Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘Seattle Symphony’

Go to the Trumpet Arts Festival Near SPU on Sunday!

Posted by glennled on January 28, 2012

Trumpeters! 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, 29 January—attend the Trumpet Arts Festival being held adjacent to the campus of Seattle Pacific University (SPU).

It’s a full program featuring the following trumpeters: Christopher Smith, Assistant Principal, Seattle Symphony; Bryan Appleby-Wineberg, Rowan University; Vince Green, Western Washington University; and Brian Chin, Seattle Pacific University.

  • At 2 p.m., attend the Masterclass: “Practicing Fundamentals”
  • At 3 p.m., the Masterclass is on “Practicing Jazz Improvisation”
  • At 4 p.m., Bob Malone will conduct the Masterclass, “Finding a Great Horn”

That’s followed at 5 p.m. with a student concert (open to the public). Then the main concert event starts at 7 p.m. The festival ends with an afterhours jam session at 9 p.m. Come hear some great music!

The location is the First Free Methodist Church, 3200 Third Avenue West, Seattle. The cost is $25 tuition and $10 for the evening concert only. Learn more about the featured trumpeters on their websites:

Posted in Festivals & Competitions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess” Opera at McCaw Hall in Seattle

Posted by glennled on August 15, 2011

George and Ira Gershwin

Porgy and Bess premiered in New York in 1935 during the Great Depression and in Seattle in 1987. My wife and I finally saw it for the first time yesterday in McCaw Hall, home of Seattle Opera. It was my gift to her for her birthday.

Yes, we knew many of the hit songs from this most famous American opera: “Summertime,” “I Loves You, Porgy,” “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” “I Got Plenty O Nuttin’,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and “A Woman Is a Sometime Thing.” But no, we had no idea of the content, storyline, and plot. I was simply expecting a love story with some hard times; the ending might be happy or sad, I did not know. This folk/jazz opera was that and much, much more.

I learned that the uncut opera is almost four hours long. This version (including a 30-minute intermission) lasted almost three hours. It is set in Catfish Row in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1935, it was quite radical—an all-black cast using authentic dialogue. It’s based on a 1925 novel, Porgy,by DuBose Heyward. To me, the love story is turned tragic by addiction to sex and drugs. And yet, Bess’ love for the

Ruby Elzy, the original Serena, performed the role more than 800 times.

beggar and congenital cripple, Porgy, would not have happened were it not for her addiction and his disability. He is her means from a dissolute to a decent life; she is his means out of rejection, isolation, and loneliness. The opera is filled with conflicts: striving for good—survival, love, a better life, God and Jesus—and falling into evil—gambling, drinking, racism, promiscuity, prostitution, pimping, drug dealing, cocaine (“happy dust”), abuse, and murder. The ending is ambiguous. For all this, it is said that the show is born from a love of black people.

The star performer was Gordon Hawkins (baritone) as Porgy, paired with Lisa Daltirus (soprano) as Bess. Among my favorites were Angel Blue (soprano) as Clara, Jermaine Smith (tenor) as Sportin’ Life, and Mary Elizabeth Williams (soprano) as Serena.

And how exciting would it be to play in the ~60-piece Seattle Opera Orchestra? That must feel so special and so fun! For Porgy and Bess, there were three trumpeters: Justin Emerich, principal, Vince Green, and Brian Chin. Emerich is former solo/first trumpet with the Canadian Brass and is now a faculty member at the Cornish College of the Arts. Green is on the faculty of Western Washington University and often performs with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Opera, and the Seattle Symphony. Chin teaches full-time at Seattle Pacific University and is principal trumpet at the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra.

Posted in Professional Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Holiday Pops with Cirque De La Symphonie, Seattle Symphony

Posted by glennled on December 14, 2009

Yesterday, my wife and I returned to Benaroya Hall in Seattle with two close relatives to attend the annual Holiday Pops concert. This year the Seattle Symphony was accompanied by the Cirque De La Symphonie. Their seven artists performed incredible “circus” acts while the symphony played music by Leroy Anderson, Ralph Vaugh Williams, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Bizet, Schubert and others. Our unanimous favorite act was that by Alexander Streltsov, aerial artist, to “Ave Maria” by Franz Schubert, arranged by Carmen Dragon. It was a spectacular sight and lovely sound. The combination of Schubert’s music and Streltsov’s movements, poses, and soarings was a magnificient interpretation of what it must have meant to be Mary, mother of Jesus, Son of God. Our second favorite artist was Christine Van Loo, also an aerial artist, who performed twice. Her first act was accompanied by “Walking in the Air” from “The Snowman Suite,” by Howard Blake, arranged by Tony Osborne. Her second was performed to “Waltz of the Flowers” from “The Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky. Both were superb.

For this performance, the brass section was composed of four trumpets, four French horns, three trombones, and one tuba–I counted. Boy, can they take over, with solid, powerful punch and depth, whenever the conductor wants them to!

I believe the classical orchestra is a signal achievement of western civilization and culture. Can you think of any other culture that has produced any comparable organization for the performance of its music? The variety of orchestral instruments is amazing in itself. And the variety and complexity of music which they can collectively produce as a group is unique–the range of expression of the western orchestra cannot be found anywhere else in the world. And the composers who write music for the orchestra–these are the highest artists on the musical totem pole, in my opinion.  The composers are the creators. They are the best of the best, and their best works last for centuries.

Yes, the orchestra is limited. Like anything else created by humans, it cannot do everything, cannot fulfill every need and desire. And all other cultures have produced unique, expressive music, some of it utterly fantastic. However, their groups, their musical organizations, their genres, also are limited–and I contend they are much more limited than the western orchestra in their variety of sounds and expression of human experience. Orchestral music demands the highest level of mastery from all its pieces and parts, from the composer to the conductor to the musicians to the instruments to the concert halls. As you know, I love bands–marching, concert, pep, dance, jazz, any kind of band. But to me, the western classical orchestra is king–I tip my hat in salute to the orchestra.

Posted in Professional Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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