Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘music’

42nd Trumpet Student is 4th Grader at Bryant Elementary School in Seattle

Posted by glennled on May 12, 2018

He likes trumpet because of its sound—it’s “jazzy” to him.  My 42nd trumpet student is 10 years old and a fourth grader at Bryant Elementary School, located in the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood of northeast Seattle. When he first tried out several different instruments at boyplayingtrumpetbw_pthe music orientation session at school, it was easy to make a sound on many of them, but not so the trumpet. Making notes by buzzing into the mouthpiece was a challenge, and he likes challenges. The fact that it has only three valves did not matter. Ten valves would have been ok. The trumpet’s jazzy sound is what he liked. And as soon as he’s old enough to attend nearby Eckstein Middle School, he wants to play in the school Jazz Band. Our private lessons will help him qualify. We held our first one on 2 May.

At Bryant Elementary, he attends a 30-minute music class once a week. There are about 10 trumpeters in this class, according to Elizabeth Harris Scruggs, the Instrumental Music teacher. “It’s a pull-out class,” she said, “meaning students miss 30 minutes of regular class to come to instrumental music.” There is no full 4th grade band—“just a few classes with either one or two different instrument types (for example, saxophone and clarinet). However, at the end of this year, they will all combine for the first time for a rehearsal and a concert to see what playing in a full band is like.” The Spring Concert will be on Wednesday, 6 June at 6:45 p.m. Fourth-graders will participate, along with the general music, instrumental music, and choir groups.

Next year, my student will be able to join the fifth-grade elementary school band. Neither of his parents play an instrument, but his older brother plays saxophone at Eckstein Middle School.

His other interests and activities include swimming, basketball, Frisbee, chess, and dance. He has taken lessons in ballet, tap, and hip-hop dancing since he was 4 years old. On 16 June, he will tap dance in a recital at Shorecrest High School in Shoreline.

Bryant Elementary opened in 1918—100 years ago—and was recently remodeled. The school and the neighborhood are named after William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), an American poet, journalist and editor whose most notable work is Thanatopsis.

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Keeping the Chops Fit While on Texas Vacation

Posted by glennled on April 27, 2018

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Glenn Ledbetter practices on his Jupiter Pocket Trumpet in St. Andrews Park, Corpus Christi, TX

Immediately after my two-week vacation in Texas with my wife, I came back to Washington State to play two gigs in Lynnwood—“To the Color” at the Pacific Little League Day ceremony at Lynndale Park on Saturday, 21 April and worship music with the orchestra at Alderwood Community Church the very next day. Meanwhile, down in Corpus Christi, TX, 2,300 miles away from home, how was I going to keep my embouchure in shape?

I did three things: two different isometric exercises daily with my P.E.T.E. (Personal Embouchure Training Exerciser) and about six hour-long practice sessions on my Jupiter Pocket Trumpet. Please see http://www.warburton-usa.com/index.php/pete and my blog post of 31 March 2018.

Here are some photos of my practice sessions in my rental car at Whitecap Beach on Padre Island (about 113 miles long) and under the gazebo at St. Andrews Park (about 31 acres) in south Corpus Christi.

It worked. After returning, I found that my chops had lost very little strength and endurance, and I had no trouble playing both gigs. I’m tickled about it.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Christmas Eve Celebration at Home, 2017

Posted by glennled on December 31, 2017

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Homemade book of Christmas lyrics

Our family has an elaborate, celebratory Christmas Eve program. First, a bountiful dinner. Then, a spiritual program about the birth of Jesus Christ and his significance to us and the world. Next, a trumpet solo of a Christmas carol by me (this year, “O Come All Ye Faithful”), followed by a sing-along of more carols and songs, accompanied by my wife on the piano. After that, gift presentations and openings. Then, a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” followed by a “midnight” snack. Finally, we empty our stockings of their small “stuffer” gifts and decorate the gumdrop tree.

There is time for both solemnity and frivolity, mixed with love and gratitude. All this we did on Sunday, 24 December 2017.

Music belongs in any celebration. If you play and/or sing at any level, include it in your own celebrations of holidays and birthdays. Play your trumpet for your family. It’ll make them happy…you’ll see.

Hope you had as much joy and fun as we did!

To enlarge the photo, simply click on it.

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North Creek High School’s First Music Concert, Bothell

Posted by glennled on December 17, 2017

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First music concert at the new North Creek High School, Bothell, 7 December 2017

Pearl Harbor Day—that’s what I first think of when I hear the date, 7 Dec. But that was 1941, and on that date in 2017, people with kids in the band, orchestra, and choir at the new North Creek High School (NCHS) in Bothell will also remember it as the date when NCHS held its very first music concert. And I shall remember the concert for yet another reason—9 of my former students played their instruments that night in the Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble.

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Trumpeter and guitari

Of the six trumpet players in Symphonic Band, I taught five of them at Skyview Jr. High School and gave three of them private lessons. Of the two trumpeters in Jazz Band, I gave one of them private lessons. Of the five trumpet players in Wind Ensemble, I taught one of them both in private lessons and classes at Skyview. He now plays guitar in Jazz Band and trumpet in Wind Ensemble. In fact, he played a solo during “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by the Jazz Band.

Since then, three of my ex-students have switched to other instruments: one to oboe, one to French horn, and one to tuba.

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Dr. Debbie Montague, NCHS Director of Instrumental Music

Listening to the excellent instrumental music, conducted by Debbie Montague, Ph.D., Director of Instrumental Music, I was very proud of my ex-students’ progress. They have much more to anticipate under her tutelage. Dr. Montague came to NCHS from Kenmore Jr. High School, where she had developed an outstanding program. Her Symphonic Bands at KJHS performed throughout the USA, including the National Conference for Music Educators (2002) and at multiple Festivals of Gold, which are high school festivals by invitation. I’ve blogged about this twice—please see my posts of 16 March 2012 and 13 November 2010. Dr. Montague is a member of the Washington Music Educators’ Hall of Fame (www.wmea.org).

She believes in education of the whole child and advocates “hands-on, activity-based music curriculum for all children.” Also, she has considerable accomplishments in African ensemble music.

But this concert was not all about trumpets and other wind instruments, bands, and IMG_4458 (2) - Teresa Sullivan, Director of Choral Music & Nick Tagabensembles. The orchestra and several choirs performed excellently, too. Terresa (Terry) Sullivan, Director of Choral Music, conducted five choirs, singing eight pieces. Ms. Sullivan came to NCHS from Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, where she was both Choir Director and Music Department Chair (see my post of 29 April 2015). The Combined Choir closed with “Carol of the Bells.” The orchestra, conducted by Dr. Montague, played two pieces led by the concertmaster, who is a member of the All-State Orchestra.

The final group to perform was the Wind Ensemble. “A Christmas Flourish” was their first piece, and they concluded the concert with “African Holy Night.”

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

NCHS Jazz Band

 

NCHS Symphonic Band

NCHS Wind Ensemble

 

NCHS Orchestra

NCHS Choirs

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“New Life of the Land”—2017 Christmas Musical Drama at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 13, 2017

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ACC cast, “New Life of the Land,” Dec. 2017

 

On 1-3 December 2017, Alderwood Community Church (ACC) presented its 29th Christmas program in five public performances, drawing a total audience of more than 3,000. This year marked the 100th year since the Puget Mill Company developed the planned community called Alderwood Manor in 1917. As residents settled there, they wanted a church. In 1920, Alderwood Manor Community Church was born.

To celebrate this 100th anniversary year, ACC commissioned Matthew Wilson to write the play, “New Life of the Land.” Mr. Wilson attended ACC while growing up. It was presented as a musical drama, not a typical musical. None of the main characters sings play-87or dances. In one comedic relief scene, a barbershop quartet is featured as they rehearse “Deck the Halls.” Instead, the orchestra and choir, under the direction of Linda Collins, perform music to open and close the drama; intersperse different scenes with songs; and provide soft, instrumental music (underscore) while the actors continue with the play. The stage sets employ mixed media: some outdoor scenes are presented by videos on three huge screens above the stage floor. The entire drama takes play-95place during slightly more than one hour on Christmas Eve in 1917. A young couple who intend to marry obtains a 5-acre plot of land through the dramatic, providential trade of their train ticket with a stranger at the Alderwood Manor trolley station. They plan to raise chickens to support themselves and their (eventual) children.

The theme of the play is hope. Each of the four main characters have different hopes for themselves and each other. The hopes of Margaret (played by Hannah Blomberg) and Jebediah (Charley Delaney) come true. Eliza (Deborah Turcotte) is forced to abandon her hope for her granddaughter, Margaret. Finally, John (Mike Tate) undergoes a renewal: in the beginning, he has lost hope and is melancholy, having been crippled by polio. He wants to marry Margaret but has no job. In the end, he enthusiastically adopts her hope of staying in Alderwood Manor, establishing a chicken farm, and raising a family there. When they do acquire the land, he proposes marriage, and she accepts. They will enroll in the “New Life of the Land” program created by Puget Mill Company to help settlers learn to raise chickens and certain vegetable crops for sale and family food.

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L to R: Rob Rankin (lead), Corban Epp, (2nd), Glenn Ledbetter (3rd), ACC Orchestra trumpeters

I have now played trumpet in four Christmas programs at ACC. Please see my blog posts of 23 April 2015, 15 December 2015, and 10 December 2016.

More ACC, Alderwood Manor, and Lynnwood History and Future Plans

The musical drama aroused my curiosity. I’ve lived in Edmonds for 14 years and don’t know much about Lynnwood history. What happened after 1917? How did we get to where we are now? Here’s some of what I’ve learned as a result of this Christmas program.

Before 1910, only a few hearty pioneers lived in the area. It took about two days to travel some 13 miles to Seattle. Then, in 1910, the electric trolley line which connected Seattle to

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Linda Collins, ACC Orchestra and Choir Conductor

the Esperance stop near Hall’s Lake was extended to Everett. That cut the travel time from the Forest Park stop (later re-named the Alderwood Manor stop) to about one hour.

Around the turn of the 20th century, the Puget Mill Company owned thousands of acres of forest land north of Seattle. Once the land was logged, taxes remained the same as if it still was timbered. To reduce its tax burden, the company decided to sell off some 7,000 acres then covered with blackened stumps and snags. In 1917, it offered land for sale in 5- and 10-acre parcels, known as “stump farms,” within a planned community that it named “Alderwood Manor.” [Incidentally, 1917 is the year of my mother’s birth, may she rest in peace; it’s also the year that the Ballard Locks officially opened for boat traffic and America entered World War I.] play-127

The Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway ran through Alderwood Manor. Just east of the electric trolley tracks, Puget Mill Company built a 30-acre Demonstration Farm to promote land sales. Here, land purchasers could learn to raise chickens, farm fish, and grow fruits and vegetables both for sale and family food. “New Life of the Land” was the name of this project. On the Demonstration Farm was a superintendent’s cottage, hotel, community hall. water tower, chicken houses, and an incubator house. The preferred chicken species was the single comb white leghorn. By 1921, the American Poultry Association had recognized Alderwood Manor as one of the nation’s greatest poultry centers.

Meanwhile, the early residents had a strong desire for a Christian church in their community. They began by meeting for Sunday School in private homes in 1919. On 28 November 1920, Alderwood Manor Community Church was born. They built a wood-frame building on the present site of ACC.

Through the years, things changed. Highway 99, to the west, was completed in 1927. The play-31Great Depression hit Alderwood Manor hard, the price of eggs fell, and many residents left the business. Land parcels were subdivided and sold off. The Demonstration Farm was closed. In 1939, the crucial Interurban Railed ceased operations.

In the late 1940’s, after World War II, a community named Lynnwood (named after Lynn, a real estate agent’s wife) began to emerge around the intersection of Highway 99 and 196th Street SW. In 1939, the Interurban railway was converted into a power line corridor. In the 1990s, the right-of-way was opened to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Today, the Interurban Trail is a 16-mile, hard-surfaced, non-motorized, rail trail.

The City of Lynnwood is now planning another major transformation. It is converting to high-density, high-rise, mixed-use (commercial and residential) zoning in its City Center. Among the regulatory changes is this: the maximum allowable building height in the City Center Core is up to 350 feet. Assuming that one story equals 10 feet, that’s a building height of 35 stories! The City’s long-range, 20-year vision is to become the “Bellevue of the North.” The current population of Lynnwood is about 38,000. play-118

Much of Alderwood Manor and Lynnwood history is preserved in Heritage Park which opened in 2004 at 19921 Poplar Way. Even some of the original buildings and a railway car, Interurban Car 55, are located there. For more information about this area’s history and its future plans, please see:

 

play-1202020 will be ACC’s 100th anniversary. I wonder what musical they will choose for their 32nd Christmas program. Will I still be playing trumpet and blogging in 2020, at age 80? As my dear, late mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, was fond of saying, “Time waits for no man.”

Photos courtesy of John Crozier, http://www.crozierphotography.com. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

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Busking for VFW at Edmonds Veterans Plaza

Posted by glennled on October 11, 2017

 

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Glenn Ledbetter, busking at Veterans Plaza in Edmonds

The ad said that Saturday, 7 October, would be the last day this year for the Edmonds Museum Summer Market (see http://www.historicedmonds.org/summermarket). So I hustled down to the adjacent Veterans Plaza, set up my trumpet and cornet at about 10:30 a.m., and played for 1.5 hours until noon. It was the first time I’d done it since 1 July—my wife and I had traveled to Washington, D.C., Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England for most of July and August.

My repertoire of some 125 songs comes mostly from musicals and movies, plus patriotic songs. Kind and generous people came up to make donations and talk. Music brings out the best in us, doesn’t it? To me, that’s why God gave us beauty and spread so much artistic talent among all the nations and cultures on earth. I often ask my listeners, “What’s your favorite musical?” One woman said Hello, Dolly, so I played the title song. Another said Fiddler on the Roof, and I played “If I Were a Rich Man.” Sometimes I sing, too, just because it’s so much fun, not because I can sing well, believe me. I like to sing “O, What a Beautiful Morning,” “St. James Infirmary,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Shenandoah,” “When I Fall in Love,” “What a Wonderful World,” and a few others.

I raised $52 in that hour and a half. Then I gave half of it to VWF Post 8870 in Edmonds and VFW Post 1040 in Lynnwood, where I am the Post Bugler. Busking and teaching trumpet make me feel like Johnny Appleseed. Try it—you’ll like it, too.

 

 

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Glenn, the Edmonds Trumpet Busker!

Posted by glennled on July 7, 2017

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Glenn Ledbetter, busking at Veterans Plaza in Edmonds. All donations ($128, so far) go to VFW.

I finally did it—public busking with my Getzen trumpet. It’s an idea that’s been germinating within me for a long time, especially since my wife and I enjoyed listening to a grisly, picturesque old accordion player on the bridge crossing the River Wear in Durham, England in August, 2014, and to a dandy Scottish bagpiper blasting his stirring tunes at the corner of Government and Belleville streets in downtown Victoria, B.C., Canada, on the many occasions we have visited there.  “That’s fun,” I thought. “I can do that.”

So, on three recent Saturdays in June and July, as Nike would advise, I just did it. I donned by veterans cap, American-flag T-shirt, and sat myself down in Veterans Plaza in downtown Edmonds, adjacent to the Saturday Market on 5th Ave. N. and Bell St. As people came and went, walking, sitting, eating, talking, listening, I played for two hours from my busking book of about 125 pieces of music, mostly taken from musicals and movies, plus some patriotic songs and marches.

In my open trumpet case, I placed the sign, “Your Donations Go to VFW.” One Saturday, people donated $48, another $35, and another $45. I sent the $128 to VFW Post 1040 (Lynnwood), where I am the Post Bugler, and VFW Post 8870 (Edmonds), which built the new, outstanding Veterans Plaza. The plaza was dedicated on Memorial Day, 29 May 2017.

Busking is indeed fun. People come up and say the nicest things. Toddlers dance. It’s true—music is the universal language of mankind. Just do it, and you’ll see.

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

Posted by glennled on July 5, 2017

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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.

 

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2017 Northshore School District’s Sixth Grade Honors Concert in Kirkland

Posted by glennled on March 5, 2017

 

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Right to Left: 2017 NSD Honor Band, Choir and Orchestra

Almost 300 6th-grade, honor musicians from 20 elementary schools in the Northshore School District performed for a packed audience of parents, relatives and friends at Northshore Jr. High School in Kirkland on 15 February 2017. First, Robin Enders conducted the 96-member Honor Orchestra, then Melissa Headrick conducted the 95-member Honor Choir, and finally, Kate Labiak conducted the 98-member Honor Band.

The orchestra played three pieces, finishing with the Finale from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, arranged by Richard Meyer. The choir performed four songs, including the very entertaining “Jim-Along Josie,” an American folk song arranged by Reginald Unterseher. The band also performed four pieces, concluding with “Dance Celebration” by Robert W. Smith.

As you know, I teach beginning brass at Skyview Jr. High School; i.e., 5th and 6th grade elementary brass players who come to Skyview and rehearse from 7:50 to 8:25 a.m. five days every week under the guidance of Charlie Fix, Director of Orchestra and Band at Skyview. This year, he selected five of my trumpet players and two of my trombone players to make Honor Band! And, in addition, this is a first—two of our trumpet players and one of our trombone players made Honor Choir!

Enders is Director of Orchestras at Explorer Middle School and Mariner High School in the Mukilteo School District. Her middle school orchestra was a national award winner in 2015. She has been a violin coach with the Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestras. Headrick teaches at Wilder Elementary School in the Lake Washington School District, among many other music leadership activities. Labiak teaches instrumental music at College Place Middle School in Edmonds School District. She also leads many music activities, including conducting one of the four orchestras (Symphonette Orchestra) with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras program since 2003.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Snow-Delayed Holiday Season Concert Performed in January at Skyview in Bothell

Posted by glennled on January 8, 2017

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It snowed on 9 December, so Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell, WA cancelled all its classes. That killed that morning’s holiday season concert which was to be presented by students from nearby Fernwood, Crystal Springs, and Canyon Creek elementary schools. Belatedly, on Friday, 6 January 2017, under the direction of Charlie Fix, the two beginning bands (5th and 6th grades) played a mix of Christmas and other music for the audience of about 150 parents, relatives, and friends.

The 1st-year band performed “Good King Wenceslas,” “Jolly Old St. Nicolas” (a duet), and “Jingle Bells.” The 2nd-year band performed “Spirit of the Stallion” by Brian Balmages and “Glorioso” by Robert W. Smith. The “Stallion” piece is noted for its challenging 26 time-signature changes! Each band also featured performances by the separate instrument sections. For example, the 1st-year brass section played “Mary Ann,” and the 2nd-year brass played “Home on the Range.” I teach beginning brass, Candice Palmberg teaches flutes, Matt Simmons teaches woodwinds, and Jane Lin teaches percussion and also is the music teacher at Crystal Springs Elementary.

Please click on any photo below to enlarge it.

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