The Last Post

Trumpet Player to Play “The Last Post” on Anzac Day.

As a trumpet player, one of my highlights each year is to play “The Last Post” on Anzac Day. I love the composition, I relish the many fond memories it evokes, and I am appreciative of how it connects me with an ancestor who served in World War 1.

As a Piece of Music

The composition, “The Last Post” is written using five notes. It was written for the bugle (which is basically a trumpet with no valves). Even though the piece is based around only five notes, there is plenty of scope for expression, allowing me to add my own personal interpretation.

Military Band Connection

I had an association with The Royal Australian Navy Band in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. I did quite a few marches and ceremonies during this period, mostly as a reservist. Playing “The Last Post” brings back many fond memories of the time I spent with these bands.

Connection to My Great-Grandfather

My great-grandfather served with the A.I.F. in France during the First World War. He returned alive but deeply traumatised from his experiences. Playing “The Last Post” gives me an opportunity to connect with his legacy.

The Challenges of Playing “The Last Post”

There are numerous challenges involved with playing “The Last Post”. Firstly, it is so well known that when playing it, you can’t afford to miss a note. Secondly, when playing it at a dawn service, there is minimal opportunity to warm up. The air temperature is generally on the cooler side. You need to be able to play through the piece note perfect on a cold instrument. This adds an element of psychological pressure when playing. Maintaining focus is imperative.

2023 Anzac Day March

Last year, as well as playing “The Last Post” at a dawn service in Breakfast Point, I marched in the City of Sydney Anzac Day Parade. I assisted the Christian Brothers Lewisham School Band. Here is footage from the day.

Anzac Day March, 2023

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