Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘solo’

Christmas Eve Celebration at Home, 2017

Posted by glennled on December 31, 2017

IMG_7433

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 »

New Student #27 Readies for Edmonds-Woodway High School Band

Posted by glennled on February 21, 2016

thMAGS9S7MEvery one of my trumpet students is serious about playing trumpet—after all, they’re paying for private lessons. But some are more serious than others, and my 27th student is one of those. She started in fifth grade band but due to circumstances beyond her control, she had to drop out for two years. Now in the eighth grade, she has moved to downtown Edmonds from Des Moines, Washington, and is now in the trumpet section of the Wind Ensemble at College Place Middle School.

trumpet02

She likes the fact that the trumpet has only three keys. That, and its light weight and smaller size compared to a tuba, for instance, are what first attracted her (and me) to the trumpet when we were in the fifth grade. It looks deceptively simple, compared to a bassoon, flute, saxophone, or clarinet, where you must use all fingers on both hands. Then the band teacher starts using the French word, “embouchure,” and suddenly, it’s not so simple any more. You find out you must hold your lips just right to buzz into the mouthpiece correctly, and every note has its own unique slot, and to sound different notes, your facial muscles must be set just right, and the aperture must be just the right size for a given note, and your lips must be flexible to make a good, solid tone, and if you aren’t doing all this just right, your tone will be out of tune (sharp or flat), and you must breathe out of the sides of your mouth using your diaphragm, and to play the different notes in a song, you must learn the music alphabet and symbols so that you can read the music language, and there are a bunch of Italian words you must learn, and to play a song, you must change your fingering and your embouchure precisely at the same instant, and to play fast, you must have trained your fingers and embouchure so well that they can change correctly and quickly on sight, automatically, without thought, and to play high notes softly is not easy, and you must simultaneously watch the conductor, read the music, listen to the other musicians, and play, all the time, and it’s hard to play solo under all that pressure because you and the conductor and the audience want you to play perfectly and beautifully…and so forth.

So, although anyone can learn to play trumpet, you have to get serious about it sometime in order to reach your full potential and “Become Your Best!” Fortunately, my 27th trumpet student is serious. Seeing that quality in her daughter, her mom is very happy to support her with private lessons. And seeing the same in her, I am very happy she chose me as her trumpet tutor. She wants to be ready for high school band at Edmonds-Woodway next fall. Our first lesson was on 6 February. We’re starting to plow into the exercise book, I Recommend (1985) by James D. Ployhar. Here we go!

Please click on any image to enlarge it.

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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.

 

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

My Trumpet Student “Saves My Bacon” at Veterans Day Ceremony

Posted by glennled on November 26, 2015

Sarah Dunsmore, Trumpeter, sounds "Taps"

Sarah Dunsmore, Trumpeter, sounds “Taps,” Veterans Day, 2015

The program for the Veterans Day Ceremony announced that as Post Bugler for VFW Post 1040, I would play “Assembly” to open the 30-minute ceremony at Veterans Park in Lynnwood on 11 November. Then at the conclusion of the event, my trumpet student and I would perform “Echo Taps.” But at the last moment, I could not play.

So the young lady, a senior at Juanita High School in Kirkland who has taken trumpet lessons from me for the past six years, had to solo. And that she did. Today, as I post this article, is Thanksgiving Day. I am thankful to Sarah Dunsmore—she “saved my bacon.”

Meanwhile, others on the program performed as planned. That included the following:

  • Northwest Jr. Pipe Band
  • Legion of Honor, Nile Shrine Center
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1040 Honor Guard
  • Martin Spani, VFW Post 1040 Past Commander
  • Nicola Smith, Mayor, Lynnwood
  • Manuel Ventosa, US Army WWII Veteran
  • Jim Smith, Former Lynnwood City Councilmember
  • John Beam, Pat McGrady, Bob Jeske, Ray Colby, Max Bettman, Veterans
  • Myra Rintakmaki, Gold Star Mothers
  • VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard
  • Boy Scouts of America, Lynnwood Troup 49
  • Cub Scouts of America, Pack 331

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Four-Band Concert, “Skyview Spring with Tunes and Swing,” in Bothell

Posted by glennled on June 3, 2014

On 1 April, four bands from Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell gathered before a gym-full of parents, relatives, and friends to present  their “Skyview Spring with Tunes and Swing” concert in the SJHS gymnasium.

Glenn Ledbetter prepares to conduct Skyview Jr. High School's second-year band, 1 April 2014

Glenn Ledbetter prepares to conduct Skyview Jr. High School’s second-year band, 1 April 2014

On Fridays, I rehearse the second-year band, and Mr. Shawn McGinn, Director of Instrumental Music, graciously let me conduct one piece (“Front and Center”) that night. It was the first time I ever conducted a band in public–what fun! The feeling was kind of like playing with a wind-up toy–first you practice, practice, practice to acquire the skill, and then on concert night, you just let it go and it does its own thing, automatically, perfectly! I was so proud of the kids.

The first-year elementary band (mostly 5th graders) played “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Eye of the Tiger.” The second-year elementary band (mostly 6th graders) played “Front and Center,” “Clarinet Boogie,” and “I’m a Believer.” Then came the 7th-grade band from SJHS, playing “The Tempest,” “A Song for Friends,” and “Furioso.” And finally, the Skyview Jazz Band played “Dorian Journey,” “Moanin’,” “Work Song,” and “Mr. PC.”

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Photo Gallery of Winter Concert at Skyview Jr. High in Bothell, 12-12-’12

Posted by glennled on December 20, 2012

Please click on any of the 32 photos to enlarge it.

Posted in School Concerts, Skyview Junior High | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Photo Gallery of April Band Concert at Skyview Jr. High in Bothell

Posted by glennled on April 7, 2012

Jazz combos played as the crowd seated itself in the gym at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell last Tuesday night, 3 April. And the Jazz Band I finished the night’s concert with some high energy, big band sounds and solos. Sandwiched in between these two on the program were performances by the 1st-year (5th grade) and 2nd-year (6th grade) elementary bands and the 3rd-year (7th grade) junior high band. The concert left the parents, relatives and friends in the audience feeling very good about the strength and benefits of these kids being in band! Here are selected photos from the concert. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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

Jonathan Pugh, Cornetist and Trumpeter, Plays Jazz at Third Place Books This Saturday Night

Posted by glennled on March 9, 2012

It’s not often that you can hear outstanding jazz trumpeters play in a family-friendly venue, but this Saturday night you have that rare opportunity! Jonathan (Jon) Pugh, solo jazz cornet and trumpet artist, is playing at 7:30 – 9:30 p.m., Saturday, 10 March, at Third Place Books at 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park. And it’s free!

Meanwhile, if you wish, you can buy an inexpensive meal from the several restaurants surrounding the audience and stage, and you can browse the adjacent bookstore, before and after the entertainment.

His jazz music is melodic! You don’t have to go to a nightclub or bar. Kids of all ages are welcome. It’s totally casual. It’s fun!

Perhaps you have not heard of Jon Pugh. Well, he’s been playing a long time with some famous groups, including being a featured soloist for 30 years with the legendary Don Lanphere (soprano, alto, and tenor saxophonist). Since 1982, he has been a recording artist and clinician representing Conn-Selmer:Holton trumpets/cornets. As a music educator, he’s known for his passion to both entertain, inform, and inspire every member of his audiences. Wouldn’t you like to experience that? Then come hear him, free!

For more information about the event, his jazz style, his discography of CDs, and his background and credentials, please see the following:

Among those listed as artistic influences upon Jon are Tony Frucella, Chet Baker, Clifford Brown and Oscar Peterson.

Posted in Professional Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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 »

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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