February 22 Update

Rehearsal Saturday, February 23

We have a regular rehearsal scheduled for Saturday, February 23.  Counting this rehearsal, we have only FIVE rehearsals left before our Spring Concert in April!

Here is the remaining schedule:

Saturday, February 23 Regular rehearsal
Saturday, March 2 NO SATURDAY REHEARSAL.  7th and 8th grade student Solo Festival at WHS
Saturday, March 9 Regular rehearsal
Saturday, March 30 Regular rehearsal
Saturday, April 6 Regular rehearsal
Saturday, April 13 Regular rehearsal and Band Awards
Sunday, April 14 Spring Concert - 2:00 PM

Well, another day, and another threat of an oncoming winter storm.  It must be Wisconsin!  At this time it looks like we will be able to have the rehearsal as scheduled.  The snow total for Saturday morning will be in the neighborhood of 1 - 3 inches.  The uncertain part about the weather forecast is whether freezing rain or drizzle will be mixed in.  The "really heavy stuff" will be coming Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

As always, it is up to the parents to decide if the conditions are safe for travel or not.

This is a good time to review our . . . .

Inclement Weather Procedures

If we need to cancel a Saturday rehearsal, please check the band's website for information regarding rehearsal cancellations or modifications.  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 homepage by that time.

I will also send out an email if there is a known cancellation.  This is not always the best, as some parents have work-related email addresses and may not get the message in a timely fashion.

Please note that there will NOT be a notice on radio or TV stations.  Your source for cancellation notices will be this website and an email.

Solo and Ensemble Festival Information - March 2 at Waupaca HS

For much more information for parents with students performing a solo, refer back to the DIrector's Update for February 7.  In it you will find general information regarding what to wear, when to arrive, and so on, as well as student soloist introduction and music requirements.

We have received a preliminary schedule for the solos.  Please be aware that the times on this schedule may shift one way or the other by a few minutes, but they will be relatively close to what is on the sheet.  The reason for shifting times is because between now and early next week the various school directors will submit conflicts with their schedules (due to students in multiple events) and then the final schedule will be published.

This schedule also includes names of a few students who have indicated they will not be playing their solo.  So if you see your child's name on the schedule, I am aware, but the information did not get to Waupaca HS in time.  So their names will likely remain on the schedule.  Removing names from a schedule would have a drastic "trickle-down" effect on the rest of the schedule, so it is easier to leave them in.

Early next week, in addition to the final schedule, we will also receive maps of Waupaca HS and other information.  That additional information will give us room numbers for each site, warm up rooms, homerooms, canteen menus, where results will be posted, etc.  That information may be posted on this website, but will be sent via email to all families who have students participating.


Note that this schedule includes both Fox Falley Lutheran HS (Fox Vly Luth HS) and the FVL Schools (Fox Vly Luth MS) times.


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Kramer Jazz Academy

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February 7 Update

Rehearsal this Saturday, February 9

Another snow/ice day means another week that I can post the Director's Update a bit early!

Because of our recent snow/cold/ice/weather days off, some of our schools have missed lessons.  This is OK, and normally lessons won't be "made up".  The important number is 24 - our students will all receive that many lessons by the time the school year is over.  Many of our students are already in the 15 - 17 lessons given range, so we are OK at this point.

We will be having rehearsal this Saturday - barring any unforseen weather incidents!  It will be cold, but not nearly as cold as the Polar Vortex we experienced last week.

Most of the students received their new music for our April concert at their recent lessons.  Again, because of school closings, not all students were able to receive their music.  No worries, as we will be handing that out at this week's rehearsal.

Feburary is the shortest month, and it is also the month with the fewest FVL Schools Band rehearsals.  We will NOT have rehearsal on February 16, as that is the weekend of the basketball tournament, as well as the week that most of our schools have off on Thursday and Friday due to teacher's conference.

So our only other rehearsal this month will be Saturday, February 23.

Information for Student Soloists on March 2

Solo day is fast approaching!  Mr. Kramer and Mr. Neujahr have been working with most of our 7th and 8th graders during their lessons to prepare for this day.  The students have been improving each week with their solo preparations, and they should do very well!

Our Solo and Ensemble Festival will be held at Waupaca High School on Saturday, March 2.  This festival includes, in addition to our FVL Schools Band students, FVL HS, Waupaca HS, Clintonville HS, and St. Martin Lutheran Grade School (from Clintonville).

This is the same festival that the FVL high school band and choir students will be attending.  FVL has 40  events entered, including instrumental solos and ensembles, choral solos and ensembles, many piano solos, among other events.  The FVL Schools Band Program has 29 solo events entered!  Most are class B or C, but we do have a few class A solos entered as well.

This 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 parents and students can sit in on performances throughout the day.

We will receive the preliminary schedules and other information for March 2 in about two weeks.  I will post links to the schedules in a future Update when they are available.

IMPORTANT: If for some reason your son or daughter will NOT be performing their solo on March 2, please Email Mr. Neujahr as soon as possible so he can notify the Festival Manager and the schedules can be updated.

Following is information for students who are playing a solo on March 2.  Mr. Neujahr and Mr. Kramer will also discuss these items with the students at lessons as they prepare for that day.

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. EXCEPTION to the photocopy rule:  If your child is playing a solo from the "Standard of Excellence Festivals Solos" book, there is a notice on the bottom of each page giving you permission to photocopy for that event. In this case, give the adjudicator the book, and the student can play from the photocopy.

Number the measures in your judge's copy and your copy.  This MUST be done prior to playing.  Mr. Neujahr and Mr. Kramer will be providing the required 2 original "store bought" copies of the music if they don't already have the extra copy.  All students have their own solo book already, but they will need the additional copy for the adjudicator.

Homerooms/Case and Coat Storage:  The Waupaca HS Gym may be used as the homeroom for all schools.  A section of the bleachers will be labled showing each school's designated area.  If that is the case, please be aware that students should be very careful with their instruments, music, and other valuables.

Be Prompt!  Give yourself plenty of 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), from Fox Valley Lutheran Middle School (or "FVL Schools")

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)

Parents - it would be a good idea to help your child prepare their introduction.  It doesn't need to be very long, and it will also make a very good first impression for the adjudicator!


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