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Friday, May 6, 2016

Marshall is music: Former Marshall musician to play key role in inauguration

Friday, January 18, 2013

Capt. Randy Bartel, formerly of Marshall, directs the Herald Trumpets unit of the U.S. Army Band. The Herald Trumpets will perform at the swearing-in ceremony Monday, Jan. 21, as part of President Barack Obama's second inaugural.
(Contributed photo)
When "Hail to the Chief" rings out to greet President Barack Obama during inauguration ceremonies Monday, Marshall will be represented by someone in a key post.

Capt. Randall Bartel, a 1988 Marshall High School graduate, will lead the U.S. Army Band's Herald Trumpets, a 16-member group that includes 14 trumpeters and two drummers.

Bartel has been director of the Herald Trumpets since June 2010, so this will be his first presidential inaugural performance.

Capt. Randy Bartel
It's a high profile event for a band that specializes in high profile events. According to the group's website, the band was officially formed in 1959 "to add splendor to official military ceremonies."

Over the years, the group has performed for heads of state and royalty all over the world. This will be its 14th presidential inaugural.

Still, it doesn't seem routine to the players, Bartel said.

"It still holds a special place," he said. "I'm lucky to be working with some folks who are pretty experienced with this."

He said most of his band members have performed in at least one -- and in some cases up to six -- inaugurals.

Even with the eyes of the world watching, Bartel said he and the band don't get very nervous. For one thing, preparation for the event has been meticulous, with numerous meetings and rehearsals. The full rehearsal took place Jan. 13, he said.

"For us on the Heralds, our first note was played at 2:30 in the morning," he said. "We played our first note on the Capitol steps at 6:30. We've been through all the rehearsals. Now it's just left for the actual event to start."

The Herald Trumpets, a unit under the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own," will perform several times during the presidential inauguration Monday, Jan. 21.
(Contributed photo)
Various units from the full band, "Pershing's Own," will be involved in several inaugural events. The Herald Trumpets perform at the swearing-in ceremony and as the president and vice president arrive at the reviewing stand for the parade.

The Ceremonial Band escorts the president to the parade review.

"I tended 10 to 15 years ago to get rid of nerves," he said. "But it's nice to get a bit pumped up for this. It's important to note that our nation's watching, and we want to be the best we can be."

The members of the team who might feel the most pressure are the guys with the headsets who help coordinate the event, giving the band cues, Bartel said.

"We try to focus on the music," he said of the band members.

In addition to performing "Hail to the Chief" for the president and "Hail Columbia" for the vice president, the band will perform other fanfares for former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

The group uses a family of the unusual trumpets, Bartel said. The Eb soprano, Bb melody, Bb tenor and Bb and G bass instruments have elongated bells to which a tabard is attached.

The tenor instruments are played by trombone players, and the bass trumpets are played by euphonium players, Bartel said.

Bartel said he remembers fondly his years growing up in Marshall and learning his craft. He credits some of Marshall's music icons for helping him develop as a musician.

"Clarence Smith was my high school band director, and he's who got me started toward Central Methodist," he said.

Smith currently teaches music at Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City, is the director of KC Youth Jazz and is the clinic director for Marshall's Bob James Jazz Festival.

Bartel also remembers the influence of Charles Ferguson, former director of Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and Marshall Municipal Band. Bartel performed with both community groups. He was a regular for several seasons with the band.

Ferguson remembers Bartel, too. And his recollections reflect a young man already preparing for the kind of role he would eventually play with the U.S. Army Band.

"I remember Randy Bartel as a student in the Marshall High School Band," Ferguson said. "He was prepared for each class by having practiced not only the music we were playing but the technical exercises that made it more possible for him to play the music.

"Randy did not mind following the rules of learning but also the rules of the group activity. Some want to find out how little they can do in preparing rather than, like Randy, doing everything possible to be really prepared. Randy was a quiet leader who led by example."

"(Marshall) is a wonderful place to grow and learn a craft, not just instrumentally but vocally as well," Bartel said. "There's always a lot going on there."

Contact Eric Crump at ecrump@marshallnews.com


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I agree, reddogjr! I'd love to explore the possibility of getting Capt. Bartel to perform here. Getting the band would be possible, too. We would have to pay travel, lodging and meals expenses. All we have to do is raise the money!


-- Posted by Eric Crump on Sat, Jan 19, 2013, at 7:34 AM

Awsome story and i consider myself lucky to have play alongside Randy for 3 years in high school. Eric, what will it take to get them to perform in Marshall? Ive been trying to pass the word to other Cultural Council members but nothing seems to be happening. Too bad we couldnt get them to help celebrate the Philharmonic's 50th anniversary.

-- Posted by reddogjr on Sat, Jan 19, 2013, at 4:37 AM

Awesome, seems not enough ! Saline county is proud !

-- Posted by plowgirl58 on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 8:12 PM

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