Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

  • October 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Jul    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 38 other followers

  • Subscribe

Posts Tagged ‘lessons’

“Masters of the (Band) Universe” Concert by Seattle Wind Symphony

Posted by glennled on October 12, 2017

IMG_0079

“Masters of the (Band) Universe” Concert, Seattle Wind Symphony, Shorecrest Performing Arts Center, Shoreline, Washington, 8 October 2017

 

“I get around round round I get around, from town to town (get around round round I get around),” sang The Beach Boys in 1964. And so did I, last Sunday, 8 Oct 2017, when I finally attended my first concert by the Seattle Wind Symphony (SWS). It took me only 7 years to find them—they were founded in 2011. And was it worth it? Yes!

IMG_0048 (2)

Trumpeters, Seattle Wind Symphony

This concert kicked off the 2017-2018 season. It was held at the Shorecrest Performing Arts Center on the campus of Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, Washington. Named “Masters of the (Band) Universe,” the concert featured 7 works by composers Ralph Vaughan Williams, Vincent Persichetti, Frank Ticheli, Daniel Barry, Gordon Jacob, Percy Aldridge Grainger, and John Philip Sousa. SWS gave Barry’s In the Beginning its world premier performance at this concert! Fifty-three SWS members played, including five cornet/trumpet players, five horns, five trombones, two euphoniums, and two tubas.

SWS was formed to create a new Seattle sound, that of a wind symphony. Typically, a wind symphony has 50-60 brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments, plus an occasional piano, harp, or string bass, but no other strings. The tonal textures are thus different from orchestral symphonies. Their purpose is to present professional-quality symphonic wind music to the general public and thus model high music and performance standards for young musicians.

IMG_0005 (2)

Dr. Wayne Bailey

The current Artistic Director and Conductor is Dr. Wayne Bailey, a trumpeter and Professor of Music at Arizona State University where, in the spring semester, he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting and conducts instrumental ensembles. He is the author of five widely-used music textbooks, one of which is of special interest to me, since I have been teaching private trumpet lessons since 2009: “Teaching Brass: a Resource Manual.” Dr. Bailey and his wife live in Lacey, Washington most of the year.

Larry Gookin, a trombonist and the first SWS conductor, participated in the concert last Sunday, too. He helped Dr. Bailey honor the founding president of SWS, Gerard Kern, clarinetist. Then he conducted Persichetti’s Pageant. Mr. Gookin is SWS’s Artistic Director and Conductor Emeritus. From 1981-2015, he was Director of Bands at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. He also served as the Associate Chair and Coordinator of Graduate Studies at CWU.

Dr. Barry is not only an accomplished composer and conductor—he also is a trumpeter! Dr. Barry is a Fulbright Scholar and has over 50 published compositions for Jazz Orchestra which are performed worldwide by professional and student ensembles. He lives in Seattle, where he writes for and performs regularly with the Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra and his own Celestial Rhythm Orchestra. SWS performed his River of Doubt in 2015. Last Sunday, he was in the audience to hear the world premier of his In the Beginning.

The current SWS President is Chris Barnes, principal tubist. SWS’s next concert is “In Their Honor” at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center in Renton on Sunday 12 November at 3:00 p.m. According to SWS’s website, http://www.SeattleWindSymphony.org, this concert “salutes our veterans with music of the Armed Forces on Veteran’s Day weekend. The band plays marches, an armed services salute, and works specially written in honor of America and our veterans. The concert includes works by American composers Morton Gould, Samuel Barber, John Williams, Charles Ives, and John Philip Sousa.”

Finally, SWS sponsors an annual Young Artist Competition for which contestants must apply by 1 November. The winner will receive a $500 prize to further their music education and will perform with SWS at its “Some of Our Favorite Things” concert on 11 February 2018. For more information, see http://www.seattlewindsymphony.org/Concerts/Detail.php?ID=28.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My 7th Year Teaching Brass at the “New” Skyview Middle School in Bothell

Posted by glennled on October 9, 2017

IMG_5893

This fall, for the first time, Skyview Middle School opened its doors—the same doors that belonged to Skyview Jr. High School ever since it was built 1993. SJHS served 7-8-9 grades, whereas the newly re-named SMS now serves 6-7-8 grades. And that has changed lots of things for band classes.

First-year band students (5th graders) still come early in the mornings, before regular classes start, but their lessons now begin 15 minutes later than in previous years. These classes remain 40 minutes in length. The schedule for second-year band students (6th graders), however, is more complex—different times on different days, but not before school, as in past years— these classes are part of the school curricula and are scheduled during the regular school day.

How do I know all this, and besides, who cares except the students and their parents? Well, I do. I’m teaching beginning brass again for the seventh year in the same building, in the same classrooms, as before, under the leadership of Mr. Charlie Fix, Band and Orchestra Director. IMG_5896 (2)

This year, Mr. Fix wants more variety, depth, and balance in the sound of the sixth grade band. In the past, few students switched instruments before the seventh grade. But this year, when he offered them the early opportunity, lots of sixth graders chose to switch. We now have more bassoons, alto and tenor saxophones, French horns, euphoniums, baritones and tubas than ever! Regrettably (for me), I lost some good trumpeters, but it’s good for both the kids and the band to have everybody playing the instruments they like best.

 

Posted in Skyview Junior High, Skyview Middle School | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Terrace Park Elementary Spring Band Concert—A Gift from the Gifted

Posted by glennled on July 5, 2017

IMG_9713

Spring Concert, 5th-grade Band (front) and 6th-grade Band (on stage), Terrace Park Elementary School, Mountlake Terrace, WA

As a trumpet tutor, I am privileged to have a student for private lessons who attends Terrace Park Elementary School in Mountlake Terrace. This school is where the Edmonds School District offers its Elementary Challenge Program for highly capable and gifted students in the first through sixth grades. Please see http://edmonds.wednet.edu/cms/One.aspx?portalId=306754&pageId=565078.

I wrote about him (my 33rd trumpet student) in a blog post on 2 May 2017. He’s a pleasure to teach, and I attended his school’s spring band concert on 5 June. As expected, it was both fun and excellent. Brad Allison, Band Director, obviously puts a lot of emphasis on precise intonation and articulation.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Posted in School Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Young Trumpet Student from St. Joseph School in Seattle

Posted by glennled on June 22, 2017

1280px-Seattle_-_St._Joseph's_School_01

St. Joseph School, Seattle

My 36th trumpet student took private trumpet lessons with me for only three months (Feb-Apr) but may come back again…let’s hope! He is one of four children in a very active household and plays both basketball and soccer. He attends St. Joseph School, an all-city, Catholic, K-8 grade school established in 1907 in the North Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.

As a third-grader, No. 36 was one of the youngest trumpeters I’ve ever tutored. [So far, No. 18 was the youngest—please see my post of 26 October 2011.] He is a wonderful, multi-talented kid with strong self-confidence, happy disposition, and high intelligence…just a joy to teach! But alas, the family is SO busy that Mom had to cut back somewhere for now. When he’s a little older, she says, he may take up the trumpet again. At St. Joseph, Band is first offered to sixth-graders, and then 7th- and 8th-graders can take Advanced Band.

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

Three New Trumpet Students (Nos. 33-35) in Four Weeks!

Posted by glennled on May 2, 2017

“Good things come in threes”—isn’t that the old saying? Well, I’ll buy it. During the four weeks between late March and late April, I started giving private trumpet lessons to three new students! Progressive Beginner Trumpet (a)

On 21 March, my 33rd trumpet student had his first lesson with me. He’s a talented 5th-grader at Terrace Park Elementary School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, where the band director is Zoyia Perry. My new student has a positive attitude, smiles readily, asks questions, and is anxious to learn and improve. Any instructor could hardly ask for more! To start with, we are using the instruction book, Progressive Beginner Trumpet by Peter Gelling. Will he achieve his potential in trumpet, or like some other multi-talented kids, someday choose another specialty? I vote for trumpet!

My 34th trumpet student started lessons on 29 March. He’s a sixth-grader in Beginner Band (for Middle Schoolers) at Evergreen Middle School, where Eric T. Peterson, the band director, runs a high-level, ambitious music program. This student found himself falling somewhat behind his peers and naturally, became discouraged. His parents hired me to help him, and I’m enjoying that. I’ve found that he can play, but he’s formed a few bad habits that work against him. Until now, he simply hasn’t had enough individual instruction about trumpet playing, which is something almost no one can learn on their own. We’re using the same book, Gelling’s Progressive Beginner Trumpet, to replace the bad habits with good ones and to learn things he missed in elementary band. We’ll see in time whether or not he chooses to stay with it. Hope so. He can do it! A few years ago, another of my middle school students (No. 4) wanted to quit, but Mom said no (please see my post of 18 November 2009). Now she tells me he’s majoring in music at college and plans to become a band director!

There is an 11-year old girl, a 5th-grader at Machias Elementary School in Snohomish, who is getting an early start on trumpet. At Machias, the band director is John Smith, but band classes do not begin until the 6th grade—so she rented a trumpet now, and we began lessons a few days ago on 28 April. By the end of her first lesson, she had sounded all the notes in the first four bars of “Happy Birthday.” Smiles all around! She’s buying the book that the band will use next fall, Standard of Excellence, Book I, Trumpet, by Bruce Pearson. And you can bet that she’ll be ready!

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

My 32nd Trumpet Student Faces Unique Embouchure Challenge

Posted by glennled on May 1, 2017

A 20-some-odd-year-old engineering student at the University of Washington from Saudi Arabia is my 32nd trumpet student—imagine that! His first lesson was on 17 March, and he wants to concentrate on jazz. He simply loves the beautiful sound of the trumpet, especially as played by Miles Davis. Davis’s “So What” is a big favorite of his. Balanced Embouchure, coveEdited

His intensity and enthusiasm are special, but we soon found that he faces two obstacles that never trouble most trumpeters. First, he has what’s called a “protruding upper lip.” People whose mouth is structured this way find that when they form their embouchure to buzz into the mouthpiece, their upper lip suddenly pops outward, creating a little, triangular “button” that causes the soft top lip to roll out and disrupt the air flow. This makes it exceedingly difficult both to sound a good, round, fat, solid tone and also to reach notes in the higher register.

Musicians with this embouchure usually are switched to a brass instrument with a larger mouthpiece, such as a trombone, baritone, or tuba. But that is not always necessary. The Balanced Embouchure (2001) by Jeff Smiley is the only instruction book I have found so far that directly discusses this condition and presents specific exercises for trumpeters who do not want to switch. Smiley’s excellent book is available at http://www.trumpetteacher.net.

To complicate things further, he had surgery on his lower jaw a couple of years ago and was left with no feeling in his lower lip. We determined that he could form that lip correctly to make a proper-looking embouchure, but his lower lip cannot feel the buzz. Imagine having to contend with that!

These two conditions present him (and me, as his instructor) with a unique challenge. Engineers carry a heavy academic load. We’ll see whether he wants to continue with the trumpet under these unique, tough circumstances. Will he eventually play jazz, even if it’s simply for his own pleasure? Well, either way, we know he’ll never stop enjoying it. And that’s good.

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

My Trumpet Student Sounded “Echo Taps” with Me on 2016 Veterans Day Ceremony in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 21, 2016

aidan-grambihler-trumpeter-wms-seattle

Glenn Ledbetter and Aidan, “Echo Taps” buglers

Did you know that “Echo Taps” is not an official U.S. military bugle call and is not to be sounded at funeral and graveside ceremonies? But because people like it, it is often used at other ceremonies, as it was this year on 11 November at Veterans Park in Lynnwood. During my time as bugler for VFW Post 1040, we first used a trumpet student of mine to play the “echo” part on Memorial Day, 1 June 2013. Ever since, we have continued to use them on both Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November (except one when I was sick).

In all, so far, six of my students have sounded “Echo Taps” with me in seven such ceremonies—Josiah, Vaughan, Robert (twice), Sarah, Gavin, and Aidan. Aidan did so this past Veterans Day. He is an 8th grader at Washington Middle School in Seattle and started taking private trumpet lessons with me earlier this year (see my blog post of 13 April 2016).

If you’re curious about additional coverage of “Echo Taps” in this blog, please see my posts of:

  • 19 July 2011—echo by Roy Pollock, Medal of Honor ceremony
  • 2 July 2012—echo by Bob O’Neal, War of 1812 Bicentennial ceremony
  • 19 November 2012—echo by Richard Haydis, Veterans Day ceremony
  • 1 June 2013—echo by Josiah Chupik, Memorial Day ceremony
  • 19 June 2014—echo by Robert Zhou, Memorial Day ceremony
  • 15 April 2015—echo by Sarah Dunsmore, Veterans Day ceremony
  • 17 September 2015—echo by Robert Zhou, Memorial Day ceremony
  • 22 July 2016—echo by Gavin [name withheld], Memorial Day ceremony

Photo by Rick Grambihler.

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Taps” for Skyline’s Annual Memorial Walk in Seattle, Honoring Veterans

Posted by glennled on November 10, 2016

img_4385

Skyline at First Hill is a Presbyterian retirement community in downtown Seattle near St. James Cathedral and Harborview Hospital. Between its two wings, one for independent living (Skyline Towers) and the other for assisted living (Skyline Terraces), is a courtyard. That’s where I stood in the rain on 2 November to sound “Taps” on my Getzen bugle after the responsive reading of “We Remember Them” by Sylvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Riemer, which is found in the Jewish Prayer Book (please see http://hmd.org.uk/resources/poetry/we-remember-them-sylvan-kamens-rabbi-jack-riemer). Then “Taps” closed the second annual “Skyline Memorial Walk” ceremony hosted by Skyline’s chaplain, The Reverend Elizabeth Graham.

img_4393Earlier, the residents and staff of Skyline had been invited to submit the names of veterans and others whom they wished to be remembered in advance of Veterans Day, 11 November. Their names—about 200—were read aloud, interspersed with periodic bell ringing, before the audience. Twenty, mostly elderly people gathered in the Madrona Community Room: two men, 18 women, silent in their memories of their dear veterans of WWI, WWII, and every conflict since, and others.

The names were then written on individual placards staked into the fertile soil in the planters in the courtyard, where they remained for a week so that the residents, staff and guests could walk among them. img_4419

Isn’t it amazing? In place after place across the nation, around the world, year after year, our veterans are honored. The lowest, the highest, it matters not. To paraphrase a famous saying, when you put on the military uniform, whether on active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve, you write a blank check at that point in your life, made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including your life.” Engraved on my bugle is a citation of the Biblical verse, John 15:13. We honor such men and women.

Rev. Graham found me through my membership in Bugles Across America (please see http://www.buglesacrossamerica.org/ and my post of 4 May 2015). I’m glad she did. I’m glad I played cornet through high school and college. I’m glad I teach private trumpet lessons. I’m glad I teach beginning brass at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell. I’m glad I play trumpet in the Husky Alumni Band. I’m glad I play in the Alderwood Community Church Orchestra in Lynnwood. I’m glad I’m the VFW Post 1040 Bugler. All these things enable me to sound “Taps” for veterans every chance I get—it’s my honor, and I’m grateful. Lucky me.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beginning Brass Teacher at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell—My Sixth Year!

Posted by glennled on October 4, 2016

quartetLucky me! Under the guidance of Charlie Fix, Band and Orchestra Director, I get to teach beginning brass again to 5th and 6th graders in the two elementary bands that practice and perform at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell. Classes for 2nd-year band members began on 12 September and for 1st-year band members, today, 4 October.

This year, I have about 35 trumpet students, 10 trombones, and one French Horn. Some years, I have baritone players, too. This is my sixth year as a para-professional teacher in the Northshore School District.

In addition, I give private lessons to other students in the North Seattle-to-Edmonds and Eastside areas.

Posted in Skyview Junior High | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seattle Summer Music Camp’s Concert at Ballard High School

Posted by glennled on August 26, 2016

IMG_8427 - At Ballard High School

At Ballard High School, Seattle

If you’re a musician, you’re a performer, an entertainer. You’re meant to play for an audience. Naturally, you do it for your own pleasure, because you’re talented and it’s fun. But it’s a gift you share with others in a band or orchestra, and together, you give to an audience something of beauty and pleasure–music. If you’re good enough, they’ll even pay money to receive your gift.IMG_8531 - Copy

But imagine this: you attend a private school without a music program. You don’t get to perform at three concerts per school year like students in most other schools, even though you take private trumpet lessons year-round. That’s the predicament of one of my students. So, what does he do?

He attends the Seattle Music Camp in the summer! He did so last year and again this year at Ballard High School. And on 21 July, as a forthcoming 8th-grader, he played in a public concert for just the second time in his life. And he got to perform in both the Senior Band and the Jazz Band. Good for him. Well done!

This was the camp’s 63rd Annual Summer Music Evening Concert, held at Ballard High School on 21 July and headed by Mark Oesterle, a music teacher in the Seattle School District since 2001. The other five camp teachers were Lindsey Dustin (Junior Orchestra), Mika Armaly (Senior Orchestra), Katrina Sibicky (Junior Band), Aaron Hennings (Intermediate Band and Jazz Band), and Michael James (Chamber Ensemble and Senior Band).

IMG_8536

Michael James conducts Senior Band at Seattle School District’s 2016 Summer Band Camp

Michael James is Director of Bands at Ballard High School. His award-winning Ballard Jazz Band has performed at three of the nation’s most prestigious jazz festivals—the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival in New York City, Swing Central Jazz Festival in Savannah, Georgia, and Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, California. In April 2017, his Ballard Wind Ensemble will perform in Carnegie Hall at the New York International Music Festival.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Posted in School Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: