Update for October 25

Rehearsal on Saturday, October 25

We will again have rehearsal this Saturday.  This is our fifth rehearsal as we prepare for our November 23rd concert.  The Concert Winds have been sounding very good in our recent rehearsals!  Both Mrs. Nogar and I are excited for the upcoming performance.  Mr. Kramer also has great things to say about our Cadet Band members.  Each week shows steady progress as we prepare for our first performance of the year.

The FVL Schools Band schedule listed October 25 as the day for selecting Solo music for the 7th and 8th graders.  After consulting with Heid Music, we moved the date for solo selection to November 8.

Remember that there will be no rehearsal on Saturday, November 1 due to that being the weekend of Teacher's Conference.

There will also be no Director's Update posted next week.

Rehearsals leading up to our November concert will be on the following Saturdays:

Ocotber 25
November 8, 15, 22
November 23 - Fall Concert

Our Fall Concert will begin at 6:00 PM, and not 6:30 as it shows on our schedule.

Welcome to new band students

Two students have recently joined the FVL Schools Band Program!  We welcome Trevor Hintz, who plays baritone saxophone in the Concert Winds.  He is an 8th grade student who recently transferred to St. Peter, Freedom.  Also a warm welcome to Matthew Steffens, who will be starting lessons on Bass Guitar, and will be a member of the Cadet Band.  He is a 6th grader at Mount Olive, Appleton.

7th and 8th Grade Solo Music

On Saturday November 8, the 7th and 8th grade band students will have the opportunity to browse and purchase music from the WSMA solo list.  The music will be on display in the FVL Commons. This music will be played on Saturday, March 7, at the WSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival which will take place at Waupaca High School.  Individual performance times will not be known until about two weeks in advance.  Mr. Kramer and Mr. Neujahr will help the students prepare their music during their weekly band lessons.

Many of the solos on the WSMA list are also included in SmartMusic!  You may want to consider purchasing a solo that is in SmartMusic, as Mr. Kramer and Mr. Neujahr will be able to use the program during the student's lesson to aid in the learning process.  For families that have SmartMusic at home (refer to our SmartMusic Post from the October 11 update), your students will have the ability to practice with the rehearsal tools that are available.  Tools include having the ability to slow down the tempo of the accompaniment, recording "takes" so the student can listen to what they sound like, and having SmartMusic tell them what was played correctly or incorrectly by using the Assessment feature.  SmartMusic can also be used as the Accompanist on the day of the solo festival, so it would eliminate the need for an actual pianist.

Most solos are priced in the $5-10 range.  Some solos, especially those contained in a book with several solo selections, will be priced higher.  The students will need an original, published piece of music for themselves and another for the adjudicator - this means they will need to purchase TWO COPIES OF THE SOLO, unless an additional adjudicator copy is included with the solo.  Photo-copied music is not allowed at WSMA solo festivals.  The students should bring cash to the rehearsal, or parents can pay with a check.  Music should be purchased on Saturday.  If you may have difficulty sending money with the student, please speak with Mr. Neujahr and arrangements can be made to pay later.  We will keep track of any IOU's.

If a second copy of the solo is not available and needs to be ordered, Mr. Neujahr will take care of ordering what is needed.  Students should pay for both copies right away, and when the music arrives it will be handed out either at the student's lesson or on the first available Saturday.

The Cadet Band and the Concert Winds will still have a regular rehearsal on this day.

Mr. Neujahr's and Mr. Kramer's lesson schedule revised for October 27-29

Due to Mr. Neujahr attending the State Music Conference in Madison on Wednesday through Friday, October 29 - 31, and the need to do administrative work for the upcoming Lutheran Vanguard of Wisconsin 2015 season and recruitment information, he will not be giving lessons on Monday, October 27 through Wednesday, October 29.  There is no school on Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31 due to the state Teacher's Conference.  Likewise, there is also no band rehearsal on Saturday, Novembrer 1.

Mr. Kramer will also have a slightly revised schedule for next week.  On Monday, October 27, he will have lessons at Immanuel, Greenville as normal.  However, on Tuesday, October 28, he will have lessons at Trinity, Neenah, and St. Peter, Freedom (his "Thursday" schools).  Mr. Kramer will not be giving lessons at Bethlehem, Hortonville or Emanuel, New London next week.

Concert Dress for the November 23 concert

So that you have adequate time to prepare, here is a summary of what our students need to wear for our concert in November (Both Cadet Band and Concert Winds):

Ladies should wear black dress shoes, black socks or black hose, full length black pants (not faded), and a white button blouse with long sleeves. No tennis shoes, leggings, or capri style pants. Do not wear black skirts.

Gentlemen should wear black dress shoes, black socks, black belt, black pants (not faded), and a white dress shirt.

The Cadet Band members will wear a sweater vest for their performances. The vests will be handed out prior to and collected immediately following the concert.

Concert Winds members will receive a vest and bow tie before their performance.  Vests and bow ties will be handed out prior to and should be returned immediately after the concert.

 

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Update for October 18

Rehearsals resume this week

After a week off, we are back for rehearsal on Saturday, October 18.  Conting this rehearsal, we only have five more rehearsals until our concert on November 23.  Things continue to go very well!  Thanks to all of our parents and band members for making such a great effort to attend these important Saturday rehearsals.

Due to the FVL Band and Choir concert this coming Sunday, much of the band equipment is already on the stage.  Therefore, for rehearsal tomorrow, the bands will rehearse in the following locations:

Concert Winds - Auditorium Stage
Cadet Band - FVL Band Room

Saturday is also the FVL grade school volleyball tournament.  Hopefully the band students who play volleyball can make most - if not all - of the rehearsal, since the games do not begin until 10:00.  On tournament weekends such as this, many of the kids wear their uniforms/sweats to rehearsal.  That is encouraged and a great time saver.  It is also a great visual for all of our band students to see just how active our members are in other activities, and that Band and Athletics do mix well!

FVL Band and Choir concert this Sunday

The FVL Band and Choirs will present their Fall Concert on Sunday, October 19.  The concert will begin at 6:00 PM and will last approximately one and a half hours.  The concert will take place in the FVL Auditorium.  If you are wondering, the Packer game is at noon and will be completed in plenty of time to attend the concert!  It would be fantastic to see our FVL Schools Band members in the audience for this concert.  I know there are many older siblings that go to FVL and participate in band and choir, so those students may already plan to attend.  Seeing the "big band brothers and sisters" from FVL perform is a fantastic way to build excitement for our FVL Schools Band members.  In just a few short years, they will also be a part of a high school band program.  It is amazing to see the progression from Cadet Band to Concert Winds to the FVL Symphonic Band.  The FVL Symphonic Band has some exciting music programmed for this concert.  You will not be disappointed!

FVL Schools Band members selected to the Eastern Valley Conference Honors Band

Congratulations are in order for fourteen of our FVL Schools Band members who have been selected to the EVC Middle School Honors Band!  The EVC middle school band directors met in Ripon last night and made the selections for the band from the nomination forms that were submitted earlier this year.  The Honors Concert will take place at Ripon High School on Saturday, January 31.  More details will be given when we get closer to the event.

Here are the students who have been selected to represent the FVL Schools Band Program in the Honors Band:

Flute - Elizabeth Santos, grade 8, St. Mark Green Bay
Oboe - Emily Ellis, grade 8, St. Paul Green Bay
Bassoon - Emily Lillo, grade 8, St. Paul Appleton
Clarinet - Morgan Caswell, grade 7, St. Paul Appleton; Lorna Caswell, grade 7, St. Paul Appleton 
Tenor Saxophone - Spencer Archer, grade 8, Immanuel Greenville
Trumpet - Dietrich Ragner, grade 8, Bethlehem Hortonville; Adam Caswell, grade 7, St. Paul Appleton
Trombone - Nick Caswell, grade 7, St. Paul Appleton; Connor Lynch, grade 7, New Hope Christian Neenah
Tuba - William Strassburg, grade 8, Homeschool Appleton; Austin Caswell, grade 8, St. Paul Appleton
Percussion - Brock Bader, grade 8, Mount Olive Appleton; Ben Schaser, grade 7, Immauel Greenville

This is the second year in the Honors Band for Brock Bader, and the third year for both Emily Ellis and Dietrich Ragner!

Hansens Fall Fundraiser product pick up this Saturday

The products ordered are going to be delivered to FVL for pickup on Saturday, October 18.   If you can not be there that day, please make arrangements with somebody else to pick up the product, such as another family from your school or church, grandparents, etc.  FVL does not have the ability to store these items, many of which are frozen food products.

Pickup information is as follows:

Date: Saturday, October 18
Time:  From 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Place:  FVL Commons
Fall Fundraiser results are in - with Awesome numbers!

A HUGE thank you to all of our FVL Schools Band members and their parents for making this year's Fall Fundraiser a success!  The totals are in, and they are impressive:

Total number of families who participated - 41 (26 last year)
Total Dollars Ordered - $7557 ($4953.50 last year)
Net Profit for FVL Schools Band program and its members -  $3778.50 ($2476.75 last year)

WOW!  Of the $3778.50 in profit, half, or $1889.25 will go into the FVL Schools Band account, and $1887.50 will go directly into the individual student accounts.  For example, if a student sold $400 in product, $200 goes back to Hansens to cover the invoice, $100 goes to the FVL Schools Band Prgram, and $100 goes directly back to the student's account.  That money will be used to offset semester one band fees.  A few of our students will realize a benefit of over $100 for their band account, while several will see benefits of between $50 and $100.

Not only do the students get the benefit of a reduction in their student fees, but they also earned Fabulous Prizes for their efforts!  Students who sold 5 or more items will receive the "Yardstick of Gum";  15 items sold will earn some Ear Buds; 25 items earns a 5 pound bag of Gummi Bears; and 50 items earns an inflatable Fun Roller!  Students get all of the prizes up to and including the prize for their level of sales. Pretty exciting!  Overall, 37 students earned the gum; 20 earned the gum and the ear buds; 7 earned the gum, ear buds, and Gummi Bears; and one motivated student earned the gum, the ear buds, the Gummi Bears, and the Fun Roller!

Here are the seven students who sold at least 25 items, in alphabetical order:

Emily Beyer, Caitlyn Graham, Erin Greshay, Courney Kufahl, Philip Machkovech, Aryanna Selle, and Kisie Temu.

Special thanks go to Brenda Reyes, the Hansen's representative who did such a great job organizing the fundraiser, and also to Jami Greshay, our band parent fund drive coordinator.

Upcoming Rehearsal Schedule

Rehearsals leading up to our November concert will be on the following Saturdays:

Ocotber 18 (Hansen's product DELIVERED to FVL), 25
NO REHEARSAL on November 1 (Teacher's Conference weekend)
November 8, 15, 22
November 23 - Fall Concert

Our Fall Concert will begin at 6:00 PM, and not 6:30 as it shows on our schedule.

Mr. Neujahr's lesson schedule revised for October 27-29

Due to Mr. Neujahr attending the State Music Conference in Madison on Wednesday through Friday, October 29 - 31, and the need to do administrative work for the upcoming Lutheran Vanguard of Wisconsin 2015 season and recruitment information, he will not be giving lessons on Monday, October 27 through Wednesday, October 29.  There is no school on Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31 due to the state Teacher's Conference.  Likewise, there is also no band rehearsal on Saturday, Novembrer 1.

Schools NOT having lessons on those three days include Mount Olive, Appleton; St. Paul, Appleton; St. Mark and St. Paul, Green Bay; Trinity, Brillion; and Shepherd of the Valley, Menasha.

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Update for October 11

No Rehearsal on Saturday, October 11

Due to many of our schools participating in the soccer tournament in Neenah this weekend, we do not have band rehearsal scheduled for tomorrow.  In addition, the FVL FoxFest Dinner Auction is this Saturday.  There is an enourmous amount of set up for this event, and the Commons will be unavailable all day.  So the band students can sleep in and enjoy a day off (unless they are playing soccer!).

Rehearsals leading up to our November concert will be on the following Saturdays:

Ocotber 18 (Hansen's product DELIVERED to FVL), 25
November 8, 15, 22
November 23 - Fall Concert

Our Fall Concert will begin at 6:00 PM, and not 6:30 as it shows on our schedule.

Thanks for the Well-Wishes!

Many of you sent your best wishes on my son Jonathan and Brittany's wedding this past weekend.  Thanks so much!  It was an incredible weekend.  Although the weather was a bit cold and drizzly on Saturday, the joy of having family together and celebrating the beginning of a new life together more than offset the dreary day.  Thanks again to Mrs. Nogar for handling the entire rehearsal on her own!

SmartMusic - What is it?  And is it really that smart?

In a nutshell, SmartMusic is an incredibly powerful online interactive tool for practicing at home.  I began using SmartMusic in lessons over the past two weeks.  It has been fun for me and the students to use the program!  Hopefully your children have told you about it.  Not only is it fun to use - the benefits are extraordinary:

  • Choose to play along with thousands of pieces in the SmartMusic library
  • Learn how your part fits within the ensemble through accompaniment
  • SmartMusic listens as you play, giving you instant feedback on assessable files
  • Move at your own pace by controlling the tempo and clicktrack with subdivisions
  • Isolate difficult phrases of any length with the loop tool
  • Record and play back your practice sessions for self assessment
  • Send MP3 recordings to family members and friends
  • Solo repertoire accompaniment follows spontaneous tempo chnges

In addition to having the entire lesson series available in SmartMusic (the "Standard of Excellence" books we use for lessons), the program also has thousands of solos available for interactive practice and accompaniment.  One of the songs for Concert Winds - African Festival - is also in the program.  During lessons, we have been using SmartMusic to work on African Festival.  It gives us the ability to rehearse individual parts, with the added bonus of having the entire band playing along with us!  The assessment portion of the program is also very powerful, as it can immediately give the student feedback as to notes that were played correctly, and shows notes and rhythms that were incorrect.

Students in 7th and 8th grade will soon be getting their solos.  SmartMusic is a fantastic tool to assist in learning a solo.  Not only can the students set the accompaniment to play with them, but they can also listen to their part being played, as well as set the tempo slower or faster to accomadate their skill level.  SmartMusic can also be used the day of the solo festival to accompany their performance.

There is much more to the program than I can post in this space.  Go to the SmartMusic link to see for yourself.  On their website you will see a short demo video that shows the program in use by students, as well as other links to more information.

SmartMusic is also available to you!  Although it is not free, it is VERY inexpensive at just $40 for a one-year subscription.  It is also very simple to begin using SmartMusic.  Simply download the program to any computer, tablet, or laptop and you can start enjoying its benefits immediately.

If you would like more information about SmartMusic, please don't hesitate to contact me.

My guess is that if you purchase SmartMusic, your child will practice MUCH MORE than they currently do.  That is always a good thing!

Concert Dress for the November 23 concert

So that you have adequate time to prepare, here is a summary of what our students need to wear for our concert in November (Both Cadet Band and Concert Winds):

Ladies should wear black dress shoes, black socks or black hose, full length black pants (not faded), and a white button blouse with long sleeves. No tennis shoes, leggings, or capri style pants. Do not wear black skirts.

Gentlemen should wear black dress shoes, black socks, black belt, black pants (not faded), and a white dress shirt.

The Cadet Band members will wear a sweater vest for their performances. The vests will be handed out prior to and collected immediately following the concert.

Concert Winds members will receive a vest and bow tie before their performance.  Vests and bow ties will be handed out prior to and should be returned immediately after the concert.

 

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Update for October 4

Hansens Fall Fundraiser packets due this Saturday

Please remember that order forms and cash/checks need to be returned to FVL by Saturday, October 4.  It is important that we receive the packets this weekend so that Hansen can deliver the product on Saturday, October 18.  If your son or daughter will not be at rehearsal on October 4, please make other arrangements to get the packet to FVL on Friday or Saturday.  Likewise, it is extremely important that the products are picked up on Saturday, October 18.  If you can not be there that day, please make arrangements with somebody else to pick up the product, such as another family from your school or church.

Remember that 50% of the profit earned from this fund drive will be used to support the FVL Schools Band Program, and 50% of the profit will go directly into your account to offset your fees.  The band students can also earn "Fabulous Prizes" for different levels of sales!

EVC Honors Band nomination forms due

This announcement is for those families who have received a nomination form for the Eastern Valley Conference Middle School Honors Band.   Please return the nomination form this Saturday, October 4. The forms should be given to Mrs. Nogar either before or after rehearsal. The top portion should be filled out with the student information.  If you are not sure how to answer some questions, just ask.  You only need to fill out the top portion of the form.  I will fill out the lower half of the sheet after they are returned.

If a student forgets to bring the form on Saturday, or remembers to bring the form but FORGETS to give it to Mrs. Nogar, the form can still be given to Mr. Neujahr or Mr. Kramer during lessons this next week.

The directors of the Eastern Valley Conference schools will be meeting in Ripon on Thursday, October 16 to make the selections for the Honors Band.  I will announce which of our students are chosen for the band after those selections are made.

Mr. Neujahr will be gone this weekend

I will not be at rehearsal this coming weekend.   My son Jonathan's wedding is this Saturday in Waukesha.  Needless to say, I am looking forward to the weekend and the excitement that goes along with a wedding.  It will be wonderful to have our families gathered together for this special occasion.  Jonathan is our first child to be married, so my wife Julie and I are also excited for Jonathan and Brittany and the new life they will be starting together.

Thanks to Mr. Kramer for taking over the FVL Pep Band at the homecoming game on Friday, and to Mrs. Nogar for taking the Concert Winds rehearsal on Saturday.

Upcoming FVL Schools Band rehearsal schedule

Rehearsals leading up to our November concert will be on the following Saturdays:

October 4 (Hansen's packets DUE), 18 (Hansen's product DELIVERED to FVL), 25
November 8, 15, 22
November 23 - Fall Concert

Our Fall Concert will begin at 6:00 PM, and not 6:30 as it shows on our schedule.

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