My Memorial Day Gig

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Principaltrumpet, May 26, 2008.

  1. Principaltrumpet

    Principaltrumpet Pianissimo User

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    I am very excited yet extremely nervous. I live in a town that houses a large air force base. This installation is in charge of all of the NATO pilot training in the United States. The only downside is they do not have an installation band. Every morning and evening they do as most installations do, and have a recording play bugle calls. Well tonight they wanted it to be different.
    So tonight at 10 pm I get to go play taps live on their parade field and it will be broadcast throughout the base. I know it isn't the biggest gig in the world, definitely doesn't pay the most, but for me, it is the most rewarding.

    So, from my house to all of yours, thanks to all who serve, served, or will serve in our nations armed forces, Thanks to those who sacrificed everything so our nation can be free. And thanks to those who support the men and women of our armed forces, with out your support we would be nothing.
    JR
     
  2. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

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    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Good luck on your gig. Sure you will do well, you hit the first note and it is down hill all the way from there. . Glad they are springing for a live musician today instead of the canned stuff for the daily calls, and worse yet, for many military funerals.

    I used to live morning and night calls when I was in OTC at Lackland in 64. That hot tarmac sure tests your stocicism! I forgot to do one call and sure heard about it!:-)
     
  3. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Hey man, great luck to you and do our service men and women proud!!! If you get a chance, thank as many of them personally as you can for me and for the country. It's a great honor, in my opinion, to play taps anytime and for anyone. To actually be playing for the men and women who serve is the greatest honor! Hey Marines, Army men and women, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, we all truly love you and wish you the best, and to those who are serving in Iraq: We're proud of you and we hope that you're doing well! Please come home safe!!!
     
  4. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

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    Casper, WY
    Good luck. Play well. It's all about them. GREAT words you crafted in your post.
     
  5. RGood

    RGood Piano User

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    Deep in the heart of TX
    You'll do great tonite I'm sure! Make us all proud.

    Besides - you can't do worse than I did first time I played Taps - I was a Cub Scout - so probably first year or so playing the horn - and couldn't get the starting note - so the crowd sang Taps instead - I'm somewhere between mortified and yet laughing at it all these years later - went on to be first chair for my high school.

    Glad to see you honoring our military personnel and vets. As the son of a WWII army vet who just passed away in October - this Memorial Day is especially poignant for me. A special thanks to the Army for providing representation at his funeral (a Major showed up - and he loved the display we had of my father's uniform and decorations and a map of their campaign in Europe - my father was just a lowly PFC in Patton's Army - but what a lot of stories he had to tell).

    Best of luck up at UNT - what a great school! Keep us posted - maybe we can see you perform up there - maybe with the One O'Clock Lab band!

    Regards from Grapevine, Tx

    BG
     
  6. Principaltrumpet

    Principaltrumpet Pianissimo User

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    north texas
    Thanks for the kind words, the first time I ever played taps was at a our division commanders conference in 2005, I was horrible bottom line. I spent the next two months playing it multiple times a day, but like ya said. Hit the first note and it is downhill from there.
    JR
     
  7. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    Last Thursday I did my third year of 'sounding' Taps at one of our large local cemetaries, where over 600 veterans are buried along with their families. On this day each year the local girl scouts decorate the graves of these veterans with flags to honor the deceased veterans. At this cemetary the owners have installed a veterans memorial site with a flagpole, and a large stone memorial.


    Prior to the girls putting out the flags, there is always a short memorial ceremony at the base of the flagpole, with me 'sounding' Taps while the flag is lowered and then re raised. The kids are very respectful and do stand at attention with their right hands over their hearts until the flag is fully back to the top of the staff.


    As a retired USMC Lt. Col. I consider it an honor to pay homage to my deceased military brothers and to help with the education of an upcoming generation in the proprieties per our veterans.


    By the way, I had no problems in my performance.


    OLDLOU>>
     
  8. Doc Nelson

    Doc Nelson Pianissimo User

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    May 7, 2008
    Portland, TX
    So, how was the performance?
     
  9. Principaltrumpet

    Principaltrumpet Pianissimo User

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    north texas
    Wow, so last night was amazing. It was by far the highlight of my military career thus far. It was an emotional and very moving experience.

    When I was asked to play this gig in mid April, I was told I would simply be playing taps and it would be broadcast through the AFB. They told me they felt a live bugler was the best option for Memorial Day.

    When I arrived, I was greeted by a Major and a Brigadier General both very nice and welcoming to me. As we made our way to the parade field where I was to play, I noticed a very full parking lot close by. The base had evidently put out a notice that I would be there and hundreds of Airmen and their families showed up to pay respects to their fellow service men currently serving, and those who have served in the past.

    Since 2004, there have been 3 soldiers killed that called Wichita Falls or the small surrounding towns home. A few women decided to use this time to serve as a memorial to those soldiers and passed out candles for a small vigil.

    As I began to play with the candles lit and the complete silence it was difficult to hold back my emotions. I will say, the playing went off without a hitch. However, in this case, how I played was not important at all.
    This was the shortest gig I have ever played, but it will remain dear to me forever.
    JR

    I do have to say, the echo coming from the other side of the base was quiet neat.
     
  10. RGood

    RGood Piano User

    Age:
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    Apr 20, 2008
    Deep in the heart of TX
    Joshua -

    It echos a lot farther than you think - in all of them and all of us!

    Great job.
     

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