Easter

As usual, got up early and played a couple services.  Easter is fun because it’s one of the few times I get to play the piccolo, and also I play a lot more jazz than classical.  Also, I rarely get to play with a pipe organ.

We did the Stanley Voluntary as a postlude.  I don’t have a D trumpet; I play it in E on a piccolo.  I have the A extension, so I could play it in F, but frankly the trills are harder.  If they weren’t, all other things being equal, I’d pick E on the argument that sharp keys are more joyful.  (All other things are not equal.  Intonation is more difficult in E.  However, my ear is in Bb, so I’m just as happy to take that challenge.  Also, the valves are in Bb–they don’t adjust proportionally with the extension, but that’s a trivial effect.  The trills were the deciding factor.)  It went very well at the early service.  It went long, which meant for much of it I was playing in full reverb for nobody but the choir, and it felt terrific, just the joy of playing.  (The applause was nice too.  Remember when nobody would dare clap hands in a church?  I mean, certain denominations?)  For the later service, we made some cuts to shorten it, and both I and the organist were tired and ready to go.

As always, we played the Hallelujah chorus.  I’m thankful my piccolo (an Amati) has the fourth valve, because that means I can switch halfway through.  I prefer to start with the fuller tone of the strad, but you have to be on the piccolo for that run leading into “King of kings”.  (Honestly, those five notes are the reason they hire a trumpet; everything else is gravy.)  With the fourth valve, I can get to E above middle C (concert D) for some accents with the tenors and basses, then do the arpeggios into the high, delicate passages.  Very useful.  Easy to overblow the little guy on the low notes, though.

We also played “Worthy Is the Lamb,” which really isn’t great for single trumpet, organ and choir.  On this and parts of the Hallelujah, I play in unison with one or another vocal part, quietly, letting the note just hang on to the voices and float along with them, adding color rather than volume.  For some sections I wrote out a part that moved between vocal parts, staying in rhythm and chord but not actually doubling anybody.  It’s all about accenting and staying out of the way.  Other than that, sight-transposing a few hymns, making up a descant, reading a part (transposed) on an arrangement for the processional.

I do like the piccolo.

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