YouTube Video Surge

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

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.

Buddy Siscoe

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!”

Instructional Videos

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.

Read Along Video Channel

Evergreen Tales

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:

  1. Click on “LIKE” if you like a video you are watching.
  2. Subscribe to my YouTube channel.
  3. Share the videos on social media.
  4. 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.

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As With Gladness Men of Old

As With Gladness Men of Old

I meant to post this before Christmas, but there was no time. I hope you enjoy it.

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Virtual Christmas Concert and New Videos

I’ve put together a virtual Christmas concert for your listening pleasure. It pulls from a variety of recordings I’ve made over the past several years. I hope you enjoy it.

Here are a few other videos that I’ve recently released that you may enjoy:

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Congratulations Lily P.

Lily P. Makes Region/Area

We want to congratulate Lily P. for winning a chair in the All-Region Band. Lily is a freshman at H.S.P.V.A. and has been taking lessons with me since the summer.

Lily also made it into the All-Region jazz ensemble earlier in the semester.

I have only been working with Lily for a short period so far, but we are looking forward to what’s around the corner.

Good job Lily! Keep up the good work.

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Congratulations Judy Z.

Judy Z. Makes First Chair Freshman Region

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.

As a freshman, Judy is off to a great start!

Congratulations Judy. Keep up the good work!

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Along the Silent Path – Trumpet Hymn

Here is the second “live” recording of one of my unadorned hymns. These recordings will be on the new hymn CD when it’s ready.

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One Range Trumpet Book

New Trumpet Book – One Range

I made the mistake of mentioning on facebook, many months ago, that I was in the process of writing a new book. I said that I had hoped to have it done by the end of the summer. Here we are going into December and the book is only now ready to finalize and publish. I tried approaching the writing process differently from what I normally do and the first few drafts were a disaster.

Now the problem is that this is the busiest time of the year. If we get it released before January, it will be wonderful, but I’m expecting it to be released closer to January 15th next year.

A Trumpet Chops Strategy Guide

The book is precisely what it says in the title. It is a guide to help you expand your upper-register in a way that keeps all of your notes connected. The result is a One Range feel where there isn’t really an upper-register or lower-register. The process and the mechanics are consistent throughout all of your notes.

I wrote the One Range book to be a strategy guide to my routine books. It lays out precisely the best way to use my books.

This has become important because we have so many routine books now. There are the original routines from the Daily Routines book, the Chops Express book, and now the Trumpet Chops series of seven books. Book three from the Trumpet Chops series will also be released soon. Keep your eye open for Trumpet Chops Player which I hope to also release in the next six weeks…God willing!

To gain the greatest benefits from those books, they must be practiced a certain way and within a particular context. One Range spells it all out in a very detailed, step by step manner.

A Different Schedule This December

I am always busy, so I will not say that December is busier than usual. But my performance schedule is almost back to normal again. We had a rough few years, just Houston in general, for gigging musicians. Everyone I’ve spoken to has had a rough time making ends meet. But this December seems to have almost as many performances as what I would consider “normal”.

The good news for the book projects is that I have breaks between teaching and gigs when there is nothing else to do. During those times, I will be away from home and won’t be able to practice, write arrangements or compose. So I will have time to work on websites and and book projects.

That’s what I’m doing now. I am writing to you from the Houston Public Library, down the street from H.S.P.V.A. I am helping the jazz band at H.S.P.V.A. tonight and didn’t want to drive home between the rehearsal and the performance.

Ha! I used to do this at Starbucks, but I’ve kicked that habit.

So yeah, I’ll be visiting public libraries all across the city in the next few weeks. So I’m sure I’ll be posting more on this blog during that time.

Writing Charts for People

I am also writing arrangements for various groups right now. The project I’m enjoying most is for a trumpet player in the Faroe Isands. This is the second year he hired me to write the horn parts for their special Christmas concert. I love their choice of music and I particularly enjoy working with Olavur, my client for that project. He has been so easy to work with and he enjoys my writing.

Praising God for His Provision

I am grateful for the performance work. I am grateful for clients who like my writing enough to pay my rates. I am grateful for my students who have been some of the best people I’ve ever worked with.

I am also extremely grateful for my wife, Pearl, who is my “help-meet”. We have a traditional marriage and spend all of our time together, usually – except in December.  🙂 She does so much to help me be the best at what I do that it would be impossible to share all of that with you.

I guess I’m sort of rambling because I’m sitting here and didn’t really have a plan for what I was going to write for you today. I’m just sharing my thoughts. We won’t have a real break for a few weeks and today is the day that I am trying to get my mind set for the work that lays ahead.

So there you are, two new books on the way, more than my fair share of performances, great chart writing opportunities, dedicated students, dedicated wife….I’m a blessed man.

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