Update for October 21

No Saturday Rehearsals on October 22 or 29

Enjoy the next two Saturdays as our FVL Schools Band Program takes a well-deserved break!  Once we resume rehearsals again on November 5, we only have three to go for 2016.  Please make every effort to have our band students at those last three rehearsals before our concert on November 20.

Reminder - we will be fitting concert vests at our November 5 rehearsal.

There will be no Director's Update posted next week.  However, watch for information coming soon regarding Lutheran Vanguard of Wisconsin, and the group's Preview Day on Saturday, November 19. That event will run from 1 - 4 PM, and ALL of our 8th grade band students and parents are invited and encouraged to attend!

Lesson Schedule Changes for this Week, October 24 - 28

A few factors will affect our lesson schedule this coming week.  Mr. Neujahr will be at FVL working on several items.  All of the Lutheran Vanguard of Wisconsin materials for the 2017 season, including Preview Day (November 19) and the Informational Packet for 2017 must be completed.  In addition, FVL is hosting the WELS National Band Festival this coming March, and there is much planning and communication that needs to go out to our WELS schools across the United States and to the FVL band families.  In addition, this next week is Teacher's Conference for most of our grade schools and FVL on Thursday and Friday.

So here is a summary of lessons this next week:

Mr. Neujahr's Schedule
Monday - No lessons at Mount Olive
Tuesday - No lessons at Mount Olive or Shepherd of the Valley
Wednesday - No lessons at Green Bay or Wrightstown

Mr. Kramer's Schedule
Monday - No Lessons at Neenah and Oshkosh.  Lessons given at Emanuel, New London
Tuesday - All Lessons as normal at Immanuel, Greenville
Wednesday - No Lessons at St. Paul, Appleton.  Lessons given at St. Peter, Freedom

FVL Schools Band Account Payments

Since our Fall Fundraiser is now completed, very soon you will be receiving the first semester billing statements if you have not already received them.  Your accounts have been credited with 25% of your overall sales from the fundraiser. You have the ability to make payments to your FVL Schools Band Program account by using our online form.  The link to the payment page can be found on the left navigation panel and is entitled "FVL Schools Band Payments".

Direct link to the FVL Schools Band Payments form

FVL uses PayPal for these online payments.  Please note that there is a small fee for using the online form. The fees are listed at the bottom of the form.

You may also mail your payment to:
FVL Schools Band Payment
5300 N Meade Street
Appleton, WI 54913

Statements are mailed to the family each semester with the account balance.  If you have questions about your statement or fees, please contact Krista Davis in the FVL Business Office.

Semester One payments are due by November 15, and Semester Two payments are due by February 28.

Access the following link for a full explanation of FVL Schools Band Program Fees.

Upcoming FVL Schools Band rehearsal schedule

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

November 5, 12, 19
November 20 - Fall Concert (Students should arrive by 1:00 PM)

Our Fall Concert will begin at 2:00 PM (The Packers play an evening game at 7:30 that day!). This concert will feature our FVL Schools Bands - the Cadet Band (beginning students) and the Concert Winds (students with more than one year of experience). The full Concert Winds will play a few selections.  This year we are also dividing the Concert Winds into two bands, giving our second, third, and fourth year students an opportunity to play music more closely matched to their progress in the lesson books.  The FVL Symphonic Band will also play a few selections at this concert.  It will be a wonderful opportunity to see the entire FVL band program, from beginners through high school!

Concert Dress for the November 20 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 15

Rehearsal this Saturday, October 15

Both the Cadet Band and the Concert Winds will rehearse this weekend at the regular times. This is our final October rehearsal.

Note that there is NO rehearsal on Saturday, October 22 and Saturday, October 29.

8th Grade ACT Aspire Test this Saturday

Some of our band students may be taking the Aspire test this Saturday.  FVL is also offering a test on Saturday, November 5.  If your son or daughter is taking the test, they may certainly leave rehearsal early.  As they need to be in their testing rooms before 9:00, they may be able to attend rehearsal for about the first 30 or 40 minutes.  If they are taking the test on November 5, they must get to FVL early enough to be fitted for their concert vests before going to the testing room (see below for message about fitting vests).

Upcoming FVL Schools Band rehearsal schedule

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

October 15
November 5, 12, 19
November 20 - Fall Concert (Students should arrive by 1:00 PM)

Our Fall Concert will begin at 2:00 PM (The Packers play an evening game at 7:30 that day!). This concert will feature our FVL Schools Bands - the Cadet Band (beginning students) and the Concert Winds (students with more than one year of experience). The full Concert Winds will play a few selections.  This year we are also dividing the Concert Winds into two bands, giving our second, third, and fourth year students an opportunity to play music more closely matched to their progress in the lesson books.  The FVL Symphonic Band will also play a few selections at this concert.  It will be a wonderful opportunity to see the entire FVL band program, from beginners through high school!

Concert Dress for the November 20 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.

Fall Fundraiser Product Pick Up on Saturday, October 15

The products that were ordered for the Fall Fundraiser are going to be delivered to FVL for pickup on Saturday, October 15.   If you can not be there that day to pick up your products, please make arrangements with somebody else to pick up the products, 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 15
Time:  From 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Place:  FVL Commons

If any parents are available to assist with the set up and/or distribution of the products, your help would be much appreciated!  The Hansen's truck will be at FVL by about 7:30 AM.  Assistance would be helpful at that time to help organize the products in the Commons, and also to help get the proper products to parents who may want to pick them up when they drop off their band students.  More assistance will also be helpful at about 9:30 as parents are coming to pick up their children.  So 8:00 - 8:30 and 9:30 - 10:00 will be the "rush hour" times when most parents will be there for pick up.

Fundraiser Results - Amazing!

A HUGE thank you to all of our FVL Schools Band members and their parents for again making this year's Fall Fundraiser a success!  The totals are in, and they are impressive.  Here is a breakdown of the past three years and the fundraiser results for this year:

Total number of FVL Schools Band students who participated
2013 - 26
2014 - 41
2015 - 42
2016 - 41

Total Retail Dollars Ordered
2013 - $4953.50
2014 - $7557 
2015 - $8261.50
2016 - $8982.00

Net Profit for FVL Schools Band program and its members
2013 - $2476.75
2014 - $3778.50
2015 - $4130.75
2016 - $4491.00

WOW!  Of the $4491.00 in profit, half, or $2245.50 will go into the FVL Schools Band account, and $2245.50 will go directly into the individual student accounts.  That money will be used to offset semester one band fees.  Five of our students will realize a benefit of over $100 for their band account, while ten more 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 "4-pack of Emoji Keychains";  15 items sold will earn a pair of  "Color Morph Shades"; 30 items earns a "5 pound bag of Gummi Bears"; 45 items earns a "Weglowz Light Up Headphones", and 60 items earns a "SS 360 Drone with Multi-color LED Lights"! Students get all of the prizes up to and including the prize for their level of sales. Pretty exciting!  Overall, 39 students earned the Emoji Keychains; 19 earned the Keychains and the Shades; 7 earned the Keychains, Shades, and Gummi Bears; 4 earned the Keychains, Shades, Gummi Bears, and Headphones; and  2 motivated students earned the Keychains, Shades, Gummi Bears, Headphones and the Drone!

Here are the eleven students who sold at least 20 items, in alphabetical order: Brynn Buchholz, Lauren Hedtke, Aiden Hirthe, Courtney Kuphal, Ella Lornson, Trinity Mulder, Emma Nilson, Leah Nolte, Savannah Parsons, Zachary Thede, and Ryan Theimer.

Special thanks go to Vicki Bokelman and Cindy Countney, the Hansen's representatives who did such a great job organizing the fundraiser.

Help Wanted for Saturday, November 5

We would like to fit the concert vests for the Cadet Band and Concert Winds students on Saturday, November 5 during the rehearsal.  A few moms or dads is all that is needed.  If you are able to help on that day, send me a message via email (jneujahr@fvlhs.org) or my office phone at 920-739-4441 x5160.  Thanks for considering this very important volunteer opportunity!

Then on the day of the concert (November 20) we would also need parent volunteers to assist with distributing the vests before the concert and collecting them after the concert.  Let me know if you are able to help on concert day.

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Update for October 8

Rehearsal this Saturday, October 8

Both the Cadet Band and the Concert Winds will rehearse this weekend at the regular times.  Our final October rehearsal will be next week, October 15.

Note that there is NO rehearsal on Saturday, October 22 and Saturday, October 29.

Upcoming FVL Schools Band rehearsal schedule

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

October 8, 15
November 5, 12, 19
November 20 - Fall Concert (Students should arrive by 1:00 PM)

Our Fall Concert will begin at 2:00 PM (The Packers play an evening game at 7:30 that day!). This concert will feature our FVL Schools Bands - the Cadet Band (beginning students) and the Concert Winds (students with more than one year of experience). The full Concert Winds will play a few selections.  This year we are also dividing the Concert Winds into two bands, giving our second, third, and fourth year students an opportunity to play music more closely matched to their progress in the lesson books.  The FVL Symphonic Band will also play a few selections at this concert.  It will be a wonderful opportunity to see the entire FVL band program, from beginners through high school!

Concert Dress for the November 20 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.

REMINDER - FVL Band and Choir concert on Wednesday, October 12

The FVL Band and Choirs will present their Fall Concert on Wednesday, October 12.  The concert will begin at 7:00 PM and will last approximately one and a half hours.  The concert will take place in the FVL Auditorium. 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!

Fall Fundraiser Product Pick Up on Saturday, October 15

Thanks to all of our parents and students for their participation in the Fall Fundraiser! As this is already a long Update, I will save the details and amounts for next week.  At this time I can say that the results were once again impressive!

The products that were ordered for the Fall Fundraiser are going to be delivered to FVL for pickup on Saturday, October 15.   If you can not be there that day to pick up your products, please make arrangements with somebody else to pick up the products, 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 15
Time:  From 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Place:  FVL Commons

If any parents are available to assist with the set up and/or distribution of the products, your help would be much appreciated!  The Hansen's truck will be at FVL by about 7:30 AM.  Assistance would be helpful at that time to help organize the products in the Commons, and also to help get the proper products to parents who may want to pick them up when they drop off their band students.  More assistance will also be helpful at about 9:30 as parents are coming to pick up their children.  So 8:00 - 8:30 and 9:30 - 10:00 will be the "rush hour" times when most parents will be there for pick up.

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

I have had a few parents contact me asking about the App that we use in our lessons.  In a nutshell, SmartMusic is an incredibly powerful online interactive tool for practicing at home.  Mr. Kramer and I both have access to SmartMusic, and we have been using it in our lessons.  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.  Many of the songs for Concert Winds and Cadet Band are also in the program.  During lessons, we have been using SmartMusic to work on these songs.  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!

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