Stanley - Trumpet Tune - Help

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by timbo, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. timbo

    timbo New Friend

    Jan 21, 2004
    Plymouth, UK
    Hi Manny,

    In church this morning I was asked if could play the Stanley trumpet tune for someone's wedding. Great, I love playing for weddings! :-)

    The downside is that it is a week on Saturday, not much time to practise. And I apart from occasional outings, I haven't played regularly for a year or so (shame on me!) :-(

    Also, the bride was quite vague - that's all the information I have yet. I have music for the Stanley trumpet voluntary, Op6 no5, not totally sure if that's what she meant. She promised to drop a CD round, but in the last minute preparations for a wedding, I'm not counting on it.

    I'm looking for some advice on two fronts
    - how can I best get back into shape quickly?
    - any hints on how best to approach the piece itself

    Basically, I'm a recreational trumpet player who has played on and off in church music groups. I have played the Stanley before, but only in practice. I'm reasonably confident that I can pull it off, but it's towards the upper end of my ability range.

    On the piece itself, the comment on the score I have says "pointed and rhythmic", and suggests clipping the dotted quavers to a quaver with a semiquaver rest. Would you agree with that, Manny? Also, what speed do you recommend? I've been practising at about 108 bpm.

    The score I have is in Bb, and I only have a Bb trumpet (before Wilmer suggests I use a D trumpet, I don't know anyone who has one. although I might be able to borrow a C). I don't know what the original key is (D?), but I don't want to take it much higher than this, given the limited time to get back in shape.

    Finally, the aisle at our church is quite short, so I think the bride might have to walk incredibly slowly if I play the whole piece. Do you have any suggestions for an excerpt, or what to cut out. I don't think there will be any accompaniment, the bride asked for solo trumpet.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Dear Timbo,

    I'm of this mind:

    1) It drives me nuts when people don't get the names of things they want right because "oh, well, it's something like that...". E-mail the prospective bride and say that you've procured the Stanley trumpet tune she asked for and ask her to reply that she got your e-mail. If you're feeling responsible because this is the most important day of her life and all that, call her and make her sing it over the phone. If she can't, case closed.

    2) Don't fret at all about the key if it's lower than usual. What is important is that you play it well. If she doesn't know the name of the piece she's going to care even less what key it's played in.

    3) Play the piece at a true march tempo and do a consult with the organist. S/He will have more experience about cuts and things. Do this before the day of the wedding.

    Don't worry about anything other than representing yourself well as an artist when you play. Do your homework, ask the organist, and contact the bride to let her know you've done what was asked of you.

    Boy, am I grumpy today. You might want to ask someone with a slightly sunnier disposition.

  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I'm not trying to be pessimistic, but if all you have for time to get in shape to play is one week, you are about 3 weeks too late. In my experience, any time I have let my chops go for too long, it has taken longer than a week to get them to where I felt I could really rely on them for anything. However, since you are already on the hook to play this thing, my advice to you is to play daily, but keep it light - just enough to prepare the tune so that you can pull it off.

    And I'm with Manny regarding the tune - it isn't your responsibility to research the music for someone else's wedding, unless you are relative or close friend or something of that nature and they entrusted this decision to you. Your job is to play what they ask/pay you to play and that's as far as it goes. Just play the ink (or play the ink plus whatever revisions have been made.) and call it a day.

    One last thing, and I guess I'm a bit grumpy today too, but I'm puzzled why you would agree to play for a wedding on short notice when you don't know the music, your chops are questionable, and you don't know if you can pull it off, and then, you come on here asking for a fix to a problem that you created all by yourself when you agreed to play. Considering the circumstances, maybe you should have politely declined the request and directed them to someone that you knew could pull it off.

    Just a thought.
  4. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    Maybe this is a bit obvious, but I'd be sure to go to the rehearsal to be sure I knew exactly what is going to go on at the wedding.
  5. timbo

    timbo New Friend

    Jan 21, 2004
    Plymouth, UK
    Thanks for the replies guys. Don't apologise for feeling grumpy, I deserved it!
    Duh! It seems obvious now, what kind of arrogant idiot would take on a poorly defined gig while in poor shape at short notice?

    Problem is, I don't get many invites, and I guess I was flattered to be asked. Didn't have the guts to turn it down...

    I'll let you know how I get on with my practice, as Patrick suggests I'm going for light and often, 15 minutes 2 or 3 times a day. I can play it through at "practice level" standard right now, not quite at performance level yet.

    And thanks again for your help guys. I need a shot across the bows sometimes.
  6. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    If you are in Plymouth (UK), how much are they paying you?
    If it is a reasonable fee (and you don't feel able to take it on), I am sure that there are other players in the area who might be able to do it.
    Are you playing with an organ?
    If so, don't fret about they key - play it in concert Bb, let them do the work. If they are a decent organist, they will be able to transpose just as well as any brass player can - it is in their training, much as it is in ours.
  7. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    He may be grumpy but he's right. I cannot emphasise this point enough!!!

    Every time...EVERY SINGLE TIME...I let an organist talk me into "Let's just run through it verbally a few minutes before the service" it turns into a complete disaster.

    One guy in town seems to have this unjustifiable and terminal trust of my wedding playing. He never wants to meet beforehand. "Oh, you know the standard fare, and we've played together." Doesn't matter...each service is different, each wedding party larger or smaller, faster or slower at getting down the aisle. Nothing worse than wrapping up on a beautiful climax only to have the Organist prattle on for two or three more phrases because he couldn't see the bride standing at the podium.

    On the flip side -- I've never had a bad performance at a wedding where the organist and I worked things out ahead of time. And definitely get it into a key that's manageable for you. I don't think you want to be playing it on the Bb in four sharps. The timber (IMHO) isn't even right for that piece on a Bb anyway, so why push it? Bring it down a third and keep the accidentals out of it....

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