We’ve all heard the famous Taps melody, maybe at a funeral we attended, or maybe even in a movie.
The Taps bugle call is brief, but it is an emotional tribute to all the men and women who have fallen in combat or died, after serving their country in the ranks of the military. However, not all of them are provided with a trumpeter at their funeral, because there are obviously not enough military trumpeters to provide this service to everyone.
This has been remedied by the trumpet professor of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Dr. Eric Siereveld, who, at the end of 2018, decided with his students, to offer the families of veterans the possibility of having their Taps performed live for funerals and commemorative events. Since then, the students have performed in four services and three Veterans Day events.
Students play for free, although they accept tips to pay for any travel expenses. The performance provides these trumpet students with direct contact with military doctors and soldiers, who also make them aware of the importance of their service. “Talons for Taps has been created to give the trumpet studio of ULM the opportunity to give something back to their community,” says Siereveld, who also feels “honored to make this humble gesture for those who have served us”.
The following students at ULM participate in Talons for Taps:
- Kody Jernigan of Longview, Texas
- William Joiner of West Monroe, Louisiana
- Kris Balint of Longview, Louisiana
- Sabrina Mata of Jena, Louisiana
- Ian Lee of Columbia, Louisiana
- Hawk Walker of Monroe, Louisiana
- Solomon Abang of Lagos (Nigeria)
- Austin Pasche of Pollock, Louisiana
- Vincent Capuano of Bossier City, Louisiana
- Ryan Blomquist of Pineville, Louisiana
Normally, Talons for Taps has a radius of 30 to 40 minutes of travel from the university, but these young students take each performance into account and try to satisfy any request. “We can’t always provide this service, but we try to meet all the families that need it,” concludes Siereveld.
In case you want Taps to be performed at the funeral or commemorative event of a veteran relative, you can contact Talons for Taps by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or through the contact form they have established on their website.
From Trumpet Magazine, we can only congratulate the ULM trumpet studio for showing such great initiative.
This melancholy trumpet call of just 24 notes, has its origin in a French call, call Tattoo, which warned soldiers to stopped drinking and return to their garrisons. In fact, Tattoo is an alteration of “taptoo”, coming from the Dutch “tap toe!”. That is, an order to close (“toe” or “too”) the lid (“tap”) of a barrel. The current revision was made in July of 1862, during the US Civil War, by Daniel Adams Butterfield, general of the Union, who remembered this call and asked his assistant to write it in a score, and then order the trumpet of the brigade, Oliver W. Norton, to perform it at the conclusion of each day. The call quickly became popular, even with the Confederate army, becoming an official call of the US military once the war concluded, and has been called Taps, since 1874. The first time it was performed at a funeral, was shortly after Butterfield wrote it down, during the burial of a gunboat killed in combat, and again, 10 months later, at the funeral of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. In 1891, the use of Taps in military funerals was established by law, to accompany the lowering of the flag.