Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘piano’

Music Soirees at Home with Family From Edmonds and Anchorage

Posted by glennled on April 3, 2018

The merry month of March brought us together with our three musical grandchildren in our home. One Friday night (9th), our 12-year old granddaughter tucked her viola under every-person-should-play-the-violin-300x249[1]her chin and played for my wife and me the concert music performed by her 7th-grade orchestra at Meadowdale Middle School in Lynnwood. That prompted us to play our own instruments, too—my wife (piano) and me (trumpet).

Then two grandkids from Alaska flew down to stay with us (14th-17th) during their school’s spring break. One, a 16-year old girl, has played violin in the orchestra, and the other, a 15-year old boy, plays saxophone in the band at Dimond High School. Both take private lessons. She brought her violin, and he brought two saxophones and two bagpipes. One night when the viola player came over to visit, all four of us performed solos for her entertainment. images

To top it off, the boy came with me twice to Skyview Middle School in Bothell to play with the 5th-grade kids whom I teach there. On one of the mornings when I teach beginning brass, he sat in with his saxophone among the 23 trumpeters and four trombonists. The next morning, when the full band (about 65 members) practiced, he demonstrated for them both the sax and bagpipes, and then he sat in with his sax.

What could be better than that, folks?!

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Posted in Musical Events at Home | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Christmas Eve, 2015, Features Trumpet, Viola, and Piano

Posted by glennled on February 17, 2016

Christmas Day 2015My wife and I have 9 wonderful grandchildren. One in New Zealand plays the drums. One in Alaska plays the violin, and another there plays the saxophone. One in Bellingham, Washington plays the ukulele. And now, this year, one here in Edmonds is learning to play the viola. My wife plays the piano, and I play the trumpet.

We could have a family septet, but what composer ever wrote music for that combination of instruments and when/where would we ever get together? We need an arranger, and then maybe we could all assemble somewhere for Christmas someday and perform.

We’re traditionalists. Each year after our traditional Christmas Eve ham dinner, we then participate in a traditional program in the living room of our home, reading the prophecy of Isaiah about the coming of a Savior and the story of Jesus’ birth, praying, singing and playing Christmas carols and songs, and opening gifts. That’s when three of us did play this year for the family—trumpet, viola, and piano.

From “The Big Book of Christmas Songs,” I played “O Holy Night,” accompanied by my wife on piano, and soloed “Santa Baby,” showing off my new Getzen trumpet (see my post of 14 December). Our granddaughter played a few pieces on her viola—some solo and some with accompaniment—from the instruction book, “Essential Elements for Strings, Book 1” by Robert Gillespie, Pamela Tellejohn Hayes, and Michael Allen. And while my wife played the piano, all six of us sang from her own beautiful songbook, “Christmas Songs and Carols for a Season of Happiness.” The songbook contains the lyrics to 39 pieces, and she plays the music by memory!

Next year, perhaps we’ll all three play together as a trio. Perhaps someone else will then join us, and we’ll work our way up towards becoming a family septet. Or maybe the other two grandchildren will choose their own favorite instruments and take some lessons so we can become a nonet.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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22nd Trumpet Student Has High Ambitions

Posted by glennled on April 13, 2015

Chris Botti, trumpeter

Chris Botti, trumpeter

Natalie Dungey. trumpeter

“We’re a musical family!” says the Mom of my 22nd trumpet student, a 7th grade student at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell. His first lesson with me was on 1 July. He plays his Mom’s trumpet, the one her parents bought for her when she was in 10th grade at age 16. (Her Dad played cornet.) She made All-State Band in Texas, and now her son (13), has an even loftier ambition–to become a professional musician and play “awesome” trumpet. His favorite trumpeter is Chris Botti (www.chrisbotti.com/us), and he’s a great admirer of Natalie Dungey (www.nataliedungey.com).

He likes classical music but also plays in the school jazz band, which he says helps him make different sounds and improves his ability to read music. Within the past year, he’s taken up drums (his Dad plays drums) and tinkers around on the piano. He’s started a composition for an ensemble of 2 trumpets, 2 violas, 1 tuba, 1 snare drum, 1 alto sax, and 1 flute. Meanwhile, he also wrestles and plays soccer. And his older sister sings and plays piano, guitar, and clarinet, while his younger sister “sings like a mocking bird,” says her Mom.

Why did he choose trumpet? Because it has such a “powerful sound that it hits you in the face, but at the same time it can make soft sounds that are pure beauty.” Right on!

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

Come to the Trumpet Arts Festival at SPU on Sunday, 3 March

Posted by glennled on February 4, 2013

Picture1 - MS PublisherTrumpeters! Want to become your best? Want a quick study on playing the trumpet? Feel like you’re stuck on something and just not getting any better at it, no matter what? Want to hear how advanced, professional trumpeters do things and what they’ve learned through their years of experience? Want to ask them a question about something?

Here’s your chance on Sunday, 3 March—attend the Trumpet Arts Festival being held at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) in Queen Anne. Please see http://trumpetarts.com/NW_Trumpet_Arts_Festival/Welcome.html.

The following trumpeters are featured this year: Peter Bond, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, NYC; Anthony Di Lorenzo, soloist; Chad McCullough, jazz soloist; Judson Scott, University of Puget Sound; and Brian Chin, SPU. To learn more about them, please see http://trumpetarts.com/NW_Trumpet_Arts_Festival/Artists.html.

It’s a full program:

  • At 2 p.m., the Masterclass: “Practicing Fundamentals”
  • At 3:30 p.m., the Masterclass: “Practicing Improvisation”
  • At 4:30 p.m., Student Concert open to the public
  • At 7:00 p.m., Artists’ Concert open to the public
  • At 9:00 p.m., After-hours Jazz Jam at Thai Fusion, 15 Nickerson St

If you like, you can bring your horn and piano music and play for the Artists. They will give you written comments on your performance. This is supportive, professional, expert feedback, not a contest. Bring your own pianist/accompanist, or rehearse for a half hour and perform with the pianist furnished by the Festival.  An extra $40 fee covers the cost. For details, please see http://trumpetarts.com/NW_Trumpet_Arts_Festival/Students.html.

The location is the E.E. Bach Theater, SPU,  3307 Third Avenue West, Seattle. The cost is $25 tuition for the day and $10 for the evening concert only. Come learn more about yourself and your horn and hear some great music!

Posted in Festivals & Competitions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Piano Concert Tonight Benefits Underprivileged Children in Vietnam

Posted by glennled on December 3, 2011

Saturday night at 7 p.m., 3 December, Brooks Tran will sit down at the piano and play a concert to benefit low-income Vietnamese families whose children might otherwise be unable to attend school. The concert is a fund-raiser for the sponsor, Compassion in Deeds (CID), a non-profit organization. The concert location is in the chapel at The Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N. in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. Tickets are $12 each. See http://www.historicseattle.org/projects/gsc.aspx.

Tran was one of the winners of the concerto competition in November within the School of Music at the University of Washington. On 12 January 2012, he will perform Piano Concerto #1 in G Minor, OP. 25, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) I. Molto allegro con fuoco II. Andante III. Presto – Molto allegro e vivace. Tran is a student of Craig Sheppard. He plans to complete his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance in Spring 2012. See http://www.music.washington.edu/upcoming/detail/39408.

Proceeds go into the CID Scholarship Program which provides financial assistance to students attending primary or secondary schools in Vietnam, where the average family income is less than US$90 a month and the average primary/secondary tuition at a public school is nearly US$70 a year per child. Kids in poor families often must drop out of school to help their families. Without proper education, they have little chance for a better life.

Scholarships in the amount of $100 a year help pay for the basic educational needs such as tuition, fees, uniforms and school supplies. The monies are distributed directly to the recipients. To encourage students to earn a high school diploma, CID pledges to continue assistance to the recipients each year until graduation, provided they keep in good academic standing.

Currently, CID’s prime target areas are in the rural southern region near Ho Chi Minh City, central region near Binh-Thuan and Da-Nang, and the highlands region near Kon-Tum.  In the past two years, CID has provided 85 scholarships, with over half of the awards going to repeat recipients.

If you are unable to attend but wish to make a donation, please see the CID website, http://www.cid-vn.org/index.php, or email compassionindeeds@gmail.com. As they say in their motto, “Because every child deserves a chance.”

Posted in Professional Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Christmas Eve Duet: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” with Cornet and Piano

Posted by glennled on December 26, 2010

Glenn Ledbetter plays his 56-year old Super Olds cornet

Know how a song pops into your mind from nowhere, seems significant, and won’t go away? Early during the last week of Advent before Christmas Day, my wife “heard” me sweetly playing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” on my cornet on Christmas Eve. So on Thursday I practiced it, and on Friday night in our living room filled with family members, I played it at a moderate beat with plenty of vibrato and careful phrasing and dynamics. The first verse was solo, and on subsequent verses, she joined in on the piano, and everyone sang.

And then we sang lots of other carols, too, from the booklet of lyrics which she self-published a few years ago. That’s part of the way we celebrate on Christmas Eve (see my post of 30 December 2009, on the duet we played last year—“O Holy Night”—and more).

Late Christmas morning, some dear relatives who were not with us on Christmas Eve came over to visit, and after some delicious treats, we repeated the performance. They arrived happy and left happy. And so, as Dickens’ Tiny Tim said, “A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!”

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

Bright, 4th-Grade Beginner Has Head Start in Magnolia

Posted by glennled on November 14, 2010

A piano sits in the living room—Mom wants live music in the home. Her 10-year old son (in 4th grade and my 11th student) has a head start. He’s a smart, friendly kid with a bright spirit and smile. And he likes music! He’d already had some music education before I arrived on the scene, so there are some basic things I don’t have to teach him. We can focus on the trumpet itself right away. He’s taking band at Lawton Elementary School in Magnolia in Seattle, but they meet only once a week. So when we ended our first lesson together last Wednesday, he got the usual assignment: practice for 30 minutes at least four times a week (or 20 minutes, five times a week). He seems eager to play the horn. They’re going to have some lovely, lively music in their home!

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

“Homey” Spring Recital for Trumpets & Piano

Posted by glennled on June 9, 2010

“Oh, no!” is sometimes a student’s first reaction to hearing that a recital is coming. But that soon turns to “OK,” and afterwards, the feeling is “Ah, that wasn’t so bad” and even “Wow! that was fun. I’ll do that again.”

It certainly was fun for me and my wife. Six of my students came with their trumpets and cornets and one of her piano students came to our home last Saturday to play music. We filled the living room with chairs for grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. Four students played in the morning session, and three played in the afternoon. One trumpet student was away on an overnight school trip. Think of it: my first student began taking lessons with me just 10 months ago!

The printed program showed who played what and when. Most played two pieces, and a few played three. I accompanied the ninth grader on “Fanfare for the Common Man,” one of my favorities by Aaron Copland, first performed in 1942, during World War II.

After the program, everyone enjoyed cookies, sparkling apple cider, and conversation. My wife told them that after a few recitals, the group begins to feel like a little family.

Here’s the thing about recitals. Students should feel confident and comfortable with the music. Playing in front of people, including strangers, produces the jitters and the butterflies in one’s stomach. Good, that’s part of music education and development from students into performers. We all learn to handle these situations only by doing. It comes only through experience. But remember the good feeling that comes after a performance, even if it was not perfect? That’s one of the best lessons of the whole adventure: there is life after a recital! You live through it. It doesn’t kill you. And, in the end, it’s fun. And imagine experiencing this: people are proud of you, even if you’re not perfect, and they enjoy supporting and participating in your growth and progress. You feel good about yourself for having done it. We’re talkin’ acceptance and love. It’s all part of becoming your best.

Among the pieces played were “Lavender’s Blue,” “Mexican Hat Dance,” “Minor Rock,” “Doxy,” “Tattoo,” “Yankee Doodle,” “This Land is Your Land,” “Taps,” and “Feather Theme.”

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

Christmas Eve Concert–Cornet and Piano Duet

Posted by glennled on December 30, 2009

"O Holy Night"

The Christmas Eve tradition in our family, hosted in our home, goes like this. All family members who are in town come over for dinner. (We have two grown sons, a daughter and three grandkids in southern California, Las Vegas, and New Zealand.) This year we were 10 locals (including four grandchildren) around our dining room table. After dinner, we sing Christmas carols. My wife is a piano instructor. While she plays, everyone sings the lyrics from the songbook she created a few years ago, especially for this annual occasion. Once, one of our local grandsons played the clarinet for us. This year it was my turn to solo at the family concert. I played “O Holy Night,” accompanied by my wife. Our daughter videoed our duet. I encouraged all my students to play something for their families during their own holiday festivities.

After Bible readings from Luke and Isaiah about Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and prayer, we do what the kids have been patiently waiting for: open presents! Finally, there is an evening snack, and they all go home, stomachs full, arms and hands laden with prize gifts, faces beaming, and eyes sparkling. Santa Claus is coming tonight!

My cornet is a “Super Olds” model with the nickel-silver rimmed bell, made by F.E. Olds & Son in Los Angeles. Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Louis Prima, and Raphael Mendez are among those who played various Olds instruments. Olds started making trombones in about 1910, and later added other brass instruments, introducing the Super Olds line in 1932. My cornet ranked in the mid-range of the various Olds models of its time. Today, the equivalent horn probably costs about $1,700. Mine cost my parents $250, and I was so proud! Why did I choose a cornet? Simple: our high school band director specified that we all play cornets, not trumpets. He preferred the cornet’s more mellow tone and wanted a cornet section, not a trumpet section, in his band.

My Super Olds has been around. I played it all through high school and college. It took me to All-State Band in Texas and on music scholarship to Abilene Christian College and the University of Washington. It went to the Rose Bowl when we marched in the Rose Bowl Parade and gave a half-time performance during the football game: UW Huskies beat U of Minnesota Gophers, 17-7. Now I play it in the Husky Alumni Band.

I’ve played my Super Olds in concert, jazz, dance, and pep bands, in orchestras for operas and musicals, and in a U.S. Navy bugle corps. It’s traveled from Texas to Washington to Rhode Island. And now I’ve played it in a duet with my lovely wife in our own warm living room for our own special family. Yes, my horn looks a little worn, but it plays as well as ever. I like that.

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

 
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