Taps for Non-Military

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Solar Bell, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. bob latorre

    bob latorre New Friend

    Mar 23, 2007
    I just read that the last thing Maynard Ferguson played before his passing was . . . taps! His daughter's beloved 22-year-old cat had just died, and the family had a funeral for it. Maynard supplied taps, played very beautifully and lovingly. Four days later he was gone.
  2. TheRiddler

    TheRiddler Pianissimo User

    Oct 8, 2006
    I have a friend who used to play taps at arlington a lot... he was doing echo taps one time for a high ranking officer... the cue for the guy across the hill to start playing was the commanding officer would take his hat off... unfortunately, it began to snow like crazy - and the officer took his hat off to brush the snow away during a few somber last words, and the guy across the hill started playing away... I'm sure theres hundreds of taps blunders... i always emerged unscathed from the experience, but it is deeply emotional and the ultimate in high pressure gigs.
  3. bob latorre

    bob latorre New Friend

    Mar 23, 2007
    Interesting you should mention the pressure. It's one of those situations where you just HAVE to play perfectly, and for some reason that takes the pressure off for me! Just relax and play it! Last Memorial Day I was hired to play taps at a military service where about 400 people attended. I stood in back and waited through the hour-plus ceremony for my cue. It turned out that there was a "gold-star" family there (of a recently-fallen Iraq vet) standing right in front of me. When my cue came up right after the 21-gun salute, I stepped up right next to the family, raised my horn and played out. Everyone rose as one, and the emotions really started to flow! Instead of thinking, okay guy don't blow it, I was just focused on the patriotism and honor of the moment. All the notes came out good. Gotta be careful not to let emotions carry you away though.

    On the subject of payment for taps, I always donate whatever I'm paid to a worthy cause. Patriotic duty and all that.
  4. Bourbon City

    Bourbon City Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Wow. This hurts.

    My Mom has not long to live. Terminal Cancer, the kind that spreads fast. She is 80 years old.

    My Father, Moms husband for 56 years, died in 2002. He was a WWII Army Veteran on the German Front. I did not play Taps for my Father. I was afraid of the emotions.

    My Grandfather, Moms Father, died in 1969 while I was in music school. He was a WWI Army Veteran on the German Front. I did not play Taps for my Grandfather. I was afraid of the emotions.

    My Family is buried side by side. Mom will be buried next to my Father when her time comes. I will play Taps at her funeral. Taps will sound for Her, My Father and My Grandfather. Screw the emotions. I missed two previous times for my family. I will not miss this opportunity to tell them how much I love them

    Thanks for "listening"

    Dale Schmidt PO2 US Navy
    Vietnam Veteran
    Schwab likes this.
  5. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    I was asked to play amazing grace at the end of a funeral once unaccompanied. One of the most nerve racking performance of my life for some reason.
  6. mystrumpet

    mystrumpet Piano User

    Nov 25, 2007
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    I had that experience last month, playing for my debate coaches funeral. Same song, unaccompanied, and outside.

    I'd also say that was the most nerve-racking funeral service I've played at, due to the fact that I was very close to my coach, and I was standing right next to the husband when I played. The family appriciated it very much, and looking back, I see it as a good experience.
  7. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit

    I am sorry for your upcoming loss.

    I would do the same thing.

    And thank you for your service in Viet Nam!

  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    As a Christian, when one dies, they go to something better(I don't know enough about other religions to make any other assumptions here)!

    Keeping that in mind always has kept taps something special, but not a tear jerker until it was over.

    Chuck, you did the right thing!
  9. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

    Nov 12, 2003

    Ditto what Chuck Willard said!!!

    Roy Griffin
  10. Principaltrumpet

    Principaltrumpet Pianissimo User

    Nov 7, 2006
    north texas
    As a current Army Bugler, I will confirm that there is nothing wrong with what you did. First of all, you fulfilled the request of a grieving loved one. second of all bugle calls are played in many places other than military occasions. I do believe it is against the rules for me to go play for a non-military funeral in uniform, but as a civilian as long as the intentions are right, you are right. Congrats for making a good decision and being a patriot yourself.

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