There is a group of trumpet players who I have something very important in common with. They are students at the University of Texas at El Paso (U.T.E.P.) where I was a trumpet student in the 80’s. A trumpet friend of mine from our high school years, Nancy Taylor, is the group’s trumpet teacher. From what I can tell, they are good people. That said, I haven’t met them yet, and there’s a chance I may never meet them all at once as an ensemble.
So why am I telling you about them?
Because they are representing U.T.E.P. at the National Trumpet Competition tomorrow (March 8th) in Denton, Texas.
For this year’s competition, they are performing a composition I wrote specifically for them. It’s a trumpet quintet that I titled Voice of the Prophets. I gave it that title because each of the members of the ensemble have names from the Bible: Juan Pablo, Jacob, Elijah, Isaac, and Paul.
They perform tomorrow morning and we want to publicly offer our support and encourage you to do the same. They have invested a lot of effort into this performance. We are looking forward to watching them on the live stream.
Nancy, Juan Pablo, Jacob, Elijah, Isaac, and Paul, thank you for the honor of performing one of my compositions. Pearl and I will be cheering for you from Houston. We wish you well tomorrow! God bless you!
Hello everyone. So, over the past two weeks we have been posting more videos on YouTube. The videos posted have settled into a pattern of four videos per week. The first one is one Monday morning when I post a video of one of my composition tracks. Usually they are from my albums, but not always.
Here’s an example of one of those composition videos:
Bait Suite has ended up being one of the best selling compositions over the past couple months. It is part of a suite of suites, there suites of miniatures (very short movements) with a fishing theme. What I don’t quite understand is what is attracting people to this one suite, and not the others. Perhaps they have never heard the other suites? Who knows? I’m not going to look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth. I’m happy any time people choose to buy my compositions. I consider it an honor.
Free Improvisation Videos
On Wednesdays, we are publishing videos from my Free Improv series. So far I have recorded twenty-two of these. Number twenty-two is scheduled to be released next week, but here are numbers 19, 20, and 21:
“Eish” is an exclamation commonly used in South Africa. I used it as the title of this video because I specifically set out to play high notes in this one. I almost felt guilty doing this video because I felt like I was going against what I consider to be the “free improv code of ethics” (if there ever was such a thing). To me, the entire objective of a “free improvisation” is that it must not be contrived or premeditated. For me to start the entire video session saying to myself “let’s play some high notes”, yeah… not cool. But I did it, and posted it…and now we wait to see if anyone notices how contrived it is.
This free improvisation was not posted on Wendesday for a very important reason. I posted it on Saturday because that was the day of Buddy Siscoe’s funeral. If the name Buddy Siscoe sound familiar to you, the perhaps you read my Life Builders post about him here on this website. I received word that he had passed right before I sat to record this video. So I was thinking about him while I improvised. That lead me to improvise in a style that he probably would have liked.
Free, Free as Can Be
The Bible says that “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” That’s the theme of this free improvisation. You know, I realized the other day that, as we get older, we accumulate hurts and harms and abuses and just a lifetime of trouble. But to someone liberated by God’s grace through His only son, Christ Jesus, these things just pass like water rolling off a duck’s back. We are truly “Free Indeed!”
Friday evenings are for new instructional videos. I’ve been doing more of these lately. Compared to the more musical videos, there are a lot fewer of these trumpet tip videos on my channel, but we are adding more… shooting for once per week.
How to Play Stardust (by ear)
This video was done as a favor for one of the people who had commented on another video. The idea was to play the song in an easy key, and with the video zooming in on my fingers so you can learn the notes that way.
Difference Between a Trumpet Warm-Up and a Trumpet Routine
Some trumpet players use the terms warm-up and routine interchangeably. Even I do it sometimes. The video explains the difference between the two and gets us started on recognizing when to know which one to do and when to do it.
Trumpet Hymn Videos
Also scheduled regularly are the trumpet hymn videos. We publish them each Sunday morning. We have recorded enough so far to last into February, but two have been posted recently.
I Know that My Redeemer Lives
Not to be Regarded as a Promise
For now, I am striving to do these four videos per week. I do not promise that I an sustain this rate of publishing. There will be weeks in the near future when I can’t produce as many videos, if any at all for that matter.
Maybe it would be better if I tried to spread them out more, but then the content would become lopsided, and I don’t want that.
We also now have a new YouTube Channel where we feature read along stories for children. And yes, I did compose the theme music for these videos:
Thank You for Subscribing and Liking
They recently changed the rules about who can make money off of their videos on YouTube. At the rate I’ve been going, it will be years before I get that far into it. However, it still helps when you do the following things to show your support:
Click on “LIKE” if you like a video you are watching.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Share the videos on social media.
Leave comments in the comment section of a video.
Doing these things tells YouTube that our videos are interesting enough to suggest to other YouTube users who have similar tastes to yours. So when you like, subscribe, share and comment, YouTube sees that as a positive thing and promotes our videos more. So thank you for doing more of that for us. The internet is becoming increasingly hostile to us little people. The more you helps us out that way, the better it helps us provide more of these videos that you love so much.
We want to congratulate Judy who made first chair in the freshman All-Region band. Judy has been Mr. Lewis’ student for a few years now and recently placed third in her area’s All-Region Jazz ensemble.