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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by NotYourFathersOlds, Sep 10, 2012.
I just thought I'd post a link to an article about a family friend:
"Ceremonial Bugle" ??? Ain't nothing ceremonial about it! It's just a recording by MSgt English (Ret) who was former Army bugler at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) and at the click of a switch now played with an 8ohm speaker powered by batteries. It's just a duck out by the Defense Department that sends exceptional military band units all over to give public concerts as "public relations". There ain't one trumpeter in these bands that can't sound Taps, and if they can't they need to pick up a rifle instead and be shipped out.
Through WWII it was the U.S. Regulation bugle in G that was utilized to sound Taps, but now at ANC it is a Bb that is utilized.
Well, I said a military trumpeter ... but the same applies to every high school band trumpeter which I believe should be mandatory if not voluntary because it is YOUR tax dollar that pays for both. I never kept count of how many funerals I sounded Taps for as both a Boy Scout with the bugle merit badge and as a high school trumpeter and I don't want to count any more since.
My U.S. Regulation was marketed by Slingerland but made by Holton, and I've various Bb trumpets. Does my County Veterans Affairs official know I can? The answer is NO, not until I told him just the other day when we coincidentally met at the Post Office. And yes, I am a USAF veteran. I seriously doubt if the officials of many veteran's organizations know of buglers within their membership or community ... because they never ask or seek them out.
My older brother, a Marine vet and still active in the Marine Corp League at 84 years old still takes an M1 Garand to Marine funerals to provide salutes all around mid Eastern Wisconsin. I do know the League provides him the blank ammo for this, but nothing more.
Too, Gen, Butterfield's bugler's surname was Norton, not Wilcox. Too, Gen. Butterfield was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and is buried at the West Point Military Academy. There is a statue of him in NYC.
Any questions concrning performing taps at military funerals, can be answered at the Taps150 and Bugles Across America > Home. Every state has a group of volunteers.
And unfortunately, those that should refer those that want a bugler for a funeral, don't know or seek out those that can and will sound Taps.
We're not commercially advertising in the media that we can and will. I certainly will not advertise, nor do I charge for such an honor, but I must limit my service to a 25 mile radius. I see no necessity to become a member of Bugles Across America or other organization. If you're going to do it ... DO IT! Pay for your own instrument and its maintenance, your auto fuel, your clothing bill etc., etc. and expect no other reimbursement or compensation. It was once promised FREE ... make it so.
I contacted out local Veterans Affairs office today, Ed. They had no idea that BAA even exisited. Checked in with the American Legion Post as well( the largest one here,No.44), got referred to the Color Guard Commander, phone number produced a fax machine.....
BAA does not charge for its services. BAA members do not charge for their services. And while it is true that when the organization was founded funds were given that allowed the BAA to provide some bugles and uniforms to members, that has not happened in a long time. We buy our own horns, we pay for our own gas. We do not advertise, but maybe we should--because the funeral directors and Veterans' associations (at least the ones around here) don't seem to care if Taps is live or "Memorex". Maybe we should advertise, maybe then every veteran would be honored by a live bugler/trumpeter rather than a "ceremonial bugle".
By the way, I left my house at 5 this morning to stand alone on a hill overlooking the town in which I live to sound Taps 4 times in remembrance of those who died on 9/11. In doing so I joined other BAA members who sounded Taps in unison all across this nation for the same person. No one paid a single one of us for this, either. So, Ed, get off your high horse.
While you nailed it that no one seems to care (the general public) if it is "live or 'Memorex'", truly, I am not against BAA, but I personally don't need their support or association to sound the honors of Taps when asked to do so. I'll do it for the military, first responders, and at occasions of memorial to these. I am a USAF veteran and retired law enforcement officer. While I haven't sounded Taps at Arlington, I've attended a number of funerals there, even been responsive to provide security for corteges delivering the decedent's remains there. Too, I've assisted in folding the coffin flag into the tri-corner for presentment at some funerals. If you can sound Taps, "DO IT!". It needs no discussion.
Even as a member of BAA, like you, I have to limit the miles traveled to perform. The price of gas, etc. I want to thank you for performing taps. Not everyone needs to be a member. All that BAA does is to provide a central venue for requestors to find a "live" bugler. Sadly, some requests go unanswered.
Gary, there are some incidental expenses other than gas. My suit goes to the dry cleaners, and my shirt to the laundry. It's been a very long time ago, but I ruined a pair of shoes standing in what became very muddy during a rainstorm.
When it comes to the alternative than military sounding TAPS, at best it's gamble for the funeral director, clergy, or anyone else to engage a bugler, and the odds are far worse than winning the lottery IMO. Most of we alternatives have jobs or family commitments that bar us from accepting the honor of doing so. I've been told by three funeral directors and 2 clergymen, that they don't have time to spend hours trying to locate a bugler or piper for funerals ... and none of these ever heard of BAA or me before I talked to them. I read the obituaries in the local newspapers and call or e-mail the funeral home as is how I was selected to sound TAPS for recent funerals, and all of these came via a local funeral director who is also a professional recording musician (piano, guitar & voice) as well as owner of 4 funeral homes. He first listened to my CD recording and then heard me live on both G bugle and Bb trumpet before he recommended me. Once I rode to cemetery in his floral truck. No, I do not wear my USAF uniform as I'd neither fit in it or otherwise it is unlawful for me to wear after 90 days following separation from the service, nor do I wear anything relating to a military organization, such as my brother does with the Marine Corp League to provide rifle salutes.
All this talk of buglers reminds me of my father. When he died, back in 1988, I phoned the Royal Marines and asked for a bugler to play the Last Post at his funeral. They told be that all the bands were overseas on tours or operations. I said ok, but it would have been nice, as he had been a Royal Marine Bugle Sergeant for 25 years, apart from the 6 years of the war when he'd been a Commando. The guy said leave it with me. Day of the funeral 3 Royal Marine Bugle Sergeants turned up in full ceremonial uniforms, having flown back from France especially for the funeral.
I now regard it as My duty to play the Last Post and Reveille for Remembrance Day Services and any ex service funerals if asked.