Article originally published in the November 14, 2017, issue of the 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, newspaper The Courier
The focal point of a Remembrance Day ceremony is the two minutes’ silence in honour of those who have died. A bugler sounds “Last Post” to signal the beginning of the silence and “Rouse” to signal its end.
For trumpet players, “Last Post” is not especially difficult, at least technically. But its importance, and the conditions under which it is often played, can bring special challenges.
Warrant Officer Bruno Godere, of the Canadian Armed Forces Central Band, is an accomplished trumpet player. He has performed extremely difficult music as a soloist and an ensemble player in concert settings around the world. He approached his musical responsibilities at this year’s national Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa with all the attention he would devote to a concert performance.
“Whether it’s November 11 in Ottawa, or a smaller gathering at a veteran’s funeral, ‘Last Post’ is always important,” he says. “I begin preparing days in advance. I always practise it to make sure I have it in my mind when it’s time to play.”
Todd Farrell, a civilian volunteer with the 4 Wing Band in Cold Lake, Alberta, says the emotion of the situation presents special challenges. “The hardest ones have been playing at friends’ funerals, or for vets that I have known personally,” he says. Even at a funeral for a stranger, the trumpeter is not…