Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘music’

“Taps” for Veterans Day Ceremony at Cottage Lake Elementary School in Woodinville

Posted by glennled on December 11, 2019

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Annually, Cottage Lake Elementary School (CLES) in Woodinville presents an exceptional Veterans Day Ceremony, and for the second year in a row, I had the privilege of sounding “Taps” near the end of the program on 12 November. That was immediately followed by the flag-folding ceremony. Brigadier General Raymond W. Coffey, U.S. Army Volunteer Reserve (USAVR), who was emcee of and principal speaker at the ceremony, read a script explaining the symbolic meaning of each of the 13 folds. Please see https://www.ushistory.org/betsy/more/folds.htm.

The principal of CLES is Jennifer Welch, and the chief organizer of this event was Kelsey Brady, music teacher. She played the piano and conducted the school choir in a number of patriotic songs. Students conducted the White Table Ceremony (aka Missing Man Table, Fallen Comrade Table, Fallen Soldier Table, POW/MIA Remembrance Table, and POW/MIA Empty Chair Ceremony). Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_man_table.

About 20 veterans, most wearing clothes that identified them with their military service, were honored by the school and the large audience of parents, relatives and friends. These vets have children or grandchildren who attend CLES. In addition to “Taps,” I sounded two other calls on my gorgeous Getzen bugle—“Assembly” and “To the Color.”

Please use the Archives column (left) to find the article of 18 December 2018 and read about and see many photos of last year’s ceremony.

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More Bands with Brilliant Brass at 2019 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland

Posted by glennled on August 27, 2019

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Opening Fanfare, 2019 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 

The theme of this year’s Royal Ediniburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland was “Kaleidoscope 2019—A Celebration of Glorious Symmetry.” This iconic tattoo is in its 69th season. More than 14 million people have attended the tattoo, and attendance has been a sell-out for 20 consecutive years. It’s spectacular. This year’s show was performed nightly from 2-24 August (~three weeks) on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, and my wife and I attended for the fourth time. We went on opening night. The planning, skill, fitness, discipline, obedience, alertness, teamwork, intelligence, and willpower on display in this show are indicative of what makes an effective, victorious military. And the music is terrific!

The current show features more bands with brass instruments than the other three that we have attended, so it’s one of my favorites. I shot about 400 photos, with close attention on trumpet players. Wouldn’t it be a thrill to perform in this world-famous tattoo, “the Granddaddy of Them All?” Here are a few photos.

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Pipe bands cross the Edinburgh Castle drawbridge onto the esplanade

Performers came from Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, France, China, Nepal, Tasmania, Nigeria, Trinidad, and Tabago. I love the pipes and drums, but I also love conventional wind bands comprised of brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. This year, there were more than the usual number of the latter (in order of appearance):

  • Guards Brigade Band, Silent Drill Platoon and Nigerian Cultural Ensemble
  • Heeresmusikkorps Kassel (Army Band Kassel, Germany)
  • Music De L’Artillerie (Artillery Band of the French Army)
  • Beijing Marching Wind Band and Cultural Display (China)
  • New Zealand Army Band
  • Band of the Scots Guards
  • Band of the Irish Guards
  • Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Tattoo Stage Band

For me, the abundance of these bands made this year’s tattoo one of the top two which I’ve attended. And I’m always thrilled with anticipation when the herald trumpets sound the fanfare to open the show. This year two trumpet ensembles played “Pure Light” and “The Prism.”

The kaleidoscope was invented in 1816 by the Scotsman, Sir David Brewster. The instrument displays infinite combinations of patterns and colors. One hundred and twelve years earlier, in 1704, Sir Isaac Newton named seven hues of color in the visible spectrum of light: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (ROYGBIV). Various mixtures of these hues form all colors, including white. Each group in the show was assigned one of Newton’s hues to use in its performance, thus creating a kaleidoscopic effect, representing the “fabulous and constantly changing human mosaic.”

More than 800 musicians created a human kaleidoscope image when they assembled together as the massed military bands and massed pipes and drums . Watching the many intricate, technically precise formations, maneuvers, and movements of the marchers and dancers, dressed in multi-colored uniforms and clothes, was like watching the ever-changing images inside a kaleidoscope.

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Side-stepping by The French Artillery Band Lyon

If you can’t get to Edinburgh for the next tattoo, perhaps you could attend one of these:

Anne, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, is Patron of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. She writes in the tattoo program, “…the glorious symmetries of marching men and women, their disciplined approach—whatever the weather!—the music, the lighting, the projections [onto the castle wall], fireworks, special effects, the storyline and the appreciation of the audience are the very essence of ‘Tattoo.'”

The tattoo is a not-for-profit charity and has raised more than 11 million pounds for many good armed services beneficiaries and arts organizations over the years.

For my accounts of two of the past three tattoos we have attended, please see my blog posts of 6 September 2018 and 18 September 2014, using the Archives in the left column. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations, Festivals & Competitions, Professional Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Blogging Spree—23 Recent Posts!

Posted by glennled on July 25, 2019

Whew! I’ve posted 23 articles here on my blog during the past 11 weeks. For me, that’s a lot—in 11 years of blogging (see Archives column to the left), I’ve never had such an intense, prolific period. At last, I’m caught up to date (pant, pant). The backlog has been fulfilled, the warehouse is finally empty. As I look back at it, I see the following breakdown of these 23 blog posts: Thinking_of_music_color - by Pacific Retirement Services, Inc.

  • Burial-at-Sea, Puget Sound (1)
  • Trumpet shows at retirement communities in Seattle (Wallingford, Broadview twice, and First Hill neighborhoods), Mercer Island, Edmonds, Lynnwood (7)
  • Church orchestra concert, Lynnwood (1)
  • School band concerts involving my students, Bothell (1)
  • New trumpet students for private lessons, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Bothell (3)
  • Summer jazz band camp involving one of my students, Bellevue (1)
  • Recitals, Seattle, Edmonds (2)
  • Moon Walk, 50th anniversary ceremony, Edmonds (1)—(this post also mentions a cemetery memorial and busking to fundraise for VFW on the same day)
  • National holiday and observant day ceremonies (Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day), Lynnwood twice, Mercer Island twice, Edmonds (5)
  • This summary article (1)

Such is my blog. Experiencing these diverse events enables me to reflect about anything—not only music, theory, genres, concerts, shows, ceremonies, camps, bands, orchestras, ensembles, trumpets and cornets, equipment accessories, exercises, techniques, compositions, talent, and such, but also youth, aging, family, patriotism, spirituality, beauty, death, public (including military) service, sacrifice, discipline, teaching, travel, holidays, goals, achievements, gifts, life lessons, sports, recreation, entertainment, laughter, fun, gratitude—you name it, whatever comes up. After all, music is the universal language. And there’s more to come. Bring it on. It’s a Good Life!

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My #48 Trumpet Student Plays Catch-Up This Summer as She Enters Mercer Island High School

Posted by glennled on July 12, 2019

At our first private trumpet lesson on 27 June, I learned from my 48th student that she has plans to join the Mercer Island High School Band (MIHS) as a freshman this fall. She took band and played trumpet in 5th grade but then quit. Now, she misses it and wants MIHSBand[1]to be back in it among friends. They, however, have three more years of experience than she does! Plus, she’s forgotten much of what she had learned. It’s a steep game of Catch-Up!

But she has some things now that she didn’t have in 5th grade—more maturity, motivation, and willingness to practice. Her Mom is realistic about it: she knows her daughter will need to continue private lessons throughout the school year. It’s a steep learning curve to catch up to your peers after a long layoff.th[7]

But if you like playing music, who wouldn’t want to be in the MIHS Band? It’s outstanding. I know—I lived on M.I. for 34 years, and my older son was a drummer in that band. He continues to play now in a group where he lives in New Zealand.

According to the MIHS website, “Currently, almost one of every four MIHS students is enrolled in the band program,” led by Directors Parker Bixby, Ryan Lane, David Bentley, and Carol Krell. There are more than 300 students in the band program.

The MI concert band program is comprised of four bands:

  • Concert Band—freshmen band students.
  • Symphonic Band—over 80 sophomore and junior members (auditioned).
  • Wind Symphony—over 70 sophomores, juniors, and seniors (auditioned).
  • Wind Ensemble—55 members (the premier performing ensemble at MIHS).

In addition, there is the MI marching band which performs during football season. Comprised of more than 280 members, it is one of the largest in the state. It performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA in 1993, 2006, 2013, and 2019.

Besides all this, there are jazz bands and steel drum bands at MIHS. During basketball season the Animal Band takes over. It’s really four bands, formed by splitting the 280-member marching band into four groups. At games, they’re very loud and very enthusiastic animals.

The musicianship level at MIHS is very high. Last school year, 18 band students were selected to the Washington All-State and All-Northwest Bands. The students selected for the All-Northwest group were from Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, and Alaska. During the past five years, more than 50 students made All-State and All-Northwest. Four students have been selected to the National Wind Ensemble. The band has performed at Seattle Seahawks football games and at the 2009 Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup match. In 2008, the band completed a successful 10-day cultural and musical exchange in China.

For a full description of MIHS Bands, please see https://www.mercerislandschools.org/Page/5453

For numerous videos of MIHS bands, please see: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mercer+island+band+boosters+videos&qpvt=mercer+island+band+boosters+videos&FORM=VQFRML

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

Joint Concert—Two Orchestras and Two Choirs at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on May 8, 2019

On the evening of 31 March, two outstanding church orchestras and choirs (O&C) presented a joint concert to a packed-house audience at Alderwood Community Church (ACC) in Lynnwood. The host O&C was from ACC, and the visiting O&C was Mosaic Arts Northwest, based at North Sound Church in Edmonds. It was billed as “Voices of Praise, An Evening of Inspirational Music.” And that it was!

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ACC Orchestra and Choir, 2017

Of special pride to me, of course, was the privilege of playing in the ACC trumpet section, led by Rob Rankin, our superb principal. The ACC C&O performed first, followed by Mosaic, followed by the combined C&Os. The combined orchestra gave us six trumpets, five trombones, two French horns, and one tuba. It was grand.

For the past 9 years, I have played 3rd trumpet in the ACC Orchestra, under the direction of Linda Collins, outstanding Director of Worship Arts Ministry (please see http://www.alderwoodchurchfamily.org/). I have posted numerous blog articles about my experiences, so for this article, let me focus on Mosaic.

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Mosaic Arts Northwest Orchestra and Choir, 2014

Mosaic Arts Northwest (MANW) is a non-profit organization (please see https://mosaicartsnw.wordpress.com/). The 80-member Mosaic C&O is directed by Allan Skoog, who has been an outstanding music director for 45 years. At the time of this joint concert, he was battling cancer. Mosaic originated in 2006, and performs several concerts each season in various locations. Their repertoire includes gospel, classical, a cappella, Americana, and patriotic music. Their music comes alive with energy and sound, appealing to musical audiences of all ages.

According to their website, “Our requirements for membership are simple: work with us. Come to the rehearsals, learn the music, travel to the concerts, become a part of us. There are no auditions.” Mosaic C&O rehearses weekly at Westgate Chapel in Edmonds. “With the goal of creating the best blended sound possible, the members of Mosaic, as much as possible, stand in quartets (SATB) during rehearsals and concerts, rather than typical choral sections.”

Together with the audience at the joint concert at ACC, the sentiment in both choirs and orchestras was—“Let’s do this again!”

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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My 44th Trumpet Student Came and Went

Posted by glennled on December 25, 2018

dc8Mgnjgi[1]My first weekly trumpet lesson with my 44th trumpet student was on 4 December. Two weeks later, he dropped. But no worries—all is not lost. He’s also taking piano lessons (and has for the past two years), but taking lessons on both instruments is just more than he and his family want to handle at his young age (10). Besides, his sister is taking piano and guitar, too, so there’s a lot of music being played in their home.

He’s a 4th grader at Wedgewood Elementary School in Seattle. At our first lesson, I asked him what attracted him to trumpet. “It’s size and weight,” he answered. He walks to and from school daily, and he simply did not want to carry something like a cello. When we started, he already had Bruce Pearson’s Standard of Excellence, Book 1, Trumpet, so we began with that, learning how to make notes on a brass instrument. During our last lesson, I gave him the music for the first four bars of “Happy Birthday,” which he managed quite well.

We parted amicably, and I encouraged him and his mother, saying that he can still become a good trumpet player if he wants to take band in the 5th grade. In my experience, it’s very rare that a fourth-grade trumpeter will stay with private lessons. They burn out. They simply need to grow and develop just one more year, and then most of them will make it. There are many good reasons why almost all elementary schools start band classes in the fifth grade. The kids are bigger and stronger, their hands have grown, and they have more maturity, discipline, and motivation. My 44th student pleasantly accepted this, and indeed, he may join band class next year. He certainly has had a good head start. Good luck, warm regards, so long for now, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

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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.

Posted in Musical Events at Home | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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.

IMG_4517 (2) - Dr. Debbie Montague, Director of Instrumental Music

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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