Only Trumpet Players Can

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Deacon, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon New Friend

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    Dec 6, 2009
    This week I had the distinct honor of playing a heartfelt Taps for a Korean War vet. Though the tears streamed down my cheek I gave it my all and never wavered. Afterwards, a group of veterans took turns thanking me and shaking my hand, saying they wish they knew of a local trumpet player (I was a guest from 2800 miles away) that would help them honor vets with a live tribute, as I had. I was in Houston, Texas. Surely there has to be hundreds of us in Houston that would take a moment to honor these men and women that have put themselves in harms way to protect the boundless freedom we enjoy. I implore you all, call your local VFW or American Legion to register with them. Sometimes they offer gas money, $20-$50, but some posts and not able to. We are in a unique position to respect these veterans. After all, it just wouldn't sound right on a saxophone.
     
  2. gbshelbymi

    gbshelbymi Mezzo Piano User

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    What a nice thing to do. Congrats.

    Please point the group you worked with to Bugles Across America. That is what they are there for.

    Bugles Across America > Home
     
  3. peanuts56

    peanuts56 Pianissimo User

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    I attended the funeral of a local musician a few days back. He was also a WW2 Vet and his son and I shared an apt. when we were doing our under grad work. Two former section mates of mine from high school played taps. One played at the casket and one followed from a distance. Very touching. I don't get the itch to play much any more, I got it that day. I would have been honored.
     
  4. Conntribution

    Conntribution Fortissimo User

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    My wife works at the local V.A. I do it when some of the guys in the nursing home pass and are interred locally at Pinelawn.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    While I can understand the effects of being able to offer something special, I often get the impression that we trumpet players are missing the boat. At the end of the day it is not about us or our feelings. The biggest compliment that I ever got after a performance was "thank you, I didn't realise that Telemann wrote such great music"!

    In a case where military honours are proper, THAT is what the occasion is about. It shouldn't matter if it is a lieutenant colonel or private playing. We are just a small part of something MUCH greater than ourselves. This is not a concert where we can cash in on anything other than the feeling of having supported the "whole" in a very small way. That humility is what I like to bring home.

    I am not criticising this thread, I just wanted to offer a view that does not get much press.
     
  6. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    I don't know about taps but I always sound The Last Post on a cornet, it sounds horrible on a trumpet to my ear and although I am not criticising this thread spare a thought for the rest of the family
     
  7. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

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    Apr 8, 2010
    Massachusetts

    How true. As a member of Bugles Across America, I too find it refreshing to have family or friends give a simple, "thank you". My belief is that every service member lain to rest has a life story, and by playing Taps, I become a part o that story albeit at the end.
     
  8. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Deacon,
    Here's how the problem of "no one to play Taps" can be solved in a year.
    When I was a kid (jr. high & high school), if there was a funeral for a veteran, I would take a permission slip "to be absent briefly" written by my parents to the school and at a designated time (which was on the permission slip) my Dad would pick me up and drive me to the cemetary where I would perform.
    Then, I would be transported back to the school where I would finish out my school day.
    Now, let's fast forward a million years. In our community, we were facing the same thing, a lack of trumpet players to play Taps. Actually it wasn't a lack of trumpet players, it was a loss of connection between the Veteran's organizations and funeral homes to the trumpet players in the local comminuty. Heck, one place had an electronic bugel. For Pete's sake, an electronic bugel!?!
    But now, my daughter along with other kids, play trumpet for such occasions.
    Someone commented about Bugels Across America. Allow me to suggest that with a little effort, they are not needed. I advocate getting the children and adults of the community involved in this process. It's their community and by involving the citizens in the process, it helps foster a civic responsibility that is in my opinion sorely needed in today's America. I'm not particularly fond of a stranger playing Taps when a neighborhood kid from the local high school marching band or an adult can be doing it. Nope, it needs to be a local. The veteran that's being buried served to help make that little patch of America called "MY Town" safe. Someone from "My Town" needs to sound the Taps, not a stranger.
    How to make this happen:
    Create a list of funeral homes, VA hospitals, Veteran's homes, VFW, American Legion, and any veteran's associations in your area. Then, contact these places about twice a month either by phone or email as to the availability to perform for free. Soon, these places will start to remember you and you will start to get requests to play. I suggest getting the kids and other adults involved once you get the various organizations to start calling. By involving neighborhood people, you will create something that will last longer than you and, help bring back something that somehow got lost in this fast paced digital world. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not slamming Bugles Across America. I'm saying that isn't it a sad state of affairs when we have to ask for a stranger when we have high schools (with marching bands) in almost every neighborhood across America that can be it?
    Dr.Mark
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Dr. Mark,

    Your personal story of TAPSparticipation is much like my own, except I needed no parental excuse from school and more often I rode my bicycle to the cemetery and often wore my Boy Scout uniform replete with sash displaying a buglers badge. Once when I was in high school band, I wore that uniform. Sometimes, I was offered a ride in one of the funeral vehicles. Understand, this was during WWII and there weren't that many personal vehicles on the road. My parents then didn't own one, although my Father then drove a government vehicle.

    After my own stint in USAF, I was asked to sound TAPS just once in the three years I played in the college band and I know of no other trumpeter in the band that was asked during those three years. Such certainly wasn't then coordinated through the college music department, and don't know of any university/college that yet does, nor any public school program that yet does, the latter which my lower grades and high school then DID, as was why I didn't need an excuse. No I now won't sound TAPs in my USAF uniform, simply because it is still in the U.S. Code, and military regulations that it is now illegal for me to do so after 90 days from my discharge date.

    Now I ask you, which County Veterans Affairs Officer or Veterans Organization chapter still doesn't have one of the new Ceremonial bugles with the audio insert recorded by Army Senior Master Sergeant English (USA-Ret) former Army bugler at Arlington National Cemetery, and do they want to or will they cull through their local communities to find a live bugler to perform this honor, whereas at best they've less than 4 days to assure a commitment, and in lieu thereof utilize the Ceremonial bugle.

    While the concept of Bugles Across America is great, IMO it fails at the State coordination level, and is not organized at a lower political level. It has no mega-buck financial support, not even a public service advertisement currently in all telephone directories and newspapers.

    Lastly, I tout that I'm the only live bugler within a 25 mile radius of my home, and would like very much to be proven wrong, and the County High School and a University Instrumental Music Department is within that radius. Too, seemingly I'm engaged by only one funeral home (with 4 locations) and 2 ministries. Catch-point: Many, ministries do not recognize this military honor as part of the burial religious rites. Think about it! In some hymnals I've found the Star Spangled Banner but not the 24 notes of TAPS. As otherwise stated the music in many hymnals have not crossed into the 20th century, an some not even into the 19th when TAPS was written.

    With my age and health, I don't expect to be able to sound live TAPS much longer. I've instructed my wife and daughter not to fake such with the ceremonial bugle, but in lieu of such just have my own recording played.
     
  10. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Ed Lee,
    You stated:
    "Now I ask you, which County Veterans Affairs Officer or Veterans Organization chapter still doesn't have one of the new Ceremonial bugles with the audio insert recorded by Army Senior Master Sergeant English (USA-Ret) former Army bugler at Arlington National Cemetery, and do they want to or will they cull through their local communities to find a live bugler to perform this honor, whereas at best they've less than 4 days to assure a commitment, and in lieu thereof utilize the Ceremonial bugle."
    ----
    At the present time, my daughter and some of the local high school kids are taking up the duty of Sounding Taps and playing The Star Spangled Banner. Before that, there was an electronic bugel or someone would get in touch with BAA. Did making this process a local event tough? Did it take a little effort to get the ball rolling? Yes!
    What the kids have discovered is that they get out of school for a little while and they almost always get some sort of monitary gift. My 10 yr.old got monitary gifts of over $30.00 last weeekend for performing Taps. Yep, it's hard if not impossible for a kid to understand the importance of this. However, as an adult who once participated in this, I now know the importance of what I did. Keeping and maintaining local musicians who will perform Taps & The Star Spangled Banner should be the goal of every band director, funeral home and Veteran's organization. The need for electronic bugles and BAA are the result of something breaking down along the way. My suggestion? Get busy and create a means to where people in the community are reintroduced to perform. This simple act (which can for the most part be done from the comfort of your chair)will last longer than you or me and as the old saying goes, "Do something good before you go".
    Dr.Mark
     

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