Freelance Trumpet

Customers' Comments

Mugging for the cameraI am available for hire during weekends and some evenings as a soloist or an ensemble member. I play frequently in small brass ensembles, as a wedding and church soloist, and jazz/big band trumpet. For weddings solos, I can play all of the common trumpet voluntaries, as well as preludes, processionals, anthems, and descants. I can play directly from a vocal or organ part, so if you have an organ or choral arrangement that would sound good with a trumpet added, I can do it with little extra effort on your part. I play regularly with the Rhythm Doctors Big Band the Broad Street Brass. Examples of me playing both of these styles are given below.

If you are seeking a trumpet soloist or need a trumpet player to sit in with your ensemble, please contact me at trumpet@ricksonntag.com.

Wedding/Church Solos and Ensembles

No, I do NOT actually look like this!!!I pride myself on fitting in with choirs and organists, always enhancing and never overwhelming. While it's always fun to "make the walls shake" - especially in a church ;-) - it is far more important to have a well-controlled pianissimo when playing under the choir. Drowning out the choir's lyrics does not go over very well - especially with the choir's family members!

For weddings, I will contact the organist and work with him/her to play along with his/her own arrangements of the voluntaries, Wedding March, etc., so that no additional work is required on the organist's part. Organists tend to appreciate this - after doing hundreds of weddings, many just want to do it "their way."

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New trumpet solos from Summer 2005! Except where noted, these recordings were made at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church on July 17, 2005, Ahreum Han, organist.

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The beautiful spiritual Balm in Gilead, adapted for flugelhorn and organ by Lani Smith.

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The classic staple of the trumpet literature, Alan Hovhaness's Prayer of St. Gregory.  This was recorded July 13, 2003 with Mardia Melroy, organist.

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The popular hymn Lift High the Cross put into a grand setting for trumpet and organ by Sue Mitchell-Wallace and John H. Head.

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I composed the descant for this hymn, There's a Wideness in God's Mercy.

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I Love Thy Kingdom Lord features two trumpet descants.  I mis-counted how many verses there were and accidentally played on the next-to-last verse.  I was surprised when the congregation kept singing, but I later came in with a more fanfare-like descant at the end of the last verse. The descants are by Douglas Smith from 61 Trumpet Hymns & Descants, Hope Publishing Co.

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Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, text by Robert Robinson (1872), traditional tune, descant by Douglas Smith from 61 Trumpet Hymns & Descants, Hope Publishing Co.
Trumpet solos from Advent 2004 Made at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church on December 5, 2004. William N. Yeats, director; Burton K. Tidwell, organist.

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Here I use flugelhorn to adapt Charles Callahan's organ setting of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

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An adaptation of Craig Phillips' haunting setting of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

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O Lord, How Shall I Meet You? Beautiful improvised introductions and transitions by Burton. The last transition landed us a half-step higher than I had expected, but I was able to transpose it on the fly. The descant is by Douglas Smith from 61 Trumpet Hymns & Descants, Hope Publishing Co. (transposed into the organist's key).

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On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry I composed the rather odd descant to go with the rather odd harmonization that Burton used on the last verse.
Brass music from Easter 2003 The following five recordings were made at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church on April 20, 2003. William N. Yeats, director; David Beatty, organist; Brass Quartet features me on Bb/A piccolo and Bb trumpets; Jeremy VanDruff, trumpet; Brandon Sciarra and Bill Sullivan, trombones; SPC Chancel Choir and the congregation, voices; Maxwell Smith, sound engineer.

Cable

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Crown Him with Many Crowns, setting by Craig Courtney. The common Easter Hymn is given a regal, sensitive treatment with a rousing finish.

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Christ the Lord is Risen Today, setting by David Beatty. Our own organist composed and arranged the beautiful introduction and the brass descants.

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Exultation for Easter, by Arnold Sherman. Beautiful new composition featuring chorus and brass. I just love the sfzp-fff crescendo on the last note.

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Hallelujah! from Messiah, by G.F. Handel. I wrote the brass parts for this traditional arrangement of the Handel's most famous work. I had some fun on piccolo with the sixteenth-note runs at 2:58 into the piece.

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Alleluia by Theodore Dubois. Based on the tune O Filii et Filiae, this bright, raucous, "in your face" prelude is a great wake-up call for sleepy-eyed churchgoers (and musicians).
Previous Recordings

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Here is a beautiful new composition, Hail the Day of Christ's Appearing, by Craig Curry (2000). Featuring the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church Choir (William N. Yeats, director; Mardia Melroy, guest organist, recorded January 19, 2003)

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Here I Am, Lord, by Daniel Schutte (1981). I was never too crazy about this hymn - too "pop-sounding" - but now that I've written a descant for it I like it a lot more. (Recorded January 19, 2003, featuring the congregation of Swarthmore Presbyterian Church.)

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Lord Speak to Me, That I May Speak, text by Frances Havergal (1872), tune by Robert Schumann (1839), descant by Douglas Smith from 61 Trumpet Hymns & Descants Vol. 2, Hope Publishing Co. (Recorded January 19, 2003 at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church.)

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I was very honored to accompany the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church Choir (William N. Yeats, director; Richard Stultz, organ) along with the Rittenhouse String Quartet on Vivaldi's famous Gloria (RV 589). The recording came out quite nicely, especially considering it was just a two-microphone cassette recording during the church service on December 16, 2001. This sound clip is the first movement, "Gloria in Excelcis Deo."

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This is the final movement of Vivaldi's Gloria, "Cum Sancto Spiritu." Same recording details as above. Did you know that this great masterpiece was not discovered by scholars until more than 200 years after it was written? It was buried with a bunch of obscure manuscripts until the late 1920s. The story may sound like a Peter Schickele parody, but it's true. Click here for an interesting history of this work.

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Craig Courtney's Creed, based on the Apostle's Creed. In addition to being a beautiful setting for the choir, it offers some very delicate exposed solo parts for the brass quartet, which had all of us sitting on the edges of our seats. This one-take recording was made during the church service on February 4, 2001 at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, under the musical direction of William N. Yeats.

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The St. Anthony Chorale, by Joseph Haydn - A famous prelude/processional, often used for weddings. (Recorded 7/22/99 at Hopewell Presbyterian Church with Charlie Ashton, organ.)

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Sonata for Trumpet, 2nd Movement "Aria", by Flor Peeters - This beautiful, hauntingly dissonant tune is one of my favorites when a lyrical prelude is needed. (Recorded 7/22/99 at Hopewell Presbyterian Church with Charlie Ashton, piano.)

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Procession, by Albert Zabel - Nice, relaxed processional. (Recorded 4/4/99 at Hopewell Presbyterian Church with Charlie Ashton, organ. Milling-about noises courtesy of the departing congregation.)

Big Band Playing

Rhythm Doctors CD Cover My time playing lead trumpet with the Rhythm Doctors Big Band has probably been my most enjoyable musical activity ever. When I was living in New Jersey, this band was one thing that I missed most. So I'm thrilled to be playing with them again!

This sound clip was excerpted from a CD we recorded in 1992 to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary. About 90% of the band's several hundred arrangements are by the band's current leader, Warren Keyser.

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Gail - An original composition by Warren Keyser, named for one of his daughters. A relaxed, laid-back Basie-style ballad, very reminiscent of Neil Hefti's "Li'l Darlin." The way-cool adlib fills are by bass trombonist Neil Craver.

For more sound clips , go to http://RhythmDoctors.org

The Rhythm Doctors TrumpetsThis band is an outstanding group for private functions such as wedding receptions, and they have the most reasonable rates you'll find for any big band. If you are within 60 miles of Wilmington, Delaware, and are seeking first-rate entertainment for a concert, reception, or dance, go to the Rhythm Doctors website for further information.

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