Most memorable Taps performance?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by edfitzvb, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. hahkeystah

    hahkeystah Piano User

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    not arguing with you at all bud, i agree, this thread is about sharing experience right?
    its certainly not about "my experience was more X than yours" though, if we all played the same gigs, there'd only be one of us lol
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I thought that's what this thread was about too until someone had to come in all pious and mighty with the proclamation they "SOUNDED" Taps, and didn't merely "play" it like the rest of us mere mortals. :roll:

    I thought that this was an interesting thread to post in, because going back over the years through all of the memorial services and funerals I've been a part of, all of the people I've met and the places I've been, I've got a few stories that could certainly find a place in this thread.

    Another example was the time where I showed up for the funeral and was met by a reserve or National Guard Captain who insisted he was there to play Taps. As the active duty guy who was ordered to do the job, I was the one who would be doing it, but he insisted that we do Echo Taps. I've never been a fan of Echo Taps - too many things that can go wrong and too many ways to screw it up, but I was a Specialist and he was a Captain, so I agreed after he assured me that he knew the "right" way to play it - we did not rehearse it. Mistake. (Side note - this was one of the funerals I did for the soldiers who got killed by the SCUD missile) When the time came I started to play...er...I mean, SOUND... :roll: and held out the 3rd note, waiting to hear the echo, which never came. I figured that the Captain got cold feet, got nervous or whatever, so I continued to play. After I finished, THEN he started to play, so rather than being Echo Taps, it was two Taps, back to back. And he really wasn't very good - he had a wonderfully diffuse "sound" and chipped notes here and there. I was humiliated and refused to speak to him afterward. After the funeral was over, I quietly made my way back to the car, got in and left.

    I played with another guy that week - a reserves or Guard soldier who was also tasked with the funerals not knowing that an active duty contingent was sent out to cover them, but he was a solid player and while I've never cared for Echo Taps, he and I did a pretty good job of it for the two or three funerals we did together that week.
     
  3. hahkeystah

    hahkeystah Piano User

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    thats... actually a pretty sad story. kind of him to make a mockery of the setting. a soldier's funeral is not a place to "wing it" imo, and it was not cool to put you in that situation.
    unfortunately i have no one to blame but myself, i didn't have an officer present to screw things up for me, so i had to do it on my own lol
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Eh, it happens - perform enough times and something will happen - even if it's just a chipped note. One of the most famous renditions of Taps ever, played by a bugler from Pershing's Own at the funeral of JFK, had a chipped note.

    The last memorial service I played I chipped a note - didn't mean to, but it happened, I couldn't take it back, and I had to just keep rolling with it the best I could. An interesting side note, the funeral was for the grandfather of the guy who plays drums for the rock band "The Fray," Ben Wysocki - his uncle (son of the deceased) is my brother-in-law's best friend and he's become my friend as well. He called me and asked me if I'd do it, and of course I said yes. I warmed up a bit at home, got there ahead of time and warmed up a bit more in the parking lot, and then went inside to pay my respects, and then the proceedings lasted over 2 hours with a lot of people speaking, recounting stories and that kind of thing, and I just sort of hung back, waiting for when I was going to have to play, and in the downtime, my chops got cold and I had nowhere to go to warm them back up. I felt terrible about it, but other than the chipped note, it was probably ok.

    Ben Wysocki and Isaac Slade are good friends, and both of them were in attendance - it was kind of surreal seeing and talking to them in that kind of place where they weren't there as rock stars, but rather just as ordinary people who came to grieve and pay their respects to Ben's grandfather, who was also a musician and influenced Ben's decision to pursue drums.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  5. Fluffy615

    Fluffy615 Piano User

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    I don't much like the echo thing either. I've done it a few times. There really is too much that can go wrong. Someone always thinks that they can do it better. You're right Patrick. This thread started out sharing some of the most moving or memorable performances of Taps. It sounds like you've definitely done your share of them. Thanks for your service. I've continued to play it over the last 25 or so years since my Dad's funeral, but I don't think I ever played it as good as that time. I guess I wanted to make sure that I sent him off right. I can't do it now without thinking of him.
    Bob
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Bob, one of my biggest regrets is that I didn't play Taps at my father's funeral. At the time I felt that my place was to be there next to my Mom. The HS kid that got tasked with it hacked it up pretty badly, although to be fair, the funeral, held outside of my small SW Nebraska hometown, was in the middle of March, it was nasty cold and the wind was blowing and gusting. I don't know how long he'd been out there in the cold, but he must have been half frozen. It was just tough to sit there and listen to it because as soon as he started, I regretted the decision to not do it myself.
     
  7. JediYoda

    JediYoda Mezzo Piano User

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    I had a friend many years ago who was asked to play taps for his trumpet mentors funeral.
    By mentor I mean this instructor literally took my friend under his arm...bought him his first pro horn...etc....
    My friend stood up to play taps and halfway through could not contain himself so he launched into an impromtu jazzy version of When the Saints......when he was finished without missing a lick he finished taps from where he left off,


    There was not a dry eye in audience and there was wild applause.

    I will never forget that moment!
     
  8. oldenick

    oldenick Pianissimo User

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    .
     
  9. hahkeystah

    hahkeystah Piano User

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    An interesting story i've got isn't about me, but rather my dad.
    when he was 12 he watched his mother die when her horse crow-hopped. She was his entire musical influence. He was playing the trumpet at the time, but wasn't very good at it. after she died he threw himself into it, hours a day for about two years. one day while he was practicing he got this huge urge to play taps for her, so he opened his bedroom window and played it full out over their farm. he told me that as soon as he did that, it felt like a huge burden had lifted off his shoulders. he put his horn away and never picked it up again. its been almost 40 years since that day, and he's never had one bit of interest in ever playing again. looking back, he told me, it was like he had subconciously wanted to learn trumpet for the sole purpose of seeing her off.
     
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    That's an interesting story - it seems like a bit of a waste that your Dad put down the horn, but some people are like that - once they've accomplished a goal, that's that. I had a friend who did that with bicycling. He dumped all kinds of money into a nice Trek road bike and rode and rode and rode with the idea that he was going to compete. He entered 1 race and placed second, 7 seconds after the leader, and he did almost half the race with a broken pedal. And that was that - I think he just wanted to know whether or not he could, and really had no intention of being competitive long term. He's convinced if not for the broken pedal he would have won, and he would have won by a large margin, and that's all he needed to know.
     

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