Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘marching’

Husky Alumni Band Cheers UW to Victory Over Stanford, 17-13

Posted by glennled on October 16, 2012

Victory celebration!

Everyone knows that while Husky Stadium is now being rebuilt for next year, the football team is playing its home games in downtown Seattle at Century Link Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders. Everyone sees the UW Husky Varsity Marching Band on the stadium steps at the north entrance prior to the game, in the south stands during the game, and on the field for pre-game and half-time shows. But who knows whether the Husky Alumni Band is even there—and if so, where are they?

Well, yes, we were there Thursday night (27 September) to see the Huskies upset the 8th-ranked Stanford Cardinal, 17-13. We were seated in the SW quadrant of the stadium—high up in Section 327!—cheering as loudly as everyone else.

UW Husky Varsity Marching Band

We played at three pep rallies prior to the game, one with the Chinese Dragon at Hing Hay Park in the International District, one in the north parking lot of the stadium, and one in Occidental Street on the west side of the stadium. That earned us free tickets into this big game. Recall that there was a time when it was questionable whether the Husky Alumni Band would have a role to play at the home games this year (see my post of 18 November 2011), but that was settled. We’re there, helping raise money for HMBAA scholarships, and we’re very happy. It’s such fun, and I love playing trumpet. Some of us even joined the massive crowd on the field after the game to celebrate the victory. Go Huskies!

Photos are by Louis Figueroa and Gary Nakayama, courtesy of the UW Husky Varsity Marching Band conducted by Dr. Brad McDavid, Director. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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My Trumpet Student Plays in Seattle All-City Honors Elementary Band and Orchestra Concert

Posted by glennled on April 2, 2012

2012 Seattle All-City Honors Elementary Band

Last Saturday, another of my trumpet students played in the annual concert performed by the Seattle Public Schools’ All-City Honors Elementary Band and Orchestra. This year it was held at Chief Sealth International High School in West Seattle. He’s now a 5th-grader at Lawton Elementary School where Lindsey Dustin is band director (see my blog posts of 17 February 2012 and 14 November 2010). Next fall, he plans to attend Hamilton International Middle School in Wallingford.

The 123-member band representing 41 schools packed the large stage, and the auditorium was almost full, too, with parents, relatives, friends and a few tutors like me. He was one of only 18 trumpet players in the 2012 honors band. Think of that—one of the best 5th grade trumpeters in Seattle Public Schools—that’s impressive! The band’s guest conductor was Marcus Pimpleton, a 2002 graduate of the University of Washington who now serves as music department head at Denny International Middle School, Chief Sealth International High School, and the Seattle Schools All-City Marching Band. Mr. Pimpleton was a drum major with the UW Husky Marching Band (see http://www.huskymarchingband.com/). He now has a Master’s in Theology and a Doctorate in Religious Education from Bishop A.L. Hardy Academy of Theology in Seattle.

Part of the 18-member trumpet section

The talented honors band sounded very solid when playing three pieces: “Oxford Overture,” “I’m An Old Cowhand,” and “A Little Cha-Cha Music.” The Honors Orchestra was conducted by Heather Shaffer, who is Director of Orchestras at Denny and Sealth. They played “Hunter’s Chorus,” “Jamaican Spice,” and “Legend of Dark Mountain.” At this level, the orchestra is comprised solely of strings. There were 88 students representing 32 schools—a great honor, indeed!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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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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Husky Marching Band Performs with Edgar Winter Band at UW-ECU Football Game

Posted by glennled on September 24, 2011

The Edgar Winter Band, accompanied by UW Varsity/Alumni Band at half-time

During half-time of the University of Washington vs. Eastern Washington University football game on 3 September, the Edgar Winter band set  up stage on the 10-yard line to perform two of the band’s long-time hits, “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride.” Winter composed both songs  in the 1970’s. He is a keyboardist, saxophonist, percussionist, and singer (see http://www.edgarwinter.com).

The UW Varsity/Alumni Marching Band formed a V-shaped set stretching to the 40-yard line and accompanied Winter and his band on both songs. Take a guess—how much time did the Husky Band spend practicing for both the pre-game and half-time performances at this game? Only 11.5 hours. We rehearsed both shows on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., and on Saturday, game day, noon to 2:30 p.m. Kickoff was at 4 p.m. After the UW Huskies beat the ECU Eagles, 30-27, the band turned its hats around backwards—the tradition after a victory. I remember doing that when I was a band member in the 1960’s. Following another tradition, volunteer members of the Husky Alumni Band were integrated into the school’s varsity band for this season-opening game. That’s how I got to march again on that field for the first time since the 1961 season, 50 years ago! During the game, we alumni got to sit on the 50-yard line for the last time. Both the alumni and varsity bands will be re-positioned once the new stadium is built. I was one tired puppy Saturday night, but it was great fun and so memorable!

Edgar Winter plays "Frankenstein"

How do individual band members figure out where they are supposed to be at any given moment during the shows? There were 16 pre-game and 16 half-time show position charts lettered A-P, indicating the exact placement of each marching band member on the field at a certain point in the music, as the band played one song after another while creating one formation after another. These charts are produced using a software program licensed to UW and created on Pyware 3D. But as a wise man once told me years ago, no matter how great the design, the system, and the plan, you’ve got to have good people to implement it…and these band kids are excellent not only as musicians but in all respects. That’s how you get 160 band members to perform two shows with only 11.5 hours of rehearsal.

The pre-game show culminated in our playing “America, the Beautiful” and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” as band members unfurled a huge flag on the field and an operatic tenor sang the National Anthem. Then they kicked off the 2011 football season with a victory for Washington—“Go Purple. Be Gold!”

Pressbox photos by Garry Nakayama; field photos by Louis Figueroa.

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Mercer Island Sophomore Trumpeter Returns to Music Fundamentals

Posted by glennled on February 6, 2011

Mercer Island was my home for 33 years. One of my two sons (now living in New Zealand) played drums in the MI High School Band. And now my 15th trumpet student is a sophomore in that same school and plays trumpet in that same band. Also like my drummer son, she

Drum Major, MIHS Marching Band

has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). It’s easy for her attention to drift from one thing to the next, and it’s hard to stay focused on something for a long time.

She first learned to read music and play trumpet when she was a young girl, but then she transferred to another school and did not play for three years. To her dismay, when she returned to school at M.I. and resumed playing trumpet in the band, she found that she had forgotten much of what she’d once known about how to read music. Now she manages to play ok but wants to improve. Marching band season is over, she’s moved into concert band, the music is more complex and difficult, and she wants to play it well. She realized she must return to the basics and re-study the fundamentals…with a trumpet tutor.

I am the lucky man who is privileged to help her. We started her private lessons on 18 December 2010. She already plays with such a sweet, solid tone. Now all we need to do is help her learn all those notes over a two-octave range, learn all those music notations, strengthen and train her embouchure, and develop her hand-to-eye coordination and muscle memory. As that happens, her confidence and pride will soar. She will play as well as, or better than, most of her classmates. And, in turn, she will enjoy music and her band membership even more!

She  says she had a great time when the 300-member MIHS band went to England a month ago to march in the colossal 2011 London New Year’s Day Parade (see www.londonparade.co.uk), joining some 10,000 performers from 20 countries who marched in front of about half a million spectators along the 2-mile route. The parade, which began in 1987, is broadcast by over 700 TV stations worldwide and is watched for some three hours by about 200 million viewers. This was the M.I. band’s first appearance in this, the 25th annual parade. Roughly 200 M.I. band students made the trip. The kids and community raised about $80,000 in support of those students who could not otherwise have gone. Go to the links below to watch videos of the MIHS band’s performance in London. Other USA bands participating came from Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Almost one out of every four students in Mercer Island High School is enrolled in the band program! The program consists of four concerts bands, the marching band, jazz bands, and the “Animal Band” (see http://www.misd.k12.wa.us/schools/hs/hsband/bands.html). The successes, awards and accolades won by these bands are numerous; for example,  over 50 students were selected to participate in the All-State and All-Northwest honor ensembles during the last five years.

Next year, they will march again in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. Hmmmm….now if only the UW Husky football team can just win enough games next season, maybe they’ll get to play in the Rose Bowl game itself. Go, Huskies! And then she and her fellow M.I. band members can watch our own Seattle team play there. It’s so much fun to be in band!  🙂

There are at least four videos of the MIHS Marching Band’s performance in London on YouTube:

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Sweet Tones from 6th Grader

Posted by glennled on November 18, 2009

This afternoon during our first private trumpet lesson, I heard my newest student, the 4th of this school year, play the sweetest tones on his trumpet! Trouble is, he cannot yet read music fluently. He’s sort of stuck at that stage where he still has to think about the name of each note and then recall the fingering. But when he finally blows, his attack is clean and his tone is big, solid, full, round and fat! It’s so natural to him.

He’s been thrown into a 6th grade band class, handed a band book, and told to go learn to play Exercise __ or Song __ on pages __ with little or no guidance or instruction about the horn and technique. It’s forced “do it yourself” learning. Well, with this teaching approach, what results does the band director at this north Seattle elementary school expect?! Struggles, frustration, and a probable band drop-out someday.

It is my pleasure to help this gentle boy overcome these obstacles. Let’s give the kid some successes! and who knows? maybe we’ll be listening to him play in the jazz, concert and marching bands soon…maybe in the symphony or opera orchestras someday…maybe on some CDs or in the movies when he’s that good. Let him dream! Help him dream! Help him achieve his potential. Or maybe he’ll simply enjoy playing in the school band with his friends for a few years and never take it any further…that’s fine, too. You find good people in bands. Good memories accumulate with the many events, and lifetime friendships often form–even marriages!

Thanks to his Mom for giving me the opportunity to help him come to love music and the trumpet. Let’s motivate him to practice more. Let’s have fun while we work hard. Let’s see what he can do, if he really wants to.

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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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