Musical Journey: Trumpet Player Reflects on Shared Joy and Harmony

by Madonna

I have had the privilege of playing the trumpet, an instrument often associated with boys and men, but one that held a special significance for me. It was the instrument my father played during his childhood, and I inherited his beautiful silver horn.

After spending several years performing in a high school band, I received a coveted invitation to join McLure’s Student Band. This talented group comprised students from Littleton, Lisbon, Monroe, and Woodsville, carefully selected by George McLure, our director and bus driver, with the invaluable assistance of his wife, Pat McLure.


We were regarded as “advanced students” and, during the spring season, we immersed ourselves in learning a routine that incorporated a few intricate dance steps. Adorned in striking red wool uniforms, complete with brass buttons, wide black belts, pants featuring a gold stripe along the side, and tall red hats with plumes, we were ready to take on the world. Recently, I stumbled upon a postcard outlining the schedule for our “Early Bookings for 1965.”


The list comprised an impressive lineup of 19 concerts, including notable events like the New York World’s Fair on July 21–22, the bicentennials of Bradford and Danville in Vermont, county fairs across New Hampshire, and a special appearance at a program in Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada.


Additionally, we had a series of performances lined up: six concerts in Bethlehem on Friday nights, nine concerts in Whitefield on Tuesday nights, and eight concerts in Littleton on Thursday nights. Our band had its own bus, prominently displaying the “McLure’s Student Band” logo, with a storage unit at the rear designated for our uniforms. Upon arrival at each venue, the side flaps of the bus would be raised, and we would eagerly retrieve our hat boxes. Inside the bus, our uniforms were neatly stored in plastic bags, meticulously arranged on racks. Our attire consisted of white shirts, white bucks, white socks, and white gloves. Attention to detail was crucial, as we always had to ensure our white bucks were polished, our gloves clean, and our shirts presentable in case we needed to remove our jackets on hot summer days.

As I leaf through a scrapbook filled with memories, I can’t help but marvel at how we, as young teenagers, managed such a demanding schedule. Our discipline was unwavering, largely owing to George McLure’s reputation for being as strict as a Marine sergeant. Not a single band member ever missed a bus or arrived late for a performance.

Until recently, I hadn’t given much thought to my days as a trumpet player or the remarkable experiences I had, such as performing at the World’s Fair and even Yankee Stadium. However, fate reintroduced me to the world of trumpet music when I encountered a talented young musician named Eganam “Ego” Segbefia. Ego, originally from Nigeria, had honed his skills by busking at the Grand Central Shuttle subway station in 2015. Through his music, he found a profound connection with the culture of the United States. After witnessing his performance at a dinner and benefiting from his technical support for an event I hosted, I felt compelled to show my support and gratitude by attending his live performance at a café in the Bronxville, New York, train station.

Ego’s jazz-infused melodies, intertwined with beloved tunes, captivated me. His sound resonated deeply, and I found myself immersed in its beauty.

However, what truly struck me about this experience was the diverse audience that gathered to enjoy Ego’s performance. Suburban couples, young college students, and individuals specifically drawn to Ego’s music mingled with one another, exuding smiles and engaging in conversations. It was an evening of pure enjoyment and a tangible sense of community. In that moment, I couldn’t help but contemplate the possibility of people from all walks of life living together harmoniously, unified by the arts—be it music, literature, or dance.

A mere three stops on the Metro-North from my station at 125th Street brought me to the Bronxville train station, making the journey convenient and accessible. It was neither a late night nor a challenging trip. As I journeyed back home, I found myself reflecting on the profound impact that shared experiences in the arts can have, envisioning a world where people coexist peacefully, celebrating the unity that stems from music, literature, and dance.

Playing the trumpet was more than just a pastime for me; it was a passion that allowed me to grow, connect, and find harmony with others. I cherished my time in McLure’s Student Band, where we reveled in the joy of music while traveling together as a tightly knit group of young individuals under George McLure’s vigilant guidance.


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