Only Trumpet Players Can

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

  1. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi Rowuk,
    You stated
    "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".
    ----
    EXACTLY! Whenever I use to perform decades ago and on the occasions I'm personally asked to perform, I look for a spot where I can not be seen. I get to the grave yard early enough to coordinate with the color guard and once they do the rifle salute, I play unseen (behind a tree, building or hill). It is absolutley not about me and when I make it as such, it means more.
    Dr.Mark
     
  2. trumpetreble

    trumpetreble New Friend

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    Mar 15, 2014
    Apex, NC
    Hi there!

    I play Taps at a monthly Bell Ringing service to honor the fallen soldiers of the month. I have played there for 2 years without missing a month. It is hosted by an American Legion group. This weekend, I was scared, as I had an event where I couldnt go to the bell ringing! But I was very happy, because for the first time ever, there was no need for the service, there were no fallen soldiers. Playing Taps is a very respectful and reverent honor. Im glad I'm able to play it at these events! Thanks for the post!
     
  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    I have a slightly different take on this.

    There is definitely something symbolic in the role of the bugler. You have a solemn responsibilty, a task to perform on behalf of others, that must be undertaken at the appointed time despite adversity, fear and discomfort. Nothing like the adversity faced by the people being honoured, by any means. But whenever called on to do this, my mind always turned to the two great-uncles that I would have had had they not been lost on the Hood, and how they would have held their station without flinching until the end. To a certain extent this helped put me in the right mindset for the execution (not performance!), but also in a sense I was representing them at the ceremony, and by logical extension, the rest of the fallen.

    So I agree wholeheartedly that it was never about the person actually playing the Last Post. But it was about the character symbolised at the ceremony, Miles Ignotus - the unknown soldier - all kitted out in full dress uniform, fulfilling his duty come rain or shine. So I think it's right to be seen. But you're just acting a part in the pageant, and quite obviously there must be definite 'no' to any showboating or 'artistic interpretation' (and I have seen that).

    For me, a 'well done' at the end was more than enough. Although I never refused the double malt whisky the Lord Mayor of Leeds bought for me afterwards!
     
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Send me a beginning first year trumpet player, and if they haven't already learned to sound TAPS, I'll gladly tutor them how at no charge. Now the tiggler, I know of no such child in Northampton County NC that can get from their home to mine without transport on the school bus or their parent/guardian driving them. Within the Town of Jackson, I know of only 4 children of public school age from 1st grade through High School, one of these a freshman high schooler I tutor that already can since he walks from his house to mine, but for him to walk much further would be much more difficult than the distance I can now walk and there is no driver/vehicle at his disposal. The only reason he is not in high school band is that they have no uniform as will fit him and for health reasons he couldn't endure marching. For 3 years now, every County Memorial Day program has asked for a live bugler to sound Taps at funerals and this event here in Jackson. No one else has come forward. The County Veterans Affairs officer has yet to ask me, and in lieu thereof has his own son pretend he is bugling with the Ceremonial bugle. So, I sound live Taps on Memorial Day at the Veteran's Memorial in the Town of Conway, 14 miles from Jackson. FYI, the Town of Jackson is the County seat of Northampton County NC and lays just South of the Virginia line East of I-95.

    You may think it weird, but I can sit on our front porch and see the site of my own grave 2 blocks away in the Jackson Cemetery. I now don't know of anyone near who will sound live TAPS there when I die.
     
  5. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Ed Lee,
    You stated:
    "For 3 years now, every County Memorial Day program has asked for a live bugler to sound Taps at funerals and this event here in Jackson. No one else has come forward. The County Veterans Affairs officer has yet to ask me, and in lieu thereof has his own son pretend he is bugling with the Ceremonial bugle. So, I sound live Taps on Memorial Day at the Veteran's Memorial in the Town of Conway, 14 miles from Jackson. FYI, the Town of Jackson is the County seat of Northampton County NC and lays just South of the Virginia line East of I-95."
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    If I may make a suggestion. Gather up the kid you tutor and take him with you when you do Taps.
    Get his feet wet, and let him do it. If he complains and acts scared, tell him it's part of his lessons and tell him, rest assured, you'll be there so he won't be alone.
    Dr.Mark
     
  6. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi sethoflagos,
    You stated(paraphrase):
    "So I think it's right to be seen when performing Taps."
    ---
    I can't argue with that and your approach sounds very respectful.
    I've done Taps more times than I can count and I've had people to tell me that my rendition brought tears to their eyes. Here's the problem. Some years ago, I was called to do Taps and once finished, some people applauded. That was embarrasing, and totally wrong. It's easy for Taps to bring someone to tears due to what it represents and the occasion at hand so the last thing I want to hear is some disrespectful umpa lumpa clapping afterwards.
    That's when I came up with not being seen. I've done it for years and it works like a charm. When you hear it, it appears to come out of nowhere but sounds like it's coming from everywhere. Not loud, but everywhere. If possible, I'll have my car on a hillside out of site and once I finish, I get in the car, put it in neutral and drift away unseen. I don't want applause or praise when I finish.
    This is what works for me.
    Dr.Mark
     
  7. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

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    I always play the Last Post from the rear of the church or crowd too. Just seems more natural to be out the way.
     
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Dr. Mark, First, I'm absolutely positive that the high school freshman I'm presently tutoring could sound TAPS as well, if not better, than I can. Also, I'm absolutely sure I'd have the consent of his Mother & Grandmother to take him almost anywhere. That said, I would not take him anywhere he would not like to go, or ask him to do anything he would not like to do.
    Thanks, you've given me the idea to not only invite him along, but ask him if he'd like to do such as a duet or possibly echo.

    On another aspect, I believe the bereaved family and friends expect to not only hear but see the bugler sound Taps live. Although the bugler stands at a distance at Arlington National Cemetery, he is in sight of the bereaved and ceremony. Too, he sounds Taps in profile to the bereaved, either facing North or East. Also, numerous times, in the absence of a military honor guard, I've first stepped forward to be the folder of the flag as was the casket pall, something I've done hundreds of times and still maintain such skill. No, among the "hundreds" were fewer than 5% as were palls, but the others were those lowered on Federal properties. It really disgusts me to see a funeral director present another pre-folded flag rather than that which was the actual pall, but I've seen it too many times.
     
  9. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi Ed Lee,
    You stated:
    "Thanks, you've given me the idea to not only invite him along, but ask him if he'd like to do such as a duet or possibly echo."
    ---
    Heck Ed!! No one pampered us.
    Put him out there and let him stand on his own two feet. My daughter is 10. She been doing Taps since she was 8. I told her I'd be right there with her and that she'd be fine and guess what? She was scared as hell, probably about ready to pee herself but she did it. Once she was finished, her fear turned into joy and excitement not unlike conquering anything difficult or scary. Throw him out there, he'll be alright.Why? Because you'll be right by his side with your horn in your hands.
    ----
    On another aspect, I believe the bereaved family and friends expect to not only hear but see the bugler sound Taps live.
    ----
    Oh I totally respect and understand that method. Being unseen (and at a distance. I forgot to mention that in the initial post) works best for me for earlier stated reasons. Also, after playing unseen many times, I've learned what the effect has been on people when I'd see them maybe a month or two later. The method of playing at a distance and not being seen has the potential of creating a more (for lack of a better description) "spiritual" effect. More than one person as told me that it was like a feeling instead of a sound. My goal when I play Taps is two-fold. It needs to sound like "Goodbye" and feel like Heaven saying "Come on home".
    That's what works for me.
    ----
    It really disgusts me to see a funeral director present another pre-folded flag rather than that which was the actual pall, but I've seen it too many times.
    ----
    I'm with you on that.
    Dr.Mark
     
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Dr. Mark, I've committed to sound TAPS and will have to speak with the Chair of the Memorial Day committee in order to sub Billy in my stead. If such is agreed to, I'm all for it. Again, if he wants to, I'm positive he can do it, and at a Memorial Day ceremony is likely the preferred phasing into his doing so at future funerals. I'll gladly transport him to and from.

    Mostly, I try to get about 50 yards away from the bereaved when I sound TAPS. I say "try" because this is not always possible hereabout, especially in personal family cemeteries on their farms and I won't elaborate in what I've sometimes stepped in while getting to that point or then been standing in. The option is theirs if they want to see me. Some look, some don't. I'd say mostly children do look.

    At times I've been able to observe the reaction of the bereaved which vary widely; some whose eyes have never left the casket during the entire ceremony, some who have had their head bowed the whole time... I couldn't always discern if their eyes were shut or not, especially women whose faces were hidden behind veils, and a few times when they've wailed when I sounded TAPS, which the first time I heard this such it was very disconcerting and I almost flubbed.
     

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