Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘trumpet’

My 39th Trumpet Student Is a North Creek High School Freshman

Posted by glennled on January 13, 2018

My 39th trumpet student is no stranger to me—I taught him a few years ago in 5th and 6th grade bands at Skyview Jr. High School (now a middle school), and twice he has 0511-1007-0317-2348_Cartoon_of_a_Guy_Playing_a_Trumpet_clipart_image[1]sounded “Echo Taps” with me, first on 2016 Memorial Day and again on 2017 Veterans Day. Now, as a freshman, he is the lead trumpeter in the Symphonic Band and Jazz Band at the new North Creek High School in Bothell. (Please see my posts of 22 July 2016 and 17 December 2017 in the Archives column to the left.)

Our first private lesson was on 8 January 2018. He plays basketball and will run track in the spring, but he has a 2-month window in January-February where he is not overwhelmed and has time for weekly trumpet lessons. His goals are to increase his range and stamina and improve his ability to read rhythms, especially in jazz. So I had him order two excellent instruction books:

  • Twenty-Seven Groups of Exercises for Cornet and Trumpet, by Earl D. Irons
  • Complete Jazz Trumpet Book, by Mel Bay

When the lessons cease, he can continue to improve on his own, and when he wants to resume lessons, I’ll be ready to help.

To enlarge the clip art, simply click on it.

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Christmas Eve Celebration at Home, 2017

Posted by glennled on December 31, 2017


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 »

My “Things Remembered” Show at SHAG Retirement Community in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 20, 2017



Glenn Ledbetter (background) plays trumpet and cornet in his one-hour show, “Things Remembered,” for SHAG’s Lynnwood City Center Senior Living residents


Last Saturday afternoon, 15 December 2017, about 45 people in a retirement community whom I’d never met came to hear me play trumpet. I had promised to perform a one-hour show for them, playing a mixture of 25 songs—12 Christmas songs and 13 songs from classic musicals and movies. I entitled my show “Things Remembered.”

I chose songs to induce them to remember different times and stages in their own lives. Here are some examples. One of the most beautiful songs ever written, “Over the Rainbow,” expresses our universal hopes and dreams about finding happiness and IMG_4631success, and “I’ve Got the World on a String” expresses our achievements of the same. But then, “Stormy Weather” expresses our feelings of failure and depression, while “Make Someone Happy” answers the question of how to make those Over-the-Rainbow dreams come true—love. For caring for babies, those helpless, totally dependent creatures we conceived, “Summertime” says it best.

The Christmas songs I played were to entice us to remember being a kid and later, having kids and grandkids. They tell us of the birth of our Savior. They renew our spirit, they spark new hopes and plans and joy and peace. My elderly audience sang the words from memory.

IMG_4641For thinking about retirement, I chose “When I’m Sixty-Four.” For feeling gratitude, I played “God Bless America.” For summing up our lives, I played the lovely, precious “What a Wonderful World,” and then finished with this earnest farewell, “Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas.”

Amongst the songs, I worked in a dozen jokes that I have shared this year with my 12-year old granddaughter, who last Christmas gave me a whole book of jokes. And I offered a handout to the audience—a list of 50 jokes and riddles from that same book, so that they could share them with their own grandchildren. All 30 copies disappeared.

I played both my Getzen trumpet (Doc Severinsen model) and Super Olds cornet (63 years old). Sometimes I used a Harmon mute, as in “Santa Baby.” When I use a deep-cup mouthpiece with the cornet, it sounds like a flugelhorn. I tried to make my horns sing the lyrics of those lovely songs. IMG_4599

Their kind gifts totaled $20, which I then donated to VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood, where I am the Post Bugler.


SHAG’s Lynnwood City Center Senior Living

Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG) is a non-profit organization formed in 1988 and is the largest provider of affordable senior apartment homes in Washington State. SHAG offers some units at market rates with no tenant-income restrictions, and others which are for tenants living on limited incomes. In compliance with state and federal laws, SHAG gladly accepts Section 8d and VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) certificates and vouchers.

SHAG  communities serve more than 5,000 active, independent seniors in 25+ locations in the Puget Sound region, from Bellingham to Olympia, including eight locations in Seattle. These locations are near public transit hubs, retail shopping and public services.

All SHAG senior living communities have income and/or age restrictions that residents must meet in order to qualify for an apartment. The Lynnwood City Center Senior Living community serves seniors of all income levels who are 61 or older by the end of the IMG_4649 current year or 55 or older and disabled. The minimum lease term is 6 months, if available, but leases are generally for 12 months. The units are 1- and 2-bedroom size. Certain units have washer/dryer hookups and reserved garage parking. However, you need not own a car to live here. If you qualify, you can join SHAG’s Nissan Leaf Program and drive a so-called “company car.” Many SHAG residents contract with in-home care providers for housekeeping and medical help.

Amenities at Lynnwood City Center include courtyards, a rooftop deck, fully equipped fitness center, social room and TV lounge, craft and game room, business center, pea patch, rooftop dog run, free Wi-Fi in common areas, and social activities. Small pets, such as cats or dogs weighing 25 lbs. or less, are welcome. There is a two-pet maximum per household, and a $100 fee per pet is due at move-in. All pets are subject to approval.

You can reach SHAG’s Lynnwood City Center at and 425-201-5284. For SHAG itself, the website is, telephone 1-844-592-SHAG (7424).

Photos are courtesy of SHAG’s Lynnwood City Center. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.





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“New Life of the Land”—2017 Christmas Musical Drama at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 13, 2017


ACC cast, “New Life of the Land,” Dec. 2017


On 1-3 December 2017, Alderwood Community Church (ACC) presented its 29th Christmas program in five public performances, drawing a total audience of more than 3,000. This year marked the 100th year since the Puget Mill Company developed the planned community called Alderwood Manor in 1917. As residents settled there, they wanted a church. In 1920, Alderwood Manor Community Church was born.

To celebrate this 100th anniversary year, ACC commissioned Matthew Wilson to write the play, “New Life of the Land.” Mr. Wilson attended ACC while growing up. It was presented as a musical drama, not a typical musical. None of the main characters sings play-87or dances. In one comedic relief scene, a barbershop quartet is featured as they rehearse “Deck the Halls.” Instead, the orchestra and choir, under the direction of Linda Collins, perform music to open and close the drama; intersperse different scenes with songs; and provide soft, instrumental music (underscore) while the actors continue with the play. The stage sets employ mixed media: some outdoor scenes are presented by videos on three huge screens above the stage floor. The entire drama takes play-95place during slightly more than one hour on Christmas Eve in 1917. A young couple who intend to marry obtains a 5-acre plot of land through the dramatic, providential trade of their train ticket with a stranger at the Alderwood Manor trolley station. They plan to raise chickens to support themselves and their (eventual) children.

The theme of the play is hope. Each of the four main characters have different hopes for themselves and each other. The hopes of Margaret (played by Hannah Blomberg) and Jebediah (Charley Delaney) come true. Eliza (Deborah Turcotte) is forced to abandon her hope for her granddaughter, Margaret. Finally, John (Mike Tate) undergoes a renewal: in the beginning, he has lost hope and is melancholy, having been crippled by polio. He wants to marry Margaret but has no job. In the end, he enthusiastically adopts her hope of staying in Alderwood Manor, establishing a chicken farm, and raising a family there. When they do acquire the land, he proposes marriage, and she accepts. They will enroll in the “New Life of the Land” program created by Puget Mill Company to help settlers learn to raise chickens and certain vegetable crops for sale and family food.


L to R: Rob Rankin (lead), Corban Epp, (2nd), Glenn Ledbetter (3rd), ACC Orchestra trumpeters

I have now played trumpet in four Christmas programs at ACC. Please see my blog posts of 23 April 2015, 15 December 2015, and 10 December 2016.

More ACC, Alderwood Manor, and Lynnwood History and Future Plans

The musical drama aroused my curiosity. I’ve lived in Edmonds for 14 years and don’t know much about Lynnwood history. What happened after 1917? How did we get to where we are now? Here’s some of what I’ve learned as a result of this Christmas program.

Before 1910, only a few hearty pioneers lived in the area. It took about two days to travel some 13 miles to Seattle. Then, in 1910, the electric trolley line which connected Seattle to


Linda Collins, ACC Orchestra and Choir Conductor

the Esperance stop near Hall’s Lake was extended to Everett. That cut the travel time from the Forest Park stop (later re-named the Alderwood Manor stop) to about one hour.

Around the turn of the 20th century, the Puget Mill Company owned thousands of acres of forest land north of Seattle. Once the land was logged, taxes remained the same as if it still was timbered. To reduce its tax burden, the company decided to sell off some 7,000 acres then covered with blackened stumps and snags. In 1917, it offered land for sale in 5- and 10-acre parcels, known as “stump farms,” within a planned community that it named “Alderwood Manor.” [Incidentally, 1917 is the year of my mother’s birth, may she rest in peace; it’s also the year that the Ballard Locks officially opened for boat traffic and America entered World War I.] play-127

The Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway ran through Alderwood Manor. Just east of the electric trolley tracks, Puget Mill Company built a 30-acre Demonstration Farm to promote land sales. Here, land purchasers could learn to raise chickens, farm fish, and grow fruits and vegetables both for sale and family food. “New Life of the Land” was the name of this project. On the Demonstration Farm was a superintendent’s cottage, hotel, community hall. water tower, chicken houses, and an incubator house. The preferred chicken species was the single comb white leghorn. By 1921, the American Poultry Association had recognized Alderwood Manor as one of the nation’s greatest poultry centers.

Meanwhile, the early residents had a strong desire for a Christian church in their community. They began by meeting for Sunday School in private homes in 1919. On 28 November 1920, Alderwood Manor Community Church was born. They built a wood-frame building on the present site of ACC.

Through the years, things changed. Highway 99, to the west, was completed in 1927. The play-31Great Depression hit Alderwood Manor hard, the price of eggs fell, and many residents left the business. Land parcels were subdivided and sold off. The Demonstration Farm was closed. In 1939, the crucial Interurban Railed ceased operations.

In the late 1940’s, after World War II, a community named Lynnwood (named after Lynn, a real estate agent’s wife) began to emerge around the intersection of Highway 99 and 196th Street SW. In 1939, the Interurban railway was converted into a power line corridor. In the 1990s, the right-of-way was opened to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Today, the Interurban Trail is a 16-mile, hard-surfaced, non-motorized, rail trail.

The City of Lynnwood is now planning another major transformation. It is converting to high-density, high-rise, mixed-use (commercial and residential) zoning in its City Center. Among the regulatory changes is this: the maximum allowable building height in the City Center Core is up to 350 feet. Assuming that one story equals 10 feet, that’s a building height of 35 stories! The City’s long-range, 20-year vision is to become the “Bellevue of the North.” The current population of Lynnwood is about 38,000. play-118

Much of Alderwood Manor and Lynnwood history is preserved in Heritage Park which opened in 2004 at 19921 Poplar Way. Even some of the original buildings and a railway car, Interurban Car 55, are located there. For more information about this area’s history and its future plans, please see:


play-1202020 will be ACC’s 100th anniversary. I wonder what musical they will choose for their 32nd Christmas program. Will I still be playing trumpet and blogging in 2020, at age 80? As my dear, late mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, was fond of saying, “Time waits for no man.”

Photos courtesy of John Crozier, Please click on any photo to enlarge it.



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No School Band for 12-Year-Old Trumpeter on Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on November 18, 2017

What do you do when you’re 12 years old, and you love trumpet, but you move from one school with a band to another school without a band? You take private lessons from me! That’s what his mom decided for her son, who was a fifth grade band student at Clyde Boy_Playing_Cornet_Music_Clipart_Pictures[1]Hill Elementary School in Bellevue last year and is now a sixth grader at St. Monica Catholic School on Mercer Island, which has no band. He’s never had private lessons before, and now he’s my 38th trumpet student. Our first lesson was on 2 November. No one else in his family plays an instrument.

He’s sharp, learns quickly, and will soon be back in the form he had achieved last year. From there, the sky’s the limit.

I asked why he chose trumpet. Answer: mainly for its beautiful sound. Also, it can be loud and stand out among all the other instruments, which it often seems to lead. He likes its appearance, too, and with only three buttons, it looks easy to play. Isn’t that a good summary of what first attracted all of us trumpeters?

Someday, he’ll be at another school with a band, and he’ll be ready for it.

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42-Year Old Trumpet Student in Seattle

Posted by glennled on November 16, 2017

My 42-year old trumpet student used to play guitar by ear in a band, but then the band dissolved, and later, he fell in love with the trumpet after listening to great trumpeters trumpet-player-silhouette-clipart-10[1]like Miles Davis and Chet Baker. Now that he and his wife have moved into an apartment with a basement, he finally has room to make music again. That’s when he found me on the internet. His first private trumpet lesson was on 3 October.

He told me his goal is simply to play along with some of those great trumpeters for his own pleasure. I asked if he wanted to learn to read music. “Yes.” Ok, so we started with the instruction book, Progressive Beginner Trumpet by Peter Gelling (for more information, search the title on and elsewhere).

He has a great attitude, despite his discovery that playing trumpet it not as simple as it looks. Will he flame out, or will he make it? Dum-de-dum-dum…stay tuned. He’s got the ability, if he has the will. He’s coming along quite nicely because he’s practicing and improving regularly. And it’s my great pleasure to help him. My 36th trumpet student is still smiling, so I am, too, for him.

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“Masters of the (Band) Universe” Concert by Seattle Wind Symphony

Posted by glennled on October 12, 2017


“Masters of the (Band) Universe” Concert, Seattle Wind Symphony, Shorecrest Performing Arts Center, Shoreline, Washington, 8 October 2017


“I get around round round I get around, from town to town (get around round round I get around),” sang The Beach Boys in 1964. And so did I, last Sunday, 8 Oct 2017, when I finally attended my first concert by the Seattle Wind Symphony (SWS). It took me only 7 years to find them—they were founded in 2011. And was it worth it? Yes!

IMG_0048 (2)

Trumpeters, Seattle Wind Symphony

This concert kicked off the 2017-2018 season. It was held at the Shorecrest Performing Arts Center on the campus of Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, Washington. Named “Masters of the (Band) Universe,” the concert featured 7 works by composers Ralph Vaughan Williams, Vincent Persichetti, Frank Ticheli, Daniel Barry, Gordon Jacob, Percy Aldridge Grainger, and John Philip Sousa. SWS gave Barry’s In the Beginning its world premier performance at this concert! Fifty-three SWS members played, including five cornet/trumpet players, five horns, five trombones, two euphoniums, and two tubas.

SWS was formed to create a new Seattle sound, that of a wind symphony. Typically, a wind symphony has 50-60 brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments, plus an occasional piano, harp, or string bass, but no other strings. The tonal textures are thus different from orchestral symphonies. Their purpose is to present professional-quality symphonic wind music to the general public and thus model high music and performance standards for young musicians.

IMG_0005 (2)

Dr. Wayne Bailey

The current Artistic Director and Conductor is Dr. Wayne Bailey, a trumpeter and Professor of Music at Arizona State University where, in the spring semester, he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting and conducts instrumental ensembles. He is the author of five widely-used music textbooks, one of which is of special interest to me, since I have been teaching private trumpet lessons since 2009: “Teaching Brass: a Resource Manual.” Dr. Bailey and his wife live in Lacey, Washington most of the year.

Larry Gookin, a trombonist and the first SWS conductor, participated in the concert last Sunday, too. He helped Dr. Bailey honor the founding president of SWS, Gerard Kern, clarinetist. Then he conducted Persichetti’s Pageant. Mr. Gookin is SWS’s Artistic Director and Conductor Emeritus. From 1981-2015, he was Director of Bands at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. He also served as the Associate Chair and Coordinator of Graduate Studies at CWU.

Dr. Barry is not only an accomplished composer and conductor—he also is a trumpeter! Dr. Barry is a Fulbright Scholar and has over 50 published compositions for Jazz Orchestra which are performed worldwide by professional and student ensembles. He lives in Seattle, where he writes for and performs regularly with the Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra and his own Celestial Rhythm Orchestra. SWS performed his River of Doubt in 2015. Last Sunday, he was in the audience to hear the world premier of his In the Beginning.

The current SWS President is Chris Barnes, principal tubist. SWS’s next concert is “In Their Honor” at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center in Renton on Sunday 12 November at 3:00 p.m. According to SWS’s website,, this concert “salutes our veterans with music of the Armed Forces on Veteran’s Day weekend. The band plays marches, an armed services salute, and works specially written in honor of America and our veterans. The concert includes works by American composers Morton Gould, Samuel Barber, John Williams, Charles Ives, and John Philip Sousa.”

Finally, SWS sponsors an annual Young Artist Competition for which contestants must apply by 1 November. The winner will receive a $500 prize to further their music education and will perform with SWS at its “Some of Our Favorite Things” concert on 11 February 2018. For more information, see

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.


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Busking for VFW at Edmonds Veterans Plaza

Posted by glennled on October 11, 2017



Glenn Ledbetter, busking at Veterans Plaza in Edmonds

The ad said that Saturday, 7 October, would be the last day this year for the Edmonds Museum Summer Market (see So I hustled down to the adjacent Veterans Plaza, set up my trumpet and cornet at about 10:30 a.m., and played for 1.5 hours until noon. It was the first time I’d done it since 1 July—my wife and I had traveled to Washington, D.C., Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England for most of July and August.

My repertoire of some 125 songs comes mostly from musicals and movies, plus patriotic songs. Kind and generous people came up to make donations and talk. Music brings out the best in us, doesn’t it? To me, that’s why God gave us beauty and spread so much artistic talent among all the nations and cultures on earth. I often ask my listeners, “What’s your favorite musical?” One woman said Hello, Dolly, so I played the title song. Another said Fiddler on the Roof, and I played “If I Were a Rich Man.” Sometimes I sing, too, just because it’s so much fun, not because I can sing well, believe me. I like to sing “O, What a Beautiful Morning,” “St. James Infirmary,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Shenandoah,” “When I Fall in Love,” “What a Wonderful World,” and a few others.

I raised $52 in that hour and a half. Then I gave half of it to VWF Post 8870 in Edmonds and VFW Post 1040 in Lynnwood, where I am the Post Bugler. Busking and teaching trumpet make me feel like Johnny Appleseed. Try it—you’ll like it, too.



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Annual “15 Minutes of Fame” at the Independence Day Parade in Edmonds

Posted by glennled on July 10, 2017


Lynnwood Community Band plays the famous march, “Washington Post,” at Edmonds Independence Day Parade, 2017

“9-11” changed everything. As we veterans marched in the parade through the streets of downtown Edmonds on Independence Day, the crowd of thousands continuously clapped and cheered. To us on this perfect, sunny, 71-degree day, the parade was a shower of blessings such as we ordinary men and women undoubtedly will never experience for anything else in our lives. We are not sports or rock stars.

I wore my black and white POW-MIA t-shirt—“You Are Not Forgotten.” I carried my beautiful Getzen Field Trumpet, proud to be the VFW Post 1040’s Bugler.

This parade is our annual “fifteen minutes of fame,” and I will drink of this fountain again next year, God willing.

Photos by Nancy MacDonald and Janelle Squires. Please click on any photo below to enlarge it.

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Glenn, the Edmonds Trumpet Busker!

Posted by glennled on July 7, 2017


Glenn Ledbetter, busking at Veterans Plaza in Edmonds. All donations ($128, so far) go to VFW.

I finally did it—public busking with my Getzen trumpet. It’s an idea that’s been germinating within me for a long time, especially since my wife and I enjoyed listening to a grisly, picturesque old accordion player on the bridge crossing the River Wear in Durham, England in August, 2014, and to a dandy Scottish bagpiper blasting his stirring tunes at the corner of Government and Belleville streets in downtown Victoria, B.C., Canada, on the many occasions we have visited there.  “That’s fun,” I thought. “I can do that.”

So, on three recent Saturdays in June and July, as Nike would advise, I just did it. I donned by veterans cap, American-flag T-shirt, and sat myself down in Veterans Plaza in downtown Edmonds, adjacent to the Saturday Market on 5th Ave. N. and Bell St. As people came and went, walking, sitting, eating, talking, listening, I played for two hours from my busking book of about 125 pieces of music, mostly taken from musicals and movies, plus some patriotic songs and marches.

In my open trumpet case, I placed the sign, “Your Donations Go to VFW.” One Saturday, people donated $48, another $35, and another $45. I sent the $128 to VFW Post 1040 (Lynnwood), where I am the Post Bugler, and VFW Post 8870 (Edmonds), which built the new, outstanding Veterans Plaza. The plaza was dedicated on Memorial Day, 29 May 2017.

Busking is indeed fun. People come up and say the nicest things. Toddlers dance. It’s true—music is the universal language of mankind. Just do it, and you’ll see.

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