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Len Brooks tells us why musical education is important to him…

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LenIf you had asked me, when I was in high school, what marching band meant to me, I would have looked at you oddly, shook my head, and walked away.  In high school, I played football, wrestled, and was the furthest thing from a musician. To me, the kids in the band were an odd little click, marching around with their musical instruments on my football field. I didn’t understand them, nor did I understand the passion that drove them and their music.  That understanding didn’t come until 27 years later when my son announced he wanted to join the marching band.

Here’s a little background on my son…Jason is a 14 year old, somewhat above average student, that up until just recently had an all consuming passion for auto racing. That passion even led me to get him involved in competitively racing go karts, which he did for just about five years. While he was pursuing his racing interest, he came home one day and announced he wanted to try playing a musical instrument in the middle school band.  Knowing that there were benefits that went along with musical education, I figured it would be a good thing for him to do.  I persuaded him to play the trumpet, just as my parents had done when I was in elementary school.  I figured he would try it, as I did, and the desire would fizzle out. 1a9dbc65-ed04-4dba-91dc-127518e805f4

Fast-forward to this year, my son is now a freshman in high school and has completed his first year as a member of the marching band. I can say without reservation that I am awestruck by what they accomplished. This group of 200+ kids had endured countless hours of practice and literally battled through blood, sweat, and tears to outscore 70 other marching bands and bring home the top prize at the state championship. What I learned from this special group of kids is that behind all of the musical equipment, all of the band gear, and music itself, stands a collective desire to be something better as whole than each is as an individual. I guess now I would finally be able to answer that question of what marching band means to me.

Here are a few great trumpets on GearSource.com:

Yamaha YTR-9335NYS Artist Model Professional Xeno Series Trumpet : Robert Sullivan was Yamaha’s main consultant for the NY Series project. Sullivan is an outstanding trumpeter and educator. The project began while he was assistant principal in the New York Philharmonic, and the collaboration was carried out simultaneously as Yamaha developed the CH trumpets in Chicago. The technical secrets learned from the two projects were combined together helping Yamaha learn even more about tonal colors, projection, intonation, and everything else needed to create a truly expressive instrument.

Yamaha YTR-8310Z Custom Z Trumpet :  Features  Yamaha YTR-8310Z custom trumpet has monel pistons that are resistant to corrosion and are an ideal choice for professional trumpet pistons which must retain precise fit and smooth action over many years. Unique Bell Bead Design – this design allows for a more resonant and projecting sound. Hammered one-piece bell – the newly designed yellow brass bell features a side seam and a variable wall thickness. This new manufacturing process results in a quicker response, a deeper rich sound, a wider spectrum of tone colors and better projection.

Bach TR300H2 Bb Trumpet : The Bach TR300H2 Bb Trumpet is made in the USA using nothing but the highest quality materials. It offers a .459″ bore with a responsive 4-7/8″ seamless bell for easy projection and control. The 1st valve thumb saddle makes for easy intonation adjustments. The clear lacquer finish provides a subtle warmth to the overall sound. The TR300H2 is a well designed durable instrument perfect for the beginning student and is well suited for all types of music.

Yamaha YTR-8445GS Xeno Series C Trumpet : Xeno (pronounced ‘Zeno’ ) trumpets are designed for those who want power and projection as well as a big warm sound. Developed from more than 30 years’ research with leading artists throughout the world, Xeno trumpets incorporate their dreams, their experience, and their talents—as realized through the skills and ideas of some of the world’ s best designers and craftspersons. Traditional hand-craftsmanship augmented by cutting edge manufacturing technology has created an extraordinary quality of unprecedented consistency. The Xeno’ s heavyweight construction produces a solid tone core for a rich strong sound that won’ t spread or break up no matter how hard you push it. It blows freely and comfortably, while still providing enough air resistance for quick response and superb tonal flexibility. And the hand-hammered one-piece bell gives an agile, quick response with a beautiful tone. Xeno Bb trumpets offer a choice of bore sizes; medium large for versatility, and large for a broad sound with plenty of power. Bell material options for Bb and C Xenos include; yellow brass – for clear sound with strong projection, and gold brass – for warmer, deeper sound.

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