Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘trumpets’

Dancers Swing at Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park to Big Band Music by Moonlight Swing Orchestra

Posted by glennled on February 15, 2020

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Swing dancing to the Moonlight Swing Orchestra

 

At Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park, Seattle, there is a community treasure. It’s a public entertainment venue where musicians play and people eat, listen, talk, and dance. It was there on a Saturday night, 25 January, that my wife and I went to dinner and heard the Big Band sound of the mighty Moonlight Swing Orchestra (MSO).

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The Moonlight Swing Orchesta

This non-union orchestra has been playing for more than 15 years in the Greater Seattle and North Sound areas and has developed a public following of fans. At this performance, people came to dance, and they appeared to be quite accomplished—some might even be dance instructors, they were so good and having such fun. The dance floor could accommodate about 30-40 couples at once, and the space was filled for almost every song. Here are a few of the 28 songs they played in two sets: “In the Mood,” “Mas Que Nada,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “New York, New York,” “Bye Bye Blackbird,” and “That’s All.” Please see http://thirdplacecommons.org/calendar. IMG_6293 (2)

Naturally, I paid close attention to the brass players. In fact, I’ve played alongside of one of them myself on other occasions. The regular trumpeters are Rick Newell (lead), Jeff Davis (2nd and shares lead), Dan Hall, and Debbie Dawson. Two others play when needed: Jim Bradbury and Doug Hodges. The vocalist was Robin Hilt.

Mark Kunz, MSO’s leader and an alto sax player, says the orchestra practices most Wednesdays for about two hours in Monroe and performs about once a month. They are now contracted for 10 gigs this year, so far. “The Third Place Commons performance was the best attended we’ve had at that location,” he said. They’ll be back at Third Place Commons on 25 July. Please see http://thirdplacecommons.org/contact/.IMG_6236

MSO regularly plays at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue, Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, Monroe Community Senior Center, and Concerts in the Park in Langley on Whidbey Island. Other current, public bookings are in Everett and Tulalip. They are available for private bookings, too, including weddings and other events such as their annual performance on New Year’s Eve at Emerald Heights Retirement Community in Redmond. Please see http://moonlightswingorchestra.org.

Mr. Kunz says the musicians are an eclectic group—many with professional experience and others who are talented amateurs. Collectively, they have more than 200 years experience. The orchestra is paid nominally per performance, and the musicians’ individual shares basically cover expenses. They just love playing the music of Dorsey, Ellington, Miller, Shaw, and others for their fans. They have one CD currently available and another in process.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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“Bubblelator” Christmas Show at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 29, 2019

 

Christmas in the Bubbleator, 2019_Moment(2)

This year, Alderwood Community Church (ACC) presented its 32nd Christmas musical—-“Christmas in the Bubbleator.” The Bubbleator was a spherical elevator in a building at the Century 21 World’s Fair in Seattle in 1962. (I graduated from the University of Washington that summer, and I rode in the Bubbleator with my parents from Texas.) Five performances produced a total attendance of about 2,800 during 6, 7, 8 December. For the second time, the church had commissioned Matthew Wilson to write a play. The first one was his “New Life of the Land” which also debuted at ACC  (use the Archives column on the left to see my post of 13 December 2017). This one is the sequel to that. _M3A0425

The play takes place in the span of only about two hours on Christmas Eve of 1961, about three months prior to the opening of the World’s Fair. The main character is a high school girl from Alderwood Manor (which was by then part of the new city, Lynnwood). She has applied for a job as a Bubblelator operator, posing as “Jacqueline Clarington,” the daughter of a wealthy San Francisco family. She dreams of living that Big City lifestyle in the future, and this job is to be a first step in that direction (use the Archives column on the left to see my post of 13 December 2017). Christmas in the Bubbleator, 2019_Moment(15)

In fact, she is actually Barbara Beck, the granddaughter of John and Margaret Beck, chicken farmers from Alderwood Manor. When she had applied earlier using her real name and address, Barbara received a rejection letter. But as Jacqueline Clarington from San Francisco, she is virtually already hired after she had an exaggerated, demonstrative interview with the Fair Director. Her grandparents spoiled her imaginative but devious plan. She is stricken by their honesty, goodwill, and love of her, and her conscience compels her to expose her fraud in a late confession to the Fair Director. “Everything I’ve told you is a lie. I wanted to be part of something great, but tonight, I realize that I already am. Oh…Merry Christmas!” The three of them leave the fairgrounds and return to reality—family and church back in Alderwood Manor. To see a high quality video of this entire Christmas show, produced by Monique Anderson for ACC, please see https://vimeo.com/380922775/85e704f214.

The 22-member orchestra, 55-member choir and The Evergreens combo (vocalist, saxophone and vocalist, lead guitar, and bass guitar) performed numerous pieces of music before, during and after the show. The brass section was comprised of three trumpets, three trombones, and one French horn.

Photos are courtesy of Alderwood Community Church. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

 

ACC Orchestra

 

ACC Choir

 

Cast

 

The Evergreens

 

Scenes From Play

 

Other Scenes

Posted in Church Music, Professional Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Sound Wave” Band Sounds Its Last 2019 Sound Waves—And Sounders FC Are MLS Champs Again!

Posted by glennled on December 22, 2019

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Seven trumpeters, Sound Wave Band, MLS Cup match, Century Link Field, 10 November 2019

 

“You’re the Top!” wrote Cole Porter in 1934 during the Great Depression for the musical, Anything Goes. But there’s nothing depressing in 2019 about the FC Sounders and their terrific Sound Wave Band—both are champs! On 10 November, the Sounders beat Toronto FC, 3-1, and won their second MLS championship (2016, 2019).

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Trumpet soloist

I was lucky enough to be there at Century Link Field, thanks to my son-in-law and his wife who have season tickets. They bought two extra tickets, and I sat in the third deck with my 14-year old granddaughter. It was spectacular. We rode the Sounders game train to and from Edmonds. The game, the win, the MLS trophy, the celebration, the music were spectacular!

The Sound Wave Band is comprised of trumpets, mellophones, trombones, baritones, and other instruments (mostly drums). They play before, during and after each match. First, they play in Occidental Square, and then they lead the “March to the Match” at Century Link Field. Once there, one hour prior to kick, they play for the gathering fans outside the stadium, typically at the Northwest Bollards. During the match, they sit on the Green Zone beneath the Hawks Nest and perform the Sounders FC fight song, corner kick grooves, and the Sounders Samba. And finally, after the match, they play for 30 minutes on the stadium’s North Stairs. It’s very stirring music, with many solos and almost continuous choreographed movements—all memorized. They’re tops!

Keith Rousu has been the band director for 11 seasons. He is also Director of Blue Thunder (Seattle Seahawks). He’s a graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University with a Master’s degree in Sports Administration and Leadership. A drummer, he manages the music selection, music arranging, and performance effectiveness.

Sound Wave is available year-round for special performances and events. If you want to join the band, submit your application online at https://www.soundersfc.com/matchday/sound-wave. Annual auditions are held in January.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Before the match

 

 

After the match

Posted in Selected Trumpet Music, Sports Event | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My 8th Year Teaching Beginning Brass at Skyview Middle School, Bothell

Posted by glennled on October 27, 2018

 

Girl TrumpeterOn the first of October, it was back to school for me at Skyview Middle School trombone-clipart-A_man_playing_the_trombone_110127-132560-479009[1]in Bothell, where I began my 8th year as a paraprofessional, teaching the beginning brass section of the elementary band. Trumpets and trombones, 5th graders from four elementary schools in the Northshore School District—Fernwood, Canyon Creek, Crystal Springs, and Lockwood—about 20 students this year. Mr. Dan Carlson is the new Band and Orchestra Director. Meanwhile, a huge one-to-two year remodel of SMS is underway, temporarily complicating access and logistics but promising major improvements and benefits for years to come. The kids make it all worthwhile.

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“A Time for Christmas,” the 2014 Musical at Alderwood Community Church, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on April 23, 2015

"It's a Merry Christmas Eve!" sung on a city sidewalk by townspeople and carolers

“It’s a Merry Christmas Eve!” sung on a city sidewalk by townspeople and carolers

I confess–I love musicals more than I love opera. I’m simple. After most musicals, I walk out of the theater with some song in my head, some melody in my heart, some lyrics on my lips. I like that. But although some opera music is magnificently beautiful and I like it, too, I often can hardly hum even my most favorite arias.

And so it was when I was invited to play trumpet with the orchestra of Alderwood Community Church (ACC) last Christmas season. Each year, ACC stages a Christmas play, and in 2014, the choice was the superlative religious musical, “A Time for Christmas” by Paul McCusker, David T. Clydesdale, Steven Amerson, and Lowell Alexander.

Mistress Lewis and children sing and dance at the orphanage in 1850 to "With A Little Bit of Faith"

Mistress Lewis and children sing and dance at the orphanage in 1850 to “With A Little Bit of Faith”

The plot features the very hard-working Bill, a young businessman who gives lip service to Christmas but is too busy to celebrate it, and his consultant, Mary, who understands the meaning of Christmas and loves the joy and hope found in the celebration of it. In a dream, Bill encounters Bartholomew, a mysterious stranger, who leads Bill on a journey through five scenes of various Christmases past, from the birth of Christ to the present. It awakens Bill—through watching others in other times and places, he begins to realize what he’s missing and warms to Mary.

play2014-2The orchestra and choir were conducted by Linda Collins, and the musical was dedicated to Dave Ballbach, “whose support and encouragement has inspired this endeavor for two decades.” It was presented five times during the weekend of 5-7 December at the church, which is located in Lynnwood near the intersection of I-5 with 196th St.

What tune was I singing when I left the church after the performances? Well, sometimes it was “With a Little Bit of Faith,” but more often it was “It’s a Merry Christmas Day!” And you know it’s a truly special musical when there are TWO songs stuck in your mind and heart!

The photos in the gallery below were provided courtesy of the professional photographer, John Crozier of Edmonds (see http://www.crozierphotography.com). Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

Posted in Church Music | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Beginning My 4th Year with Elementary Bands at Skyview Jr. High, Bothell

Posted by glennled on April 10, 2015

I’m back! Lucky me, commencing on 8 September 2014, with the first class of this school year, I get to continue teaching beginning brass students at Skyline Jr. High School in Bothell. Fifth and sixth grade band students arrive early in the morning at Skyline for band classes, and afterwards, they go to their respective schools, Fernwood, Crystal Springs, and Canyon Creek elementary schools for regular classes. Shawn McGinn is the Director of Instrumental Music at Skyline.

I teach brass sectionals on Mondays-Thursdays, including trumpets, trombones, French horns, and baritones. On Fridays, I teach the full 2nd year elementary band, comprised of 6th graders. We present three concerts by the fifth and sixth grade bands each year. It’s fun!

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High School Cheerleaders Day at Husky Stadium—UW Defeats U of Colorado, 59-7

Posted by glennled on May 29, 2014

High School Cheerleaders Day, UW Husky Stadium, 11-9-'13

High School Cheerleaders Day, UW Husky Stadium, 11-9-’13

 

At a night game in Seattle on 9 November 2013, the University of Washington Huskies drubbed the University of Colorado Buffaloes, 59-7. Quarterback Keith Price was 22 of 29 in passing for 312 yards and had two passing TDs and two rushing TDs. Running Back Bishop Sankey rushed for 143 yards.

All that’s very well indeed, but credit must be given where credit is due–it was High School Cheerleaders Day, so with that much support, it was impossible for the Huskies to lose!

As a member of the Husky Alumni Band, I got to play my cornet again for the tail-gaters. I asked the band director if we could play “Hey Baby” which came out in 1961. We did, entertaining fans down on the boats moored to the docks at the shoreline of Lake Washington. Everybody loves to sing along and dance to those lyrics–“Hey, hey hey baby! I want to know if you’ll be my girl.” With a thousand cheerleaders at the game and the Huskies winning so easily, who wouldn’t be happy?!

Here is a photo gallery of the game, focused on the UW Husky Marching Band (especially the trumpets) and Cheerleaders, plus all the high school cheerleaders. Field-level shots are by Louis Figueroa, and press-box shots are by Garry Nakayama. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

 

 

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“Madama Butterfly” by Giacomo Puccini at Seattle Opera

Posted by glennled on May 31, 2012

Cio-Cio-San

“No more Puccini!” I told my wife after the Seattle Opera’s performance of Madama Butterfly at McCaw Hall on 20 May. “He’s just too powerful. He gets too close, the way he writes about romantic love. The music just rips your heart. It’s too much.” In the back of my mind was the memory of a very similar feeling when we attended Puccini’s La Boheme in 2007 (see http://www.seattleopera.org/discover/archive/production.aspx?productionID=44).

The final version of Madama Butterfly premiered in Paris, France on 28 December 1906—106 years ago—and premiered by Seattle Opera on 15 March 1966. It now ranks #8 in the Operabase list of most-performed operas worldwide (see http://operabase.com/top.cgi?lang=en&). People have always liked beautiful tragedies.

My wife and I talked over Madama Butterfly as we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Modello Italian Restaurant in Magnolia (see www.mondelloristorante.com). The whole event was my birthday gift to her.

The story occurs in Nagasaki, Japan at the turn of the 20th century. Madama Butterfly is also known in the opera as Cio-Cio-San. When she “weds” B.F. Pinkerton, an American naval lieutenant, and converts to his religion, she is renounced and abandoned by her family.  She is a geisha and comes with the house he leases, but he has the option to cancel the whole arrangement on a month’s notice. His long-term plan is to take an American wife. Meanwhile, he enjoys bliss with Butterfly.

“Throughout the first Act,” I told my wife at dinner while sipping my Sangiovese, “I was thinking, ‘Cad! Cad!'”

Eventually, his ship departs, and he has the American consulate continue paying the rent. Three years later, Cio-Cio-San is running out of money. She spurns a marriage proposal from a wealthy Japanese man, certain of Pinkerton’s love and eventual return. Sure enough, his ship again sails into Nagasaki, but he has brought his American wife. He then learns that his Butterfly bore him a son. His American wife offers to raise the son as their own. Pinkerton is overcome by remorse and is unable to confront Cio-Cio-San. She gives up her son and commits jigai, the ritual suicide for  Japanese women which is performed by plunging a knife into the neck.

“Early in the third Act,” I told my wife, “I was thinking, ‘Coward! Coward!'” Later, Pinkerton even calls himself that. Puccini is just too much. The pathos is extraordinary. So—aaarrrgghhh!—yes, we’ll probably go again to another of his operas. But his heroines always seem to die in tragedy. “He who has lived for love, has died for love.”—from Il tabaro (The Cloak), 1918.

Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini, 1858-1924

Hmmm…today, I received a mailer showing that in August, the Seattle Opera will perform Puccini’s Turandot. Isn’t the fabulous, soaring tenor aria, “Nessun dorma” (“None Shall Sleep”), from that opera? I looked it up. Yes. And the Turandot orchestration calls for three trumpets in F and six onstage trumpets in B-Flat—how can I miss that? I am the moth drawn to the flame. In “Nessun dorma,” once again, Puccini makes one’s heart ache and eyes brim. Just watch and listen to Pavoritti sing this aria: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTFUM4Uh_6Y&feature=related.

Seattle performance photos are by Elise Bakketun, courtesy of the Seattle Opera. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Elementary Bands I-II Present Winter Concert to Parents at Skyview Jr. High in Bothell

Posted by glennled on December 20, 2010

Photos by Blackberry camera

Early last Wednesday, about 150 parents and relatives swarmed into the cafeteria at Skyview Jr. High (SJH) in Bothell, WA, to see and hear their kids play in the winter concert by the two elementary bands conducted by Mr. Shawn McGinn. It was a standing room only crowd! The 1st-year and 2nd-year bands are comprised of about 85 students in the 5th and 6th grades from three elementary schools which feed into SJH: Crystal Springs, Canyon Park, and Fernwood. As you know, I’m Mr. McGinn’s assistant for brass instruction with both these bands (see my post on 6 September 2010).

1st-year band

First, the 1st-year band played “Jingle Bells,” followed by “Mr. Dreydl,” featuring the flutes. The clarinet section then played “Ode to Joy,” and the brass section (4 trombones and 22 trumpets) played a duet, “London Bridge is Falling Down.” Finally, the percussion section laid down a rock beat.

1st-year brass

Before the 2nd-year band played, one of its members treated the audience to an amazing solo, playing Metallica’s hit song, “Seek and Destroy,” on his electric guitar. Afterwards, the 2nd-year band played “Apollo Fanfare” and their favorite, “Cameroon.”

2nd-year band

 

The whole concert was very impressive. The kids were well-rehearsed, well-behaved, and played very well. They’re learning their horns. Everyone is proud to be in these bands!

1st-year brass

Guitar soloist

2nd-year brass

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Marching in the Seafair Torchlight Parade

Posted by glennled on August 4, 2010

Parade photos by Elliot Suhr, seattlepi.com

It’s only about 2.5 miles from the Space Needle to Qwest Field along the route of the Seafair Torchlight Parade, but if you’re in the parade, near the end, it takes many hours to get there. That’s what I learned last Saturday, when several other members of the Husky Alumni Band and I mixed in with the UW Varsity Marching Band to play our music along the parade route through downtown Seattle. The obvious enthusiasm and pleasure of the hundreds of thousands of spectators of all ages who lined the streets made the whole event very fun for us all. And the weather was perfect. Oh, what a night!

There were Seafair pirates and a police motorcade and firemen and floats and clowns and drill teams and a queen and Hawaiian princesses and military bands and school bands and cheerleaders and–you-name-it! Our band was #81 of 105 groups in the parade. Fourteen awards were presented to the best and most creative entries. The parade was sponsored by Alaska Airlines.

The UW band was big, although not full size, which you’ll see as soon as football season starts next month. About 18 of us trumpeters came for the parade. If you ever have a chance to be in the parade, don’t turn it down…it’s so much fun!



Posted in Festivals & Competitions, HMBAA - Husky Alumni Band | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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