Liverpool Syracuse trumpeter Jeff Stockham – who performed at the Liverpool is The Place summer concert series last August in Johnson Park as a member of the Bear Cat Jass Band – now appears in the Academy Award-nominated movie “Lincoln” directed by Steven Spielberg. The widely acclaimed film is now showing in theaters across the country.
In the movie Stockham portrays a musician in a 12-piece U.S. Marine Band performing at a 1864 flagpole dedication ceremony at which President Abraham Lincoln (played by Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis) delivers a short speech.
Several of Stockham’s friends and colleagues from the Federal City Brass Band and the Kentucky Baroque Trumpets completed the ensemble. The tune they perform in the flagpole scene is “We Are Coming, Father Abra’am.”
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Spielberg’s prop department rented four vintage instruments owned by Stockham, who is an avid collector of brass instruments as well as an extraordinary player. The “Lincoln” costume department rented 12 of his original musician swords worn by the band in the scene and a five-foot-tall mace used by the ensemble’s drum major.
In November, Stockham got to meet Spielberg again in Gettysburg, Pa., when the musician performed as a member of The President’s Own Band at the 149th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
Last week, the biopic about the 16th president picked up 12 Oscar nominations, including best director for Spielberg and best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, whose Lincoln has a high-pitched voice and a distinctive mid-western twang.
Stockham’s involvement with 19th century music has launched a mini-movie career for him.
Last May he worked as a music consultant and wardrobe- and instrument-furnisher for the movie “Copperhead,” directed by Ron Maxwell whose credits include the heralded Civil War films “Gettysburg” and “Gods & Generals.” Maxwell’s “Copperhead” should be released sometime later this year.
In 2002, Stockham rented a handful of his vintage saxhorns and period cornets to the makers of the Academy Award-winning movie “Cold Mountain” about a Confederate soldier returning home toward the end of the Civil War.