Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

communicating with cattle

Trombone style comms We sing nature’s tunes.

Tuba Christmas Friday in Missoula

and many, many other cities throughout the USofA. This Friday, Dec 13th, 2019 at 7:00 pm in Southgate Mall Lucky’s Court Brooks St Missoula a platoon of musicians gather to make joyous noise with their tubas. They are open-minded enough to embrace players of euphoniums, baritones and Sousaphones as well, which makes for a marvelous combination of voices. Speaking of voices, they highly encourage the audience to join them by singing the Christmas Carols that are so familiar to those of us who grew up in this country. They typically play the first time through to the appreciative audience, then a second verse joined by hundreds of happy voices. As proof of this event’s popularity, it has been going on […]

musical A=440 Hz vs A=432 Hz

I am a lifelong music lover, and in particular, trombone, swing, big band and symphonic. I also enjoyed plenty of 70’s rock. The more recent headbanging stuff: nah. In my teens, I enjoyed practicing and singing in a church choir with my mom. What is in all that?  What makes us like, dislike, love and hate various musical forms?  More importantly, what effect does listening and/or creating music have on us? Can the base tuning frequency change IT ALL?  Apparently so. Read on. According to the 432 advocates, those who would rule the world figured that out, THEY changed the standard tuning frequency OVER THE PROTESTS of the knowledgeable music community.  Power brokers changing musical foundation against the wishes of […]

*NEW* 1958 Conn 6H trombone

Based on wonderful reviews, I connected up with the Slide Doctor in Dawsonville Georgia, received their custom slide shipping packaging, sent it back with my old slide, and a couple days ago received back a trombone slide that is as close to perfect as I have ever touched… and they advise it will get better after a brief break-in period. WOW! I had worked it over with brass cleaning chemicals, abrasives, tools, and hand-straightening … I was hot stuff and got it about as good as it gets … so I thought. Recently I started wondering if the comparative smoothness of my 13-year-old Conn 88 slide might be a significant reason I play it almost all the time and the […]

Bad Moon Rising

During my USAF period (thank you for your service, sucker) I spent more than a little time in joints serving watery Utah beer, very cold watery Utah beer, so cold that taste was irrelevant. I plunged quarters into the jukeboxes in self-defense, regularly selecting Credence Clearwater Revival because all else was Country & Western … the old-school stuff with Tons Of Twang, notes held too long, bent and twisted to the threshold of pain. Speaking of irrelevant, so is that back story, but it resonates in my head. This evening the familiar Credence Clearwater Revival song “Bad Moon Rising” came up thanks to my station at Jango.com. Below I highlighted the lyric lines that really got my attention. I believe […]

John Lennon

Though I was in the right place at the right time to watch it unfold, I missed much of The Beatles’ genius. Great gaggles of teenaged girls going goofy, screaming, I mean literally screaming at the very presence of The Beatles overshadowed their music. I wasn’t crazy enough to put them on a pedestal. As a musician since I was 8 and music lover even before then, I eventually came to realize the brilliance and talent that made their music historic. I was similarly ignorant of the evil in the swamp and the legitimacy of John Lennon’s anti-leviathan activism. In my defense, we did not have the Internet. The “news” sources we did have were complicent in the crimes […]

Gary Owen by Bitterroot Community Band

This chart in my music folder caught my eye. I’m playing the euphonium book on my slide trombone. The parts that are intended for a 3 or 4 valve instrument are more challenging on a slide, but they have some very interesting licks. Gary Owen is A CONSTANT RUSH of notes, but a heckuva lotta fun … even if I only come close to getting them all right. Mid season we had a euphonium player join in the fun. I did not let that move me away from this particular part. Besides, between the two of us each missing some of the licks, together we got ’em all. Or so. Gary Owen March from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo. […]

Bitterroot Community Band videos

Here are videos taken from our July 25th Daly Mansion gig. The canopy of trees overhead does not reflect and focus our sound like a real bandshell, but it came out fine… probably better live than with a compact camera on video mode. I, on the other hand, never get past the back row while we are playing. Thus this is as close as I can come to hearing our music from the front and thank my wife for shooting us. ๐Ÿ˜‰ – – – – – – The musicians involved fondly call this “The summer sight-reading program”. We practice a generous fistfull of charts on Tuesday, then play them later in the week for an audience. Next week we […]

Bitterroot Community Band remaining summer schedule

There are a few opportunities left to catch this band before they close down for the winter … okay, more accurately, the non-summer season. We play while public schools are not in session. That is because a significant number of our musicians as well as the director are music teachers during the school year. Thus we only run our “summer sight reading program” during the non-school period. Everybody is welcome. Thus the skill levels vary a bit, but I happened in front of the band while it was practicing Tuesday and it sounded sharp! In the trombone section at the back of the band I rarely get the big picture. But it is good. The reviews are good. The price […]

Bitterroot Community Band

— This is a summer-series concert band open to anyone who wants to play their band instruments. We play high school level charts at various free-to-the-public gigs around the Bitterroot. — I encourage you to print a schedule out for your bulletin board and another one or two for public bulletin boards. 2019 Summer Schedule .pdf

Bitterroot Community Band

Thursday was our final Hamilton Band Shell performance of the 2018 season. We play together once more this year at the Ravalli County Fair Saturday September 1st at 3:00pm. We don’t know the composition of the band until the director strikes the downbeat. Last week was a record for the low brass section … not quite 76 trombones, but closer than I have ever seen us to it. Missy shot some videos of our tunes until the battery in my camera insisted she quit… part-way through the fourth song. My Canon point-n-shoot does not bill itself as a movie camera, and certainly has a low-end microphone, but you can get the gist of what we were up to last Thursday. […]

Bitterroot Blues Band primary charts

Every Saturday evening from late January into June we are meeting in the Darby High School music room for music making. I arrive, open up and warm up around 4:30pm. Downbeat (we start) at 5:00pm and quit officially at 6, but rarely quit on time. This page is a direct copy of the one I posted this morning at Teddunlap.net. The references that make sense there may not quite here. I wrote this for the musicians who are part of our Saturday band, but share it for anyone who might consider joining us, or are just curious. Do not count on me to bring your music printouts. There are just too many variables. I cannot anticipate how many of which […]

Bitterroot Blues Band charts

The Bitterroot Blues Band is a Spring 2018 Darby Adult Education class. This one is open to 16-18-year-old musicians at no cost, as long as they fit in with the rest of the musicians. I encourage young, old and in-between to join us, or at least come by to see if you might want to. We meet in the Darby High School music room on Saturday evenings. I open the doors at 4:30. Downbeat is at 5:00. Class ends officially at 6:00. We usually stay a bit late. We are scheduled every Saturday to June 30th. Class fees are $48 regular, $24 for 60-and-above, free for students under 18. Download the tunes I have digitized below. down_by_the_riverside_G_bass clef down_by_the_riverside_G_ guitar […]

Bitterroot Blues Band

Saturday evenings from now to June will mean playing in the band for me … and a dozen +/- fellow musicians. Everyone I talk with about this is ENTHUSIASTIC. The support from the Darby Schools and Adult Ed staff is phenominal. I was hopefully optimistic when I launched the idea. Now I am EXCITED. My dream gig, what I really want to do musically is play 3rd trombone in a blues, jazz, swing or big band. All that has been available to me in Montana is playing upright bass in a weekly bluegrass jam. This idea to use the marketing, support and facilities of the Darby Schools Adult Ed program to share with potential fellow blues musicians has taken on […]