Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘Tattoo’

More Bands with Brilliant Brass at 2019 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland

Posted by glennled on August 27, 2019

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Opening Fanfare, 2019 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 

The theme of this year’s Royal Ediniburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland was “Kaleidoscope 2019—A Celebration of Glorious Symmetry.” This iconic tattoo is in its 69th season. More than 14 million people have attended the tattoo, and attendance has been a sell-out for 20 consecutive years. It’s spectacular. This year’s show was performed nightly from 2-24 August (~three weeks) on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, and my wife and I attended for the fourth time. We went on opening night. The planning, skill, fitness, discipline, obedience, alertness, teamwork, intelligence, and willpower on display in this show are indicative of what makes an effective, victorious military. And the music is terrific!

The current show features more bands with brass instruments than the other three that we have attended, so it’s one of my favorites. I shot about 400 photos, with close attention on trumpet players. Wouldn’t it be a thrill to perform in this world-famous tattoo, “the Granddaddy of Them All?” Here are a few photos.

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Pipe bands cross the Edinburgh Castle drawbridge onto the esplanade

Performers came from Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, France, China, Nepal, Tasmania, Nigeria, Trinidad, and Tabago. I love the pipes and drums, but I also love conventional wind bands comprised of brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. This year, there were more than the usual number of the latter (in order of appearance):

  • Guards Brigade Band, Silent Drill Platoon and Nigerian Cultural Ensemble
  • Heeresmusikkorps Kassel (Army Band Kassel, Germany)
  • Music De L’Artillerie (Artillery Band of the French Army)
  • Beijing Marching Wind Band and Cultural Display (China)
  • New Zealand Army Band
  • Band of the Scots Guards
  • Band of the Irish Guards
  • Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Tattoo Stage Band

For me, the abundance of these bands made this year’s tattoo one of the top two which I’ve attended. And I’m always thrilled with anticipation when the herald trumpets sound the fanfare to open the show. This year two trumpet ensembles played “Pure Light” and “The Prism.”

The kaleidoscope was invented in 1816 by the Scotsman, Sir David Brewster. The instrument displays infinite combinations of patterns and colors. One hundred and twelve years earlier, in 1704, Sir Isaac Newton named seven hues of color in the visible spectrum of light: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (ROYGBIV). Various mixtures of these hues form all colors, including white. Each group in the show was assigned one of Newton’s hues to use in its performance, thus creating a kaleidoscopic effect, representing the “fabulous and constantly changing human mosaic.”

More than 800 musicians created a human kaleidoscope image when they assembled together as the massed military bands and massed pipes and drums . Watching the many intricate, technically precise formations, maneuvers, and movements of the marchers and dancers, dressed in multi-colored uniforms and clothes, was like watching the ever-changing images inside a kaleidoscope.

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Side-stepping by The French Artillery Band Lyon

If you can’t get to Edinburgh for the next tattoo, perhaps you could attend one of these:

Anne, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, is Patron of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. She writes in the tattoo program, “…the glorious symmetries of marching men and women, their disciplined approach—whatever the weather!—the music, the lighting, the projections [onto the castle wall], fireworks, special effects, the storyline and the appreciation of the audience are the very essence of ‘Tattoo.'”

The tattoo is a not-for-profit charity and has raised more than 11 million pounds for many good armed services beneficiaries and arts organizations over the years.

For my accounts of two of the past three tattoos we have attended, please see my blog posts of 6 September 2018 and 18 September 2014, using the Archives in the left column. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations, Festivals & Competitions, Professional Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Youngest “Echo Taps” Partner on Memorial Day

Posted by glennled on July 22, 2016

 

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“Echo Taps” partners, Memorial Day, 2016. Photo by Gary Walderman.

He’s only a seventh grader, going into eighth this fall, but he plays the trumpet with confidence and accuracy. So I asked him to play “Echo Taps” with me at the Memorial Day ceremony on 30 May at Veterans Park in Lynnwood. Other students of mine have played the “echo” part with me there, but they were all older and in high school. Also, those other students had all taken private trumpet lessons with me. This trumpeter, however, was my student when he was in the beginning bands at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell. He’s doing well in the 7th grade band and jazz band at SJHS now.

Echo Taps, BGL, 5-30-16

“Echo Taps,” Glenn Ledbetter, VFW Post 1040 Bugler. Photo by Janelle Squires.

The weather this year was the best ever in my five years as VFW Post 1040 Bugler. On Memorial Day, I get to sound three bugle calls: “Assembly” (to open the ceremony), “Echo Taps” (to conclude the ceremony), and “To the Color” (when the flag is hoisted from half- to full-mast at noon). Attendance at this half-hour ceremony and the one on Veterans Day (11 November) is growing.

My Getzen bugle has two tuning slides. I use the G slide for “Tattoo,” “Taps,” and “Funeral March,” and the Bb slide for all other bugle calls. Love that horn!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“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 »

 
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