Posts Tagged ‘trumpet ensemble’


Play Something Fun

December 23, 2019

If you, like me, live on an academic calendar, you might have some time off right around now.  During the school year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how much you have to get done.  This applies especially to music.  With the responsibilities of lessons, ensembles, chamber groups, and any performing you might be doing outside of school, there’s just never enough time for everything.

Now that school is out, there are no lessons, no ensembles, and no chamber groups.  Sure, there are still outside performances, but now you have time to focus on something different.  So…what should you do?  Here’s my idea:

Pick something fun you’ve always wanted to do, and do it.  There are no firm rules here.  The idea here is to choose something that you think will be fun, and then go to it.  A break from the day-to-day of school is a good idea.  That doesn’t mean you should stop practicing or being creative.  I’ll give you an example.

Those of you that know me know that I play in Tromba Mundi, which is a professional trumpet ensemble made up of six university professors from all over the country.  We have existed as a group for about 12 years.  During that time, we’ve recorded four CDs (the fourth isn’t out just yet…I’ll let you know when it is as I’m sure you’re going to want to hear it).  In our time together, the six of us have become very good friends.

A few years ago, JC Dobrzelewski suggested the idea of a Christmas CD.  At the time, the rest of us mocked him mercilessly for suggesting something so ridiculous.  After all, what are friends for?  Since then, the idea has come back around more than a few times…by friends, other colleagues, even among ourselves.  At this point it has become a running joke within the group.  More recently, Bill Stowman wrote alternate lyrics for “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” which detail some of the inner workings of Tromba Mundi.  No, I will not be including Bill’s lyrics here.

I’ve liked the idea of a trumpet ensemble for a long time.  But that doesn’t mean just playing all of the standard repertoire.  Trumpet ensemble should be musically diverse enough to perform all kinds of music.  With that, I give you my Christmas break project (although since I finished early, I may have to start on something else now).  It’s a jazz waltz, with a half-time swing ending (complete with high notes!) written for 4 Bb trumpets, flugelhorn, and bass trumpet.  This is “The Most Mundiest Time of the Year,” dedicated to my Tromba Mundi colleagues: Bryan Appleby-Wineberg, Scott Belck, JC Dobrzelewski, John Marchiando, and Bill Stowman.


Okay, now it’s your turn.  Let me know what you’re doing.

Have a great break.


This Week in Trumpet Ensemble News

February 12, 2013

It’s almost time to jump in the car and start the drive to Pennsylvania for the West Chester Trumpet Festival, which you should all be attending.  But I wanted to get one more chart done and a snippet recorded.  This week’s music comes to you from my good friend Greg Jasperse.  Greg is an unbelievably talented singer and songwriter.  Among the many pieces he’s written are several that are wordless.  The first time I heard one I knew that he was really writing trumpet ensemble music, he just didn’t know it yet.  He did send a few scores at my request, which I have transcribed for trumpet.  Here’s a clip of a piece he calls “Voicedance”, which we’ll call “Dance of the Trumpets” for now:

Dance of the Trumpets

Please let me know what you think.  If you like it, thank Greg for writing a beautiful piece of music.  If you don’t, blame me for not playing it well enough.

This week is going to be great.  At the West Chester Trumpet Festival, (did I mention how good it is?), the U.S. Army Blues is playing on Friday night.  Soloing with the band will be Sean Jones, Scott Belck, and me.  On Saturday night, Tromba Mundi will be performing a World Premiere of a piece written for us and wind ensemble with the Messiah College Wind Ensemble.  There are also masterclasses, I’ll be giving one on Friday, and exhibits during the day.  The full schedule is here:  Trumpet Fest Schedule.

Coming soon- thoughts on the Grammies.  (I think Grammys or Grammy’s just looks wrong.  It seems obvious that it should be Grammies, so I’m going with that)