Packing Your Essentials For A Job

Just another day at the office.
Some gigs require your horn and a mouthpiece while others require planning and forethought.

My present job has special requirements which I will address in this post.

The “All Hands on Deck Show” is all-new to Branson, fresh off a national tour. Themed as an All-American 1942 Roadshow, audiences are treated to singing, dancing, a 9-piece orchestra, funny skits, and 42 of the greatest American songs ever written. Celebrate the American way of life, and honor our veterans who have made it all possible at this patriotic Branson show.

Some of the extra equipment in this show are the following as shown in the photos below-


• Horn and mouthpiece. Dah!
• Straight mute
• Cup Mute
• Plunger
• Mute holder
• Music Riser
• Repair kit
• Trumpet stand
• Stand light
• Music

The reason I have posted this information is to point out some of the pieces of equipment which have made a BIG improvement in my playing on this gig.

My new plunger

Be sure to read or re-read my post on this new addition to my arsenal of toys. If you have not replaced your old plunger, do it now with this one. During our show, I have a featured solo along with one of our very talented stars and my new plunger far exceeds any other I have ever used. It is more versatile and you are able to change colors from soft and dreamy to red hot and edgy with this tool. Even if you own a conventional rubber sewer plunger, pull it out of your case and throw it away! THIS IS THE BEST PLUNGER YOU WILL EVER USE!

My new Mute holder

During our current show, I have many, many, many mute changes with very little time to make changes. I needed something which could hold my mutes as close to my bell as possible and this free holder does the trick. I use the cup, straight and plunger throughout the show and each is positioned exactly where I need them. It only takes a second to pull one and insert another for each is easily available at the end of my bell not on a stand under the dance band front. If you don’t have one of these by now, MAKE ONE!

Music Riser

This is something I have been selling and has become very popular. In fact after some of the members of the band saw mine, they requested one for themselves. The improvement in reading your music is substantial and I wouldn’t be without mine on any reading job.

Stand Light

This has been a life saver for me because of the changing stage lights being used every day. The band was furnished with the typical double goose neck, battery operated stand lights and it took me only one rehearsal to see the shortcomings of these illuminators. Not only are they susceptible to running out of power in the middle of a show but they also have to be recharged with new battery’s every couple days. In addition to those faults, THEY DON’T LIGHT UP THE MUSIC ENOUGH! No matter how the stage lighting changes, my music is constantly well lit.

Intonation Rings

The addition of these rings has made my life much more pleasant for as other trumpet players are pushing and pulling their third slides in and out, I just concentrated on the notes.

If you still have not tried some of these ideas, all I can say is, “I told you so”!

Bruce was a member of the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, School of Music in Cedar Falls from 1969 until his retirement in 1999. He has performed with many well-known entertainers such as Bob Hope, Jim Nabors, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Anita Bryant, Carman Cavalara, Victor Borgie, the Four Freshman, Blackstone the Magician, Bobby Vinton and John Davidson.