Trumpet players have a reputation

Jeff Editor

From the Editor’s Desk

Jeff Gaye

Trumpet players are like fighter pilots. Let’s just say they have a certain reputation, partially grounded in truth.

The trumpet is known for its power and its agility. Because of this, band composers assign it a lead role almost by default. Woodwinds are more agile, trombones are more powerful, but trumpets can be played high, loud and fast. I’m told they can also be played tastefully.

Trumpet players are not known for their humility. Trumpet joke: How do trumpet players introduce themselves to other trumpet players? “Hi, I’m better than you.”

(For the record, though I have been known occasionally to honk on a trumpet, I am not a trumpet player.)

But as with fighter pilots, the myth is bigger than the reality. Sure, they carry themselves with that confident swagger, and yes they can be annoying, but trumpet players – somewhere deep, deep down inside – are musicians. They channel their Type A traits into a genuine desire to do the job, and do it well. Ego does not (necessarily) equal conceit.

Some of them are actually very nice.

Both trumpet players I spoke to for our page 6 article about The Last Post certainly showed their humble sides. WO Bruno Godere of the CAF Central Band had a lot to say about the responsibility players carry when they play The Last Post, and how important every such occasion is.

Todd Farrell of the 4 Wing Band confessed that the emotion of a memorial service can affect or overcome even an experienced bugler.

I don’t know whether WO Godere is as generous and humble every day as he was in our conversation. I’m thinking he is. Todd plays the prima donna bit for laughs, but in the band he is a reliable team player.

The truth is, most trumpet players do not live up to the reputation. Some are leaders, and there are some wannabes, but most of them want to contribute their talents to something bigger and more important.

I hope you read and enjoy the Last Post article. I thought the players’ insights into the Remembrance Day tradition, and their place in it, showed a mentality of service to others.