Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘trumpeter’

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

Posted by glennled on October 12, 2017

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“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!

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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.

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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, http://www.SeattleWindSymphony.org, 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 http://www.seattlewindsymphony.org/Concerts/Detail.php?ID=28.

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Senior Ensembles Spring Concert, Washington Middle School, Seattle

Posted by glennled on July 25, 2016

 

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WMS Concert Band, Ms. Kelly Barr-Clingan introduces Mr. Trimis, Guest Conductor

 

On 14 June, the Senior Ensembles Spring Concert by Washington Middle School (WMS) drew an enthusiastic, standing-room only crowd at the Quincy Jones Performance Center at Garfield High School in Seattle. It took about two and a half hours, but the enthusiasm never waned, and the concert ended with the grateful audience giving a standing ovation to the outgoing Director of Bands and Jazz, Kelly Barr-Clingan.

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Farewell, beloved Kelly Barr-Clingan

In the past 8 years, I’ve attended many school concerts at numerous places in the Greater Seattle area, and for me, this concert format was unique. In between the major choir, orchestra, and band performances, different student ensembles played and/or sang. Each one was called a “Jazz/Fidd Cornerstone Group,” apparently playing music of its choice. What a unique way of getting lots of students personally involved and willing to perform for the public! Imagine the many more practice sessions they would have, compared to the lesser amount of practice they would do for a more conventional concert. Imagine the friendships that develop from working together in small groups. Fun!

Another unique feature of this concert was the involvement of Banda Vagos, playing music from Mexico with the combined choir, band and orchestra early in the program. Please see https://www.facebook.com/BANDA.VAGOS.

How did I know about this concert? Why did I go? Because one of the 12 trumpet players in the Concert Band takes private lessons from me. I posted a story about him on 13 April 2016.

WMS’s enrollment is exceeds 1,100 students, and “more than half of the school’s population is enrolled in a music ensemble.” To learn more about the music program, please see:

The new Director of Bands and Jazz is Jared Sessink, a trumpeter of renown. He was the only American finalist in the 2013 International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition. Elizabeth Fortune is Director of Orchestras and Eclectic Strings. Blake Saunders is Director of Choirs.

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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.

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“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!

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Missing: Trumpet Students at the Annual LIYH Spring Recital in Seattle

Posted by glennled on March 22, 2016

 

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As far as I know, I might have been the only trumpeter who attended the Spring Recital hosted by Lessons In Your Home (LIYH) on 20 May at the Woodland Park Presbyterian Church in Seattle. That’s because of the approximately 38 student musicians who played their instruments in front of about 150 audience members, four played the violin, four played the guitar, and 30 played the piano. Next year, those missing trumpet students had better show up! 😉

There were eight of us music teachers present—we’re all part of the LIYH staff, and I’m one of the trumpet tutors among the Seattle group. LIYH is led by Jay Maurice of Atlanta, GA, who founded it in 1997. Jay emceed the Sunday afternoon recital.

Today, he operates his business in nine cities, including Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Orlando, Miami/South Florida, and Atlanta. Lessons in Your Home has more than 250 teachers nationwide, teaching music to more than 1,000 students in their own homes. Jay personally interviewed and selected us teachers. See http://www.lessonsinyourhome.net.

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2016 Northshore School District’s Sixth Grade Honors Concert

Posted by glennled on February 22, 2016

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NSD 6th-grade Honors Orchestra and Choir, 2016

Three hundred and thirty-three students from the Northshore School District made the Honors Orchestra, Choir and Band this year and played a concert for their parents, relatives, teachers, and friends at Northshore Jr. High School in Bothell on 9 February. And among them, three (~1%) are my students in elementary band at Skyview Jr. High—one trumpeter, one baritonist, and one trombonist. I’m in my fifth year as a para-professional teacher of beginning brass for fifth and sixth graders who come to Skyview from Crystal Springs, Canyon Creek, and Fernwood elementary schools for classes each week.

Guest conductors were Eileen Treusch (orchestra), Darcy Morrissey (choir), and Frank Halferty (band). The program allotted four pieces to the orchestra, five to the choir, and three to the band. If this were a contest instead of a concert and if I were an adjudicator, I would give the “Best Performance Award” to Darcy Morrissey and her choir. The orchestra was 111 members strong, but the choir was even larger: 128! And the band was 96; that’s a big band, too. I wonder what percentage of the band students are taking private lessons—20%, 10%, 5%? That’s how you “Become your Best” (my motto). And that’s how you eventually make Washington State Band in high school.

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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

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My Trumpet Student Plays in Lake Washington School District Honor Band Concert

Posted by glennled on November 21, 2015

Sarah Dunsmore, LWSD Honor Band Trumpeter

Sarah Dunsmore, LWSD Honor Band Trumpeter

She started trumpet lessons with me in 2009—six years ago—and thus became my fifth private student. Now she’s a senior at Juanita High School in Kirkland and made the High School Honor Band in the Lake Washington School District (LWSD). Her plans are to study music education at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, starting in fall, 2016. I’m proud of her—Sarah Dunsmore.

On 3 November, she played in the LWSD Honor Concert at Redmond High School. There were 8 trumpeters–three from Juanita, two from Redmond, two from Lake Washington, and one from Eastlake high schools. The band’s guest conductor was Dr. Christopher Bianco, who is the Department Chair, Associate Professor, Director of Bands and Brass at Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham. The 59-member Honor Band played three pieces to conclude the concert:

  • Festive Overture by Shostakovich, arr. Hunsberger
  • Irish Tune from Country Derry by Percy Grainger,
  • Joy Revisted by Frank Ticheli

The 58-member Honor Orchestra opened the concert with Dr. Ryan Dudenbostel conducting. He is Director of Orchestral Studies at WWU. Next came the Honor Choir, comprised of 37 members who were conducted by Dr. Geoffrey Boers, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Washington.

 

 

 

 

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Charlie Fix Takes Charge of Music at Skyview Jr. High, Bothell

Posted by glennled on September 22, 2015

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When school started this fall at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell, there was a new faculty member in the music department for the first time in 15 years. Welcome to Mr. Charlie Fix, Band and Orchestra Director. Mr. Fix has a Masters Degree in Music Education from Florida State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin. Like his predecessor at Skyview, Mr. Fix is a trumpeter!

Mr. Fix has previously taught at Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, Carlsbad Unified School District in California, and Mount Vernon Community Schools in Iowa. He has taught music at all levels, elementary, junior high, and high school, in addition to teaching as a graduate assistant at Florida State.

Here at SJHS, he has three para-professional assistants to help with the 1st and 2nd year elementary bands. One teaches flutes, one teaches clarinets and saxes, and the other teaches brass–that’s me!

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6th Annual Trumpet Recital Features 8 Students

Posted by glennled on September 20, 2015

"The Chicken Dance"

“The Chicken Dance”

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There is no friendlier audience!

Eight private trumpet students of mine performed for their parents, relatives and friends on 5 June at the Sixth Annual Trumpet Recital held in my home–four in the morning session and four in the afternoon. They ranged from beginning band members to a high school senior who recently played in Inglemoor High School’s Wind Ensemble in Carnegie Hall in New York! (See my post of 29 April 2015).

In the afternoon session, three of us (including me) played “Funeral March,” a bugle call in three-part harmony.

The final performance of the recital was billed on the program as “Theme from ‘Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major'” by Joseph Haydn. It was a spoof, however. The trumpeter, a high school junior, appeared from the basement dressed in a chicken suit and played “The Chicken Dance.” Refreshments followed.

Recitals are fun, and weekly lessons pay off in many ways for every student and family.

Photos are by Nancy MacDonald. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

 

 

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