Everything Goes ‘Round In Circles

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To quote one of my favorite singers, Billy Preston, everything goes ‘round in circles

And so does the history of this cornet.

Once upon a time in the city or Waterloo, Iowa, a young seventh grade boy worked odd jobs and regularly delivered over 100 newspapers in order to save enough money to purchase his new Bach Stradivarius Cornet to play in his school band. The year was 1956 and the price of the instrument was a staggering $300 which in that day ways a great deal of money. The young man played his cornet for the next three years and eventually lost interest at which point he placed it in storage for the next twenty-six years.

Then, in 1985, the cornet was given to the original owner’s nephew after the nephew developed an illness which eventually took the nephews life. The cornet was returned to the original owner in 1998 and again returned to storage.

Now, it gets interesting…….

The Cornet was purchased at the Carl B. Schultz Music store in Waterloo, Iowa. I moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa (adjacent to Waterloo, Iowa) to begin teaching at the University of Northern Iowa in 1969 and not only knew Carl B. Schultz, but had hired him to play in my Dixieland band at that time.

Now it gets even more interesting……..

After retiring from UNI, my wife and I moved to Branson, Missouri and built a home in an area called Sunset Cove. Then, one evening while enjoying a dock party on Table Rock, I was introduced to a new resident who mentioned that he used to live in Waterloo, Iowa. We struck up a conversation and that is when he said that he used to play cornet and wanted to know if I would like to see his horn. Of course when the name Bach came up, I arranged a time to pick up the horn and try it out.

Now the most interesting……..

When I opened the case and took the instrument out to play, I noticed business a card in the case which read, Carl B. Schultz Music Store. That set me back a little and after calling the cornet’s owner to explain, the cornets history began to unfold.

1956- Horn was purchased
1959- Horn was played in school band
1963- Horn was placed in storage
1985- Horn was given to a nephew
1998- Horn was returned to original owner
2009- Horn was loaned to me

I have included some pictures of the instrument as well as a solo I recorded on the horn.
To quote a well-known figure from the past, “Now you Know The Rest of the Story”.

You may also find this interesting- Why did the Cornet become a second rate citizen?

Tromba Mundi

IMG_6210About Tromba Mundi

Founded in 2007 for the sole purpose of the exploration, promotion and performance of new works for trumpet ensemble,Tromba Mundi has recorded several world premiere compositions and continues to commission new music for the genre. Tromba Mundi is dedicated to drawing the attention of students, professionals and brass music aficionados to the thrilling sounds of the trumpet ensemble!

Each member of the ensemble is a professional performer and pedagogue from various universities across the United States. Members have performed frequently with ensembles such as the Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Summit Brass, New Mexico Philharmonic, Keystone Wind Ensemble, Atlantic Brass Band, Woody Hermann Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau, Glenn Miller Band and more. Several Tromba Mundi members also have critically acclaimed solo recordings.

Material taken from their Web site at…….


Top Ten Mistakes Trumpet Players Make


We are creatures of habit and when it comes to playing trumpet, we all are guilty at least some of the mistakes listed below. I can say that  I am guilty of most of them and through many years of teaching music, I have see all of them. Posting this list will not change the trumpet world for we are creatures of habit and bad habits will continue. The real reason I have listed these faults is to illustrate that even though you may have committed  some of them, you are not unique, you’re just another trumpet player.

My list of the top ten mistakes most often made by trumpet players.

1. There is no mouthpiece that will do everything.

If you have played trumpet long enough, you will have collected a small fortune in trumpet mouthpieces and each that you have collected was to be the perfect mouthpiece. Most experienced players are still searching for the one that will play high, sound big and permit you to play forever. Save your money and frustration and do as Vincent Bach told us from the beginning, “Use the biggest mouthpiece you can handle”.

2. Unless you are one of the gifted, the only way to play trumpet well is to practice.

When I say practice, I mean to practice regularly and effectively.  Too many times we let this area of our development slide. We have learned that to keep our teeth, we must brush our teeth the correct way and regularly. Practicing any instrument regularly is the only secret to success in the world of musical performance. What I mean when I said: practice regularly and effectively, I mean you must practice every day and do it in a manner which will result in improvement. Productive practicing does not mean that you will improve if you are working on the incorrect material in an ineffective manner.

3. Spend more time on what you can’t play and less on what you can play.

We all enjoy doing things we are good at and try to avoid what is difficult. When choosing a class to take, most often we select one that we know we can get through easily even though the harder class would be of more beneficial. Music is the same. If you are in a practice room and your greatest competitor is practicing in the room next to you, you will undoubtedly play things that you know best and avoid anything you might find difficult. This is only natural for none of us want to demonstrate our weaknesses but our weaknesses are the reason we are in the practice room in the first place.

4. The trumpet is not the only instrument of value in the world.

Trumpet players have the reputation (and in many cases justifiably so) of being self centered, arrogant, prideful and down right pompous. Stop it!

5. When you miss a note, live with it.

If you miss the high C at the end of your solo and your mother tries to comfort you by saying, “I’m sure no one could tell”, suck it up friend. Everyone could tell you missed the note and the only people smiling were the other trumpet players in the room. Life is not perfect and neither are you. If you worked as much as you should have on the piece and for some strange reason you missed it for the first time, that’s called a mistake and we all have it happen from time to time. But, if you didn’t practice enough and you were not sure you were going to play the note, then that my friend is called lack of preparation and you deserve to be embarrassed.

6. Listen to more musicians than just the ones you like.

The world of trumpet is expanding at an incredible rate. When I was first began to play my cornet, we had just a few players who were considered proficient on their instrument. Today, the world is filling up with young, gifted players. I would like to believe that the reason for this was a result of the work of teachers but that belief would place me in the #4 category. Improvements in instrument manufacturing as well as the increase in materials and even the popularity of YouTube may be the reason for this expansion. Whatever the reason, we all need to expand our thinking as to what and who is worth listening to. Do not limit your trumpet world to just jazz or only classical music. Embrace the musical world. Expression and emotion can be learned from opera as well as Wynton. Technical virtuosity can be appreciated by listening to Yo-Yo Ma as well as Vizzutti.

7. Not every horse is a race horse.

Some are destined to be lead players and some of us aren’t. What you would like to be may not be what you are to be. I would like to play lead as well as some of my friends but I realized many years ago, no matter how much I practiced, I would never reach their level of lead playing. I have accepted this and am very proud to say that I am a very good “second part” player. I have developed in many ways that most lead players have not. While visiting with Bobby Shew I said jokingly, “I’m a second part player. We are the guys that make you lead players sound good”. Even though it was said as a joke, there was some truth to the statement. Playing a second part has responsibilities which are as valuable as the expectations given to lead players and if you are good at what you are doing, regardless of the chair, be proud of what you do.

8. If you are a “comeback player”, don’t expect to jump in the pool and start swimming.

The best advice I have for the player returning to trumpet playing is, be patient. It will eventually return and in most cases you will be a better player because of the vacation from the instrument. You are older and have the desire to return to the mouthpiece but in most cases, a comeback player will want improvement to be at once. Be smart and be patient.

9. Will the price of the horn make me a better player?


10. Most errors made by players are due to a lack of concentration.

The biggest cause of mistakes can be attributed to the lack of concentration on the music. Remember this very important guideline, “Concentrate on the music, and NEVER think about what your audience is thinking”.

Bugles Across America- Providing Free Live Taps to Honor the Veteran

Tom J. Day

Mission Statement…from Tom Day, its Founder

BAA was born in 2000 as a result of the Law being passed, stating that Every Qualified Veteran can have Military Funeral Honors. In short, at least two people to fold and present the flag and provide live Taps.With this in mind, Bugles Across America, a not for profit, was started. Government nfp forms were filed and we received an official IRS 501c3 number. This has been reviewed and renewed.

BAA files a tax return with the IRS and the Atty.General of the State of Illinois. All returns are viewable at GuideStar During the course of the last twelve years, we have acquired both a TRADEMARK and COPYRIGHT for our name and logo. BAA also owns the right to all internet names and suffixes.
Bugles Across America nfp does not charge members to join nor does it collect yearly dues. We ask all voluteer members to audition before being placed on the active bugler list so that we know every Veterans Family will receive the best sounding of Taps possible.

Our Membership consists of men and women of all ages, races, and creeds; Veterans and Patriots alike.

We operate and pay for our web site, however, the Bugler Service is Free to all that request it. We are an all Volunteer Program and receive NO government financial help. In some cases, the Military does pay a bugler the $50 stipend, but this is very rare. Those few players who do collect any honorariums are responsible for their own tax reporting.

How have we paid for the over 700 horns and some uniforms we have given away to our members?Over the 12 year period we have had a few foundations donate but they have been reduced as well.Most of operating funds come from the American People via donations. For This We thank YOU every day.

Our members supply their own playing instrument and are responsible for appearing early for each event and dressed correctly. Over the years, we have established member Directives for Buglers which we expect to be followed, or dismissal will take place. All members are responsible for their transport to and from events and must have their own insurance coverage to cover all possible emergencies and problems.

Any member who is found to have any type of criminal record will be dismissed and removed from
the roster.

We thank you for reading our Mission Statement and remind you that for the last 12 years, we at BAA have been given credit for over 200,000 Funeral Missions and have corporately given over a Million hours of Volunteer time To our Veterans and their Families.

Again We Thank You for Your Support. Tom Day Founder and Bugler

BAA Motto:

SanusVeneratio~Veneratio Sanus

(Sound the Honor~Honor the Sound)

One of our readers wanted me to point out an alternative to the Taps delema which we are facing currently in Americ. To learn more about this wonderful service, check it out at THIS SITE.

Trumpet Tips Part 2- How To Use Straight Mute And Cup Mute

St. Cup

In our continuing quest for the best information on playing trumpet, we sometimes run across some amazing material and I would like to say that this “IS NOT ONE OF THEM”. But sometimes we need to step back and take a very serious look at our area on interest and chill out a little.

If you find this distructional video helpful, I would suggest you watch the Professor’s other video on The Trumpet’s Whisper Key.

The King Has Passed


You would have to be over 75 to have vivid memories of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra before Adolph “Bud” Herseth helped create the modern fame of one of the world’s great musical enterprises.

For Bud — and everybody from lifelong colleagues to radio listeners who never saw him in person called him Bud — joined the CSO as principal trumpet in 1948, at 26 years old, and held that seat for an astonishing 53 years, staying on with the orchestra as principal emeritus for three more seasons and not retiring from the orchestra until just before his birthday in 2004.

He remained a regular presence at Orchestra Hall concerts and events until this year, when his health took a turn.

Mr. Herseth, who died Saturday at age 91 at his home in Oak Park, was central to the CSO’s key recording era, the decade under music director Fritz Reiner in the 1950s and early 1960s, and he formed an unshakeable bond with Reiner’s eventual successor, Georg Solti, as Solti began his triumphant series of European and world tours and Carnegie Hall appearances.

“His life was long, well-lived and so magnificently filled with extraordinary music,” CSO president Deborah Rutter said in a statement. “The contributions he made to classical music, trumpet playing and certainly to the CSO are incalculable.”

The brass sound that became so associated with Chicago grew out of the virtuosity, stamina and seemingly supernatural clarity of Mr. Herseth and his late colleague, principal tuba Arnold “Jake” Jacobs.

“He was unprecedented in the quality of his work with the CSO,” the orchestra’s second trumpet, John Hagstrom, said Sunday. “He was a role model for virtually every aspiring trumpet player that ever heard him play. He set standards of excellence, and he was unfailing in his work ethic and set high expectations of himself throughout his many years of being a performer.”

With trombone Jay Friedman, still a CSO principal, horn Philip Farkas in the Reiner era and then Dale Clevenger heading that section from the Jean Martinon years in the mid-1960s until his own announced upcoming retirement, the Chicago brass sections attracted acolytes and could ensure that only the best players took auditions here. They set and upheld sometimes fearsome standards of excellence that were based first and foremost on being orchestral musicians and section builders and leaders.

Herseth shied away from a solo career, though he played memorable solos in the small number of concertos for his instrument played by the CSO.

But his sound in such orchestral standards and Chicago recording landmarks as the “promenade” parts in Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony were unmistakable, whether coming from a dorm room hi-fi or the stages of Orchestra Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Musikverein or halls throughout Asia, Russia and Australia.

At home and abroad, CSO guest conductors would see large crowds at the stage door after a concert, only to be ignored by them as they rushed towards Mr. Herseth seeking an autograph, a handshake or a coveted appointment for a private lesson.

Mr. Herseth was never about celebrity, and especially in his later years could even be surly with his well-wishers, but they never seemed to mind. On one tour to Japan, fans rush across a large atrium toward him as if toward the Beatles, while Mr. Herseth started swatting them away as of they were an unwelcome swarm of bees.
When a retirement concert was arranged, it was a constant challenge for CSO administrators to find a way to please and honor Mr. Herseth without appearing to have him “toot his own horn,” as he put it. Ultimately, the participation of Doc Severinsen, six years his junior and the other half of an instrumental mutual admiration pair, assured Mr. Herseth that the combination of performances, brief tributes and even Mr. Herseth’s Orchestra Hall conducting debut with some Gabrieli brass numbers was neither an ego trip or an event of phony flattery.
Hagstrom, who sat next to Mr. Herseth for several years, recalled, “He used to turn beet-red when he played. He turned so red, he almost turned purple. Whether that was from him growing up in the cold in Minnesota, I don’t know. … You’d kind of get worried about him, but he was fine.

“He told a story of how a conductor once saw him do this and said to him, ‘Mr. Herseth, maybe put on some powder.’ … But he’d say. ‘Well, it shows people I’m trying.’

In keeping with his devotion to orchestral and brass ensemble music — famous recordings were made with sections from other leading orchestras — Mr. Herseth could mold and adapt his sound to the conductor at hand, and both Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez, each quite different from Solti, enjoyed their long collaborations with him.
Mr. Herseth even volunteered as a coach in the early days of Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan for young Arab and Israeli musicians.

But it was Solti he always called “my maestro,” or even “my captain.”

A few years after Solti’s 1997 death, when the orchestra made a European tour with Barenboim that included Budapest, Solti’s hometown and his burial place, Mr. Herseth and the conductor’s widow, Valerie Solti, organized a trip to the cemetery where Solti was buried, next to Hungary’s great composer Bela Bartok.

Mr. Herseth carried no trumpet but had his ever present mouthpiece, and on it he played a haunting, even delicate rendition of “Taps.” It was an elemental moment, and Bud was always elemental.
Mr. Herseth is survived by his wife, Avis; two children, Christine Hoefer and Stephen; six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Luther College, or the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

Services this week will be private, but an open house celebrating Mr. Herseth’s life is in the works, as is a memorial concert.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek. Andrew Patner is critic at large at WFMT-FM (98.7).

Teaching An Old Dog A New Trick

stand light 002Who said the old can’t learn from the young? I am living proof that the youth of today are far more resourceful than we give them credit.

If you have ever been performing with an ensemble when someone trips over the extension chord and all of the bands lights go out, you have experienced the helplessness we have all experienced. There is nothing you can do to get back into the action and the show stops. It has happened to me on more than one occasion and little can be done to resolve the problem. You can have the most expensive stand light available to man but without power, you might as well have a C clamp attached to your stand for your light will not work without electricity.

So…. what can be done to get the show back on the road?

Just reach down and turn on the light on your cell phone! Aren’t you glad you live in the 21st century?

I learned this trick from a young man performing in a workshop I was leading this past month and thought him to be one of the quickest thinking young person I had met in a long time. When I noticed that his stand was the only stand with a light shining in the darkness, I approached him to find out how he was able to see while all others were without lights. When I asked him where the light was coming from he looked at me as though I had just left my cave and stated, “I just turned on my Cell phone light”.

Thank you youth for showing your ability to help us , the less fortunate, to get along under adverse playing conditions and move from the darkness into the light.

Free- 40 Etudes for Trumpet by Wilhelm Wurm

40 etudes

Seldom are we able to offer free material of this quality to our readers. This collection of 40 studies is available at the site listed below and is in public domain which means its content can be freely distributed without any infringement in copy rite laws.

I have used this fine collection for many years in my teaching as well as my practicing and feel that even paying the full price ( $15.00 ) is a good deal but being able to download it free is even better.

Click on the link below and where it indicates “complete Score” click on it and print for yourself some of the best melodic etudes money can buy, or get free.

40 Etudes for trumpet (cornet)

Composer- Vurm, Vasily
Movements/Sections- 40 Etudes
Style- Romantic
Instrumentation- trumpet (cornet)