Trumpet quartet sheet music for Happy Camper is available at:
Happy Camper Trumpet Quartet
I called this piece Happy Camper because it truly is a happy song. What a lot of people don’t know about the composition process is that the title is often the very last piece of the puzzle. It’s not always that way. On rare occasions I may have an idea for the title at the beginning of the process. But more typically, the title is the last thing I write.
Sometimes coming up with a title is a struggle. How do you give a name to something that has no words, but is so intensely filled with meaning? So I often have to do word association tricks to boil it down to something that at least comes close to what the piece means to me.
However, in this case, Happy Camper sounded like the piece’s title from the earliest stages. I often listen to the computer’s playback when I write. Each new change has to sound right to me. For Happy Camper I was dancing around the room while I listened. Its just that happy of a piece.
Swing Jazz Trumpet Ensemble Music
I have enough of these swing trumpet pieces that you could say it has become something of a series. This actually started as something I wanted to do with brass quintets. The problem was that I don’t just write music that I have no way of getting played. So I’ve been only writing trumpet music lately (mostly – there have been some other opportunities, but not many). And it made sense to do this swing idea with the trumpet stuff.
I tell people that these are classical compositions in a swing style. What I mean by that is that I am not following jazz conventions in the composition process. I am writing these pieces exactly the same way as I write classical stuff. So I’m not trying to somehow replace the bass part. I’m not trying to replace the piano. It is all the same textures as I use in my other writing, but it’s in a swing style instead of more of a straight style.
Happy Camper is one of several of these now. Let’s see if I can remember some of the others: Good Shepherd Shuffle, Happy Dance of Praise, No Concession Blues, and Something Gonna Happen Cuz I Can Feel It. Those are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.
Happy Camper Skill Level
In our system of seven skill levels, Happy Camper is at the fifth level. We call it the Trumpet Pro level. The top note in this level is high C. The levels are differentiated in more ways than just range, but that is the one thing most people ask about. The highest note in Happy Camper is high C.
The rhythms can also be a little tricky if you are not familiar with jazz music. There’s a lot of syncopation and intricate interplay between the parts. But for trumpet players with some jazz experience, it shouldn’t be very difficult at all.