Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘Sousa’

Trumpet Show at Skyline Towers, Seattle—Flag Day Celebration One Day Early

Posted by glennled on July 8, 2019

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On 13 June, the day before Flag Day, I made my fifth performance at Skyline Towers, a retirement community in downtown Seattle. The first four were to sound “Taps” at various ceremonies, but this one was my first full-length, one-hour trumpet show for these residents. “I Stand for the Flag” is comprised of 25 patriotic songs and marches. About 40 attended and sang along and laughed at my jokes, riddles, and a limerick.

I used two trumpets (Getzen and Jupiter), a Super Olds cornet, and a Getzen bugle. Some favorites included the Sousa marches: “Semper Fidelis” (1888), “The Washington Post March” (1889), and “The Liberty Bell” (1893). Among others were “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” (c. 1863), “We’re in the Army Now,” (1917), “Over There ” (1917) and the official songs of each of the five branches of the U.S. military. We also went abroad to play some tunes from our allies in Great Britain: “Colonel Bogey March” (1914), “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” (1912), and the oldest one that I played, “British Grenadiers” (1716)—more than 300 years old! And many more…

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Olympic Tower at Skyline in downtown Seattle will be ready for occupancy in Fall 2021

It was an unusual venue. I was outside in the sunlight on the patio facing about 15-20 residents in chairs and wheelchairs. Behind them were two wide open, double doors, and another 20-25 residents were sitting there, inside a large meeting room. They furnished me with a microphone, but all the speakers were inside the room. That was fine, but could the outside residents hear me speak? They said they could, so away we went with the show—and it worked fine!

For articles about my past performances at Skyline Towers, please see my posts of 7 November 2018, 6 June 2018, 19 November 2017, and 10 November 2016, using the Archives in the left column of this blog. There you will find lots of information and photos about the two existing Skyline Towers at 725 9th Ave, Seattle.

Skyline Towers Expansion

The big news about Skyline now is its pending, nearby expansion. The new Olympic Tower at Skyline is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in Fall 2021. It’s located at 8th and Columbia and is already taking reservations for apartments (for ages 62+). At 21 stories high, Olympic Tower offers luxury, cosmopolitan, condo-style living with multiple restaurants, a pool/spa, and 360-degree views of the city, Puget Sound, and Mt. Rainier.

According to Skyline’s website, Olympic Tower is Seattle’s only true Life Care retirement community, with completely predictable living costs, just in case increased care ever becomes needed. The website indicates that already, the units are over 50% reserved.

There are a total of 77 apartments, and there are 23 different floor plans. The 1 bedroom, 1.5 or 2 bathroom units are sized at 1034-to-1415 s.f. All others are 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom units, and they range from 1309-to-1899 s.f.; those on the penthouse floor range from 1309-to-1487 s.f.

For more detailed information, please see https://www.skylineseattle.org/expansion-skyline-retirement-community-seattle/. Photos and renderings are courtesy of Skyline Towers. Please click on any image to enlarge it.

Posted in Shows at Retirement Homes | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Taps, Sousa, and Tchaikovsky at Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Seattle on Memorial Day

Posted by glennled on June 3, 2011

Veterans Memorial Cemetery, photo by Thad Westhusing, http://www.thadsworld.net

Picture 5,000 white marble markers on the graves of veterans interred at Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in north Seattle on the grounds of the larger Evergreen Washelli Cemetery. Imagine at least 700 people gathered there for the 85th Annual Memorial Day Celebration. That’s what happened Monday, 30 May. “Ya shoulda been there”–such sights to see and sounds to hear! I especially enjoyed the prominent role of music in the celebration.

It began with a prelude concert by the 50-member Symphonic Wind Ensemble from Seattle Pacific University (SPU), conducted by Gerry Jon Marsh. Among the pieces they played was a patriotic march, a well-loved overture, and an uplifting medley of the anthems of the five military branches. First, John Philip Sousa’s magnum opus, “Stars and Stripes Forever,” stirred the crowd, as it always does. In fact, it is so popular that in 1987, Congress made it the National March of the United States.  As Sousa wrote in his autobiography, ” … Suddenly [while aboard ship returning from Europe to New York in 1896], I began to sense a rhythmic beat of a band playing within my brain. Throughout the whole tense voyage, that imaginary band continued to unfold the same themes, echoing and re-echoing the most distant melody. I did not transfer a note of that music to paper while I was on the steamer, but when we reached shore, I set down the measures that my brain-band had been playing for me, and not a note of it has ever changed.”

Then came the 1812 Overture, written in 1880 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to commemorate Russia’s defense of Moscow against Napoleon’s advancing Grande Armée at the Battle of Borodino on 7 September 1812. At this battle, there were an estimated 100,000 casualties. Napoleon won a Pyrric victory and then captured Moscow, facing little resistance. The Russians had burned part of the city, and Napoleon’s army was weakened, its resources depleted and its supply lines overextended. Without winter stores, the army was forced to retreat. From mid-October through December, it faced several overwhelming obstacles on its long retreat:

Seattle American Legion Post 1 Commander Francis "Frank" Albin. Photo by Greg Gilbert, The Seattle Times

frigid temperatures, famine, harassing cossacks and Russian forces barring the retreat route. Napoleon abandoned the army in December. By the time it reached the relative safety of Poland, the Grande Armée was reduced to one-tenth its original size.

On 20 August 1882, seventy years after the battle, the overture debuted in Moscow in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Marsh says that Tschaikovsky opens the overture with the Russian hymn, “God Preserve Thy People,” and returns to it near the ending when the music depicts God’s intervention in the invasion, causing unprecedented severe winter weather to decimate Napoleon’s seemingly invincible French army.
 

The  SPU ensemble also played a medley of five military anthems in tribute to each branch and those who served in them: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Veterans in the crowd stood to the applause of the audience when their anthem was played.

The first Memorial Day ceremony at Evergreen Washelli (the Makah Indian word for west wind) occurred in 1927. Marsh says that the SPU ensemble has played at each of these ceremonies for more than 15 years. Students get class credit for doing so. They are required to perform community service once a school quarter, and this event satisfies that requirement for spring quarter. “They enjoy doing it,” he says. For more information about instrumental music at SPU, visit http://www.spu.edu/depts/fpa/music/mus_homepage.html. Since 1985, Marsh has also been the Musical Director of the Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestras (see www.cyso.us/). In 1998, Marsh was inducted into the inaugural Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) Hall of Fame.

Cooperman Rope Tension Drum, Civil War era

Also performing was the SPU Drum Corps, under the direction of Dan Adams, using authentic drums from

Cavalry bugler, Civil War Gold Proof, U.S. Mint

the Civil War era. These rope tension drums have calf skin drum heads, says Marsh. The Drum Corps was featured during the Parade of Colors. As a clinician, Adams has presented workshops on drumming of the Civil War. For more information on such drums, see www.cooperman.com/ropedrums/civilwar.htm.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, two SPU trumpeters played an echo version of  “Taps.” A history of “Taps” can be found at www.tapsbugler.com. For a complete history you can order “Twenty-Four Notes That Tap Deep Emotions—The Story of America’s Most Famous Bugle Call” by Jari Villanueva at www.nationalcivilwarbrassmusic.org/GiftShop. Next year, 2012, marks the 150th year since the composition of “Taps” during the Civil War in July, 1862.

On Saturday, 16 July, there will be a special ceremony at the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery to honor the six Medal of Honor recipients who are interred at Evergreen Washelli (see www.washelli.com). They are Lewis Albanese, William C. Horton, Harry D. Fadden, William K. Nakamura, Robert R. Leisy, and Orville E. Bloch. On that day, I am honored to be scheduled to sound “Taps,” the most sacred duty of a bugler.

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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