Recorded Taps at Funerals

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Firestas'1, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. DL TPT

    DL TPT New Friend

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    Jan 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    I was first asked to play for my uncles funeral. After that I have stayed plenty busy by letting the funeral homes know that I will play for free. I was not in the military and feel this is my way of honoring those who were. Even though I agree to play for free I have had many families send me thank you cards with donations. I think that talking to the local funeral homes is the best way to solve the situation in your area - Frequently call them and let them know you are available.

    DL
     
  2. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Heart of Dixie
    It's in Bb - of course the tuning slide has to come out a little to be perfectly right. Kanstul also makes a G version. They come in lacquer or silver plate, with a standard or Amado water key. Mine in lacquer was on sale for $175 through Pick Music last year - quite a deal if you've looked at the offerings from various manufacturers. Very nice build, and it even has a one-piece bell!
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    We unfortunately need to get used to the "electronics". In our society of no planning, no commitment, last minute madness, a CD is always available, doesn't need to be booked, never cracks notes and unfortunately does not even cause concern with the families for the most part. I can't think of any part of America where a trumpet player could not be found to honor our men in service. The electronic equivalent is "easier" than organizing real caring people.
    Yes, we can and should make our voices known to the local "decision makers". A CD is impersonal, but like with many things, too many people just do not care! Maybe our rates for weddings scare them off?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Rochester, MN
    What your really saying is laziness is the problem, and I couldn't agree more!
     
  5. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

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    Jun 11, 2006
    Nice bugle, Dale. Glad to see it is a Bb.
    I once played taps in F and found out it wasn't official.
     
  6. Brett Getzen

    Brett Getzen Pianissimo User

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    Sep 19, 2006
    Elkhorn, WI
    I have to disagree a little with the statement that there are enough buglers around to sound Taps, just no money. There may be a lot of trumpet players in a particular area, but how many of them readily call a funeral home to offer their services? How many players on this forum have done that? It's not like there is an open call.

    Remember, the military accepts the digital bugle and boombox and even recommends them to anybody that asks. If you're a funeral director what are you going to do? There are something like 1,500 WWII vets passing away everyday across the country and if memory serves me, there is only something like 250 official buglers in the US military. Do the math.

    Granted, a lot of families may not want to pay. But just as many may not have the ability to pay. To just say that Taps on a boom box is caused by cheapskates is cover things with a pretty broad brush. I know several players that have had to turn down money time and time again. They perform Taps for something other than the money. Obviously, there are families willing to pay.

    Brett Getzen
     
  7. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

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    Jun 11, 2006
    I am with you, Brett. Getting a foot in the door with the funeral directors is the thing to do.

    I have considered trying to have a county wide seminar on military bugling. I have Scott Air Force base bandsmen and Jefferson Barracks available to provide an authentic teacher. It would be good to have high school students show up that can be on call at various locations around the county. The seminar could be included in Bugling Merit Badge.
    Girls would be invited for sure.
    My high school always gave me the time off for playing during the day. I usually had 24 hours notice. An officer of the VFW would pick me up at school. My high school principal was my next door neighbor and a Korean War Vet so I reported to him and I was good to go.
     
  8. Tom Mac

    Tom Mac Pianissimo User

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    Mar 11, 2007
    Nashville Tennessee
    I am a Navy veteren of the Viet Nam era. I have played plenty of funerals both for pay and for free. Though I am torn on the pay issue (I know a trumpet player who, while in college, saved and invested his "Bugle" money and made a nice nest egg for himself) I would still play for free. That's just me. I do think it's a shame that real buglers are being replaced by boom boxs when I never get a call. Also, Bagpipers are way overpaid. The definition of a gentleman (or Lady) is one who knows how to play the bagpipes but doesn't.

    T. Mac, Living and Dying in 3/4 Time
     
  9. Brett Getzen

    Brett Getzen Pianissimo User

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    Sep 19, 2006
    Elkhorn, WI
    Here in Wisconsin the state jumped in to help the issue. High school kids that volunteer to play Taps at funerals get a voucher from the state for something like $75 for each funeral. That is then good towards tuition at any of the University of Wisconsin schools. I talked with one band director whose daughter played Taps for some insane number of funerals while in school. He wished the voucher system had been in place for her.

    Anyone that wants to get involved should consider contacting their local VFW post. You can also contact/join BAA. While the local chapter seems to have dropped the ball in the previously mentioned case, they are a great bunch of guys/girls just trying to pay their respects. It was through the help of some of their members that we designed and built the American Heritage field trumpet, which by the way you can get directly through BAA. :-)

    Brett Getzen
     
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Rochester, MN
    What a great idea! I'm too embarassed to say what buglers get paid here.
     

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