I've been a member for about three years now.
(Click on the link in my sig line for more info.)
Schilke B2, Benge Burbank 3X trumpet, Benge LA 3X flugel, Olds Mendez (long) cornet, Olds LA Super (1944), Getzen Picollo
Recent member but couldn't make the first request (memorial day, we had a concert for the community band) the 2nd request I took too long to respond and when I did they already had it fulfilled. Next time hopefully.
Selmer Radial, Bb.
Yamaha YTR4420E, C.
1930 Couesnon cornet
A mind that masters the breath
Creates strength (Lao-Tzu).
Boy Scouts have sounded TAPS at funerals often (including me when I was younger). I've heard a Cub Scout sound TAPS for his own Father and he did so as well as I ever could.
I did attend a funeral for a 2nd cousin and they used the electronic bugle. I had a 1st cousin mention to me that the guy did a great job "playing" taps. So I guess some folks sadly can't tell the difference. I guess if they heard both side by side, they could tell a huge difference. I did tell my cousin that the guy didn't play anything.
I should look into joining this organization. I just worry that most of the funerals would be during work hours and that I would not be able to help much.
I think you made a valuable point that is often overlooked in these discussions:
Many of those attending funerals where electronic bugles are being utilized believe they are hearing the "real" thing. Musicians at the funerals know the electronic bugle isn't the "real thing" and would have desired a "live" bugler to take part. We never know if a request for a "live" bugler was ever made by the family, clergy or funeral director? We don't know if one was available in the community on that day and time? We don't even know if a "live" bugler declined because of work or other priorities? We have no idea if a "live" bugler was even close enough to serve?
However, I would not be critical of the use of the electronic bugle to the point of informing family and friends gathered there that it "was not a live bugle" as it serves no useful purpose. The funeral services are supposed to be a comfort to the family not a time to tell them something to make the day more traumatic especially if the family and friends are pleased. I would not make it a point to tell the folks gathered that the bugle they heard was not a "live" presentation. People don't need to hear negative comments before, during and/or after the services in the funeral home/church or at the cemetery. Discretion is always best as far as I'm concerned.
Better to find ways to tell the people that local and/or BAA volunteers are available to serve. Marketing the concept of using "live" buglers must be constantly shared with local funeral directors, clergy and families of veterans. Families should be told that they must specify to the funeral directors that all efforts must be made to contact a "live" bugler. If one isn't available, they will have to make a decision to use an electronic bugle or electric device for TAPS or no "bugle tribute" at all. Some are not aware of the process that would help them be successful in receiving the services of a "live" bugler. Some only learn it after the funeral services which is sad. We should not be critical about those providing "tribute and honors" with the use of ceremonial bugles when a "live" bugler isn't available. When that day comes that more "live" buglers are available for the number of funerals in a given community, I believe electronic bugles will be used less often.
Musicians and the BAA have to "continually market" the concept that "a live bugler" is far better than an electronic bugle or device to the public and those in the funeral industry.
Funerals have time constraints and people must work quickly to obtain a "live bugler" for services. Funeral directors (who wqnt to help) can't be held waiting until a "live bugler" is found and accepts the assignment. That often has to happen a day after the veteran passes away. If a funeral home asks for a "live" bugler for the family from BAA, local source, veteran's group or family itself, how often are they successful in receiving a prompt answer one way or another? Is there a follow-up with funeral homes to see if "live buglers" have responded to their requests? On the other hand there are funeral directors who don't want to be bothered, so families need to be notified that they need to make their wishes known for a "live" bugler and may have to make contact when such a funeral director is "dragging" the process.
As a member of the clergy having ministered at many funerals in my lifetime, I realize that most funerals occur within three days after the veteran has passed unless cremation occurs and a memorial service is scheduled later. This means that many things must come together very quickly in a short amount of time to facilitate a funeral by today's standards.
I don't believe ALL musicians understand the time restraints for funerals and find it easier to complain about the use of an electronic bugle or other device for TAPS.
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