Update for February 28

Regular Rehearsal on Saturday, February 28

We will close out the month of February with a regular rehearsal.  With March just around the corner, hopefully we will begin to see warmer temperatures and the return of "shorts weather".  I am more than ready!

I want to thank our students for excellent attendance last Saturday!  Even though most of our older students were involved in some way or another with the basketball tournament, the band members did all they could to attend rehearsal, even if it was for a short time.  The result was a productive and energetic rehearsal with the band making some very good improvement!

Remember there is no rehearsal on March 7 due to the Solo and Ensemble event being held at Waupaca High School.

Remaining Schedule for the Second Semester

Please check the FVL Schools Calendar for a full listing of the second semester rehearsals and performances.  For reference, listed below are our rehearsals and performances for the second semester.

Saturday, March 7 - Eastern Valley Conference Solo and Ensemble Festival at Waupaca HS.  There will be no rehearsal this day, but many of our Concert Winds students will be participating in the Festival by playing their solo.

March 21 and 28 - Regular rehearsals

Wednesday, April 1 - Concert Winds participate in the WSMA Concert Festival at FVL.  This will be an adjudicated performance and will satisfy our requirement to be a member of WSMA.

April 18 and 25 - Regular rehearsals

Sunday, April 26 - FVL Middle School Band Concert, 6:00 PM (Cadet Band and Concert Winds)

WSMA Concert Festival performance for Concert Winds

You may have noticed on our schedule that the Concert Winds (NOT Cadet Band) are participating in a WSMA Concert Festival on Wednesday, April 1.  That is not a typo!  Participating in a concert festival is a requirement for our FVL Schools Band Program to be a member of WSMA.  Since we did not participate in a concert festival last year, we must do that this year.

This concert festival will be hosted by FVL.  Additional information will be posted to this site as we get closer to the event.  However, parents from each school can begin to plan car pools to FVL that morning and back to your schools again following the festival.  Parents and students can also alert their school's principals and classroom teachers of their absence from school that morning.

Here is a schedule of band performance times for that day:

8:15 AM Fox Valley Lutheran HS Symphonic Band
9:00AM St. Francis Xavier Middle School Band #1
9:45 AM St. Francis Xavier Middle School Band #2
10:30 AM FVL Schools Concert Winds
11:15 AM St. Martin Lutheran School

The morning times for our students would be as follows:

9:45 AM Arrive at FVL - Meet in the small gym with coats and cases for attendance
10:00 AM Warm up in the FVL Band Room
10:30 AM Performance clinic with WSMA Adjudicators (return cases to gym following performance)
11:15 AM Concert Winds listen to St. Martin Lutheran Band and fill out student critique form
12:00 Noon Car pools return students to their grade schools

You will notice that, depending on which school your child attends, students will be returning to their schools either at the end of their lunch period or after their lunch period has ended.  Students should plan on bringing a bag lunch that day that they can eat on their return trip to their schools.

Picture Day is Set!

We will be taking our band pictures on Saturday, April 18.  We will be taking time during our rehearsal for the photos.  We will be taking formal group photos in uniform, so band students are to bring black shoes and socks, white shirts, and black pants for the day.  These items are the same as what they wore to the November concert.  To save time, they are certainly welcome to wear these clothes for the rehearsal.   We will distribute the concert vests on that morning.

Our Photographer will be from Pinnacle Group Photography, and will be offering several different packages for purchase.  It will be up to you if you want to order a package or not.  We do ask that all band members wear concert clothes on that day even if you may not purchase any photos, since we will be taking a group photo with all students included.

We will be receiving a few pre-order forms in advance of April 18.  Pinnacle will also be setting up an online ordering option.  That website should be available in the next few weeks, and the link will be posted when it becomes available.


We offer our congratulations to Emily Beyer, a 7th grade flute student from Riverview, Appleton.  Emily is the first of our beginning band students to complete her first lesson book.  She is now in Book 2 for Flute!

Over the next several weeks, many more of our Cadet Band students will be completing their first book.  It is a very exciting time for our beginners!  We rejoice with them in their accomplishments!

Solo and Ensemble Information

This morning at about 7:50 I received the times for the Solo and Ensemble festival on March 7.  This first schedule is a Master Schedule of all seven sites, with all events listed.  Later in the day, or early next week, I will be posting a schedule which just lists FVL Schools events, in addition to Maps, Directions, and other logistical information for Waupaca HS.

Go to this link for a MASTER SCHEDULE of all events.  The FVL Schools events are listed as "FVLMS". You will have to wade through the sites to find your particular solo.

I also want to alert you that we MAY have a bus going to Waupaca HS on March 7.  If so, it will leave FVL at 6:15 AM and will not return until approximately 5:00 PM.  Parents, PLEASE let me know ASAP if your child will need to ride the bus.  I am hoping that parents will be able to bring their children to Waupaca and back, and not have to rely on a bus.  Giving your children a ride will allow for a much shorter day - arrive for your event and then you are free to go home.

Contact me at jneujahr@fvlhs.org if your only option is to send your child on a bus on March 7.

Most, if not all, FVL HS students will be planning their own transportation for March 7.  Because we received the schedule information so late, we were not able to determine if a bus is needed yet, and will not know that until the middle of next week.

More information for the Solo and Ensemble Festival will be posted when it becomes available.

Students and Parents who are participating in the solo and ensemble should refer back to the Director's Update from February 21 for more information for individual solo events (what to wear, student introductions, number the measures in your solo and judge's copy, etc).



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Update for February 21

Regular Rehearsals on February 21 and 28

We WILL have rehearsal on Saturday, February 21.  This is the same weekend as the FVL Schools Basketball Tournament.  We realize that some kids may be involved in basketball games as players or cheerleaders.  That is OK, and students should be with their teams.  Most students should be able to make some or all of the band rehearsal, however, and we ask that if it is at all possible to attend band.  Many band students wear their uniforms/warm ups on that day to rehearsal, which is totally acceptable.  Even if students arrive late or have to leave early, that is better than not coming at all.  Last year we actually had very good attendance on Tournament weekend, since most of the kids are at FVL anyway cheering on their teams.

We will also have a regular rehearsal on Saturday, February 28.

No Rehearsal on March 7

Note that on Saturday, March 7, we will not have rehearsal.  Most of our 7th and 8th grade students, as well as Mr. Neujahr, will be in Waupaca for the Eastern Valley Solo and Ensemble event.  More information about the S and E festival will be available in next week's update, such as schedule of performance times, transportation options, maps of Waupaca HS, and so on.  If I receive a schedule for solo events before next Friday, I will also email this schedule to participating families.

This is the same festival as the FVL high school band and choir students will be attending.  FVL has just under 50 events entered, including instrumental solos and ensembles, choral solos and ensembles, many piano solos, among other events.  The FVL Schools Band Program has a total of 25 solo events entered!  Most are class B or C, but we do have two class A solos entered as well.

The festival will include music students from FVL and the FVL Schools Band Program, St. Martin Lutheran School in Clintonville, Clintonville High School, and Waupaca High School.  In all, there will be over 350 events running from 8:00 AM until about 4:00 PM!

Our event will feature several performance sites, with rooms designated for vocal, piano, woodwind, percussion, and brass events.  In addition to solos, there will be many different ensembles performing, including jazz ensembles, brass and woodwind ensembles, show choirs, and so on.  I would strongly encourage our students to observe as many solos and other ensemble events during the day.  All of the event sites are open to the public, so our parents and students can sit in on performances throughout the day.

Information for Students who are performing a solo on March 7

Mr. Neujahr and Mr. Kramer will also discuss these items with the students at lessons as they prepare for March 7.

Attire:  Dress up for your events.  No jeans, T-shirts, crew-neck shirts, tennis shoes, etc.  Ties are recommended for guys, ladies in dress/skirt or other nice attire.  Make an excellent first impression for the adjudicator!

Music:  You are responsible for all of your music for the day, including your judge's copy. Remember that NO PHOTOCOPIES are allowed for a WSMA event. You are also responsible for your own instrument!  Number the measures in your judge's copy and your copy.  This MUST be done prior to playing.  To my knowledge, every student has the required 2 original "store bought" copies of the music.

Be Prompt!  Leave early and allow plenty of time to get to Waupaca HS. There is most likely going to be a bus from FVL leaving VERY early in the morning.   You will also need extra time to find your designated warm-up area and performance rooms. Generally, you should try to be in the designated warm-up site 20-30 minutes before your scheduled performance time.  It is a good idea to check your performance site to see if they are ahead or behind schedule.  Your performance time may be shifted earlier or later depending upon how the day is progressing in that particular site.

For those using an accompanist: Remember to tell your accompanist the necessary times and room numbers, etc.  A nice card and gift of money for all of the time put in by your accompanist is recommended.

Student Introductions

WSMA requires that students introduce their solo.  You may write it out and bring your sheet with you.  You may also memorize it.  Rehearse what you are going to say!  The introduction outline is as follows:

My name is (performer name)

My accompanist is (name of accompanist - if you have one)

I am performing (name of solo, and if appropriate, the movements being performed)

My solo was composed by (name of the composer or arranger)

An interesting aspect of this piece to listen for is. . . (something to listen for, such as interesting melodies, articulations, tempos, styles, etc)


Something I learned while studying this piece is. . . (something that you learned about music, or something that this solo helped you to improve while practicing)

Inclement Weather Procedures

We have been blessed with excellent weather on Saturdays so far this year.  We are only about one month away from the start of Spring!  For that we are especially thankful!

If there is a question about rehearsal due to the weather, remember to check the band's website for information regarding rehearsal cancellations.  If a rehearsal is canceled, a notice will always be put on the top of the homepage in bold red letters.   If a rehearsal is not canceled, but you feel it is not safe to travel from your location, you can always make the decision to stay home.  A notice will not normally be put up prior to Saturday morning, unless we know for certain that the weather on Saturday will not allow for a rehearsal.

If we need to cancel a rehearsal, a decision will be made BEFORE 7:30 AM and the notice will be posted to the top of the website by that time.

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Update for February 7

Rehearsal schedule for February

We will have a regular rehearsal on Saturday, February 7.  Due to the very large number of our students who will be involved in B Team basketball tournaments, we will NOT be taking band pictures on Saturday as was originally noted on our calendar.  Pictures will be at a later date TBD.  Thanks to numerous band parents who alerted me to this early enough to cancel the picture day!

There will be no rehearsal on Saturday, February 14.  Most of our schools have off that Thursday and Friday for a Teacher's Conference, so we thought it would be a good idea to give our families a nice four-day weekend!

We WILL have rehearsal on Saturday, February 21.  This is the same weekend as the FVL Schools Basketball Tournament.  We realize that some kids may be involved in basketball games as players or cheerleaders.  That is OK, and students should be with their teams.  Most students should be able to make some or all of the band rehearsal, however, and we ask that if it is at all possible to attend band.  Many band students wear their uniforms/warm ups on that day to rehearsal, which is totally acceptable.  Even if students arrive late or have to leave early, that is better than not coming at all.  Last year we actually had very good attendance on Tournament weekend, since most of the kids are at FVL anyway cheering on their teams.

We will also have a regular rehearsal on Saturday, February 28.

Lutheran Vanguard of Wisconsin Rehearsal this Sunday, February 8

All 8th grade band members are invited to the Lutheran Vanguard of Wisconsin (LVW) rehearsal on Sunday, February 8, at FVL.  The event will begin at 1:00 PM, and will end at 5:00.  It is still not too late to join LVW for 2015!  Even if it is something you are not sure about, our 8th graders are invited to attend this rehearsal and check it out. I am always available to answer questions you may have.

LVW is an activity offered through the FVL band program.  It is open to all 8th graders and all high school students and non-band students who are interested in color guard and our "front ensemble".

For those who are unfamiliar with our group, Lutheran Vanguard of Wisconsin is a competitive marching band made up of students from nine WELS high schools:

Fox Valley LHS - Appleton
Kettle Moraine LHS - Jackson
Manitowoc LHS -Manitowoc
Luther HS - Onalaska
Luther Preparatory School - Watertown
Northland LHS -Wausau
Shoreland LHS - Somers
Winnebago Lutheran Academy - Fond du Lac
Wisconsin Lutheran HS - Milwaukee

LVW is also open to ANY WELS student in grade 8 - 12, no matter where they live or what school they attend!  Therefore, public school students are also eligible, as long as they are members of a WELS congregation.

You can view a full-color, nine page LVW 2015 Membership Information Packet with an overview of our season on our website or access the information HERE.

LVW functions to provide a Christ-centered activity within which students can experience growth, both as an individual and as a member of a group.  Lutheran Vanguard of Wisconsin has always been one of the finest parade marching bands in the Midwest, and has displayed its excellence on the street with many award-winning performances from Calgary to Minnesota, from Wisconsin and Michigan all the way to Maine, Massachusetts and Georgia!  In the summer of 2010, LVW entered competitive field marching with great success.  This coming summer will undoubtedly bring the same excitement that our LVW family, both students and adults, were treated to for the past thirty-seven years.

Since our founding in 1978, LVW has performed or appeared in Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Wyoming, Alberta, and Ontario.  All our success, however, is governed by one basic philosophy: All that we do is done to the glory of God!

You can also find out much more about Lutheran Vanguard of Wisconsin on our website atwww.lutheranvanguard.org.  We also have a very informative page on Facebook under "Lutheran Vanguard of Wisconsin".

There is link to the RSVP for the February rehearsal on our website's homepage.

Lessons this week

There will be NO lessons at Riverview this week, as they have no school on Thursday.

There WILL be lessons at St. Peter, Freedom on Thrusday, as their school will be in session.

All other schools will have a normal lesson week.

Please refer to our FVL Schools Band Schedule for a complete listing of rehearsals and events.

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