April 17 Update

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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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