Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘orchestra’

Dancers Swing at Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park to Big Band Music by Moonlight Swing Orchestra

Posted by glennled on February 15, 2020

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Swing dancing to the Moonlight Swing Orchestra

 

At Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park, Seattle, there is a community treasure. It’s a public entertainment venue where musicians play and people eat, listen, talk, and dance. It was there on a Saturday night, 25 January, that my wife and I went to dinner and heard the Big Band sound of the mighty Moonlight Swing Orchestra (MSO).

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The Moonlight Swing Orchesta

This non-union orchestra has been playing for more than 15 years in the Greater Seattle and North Sound areas and has developed a public following of fans. At this performance, people came to dance, and they appeared to be quite accomplished—some might even be dance instructors, they were so good and having such fun. The dance floor could accommodate about 30-40 couples at once, and the space was filled for almost every song. Here are a few of the 28 songs they played in two sets: “In the Mood,” “Mas Que Nada,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “New York, New York,” “Bye Bye Blackbird,” and “That’s All.” Please see http://thirdplacecommons.org/calendar. IMG_6293 (2)

Naturally, I paid close attention to the brass players. In fact, I’ve played alongside of one of them myself on other occasions. The regular trumpeters are Rick Newell (lead), Jeff Davis (2nd and shares lead), Dan Hall, and Debbie Dawson. Two others play when needed: Jim Bradbury and Doug Hodges. The vocalist was Robin Hilt.

Mark Kunz, MSO’s leader and an alto sax player, says the orchestra practices most Wednesdays for about two hours in Monroe and performs about once a month. They are now contracted for 10 gigs this year, so far. “The Third Place Commons performance was the best attended we’ve had at that location,” he said. They’ll be back at Third Place Commons on 25 July. Please see http://thirdplacecommons.org/contact/.IMG_6236

MSO regularly plays at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue, Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, Monroe Community Senior Center, and Concerts in the Park in Langley on Whidbey Island. Other current, public bookings are in Everett and Tulalip. They are available for private bookings, too, including weddings and other events such as their annual performance on New Year’s Eve at Emerald Heights Retirement Community in Redmond. Please see http://moonlightswingorchestra.org.

Mr. Kunz says the musicians are an eclectic group—many with professional experience and others who are talented amateurs. Collectively, they have more than 200 years experience. The orchestra is paid nominally per performance, and the musicians’ individual shares basically cover expenses. They just love playing the music of Dorsey, Ellington, Miller, Shaw, and others for their fans. They have one CD currently available and another in process.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Meadowdale High School’s Winter Band and Orchestra Concert, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on January 3, 2020

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Full Orchestra, Meadowdale HIgh School, Edmonds, 12-17-2019

 

Seven different bands and orchestras from Meadowdale High School (MHS) in Edmonds performed a dozen pieces at the Winter Concert in the Great Hall on 17 December. My wife and I were there to see and hear our granddaughter play in the 22-member Concert Orchestra. Emily Hurd conducts the bands, and Nathan Rengstorf conducts the orchestras.

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Four trumpeters, MHS Wind Ensemble

The Concert Orchestra played “Greensleeves” and “Danza, II Allegro.” As a trumpet player and teacher, I especially enjoyed the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Full Orchestra. “Minor Alterations: Christmas Through the Looking Glass” was the most memorable piece to me, and it was a huge treat to hear the Full Orchestra play “The Polar Express.” The 61-member Full Orchestra  blends strings with brass, woodwinds, and percussion for a big, colorful sound. The concert concluded with the Combined Orchestras (71 members, including two guitars and two percussion) playing “Boughs of Holly.”

The Meadowdale Arts & Music Booster Organization (MAMBO) was there to support and promote the school’s music program. Learn more about MAMBO at http://www.mhsMAMBO.org.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Full Orchestra

 

Wind Ensemble

 

Symphonic Band

 

Combined Orchestras

 

Chamber Orchestra

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Nathan Rengstorf, Conductor

Symphonic Orchestra

Concert Orchestra

MAMBO

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“Bubblelator” Christmas Show at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 29, 2019

 

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This year, Alderwood Community Church (ACC) presented its 32nd Christmas musical—-“Christmas in the Bubbleator.” The Bubbleator was a spherical elevator in a building at the Century 21 World’s Fair in Seattle in 1962. (I graduated from the University of Washington that summer, and I rode in the Bubbleator with my parents from Texas.) Five performances produced a total attendance of about 2,800 during 6, 7, 8 December. For the second time, the church had commissioned Matthew Wilson to write a play. The first one was his “New Life of the Land” which also debuted at ACC  (use the Archives column on the left to see my post of 13 December 2017). This one is the sequel to that. _M3A0425

The play takes place in the span of only about two hours on Christmas Eve of 1961, about three months prior to the opening of the World’s Fair. The main character is a high school girl from Alderwood Manor (which was by then part of the new city, Lynnwood). She has applied for a job as a Bubblelator operator, posing as “Jacqueline Clarington,” the daughter of a wealthy San Francisco family. She dreams of living that Big City lifestyle in the future, and this job is to be a first step in that direction (use the Archives column on the left to see my post of 13 December 2017). Christmas in the Bubbleator, 2019_Moment(15)

In fact, she is actually Barbara Beck, the granddaughter of John and Margaret Beck, chicken farmers from Alderwood Manor. When she had applied earlier using her real name and address, Barbara received a rejection letter. But as Jacqueline Clarington from San Francisco, she is virtually already hired after she had an exaggerated, demonstrative interview with the Fair Director. Her grandparents spoiled her imaginative but devious plan. She is stricken by their honesty, goodwill, and love of her, and her conscience compels her to expose her fraud in a late confession to the Fair Director. “Everything I’ve told you is a lie. I wanted to be part of something great, but tonight, I realize that I already am. Oh…Merry Christmas!” The three of them leave the fairgrounds and return to reality—family and church back in Alderwood Manor. To see a high quality video of this entire Christmas show, produced by Monique Anderson for ACC, please see https://vimeo.com/380922775/85e704f214.

The 22-member orchestra, 55-member choir and The Evergreens combo (vocalist, saxophone and vocalist, lead guitar, and bass guitar) performed numerous pieces of music before, during and after the show. The brass section was comprised of three trumpets, three trombones, and one French horn.

Photos are courtesy of Alderwood Community Church. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

 

ACC Orchestra

 

ACC Choir

 

Cast

 

The Evergreens

 

Scenes From Play

 

Other Scenes

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My Trumpet Student Solos at “Jazz Night” at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 20, 2019

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Junior Jazz Band, Eckstein Middle School, Seattle

 

One hundred and eighty-six student musicians performed for a packed audience on “Jazz Night” on 21 November at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle. And one of them was a 6th grade trumpet player who has been taking private lessons from me since May 2018. I recall that he originally chose trumpet because it sounded “jazzy” (see my blog post of 12 May 2018). And here he was now, one and a half years later, my 42nd trumpet student, at this evening concert—the featured trumpet soloist when the 29-member Junior Jazz Band played “Second Line” (Joe Avery Blues). IMG_5627

Mr. Cuauhtémoc Escobedo (“Mr. E” or “Moc”) is Director of Bands, Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz. After the Junior Jazz Band opened the concert, Vocal Jazz II performed two songs.  Next, the 28-member Intermediate Jazz Band, with 7 trumpeters, played four pieces. Fourth on the program was Vocal Jazz I, the largest group (67 members). Lastly, the strong Senior Jazz Band (41 members, including 7 trumpeters) concluded the concert with five pieces.

As I sat again in Eckstein Auditorium, I was reminded of a former trumpet student of mine who also played in the winter concert there, also conducted by Mr. Escobedo, 8 years ago (please see my blog post of 14 December 2011). I remain in touch with his mom, a nurse. She says he continued to play trumpet in the concert, jazz, and pep bands through four years at two high schools. “Band was great for him,” she wrote to me. “It gave him a home wherever he went.” He’s now a senior at Western Washington University in Bellingham, studying manufacturing engineering. “He is quite the young man. I am very proud of him. He has had several 4.0 quarters and is on the Dean’s list. Hopefully, his job search will go well when he finishes.” IMG_5723

That prompted me to re-read my first blog post about him, then a sixth grader and my fourth student. (Please use the Archives in the left column to find 18 November 2009.) He sounded good in tone and articulation but was very frustrated, struggling with fingering, range, and reading music—no wonder—almost no one can teach themselves to play trumpet well. I wrote, “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!”

My 42nd student, now at Eckstein, doesn’t struggle with trumpet the way my fourth student did. He’s quite talented and advanced for his age. But I feel the same about both of them. “Let’s give the kid some successes!…Let him dream!…Help him dream!”—and then watch what happens!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Junior Jazz Band

 

Intermediate Jazz Band

 

Senior Jazz Band

 

Vocal Jazz I & II

 

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Fall Band and Orchestra Concert at Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on October 31, 2019

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Wind Ensemble, Meadowdale High School, Lynnwood, Emily Hurd, Conductor, 10-30-2019

It was a full house in the Great Hall of Meadowdale High School (MHS) in Lynnwood on 30 October to hear the concert by six groups of musicians—Percussion Ensemble, Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Symphony Strings, Wind Ensemble, and Chamber Orchestra. All told, they performed 15 pieces.

Why would I attend? Not because I might have a private trumpet student who was playing in one of the two bands—I don’t. Not because MHS is in the Edmonds School District and I live in Edmonds—that wouldn’t do it. Nope—I gladly went because my precious granddaughter plays in one of the groups—that’s it!

Nathan Rengstorf is the director of the three orchestras, while Emily Hurd is director of the Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. I particularly enjoyed “Technology,” “Wood Splitter Fanfare,” “The Irish Baker,” “Waltz of the Wicked,” “Puszta Mvt. 1,” and “Incantations.”

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Percussion Ensemble and Concert Orchestra

Symphonic Band

 

Wind Ensemble

 

 

 

 

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Fall Cleaning of My Four Horns—Now I’m Ready!

Posted by glennled on September 11, 2019

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Four trumpets, all completely disassembled and ready to clean. Upper left: Getzen Eterna trumpet, Super Olds cornet, and Jupiter pocket trumpet. Upper right: Getzen field trumpet (bugle). Lower left: all the slides from the three horns above. Lower right: Nine valves and 11 mouthpieces (including one trombone).

 

I’m switching from petroleum-based valve oil to synthetic, so I want to take no chances on possible incompatibility. If the two brands don’t mix, they can cause the valves to stick badly—almost freeze. So I wanted to rid my horns of all traces of the petroleum oil before I applied the synthetic.

On 25 August, I took over the kitchen for a few hours. And as long as I was going to clean my three horns with valves, why not clean the bugle, too? These are the four:

  • Getzen Eterna Trumpet, Doc Severinsen Model (c.1977)
  • Super Olds Cornet (1954)
  • Jupiter Pocket Trumpet (2000)
  • Getzen Field Trumpet [bugle] (2015)

It’s fall. Had to get my horns ready. In September, UW football games began, and I’m in the Husky Alumni Band. We play at home games. Also, the orchestra at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood resumes performances at certain Sunday services and begins preparations for the annual Christmas musical in December. I’ve played in this orchestra since 2010. Sometime in September, I’d like to busk at Veterans Plaza in Edmonds one more time before this year’s nearby Saturday Market shuts down until next May. I do it to fundraise for the VFW. In October, I begin my 9th year teaching beginning brass at Skyview Middle School in Bothell. And meanwhile, I’m booked to play one-hour trumpet shows at some retirement homes this fall. It’s all very fun.

My horns are now ready. I’m ready. Needless to say, I admire and love my horns. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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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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Fifth Grade Band Performs Third and Final Concert at Skyview Middle School in Bothell

Posted by glennled on June 23, 2019

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5th Grade Band, Skyview Middle School, 06-05-2019

The 44-member fifth grade band performed its third and final concert of the school year under the direction of Dan Carlson on the evening of 5 June at Skyview Middle School in Bothell. The audience of family members, relatives and friends totaled more than 100.

The program was comprised of five pieces:

  • “Frere Jacques” (4-part round)
  • “Major Scale Skill” (Concert Bb Major)
  • “Montego Bay” (Calypso song)
  • “Regal March” (by Bruce Pearson)
  • “Eye of the Tiger” (arr. by Gerald Sebesky)

Mr. Carlson presented awards to 10 students among the three sections: percussion, woodwinds, and brass. The brass section consisted of 9 trumpeters and 7 trombonists. The award categories were Leadership, Most Improved, Most Inspirational, and Most Outstanding.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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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 Trumpet Student Shines at the Mid-Winter Orchestra Concert, Garfield High School, Seattle

Posted by glennled on January 18, 2019

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Concert Orchestra, Bryan Kolk, Conductor, Garfield High School, Seattle, 20 December 2018

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Aidan Grambihler, Principal Trumpet, Concert Orchestra, Garfield High School, 2018-19

 

On 20 Dec 2018, all the orchestras at Garfield High School gathered with the choirs and bands to present their Mid-Winter Concert to a packed audience in Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center in Seattle. The principal trumpet in the Concert Orchestra is my student. He’s been taking lessons with me almost three years, starting in his last year at Washington Middle School (see my blog posts of 13 April and 25 July 2016). For several years, it’s been his ambition to play in the GHS orchestras. He’s made it, and I’m proud of him!

Here is a photo gallery of the GHS Concert Orchestra, followed by some others on the program. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

GHS Concert Orchestra

 

Other Orchestras, Band, Choir, Soloist, and Ensembles

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