April 17 Update

Thanks be to God for our FVL Schools Band Program!

We thank our gracious God for His blessings on our program!  Without His guidance our efforts would be in vain.  We also thank Him for our wonderful parents and volunteers who help in countless ways to ensure the success of our young musicians.  We thank Him for the directors of our program and their professionalism and the joy for music that that they share with the bands. We thank Him for the many principals and teachers at our member schools, for helping to promote band and make it possible to give lessons during the school day. Last, but certainly not least, we thank God for the many students who make up our FVL Schools Band Program!  Their endless source of energy and enthusiasm is a constant pick-me-up for all of us who work with them week in and week out.

I also want to thank our band members for their efforts in lessons this year!  I am amazed every week with the progress our students are making in their lesson books, but more importantly to see how they are growing as musicians.  Playing an instrument is an activity that begins somewhat slowly for most students, but as they start to "get it"; it becomes increasingly more enjoyable as a player when they begin to produce really excellent music.  It is also an activity that they can enjoy for many years to come, as they enter high school, college, and beyond.  This year we have had MANY of our students playing in church, school chapel services, and accompanying choirs.  What a joy for us directors to see the musical gifts of our students being put to such good use!  As parents, your encouragement of your young musicians is crucial to their growth and advancement.

Music is one of the few activities that can be enjoyed for a lifetime, both as a participant and as a spectator.  It is a passion that touches the emotional, physical, and intellectual senses.  As Martin Luther so beautifully stated, "Music makes people kinder, gentler, more staid and reasonable. I am strongly persuaded that after theology there is no art that can be placed on a level with music; for besides theology music is the only art capable of affording peace and joy of the heart."

This is also a good time to encourage band members and parents to continue with band for next year, whether it is in the FVL Schools Band Program or in high school! You have all invested a good amount of time and money in instrumental music.  Being a part of the FVL Schools Band Program is a great educational experience and a FUN activity.  All of that is magnified in a high school band program!

Call Received

I want to inform you that I (Mr. Neujahr) received a Divine Call this past Monday to serve as the Band Director at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School.  The duties would include conducting their two high school bands, directing the jazz ensemble and pep band, conducting the musical orchestra, and giving grade school band lessons.  I am deeply honored and humbled at the same time to have been given this call!

I ask for your prayers, and that the Holy Spirit grants me clarity and peace of mind as I reach a decision on the two calls which I now hold.  I also ask for any advice or wisdom from you band parents, and your comments would be deeply appreciated.

2019 FVL Schools Band Awards

Last week at our Awards program, several students were the recipients of our Outstanding Attendance Award. These students truly deserved the award, as they attended every single practice, or missed just one.  That is an amazing feat, considering that we met on eighteen Saturdays throughout the year, and performed in three concerts!  Many of these students also performed for the Solo and Ensemble Festival, which added another Saturday, and also participated in the WELS Middle School Honor Festival on another Saturday!  Most of our band students are also involved in soccer, volleyball, basketball, cheer, and countless other activities.  We certainly appreciate their dedication to our FVL Schools Band Program, and thank the parents for helping them to achieve this award!

Cadet Band

Caleb Johnson
Ava Klinger
Owen Schroth
Owen Stevens

Concert Winds

Keely Adrian
Carolynn Backes
Isabelle Beyer
Ashlyn Doran
Bethany Fick
Ben Grady
Isabelle Hass
Frederick Knaack
Pierce Krowas
Isaiah Nogar
Owen Olsen
Caleb Race
Olivia Race
Ryan Theimer
Bella Tollerud
Levi Wolfgramm

Director's Award

Each year the FVL Schools Band Program also recognizes two eighth grade students for their outstanding contributions over their years in our program with the Director's Award.  This year's recipients are:

Kelly Adrian, Alto Saxophone, St. Mark
Levi Wolfgramm, Trumpet, Riverview Appleton

Beginning Band Open House

The Beginning Band Open House is an event where new and interested students can try out various instruments.   If students and parents cannot attend our Open House event, they are still able to join the FVL Schools Band Program next fall.  We will have many instruments set up for trial, including flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba, and percussion kit.  Having all of these instruments on hand for students to try out will help them determine what instrument they would like to play.  It is a fun and exciting night for new students, as well as the parents!  Yes, it does get a little loud with all of the "music" being played, but seeing the smiles on the faces of the students and parents makes it all worth the effort!

We will have information concerning renting instruments from Heid Music, and possibly a representative from Heid's as well to answer any questions you may have.

This year we will be hosting one Beginning Band Open House event.  The time and location is as follows:

Thursday, May 16 - 6:00 - 7:30 PM
FVL Commons
5300 N Meade Street
Appleton, WI 54913

As it is an "Open House", parents and students can come any time that evening, and don't need to plan to stay for the entire hour and a half.

If parents and students cannot make our Open House event, please contact James Neujahr at jneujahr@fvlhs.org and he can assist you with any questions you may have.

End of the Year Lesson Schedules

FVL instruments - Please refer to the Director's Update from April 11 for information regarding FVL-Owned instruments

Mr. Kramer and Mr. Neujahr are both winding down their lesson schedule for the year.  Here is a listing of each teacher and the lesson schedules:

Mr. Neujahr
Monday - Mount Olive - no more lessons this year
Tuesday - Riverview and Shepherd of the Valley - no more lessons this year
Wednesday - St. Paul GB and St. John Wrightstown - lessons will be given on April 24, which will be the last lesson at each school.  St. Mark GB will have lessons on April 24 and ALSO on May 1, which will be the last lesson day.
Thursday - St. Peter and Morrison Zion - no more lessons this year

Mr. Kramer
Monday - Martin Luther and Trinity - no more lessons this year
Tuesday - Immanuel - no more lessons this year
Wednesday - Immanuel and St. Paul AP - no more lessons this year
Thursday - Emanuel - April 25 - rehearsal for all 14 students to prepare their chapel hymn
Friday - Emanuel - April 26 - all students will play for Emanuel's chapel service.  Following that service there will be no more lessons at Emanuel.

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April 11 Update

Final Weekend of Rehearsals and Performances!

We have arrived at the end of our 2018-2019 FVL Schools Band year!  How exciting to think of where we were last September, and where we are now.  It is always great to see the growth in our student musicians, most notably the Cadet Band and their advancement.  It really has been a very good year.  We thank the Lord for his continued blessings on our FVL Schools Band Program!

Saturday, April 13 - Final rehearsal followed by Band Awards
Jazz Class will follow the Awards for those who can stay (30 - 45 minutes)

Sunday, April 14 - FVL Schools Band Concert, 2:00 PM (Cadet Band and Concert Winds)

Following our final rehearsal on Saturday, April 13, we will be handing out various awards, including medals for students who completed books since Musicfest, WSMA Solo Medals, Attendance Awards, and the Director's Awards (2).  Our awards will be presented in the FVL Auditorium.  We would like all band students and parents to be in attendance if at all possible. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins (and other siblings) are also welcome!

Sunday, April 14 - FVL Schools Spring Band Concert Information
The concert begins at 2:00 PM in the FVL Auditorium.
  • Band members should arrive by 1:00 PM (Concert Black and White clothing), so we can hand out Concert Vests and Ties prior to warm up.  Cadet Band and Concert Winds will report to their regular rehearsal rooms at that time.
  • The students are encouraged to wear their medals for completing books to the concert!  It adds a special touch to the band uniform, and is a visible acknowledgement of a job well-done!
  • Students who were awarded medals for the Solo Festival are also encouraged to wear them for the concert.

Parent volunteers will be needed to help distribute the vests and ties prior to the concert, as well as receive them following the concert. No need to sign up ahead of time - simply come to the warm up rooms and lend a hand.  A few of our "regular" vest volunteers will not be there, so if any parents have experience with vests, please help as we could certainly use your expertise!

A few volunteers are also needed to collect the Free-Will Offering during our concert on Sunday.  This could be moms, dads, older siblings, etc.  If you can assist, simply meet back at the main Auditorium Entrance following the Cadet Band performance.

Lesson Books Completed During the Second Semester

The students listed below have completed a lesson book and moved on in our series "Standard of Excellence" (SOE).  Our lesson series contains two books from SOE, 1 (Red), 2 (Blue).  We use the Rubank Intermediate or Advanced Method (Volumes 1 and 2) for students who advance beyond Book 2 in the Standard of Excellence series.

Book 1

Evan Kempf, Grade 6, Martin Luther, Trombone
Bryce Ziegler, Grade 5, Immanuel, Alto saxophone
Grace Zimmerman, Grade 5, Immanuel, Trumpet
Nate Buschkopf, Grade 8, Emanuel, Trumpet
Carolynn Backes, Grade 6, Emanuel, Clarinet
Hannah Kasten, Grade 5, Bethlehem, Trombone
Mina Kesting, Grade 5, Emanuel, Trombone
Emma Beyer, Grade 6, Mount Olive, Flute
Kenzie Loberger, Grade 5, Mount Olive, Flute
Anna Nelson, Grade 6, St. Paul GB, Clarinet
Grace Powers, Grade 7, St. Paul GB, Alto Saxophone
Samantha Vosters, Grade 6, St. Peter, Flute
Sabrina Schmidt, Grade 5, Morrison Zion, Clarinet

Book 2

Kyle Feuerstahler, Grade 6, Trinity, Trumpet
Jack Friemark, Grade 6, Immanuel, Trombone
Henry Pape, Grade 6, Immanuel, Trombone
Alexander Krueger, Grade 6, Immanuel, Alto saxophone
Jonah Toppe, Grade 6, St. Paul App, Clarinet
Trey Rhoden, Grade 8, Emanuel, Percussion
Aliya Sulzle, Grade 7, Emanuel, Flute
Emma Nilson, Grade 7, St. Mark, Trombone
Ryan Theimer, Grade 8, St. Peter, Trumpet
Bella Tollerud, Grade 7, St. Peter, Flute
Owen Olsen, Grade 7, St. Peter, Alto Saxophone

Rubank Intermediate

Ryan Feuerstahler, Grade 8, Trinity, Euphonium

Rubank Advanced Method, Vol 2
Levi Wolfgramm, Grade 8, Trumpet, Riverview, Ap

Congratulations to all of these students!  They will also receive their medal at this week's awards for completing their books. Students are encouraged to wear their medals for the concert this weekend.

Band Lessons and FVL instruments

Even with the numerous school cancellations during the past few months, both Mr. Kramer and Mr. Neujahr will have reached the minimum of 24 lessons at every school in the next week or two.  Some schools will even be one or two lessons higher.  So our lesson schedule will be winding down by the last full week in April.

I will publish in next week's Udate the final lesson date for each school.  Most schools will be having a lesson this next week prior to Easter.

Students who are using an FVL-owned instrument will be turning them in to either Mr. Kramer or Mr. Neujahr at their final lesson.  FVL-owned instruments are sent to Heid Music every spring for annual repair and maintenance. Students who will be renting them from us next year will, in most cases, be given the same instrument next year.  Students who are taking summer lessons or attending music camps will be issued an instrument after they are returned from Heid Music.  If you will need an instrument for the summer, please contact James Neujahr.

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April 4 Update

Rehearsal Saturday, April 6

We will have a regular rehearsal on Saturday, April 6.  Counting this rehearsal, we have only TWO rehearsals left before our Spring Concert on April 14!

Here is the remaining schedule:

Saturday, April 6 Regular rehearsal
Saturday, April 13 Regular rehearsal and Band Awards
Sunday, April 14 Spring Concert - 2:00 PM

Final Rehearsal and Band Awards

Following our final rehearsal on Saturday, April 13, we will be handing out various awards, including medals for students who completed books since Musicfest, WSMA Solo Medals, Attendance Awards, and the Director's Awards (2).  Our awards will be presented in the FVL Auditorium.  We would like all band students and parents to be in attendance if at all possible. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins (and other siblings) are also welcome!

Sunday, April 14 - FVL Schools Spring Band Concert

The concert begins at 2:00 PM in the FVL Auditorium.
  • Band members should arrive by 1:00 PM (Concert Black and White clothing), so we can hand out Concert Vests and Ties prior to warm up.  Cadet Band and Concert Winds will report to their regular rehearsal rooms at that time.
  • The students are encouraged to wear their medals for completing books to the concert!  It adds a special touch to the band uniform, and is a visible acknowledgement of a job well-done!
  • Students who were awarded medals for the Solo Festival are also encouraged to wear them for the concert.

Parent volunteers will be needed to help distribute the vests and ties prior to the concert, as well as receive them following the concert.

Attendance Volunteer Request for Tomorrow (April 6)

We do not have anyone signed up for the attendance spots for April 6. We need one, but if there are two the task is made easier.  If you are able to help, simply go to our Volunteer Pagefor information and the Volunteer Sign Up link to add yourself to the schedule.

Upcoming Lesson Schedule Modifications

Mr. Neujahr will not be giving lessons on Thursday of this coming week (April 11).  He will be attending a workshop at UW-Oshkosh.  The workshop is for teachers who are teaching a dual-credit course through UW-O.  Mr. Neujahr is an adjunct UW-O faculty member teaching College Music Theory at FVL.  The students can earn 3 college credits for taking the class.

Mr. Neujahr will also not be giving lessons on Wednesday, April 17.  FVL is hosting a WSMA Band Concert Festival that day.  In addition to the FVL Symphonic Band, three bands from St. Francis Xavier Middle School will also be perfoming.  All of the bands will be adjudicated by a panel of three judges, and will also receive a rating.

These lessons will not be "made up", as we will have at least 24 lessons at all of our schools by the end of this month.

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