This weekend marks the 150th anniversary of Taps, and all that is covered at http://taps150.org.
Today I played for a WWII veteran’s funeral. I met the honor guard, and when it was time, they went in and folded the flag and I played. I got the notice via http://www.buglesacrossamerica.org, a civilian volunteer organization.
I have a few things to say about that. First, Taps is free for a veteran – you don’t pay money for military honors – and inappropriate for a civilian. Second, it is the position of BAA that a live bugler is preferable to a recording, but it is also the position of BAA that it is inappropriate to argue the point if the honor guard planned to use a recording.
It’s tough to play Taps. There are 24 notes, and today I didn’t miss any of them, but the tone wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked. Funeral homes tend to be a bit dry, and it can be tough on the embouchure sometimes. Plus, of course, sometimes you get choked up.