunger Games,” arranged by Jay Bocook, was very impressive. The clarinet soloist, Sadie Morriss, accompanied by the Symphonic Band, drew a standing ovation for her performance of “Viktor’s Tale” by John Williams. And the Symphonic Band demonstrated its high skill level by performing the superb “My Neighbor Totoro” by Joe Hisaishi, arranged by Yo Goto.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Four Bands Wow the Crowd at Kamiakin Jr. High Concert in Kirkland

Posted by glennled on April 7, 2011

Nine masked trumpeters from the Concert Band (7th grade) perform "Phantom Trumpets"

If you were required by state law to attend one band concert this year at a junior high school in Western Washington, you would have to consider going to Kirkland to hear the bands directed by Ward S. Brannman. He runs a top-notch program, and the music produced by his young musicians at a concert last Tuesday was proof.

Leading off the concert was the Kamiakin Jazz Ensemble playing, among other charts, “Night and Day” by Cole Porter. Next, the Concert (7th Grade) Band performed three pieces: “Dance of the Witches,” “Irish Festival,” and “Phantom Trumpets.” In the latter, nine trumpeters wore masks and came to the front to play (see photo). One of them is a student of mine. I was very proud.

50-member Wind Ensemble

“Dance of the Witches” is a theme (in 6/8 time) written by John Williams for the 1987 movie, The Witches of Eastwick.Third was the Symphonic (8th Grade) Band, playing “Overture in C Minor” by Eric Osterling and “El Camino” by Jerry Nowak. Again, the trumpet section was featured in a mariachi section of “El Camino.” Finally, the Wind Ensemble performed Vaclav Nelhybel’s “Lyrical March,” featuring a flute solo and a trumpet duet. Five selections from Les Miserables, arranged by Warren Barket, concluded this special concert. The stage production of this popular musical debuted 25 years ago. Trumpet solos were featured in two of the selections.

Mr. Ward S. Brannman, Director

I know from tutoring one of his trumpet players that Mr. Brannman is diligent about setting high goals for his students and then encouraging, expecting, and rewarding excellence. At the same time, he mixes lots of fun, excitement, and recognition into his music program. This is the second concert of his which I’ve attended (see my post of 19 February 2010). 

At this concert, for example, the teachers of Helen Keller Elementary School and the Quest Program of the Lake Washington School District were honored. Many band students read testimonials thanking

48-member Concert Band (7th grade)

their favorite teachers for good learning experiences in elementary school. Mr. Brannman also passed out several awards to various band members. And finally, he selected music that featured some of his best musicians. He builds pride and self-esteem through superior performance. Go hear his bands when you have the opportunity, whether or not it’s required by law!

55-member Symphonic Band (8th grade)


27-member Kamiakin Jazz Ensemble

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