Who Is Your Favorite Child? Part 2

Just as it would be impossible to name my favorite child, it would also be impossible for me to name my favorite arrangement. To narrow the field down a little from the two hundred and fifty five arrangements that I have listed on my site, I thought I would list the top three (when possible) from each of the fifteen categories. Some have been selected for their creativity; some were included because of their uniqueness and some because of the possible value to the trumpet literature.

De Torreon a Lerdo
Girl from Ipanema
Besame Mucho

Billboard March
Liberty March

Battle Hymn of the Republic
The Stars and Stripes Forever
Returning Home With Honor

20 Of The Most Popular Hymns for Trumpet 1-4
You’ll Never Walk Alone
The Lord’s Prayer
Let There Be Peace on Earth

Abbots Leigh
Bow Down Thine Ear, O Lord

Trumpet Duet
Elvis Rocks- Three Trumpet Duets
1950 Rocks- Three Trumpet Duets
Dixieland Rocks- Three Trumpet Duets
Duet- Three Sousa Marches
5 Concert Duets
20 Easy Trumpet Duets
20 Easy Trumpet Duets Book #2

Trumpet Trio
Theater Cat & Memory from Cats- Solo/Duet/Trio for any Treble Clef Instruments
The Phantom of the Opera & The Music of the Night- Solo/Duet/Trio for any Treble Clef Instruments
Trio #1 by Handel

Who Is Your Favorite Child? Part 1

After nearly eighteen months of adding arrangements to my trumpetensemblemusic.com site, I thought it would be appropriate to answer an often asked question- Which is your favorite arrangement? Just as it would be impossible to name my favorite child, it would also be impossible for me to name my favorite arrangement. To narrow the field down a little from the two hundred and fifty five arrangements that I have listed on my site, I thought I would list the top three (when possible) from each of the fifteen categories. Some have been selected for their creativity; some were included because of their uniqueness and some because of the possible value to the trumpet literature.

Brass Quintet
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Londonderry Air
Oh Senandoah

Trumpet Overture- Two Trumpets and Organ
Flight of the Bumblebee
Haydn Trumpet Concerto (2nd mvt.)

Contest/Recital Material
The Old Rugged Cross
Over the Rainbow
Summertime Fantasy
Aura Lee
Returning Home With Honor
iberty March

Carnival of Venice
The Broadcaster Polka
Pearls of the Sea

Royal Fanfare
Jerico Fanfare
Ben-His Fanfare

Free Trumpet Sheet Music
Free- It Is Well With My Soul
Free- Royal Wedding Duet
Free- Solo Flugel Horn with accompaniment track for the tune “IF”

Begin the Beguine
Take Five
Something for Cat
Flintstone Chorale & Fugue
Looney Tunes Chorale and Fugue
Willow Weep For Me
Norwegian Wood
Someone to Watch Over Me
Scrapple from the Apple

How to Get Established in a New Area

After relocating to a new area, whether it be for employment, school, or just to move, we are faced with a similar problem- How do I get established in this new area? For a musician to get established is different from other activities. If you want to play baseball, you visit the cities Recreation Department. If you were active in your local Boy Scouts programs, you make calls to that organization. But where do you go and who do you contact to start playing music with others on your instrument in these new surroundings? To a seasoned veteran, we have our usual check list and for the new comer to this activity, I will give you the tried and proven methods for getting your musical performances started again. I will address these exercises at both the professional and amateur levels as not every musician will want to play full time. Some of you may only need to play with others for the sheer enjoyment of the activity.

What should I do to begin performing again in a new area?

Visit the local music store– usually the operators of music stores have the information that you are after. Plan on spending at least an hour visiting with the instrumental person in the store and ask as many questions as you can think of. The more questions you ask, the more interested they will be in you. Let them know that you are serious about playing in their town and don’t be afraid to mention that you are not looking for a full time playing job. This would indicate to them that you might be competition for their paying gigs.

Visit with the high school band director– Band directors are usually involved with everything going on in the area which is related to instrumental activities. They are most often the director of the community band if there is one in the area and are always looking for new meat for their sections. This will also be the person with contacts with the gigging crowd which could turn out to be a nice money maker for you.

Look up the organist at the largest church in town– Church organists are usually connected to or are the musical director of the church and are often in need of a player for their services. In addition to the “freebees” and lower paying church services, the organist will also be your contact for the more lucrative weddings.

Find out which musician is working the most– This is the first thing a new musician to an area wants to establish. Your first move is to make contact with the most respected and most working player of your instrument. After you have made contact, ask if you could take some lessons from him/her. Once you have established a good teacher/student relationship, you should be asked to play some of his/her jobs which they either don’t want or can not play. From this one person, you should begin to add more and more players to your list who can help you with more work.

Universities and Colleges will broaden your marketability– Schools of higher education can be of benefit to you for within these walls should be a tremendous amount of music going on. Contact the instrumental director and let him/her know that you have recently moved to the area and are wondering about concerts they may be performing in the near future. Share your background and soon you will be on their mailing list for upcoming concerts. The more often you are seen at these events the faster you will be absorbed into the university/college activities.

Introduce yourself to the members of the American Legion post– This could turn out to be an area for making additional money for they often use trumpet players to perform taps at grave side services.

If your area supports a chapter of the American Federation of Musicians, contact them– Although the Musicians Union is not as strong or even as active as it once was, this would be a visit you need to make. Unions have never helped me get a job but they do know all of the union players in their local and that would be helpful information for you.

If all else fails and no one can or is willing to help you, do it yourself– The world is filled with what has been called “comeback players”. This is a recent development which has been fueled by the internet. Thousands of former players are now searching the internet for information on how to get back into playing. Some are asking the usual questions such as to “what valve oil they should use”?, but in many cases these were very accomplished musicians who, for what ever reason, dropped out of the music world and are now wanting to reenter. A quick search of your area (Internet and/or newspaper) could unfold a number of players like yourself who want to get together with someone else to play again.

Making a move to a new area can be unnerving but if you have the desire to play your instrument, after visits and phone calls, you may be surprised at how fast you can be back playing again. When my wife and I moved to Branson about ten years ago, I had retired, sold all of my horns and donated all of my music to the local high school. When we arrived here, I had no intention of ever playing again. Someone heard that I had moved to town and asked if I would share a program with a local choral organization. I had not touched my horn for several years and now had to get in shape to play a recital in three weeks! I played the recital and from that concert, I went on to play most of the shows in Branson which use horns. If there is hope for an old man like me, there is hope for everyone.

When I Grow Up I Want To Play Like Bobby Shew

That is a strange statement coming from a nearly seventy year old trumpet player, but that is how I would have liked to have played. Bobby has had a tremendous impact on the trumpet world, not only because of his beautiful sound, range and very gifted improvisational skills, but his contribution to trumpet education and equipment advances have also been important. Before I continue with his many accolades, let me first tell you of the first time I met this giant of the horn.

I first met Mr. Shew when I picked him up at a high school in the middle of Iowa. He had performed the previous evening with their jazz band and it was now my responsibility to escort him to our campus in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I was given the honor of having him solo with my jazz band (Jazz Ensemble II) at the University of Northern Iowa the next day. As we motored through the country side, the conversation turned to jazz and more importantly jazz and trumpet education. During our first visit I was most impressed with his friendliness and willingness to share a truck load of information about his past, present and future ideas in his career.

That afternoon, Mr. Shew gave a masters class which impressed even the most skeptical. Not only could he play, he was very comfortable and capable of expressing his views in the most articulate manner. We all fell in love with this gifted artist and musician. During our rehearsal, his comments and suggestions were greatly appreciated and I was very comfortable having him as my first real artist to perform with my band. It is not often that the director of a schools “second” band gets a chance to feature someone of his reputation. Later in my tenure I had other great musicians perform with my band including Lanny Morgan but Mr. Shew, as they say, was my first.

Our concert that evening was no less than spectacular. The students played above their usual fine level and I believe that having Bobby on the program was the reason for their spike. Mr. Shew stepped in front of my band and the rest is history. People spoke of that concert for years after that and I was very pleased to have been part of the concert.

After our concert it was a tradition to have a reception for the guest artist and I happily offered my home for that occasion. During the reception, my students had the chance to get some “hang time” with him and we all had a blast. Even Mr. Shew who I expect does this after most concerts, seemed to genuinely enjoy the time. During our visit another director who was to escort Bobby to his next gig repeatedly reminded him that it was getting late and the director felt they needed to leave. After the third attempt to remove Mr. Shew, Bobby turned to him and said, “I’m hanging with these guys and you’ll have to wait until I’m ready to leave”. The director never said another word all evening.
Mr. Shew’s ability to play trumpet falls into the category of the most gifted. He has the range, power, taste, technique, respect, imagination, teaching skills and most of all the heart of only a few. We, in music and music education thank you for being Bobby Shew.

With the many videos available to choose from, I finally decided to offer this for it is one of my favorites of Mr. Shew.

If you would like to know more on what he is currently doing, visit his web site.