January 10 Update

Friday, January 10, 2020

Happy New Year!

I pray that you all had an eventful Christmas and New Year break!  For many, it was an opportunity to take a breath, relax a bit, and enjoy the time with friends and relatives.

I had a wonderful experience at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago!  With over 18,000 directors, performers, and representatives from the music industry registering for this event, it is the largest of its kind in the world.  I attended many clinics and concerts, as well as browse through the more than 500 music industry booths and displays in the exhibition hall.  It is also a great time to catch up with many friends and colleagues from around the country.

Saturday Rehearsals Resume on January 11

All of us have enjoyed the time off from our Saturday rehearsals.  Now it is time to get back to work!  Our next major project is preparing music for the FVL Musicfest which will be held on Sunday, January 26. Please note that both our Cadet Band and Concert Winds will be performing on that day.

More information will be given for our performances that day in the coming weeks' Updates.  To help with your planning, the performance times of our bands will be as follows:

12:00 - Cadet Band
12:15 - Concert Winds
12:30 - FVL Symphonic Band

Both our Concert Winds and Cadet Band should be done performing by approximately 12:30 or a bit earlier.  All of our bands (FVL and FVL Schools bands) will be seated in the auditorium so that everyone can hear all the band performances, much like we did at our November concert, so they will be in the auditorium until about 1:00.

In order to prepare for this performance, we will be rehearsing on the following Saturdays:

January 11
January  18
January 25
January 26 (Sunday) - FVL Musicfest

Go to the following link for our Full Saturday Rehearsal Schedule

Moments to Remember.jpgFVL Musicfest is just around the corner

As I mentioned in the previous section, our Cadet Band and Concert Winds will be performing for Musicfest.  Students should be at FVL by 11:30 that day to prepare for our performance.  The FVL doors will open at 11:30, so please plan to arrive as close to that time as possible.  Again, we will have more detailed information in the coming weeks.

We are very excited for the upcoming FVL Musicfest!  The theme this year is "Moments to Remember".  If you are unfamiliar with Musicfest, it is the biggest date on the musical calendar for Fox Valley Lutheran HS.  All of the FVL Bands and Choirs perform, as well as small groups, solos, duets, and so on.

This family friendly event will feature several genres of musical entertainment performed by members of the FVL family. Hours are 12:00 to 4:00 pm.  Besides the opportunity to listen to great music, a light lunch and desserts will be served, and the FVL Fox Folk Marionettes will perform.  There will also be an awesome silent auction with many great items to bid on. Admission is $3 at the door. All proceeds benefit the FVL band and choir programs.  As this is an FVL Passport Event, all members of the Cadet Band and Concert Winds will be admitted free to the event with their FVL Passport.

Parent Volunteer Opportunity for Musicfest
All of our FVL Schools Band parents have the opportunity to volunteer for Musicfest. Parents of our high school and grade school music students use the same online form. What better way to get to know your fellow Music Parents than volunteering on such an exciting day?  Volunteer opportunities will be available in many areas, such as coat check, auction helpers, kitchen and meal helpers, set up and take down, and more.

Please use the following SignUp.com link to sign up to volunteer for one or more spots on either Saturday, Jan. 25th for event setup (8:30-10:30AM), or Sunday, Jan. 26th for a shift during the event itself.


Signup.com will email you a reminder two days prior to your spot(s).

Any spots that are not filled by January 20th will have families assigned to them.

So that you can plan around your student(s)'s group performance(s,) here is the schedule for group times:

12:00 FVL Schools Cadet Band
12:15 FVL Schools Concert Winds
12:30 FVL Symphonic Band
1:15 Marionettes (large gym)
2:00 Silent auction bidding closes (wave 1-large gym)
2:05 FVL Men's Choir
2:20 FVL Women's Choir
2:35 FVL A Cappella Choir
3:00 Silent auction bidding closes (wave 2-large gym)
3:15 FVL Jazz Ensemble (Commons Stage)
3:40 Choraliers

Thank you for the donation of your time to support our Music Department!

FVL Musicfest Committee

There are three performance areas, including the Auditorium, the Commons, and the Large Gym.

Two area Junior Choirs will also be performing!  The performances are in the gym and are as follows:

12:45 Riverview Junior Choir
1:00 Emanuel New London Junior Choir

Thank you for the donation of your time to support our Music Department!

Inclement Weather Procedures

We have been blessed with excellent weather on Saturdays up to this point.  For that we are thankful!

With some weather-related issues for this weekend, however, I am reminded that this will not always be the case.  The storm looks like it will not impact us until later in the day on Saturday.  A few inches of snow (or may be rain) tonight may create icy/snowy roads in the morning.

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 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 try to 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 one source for cancellations will be this website.

Solo Music for our 7th and 8th Grade Students

During the next few lesson weeks, Mr. Kramer and Mr. Neujahr will be handing out solo music to the 7th and 8th grade band students.  This music will be played on Saturday, February 29, at the WSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival which will take place at Clintonville HS.  Our students have the opportunity to play their solo and receive a rating, and will be given a medal for their efforts as well!  This is the same event in which all of our high school band students will participate.  Individual performance times will not be known until about two weeks in advance.

Mr. Kramer and Mr. Neujahr will be helping the students prepare their music during their weekly band lessons.  Many of the solos the students are receiving are also in SmartMusic!   Mr. Kramer and Mr. Neujahr will be able to use the program during the student's lesson to aid in the learning process.  The students will be working on their solos in addition to their regular lesson material for the next month.

For now, the students will be given a solo book or an individual solo piece.  If a piano accompaniment is available (most solos have piano) the students will receive that shortly.  All students will also need a second solo book for the adjudicator.  They will receive those before March.  All of these books will be provided for your children, with the cost covered by the FVL Schools Band Program.  After the solo event, all books will need to be returned to FVL.

An accompanist is not required for the solos, but it is strongly encouraged.  The accompanist should be a relatively strong player, as they need to be able to follow the student part as well as play the accompaniment without a struggle.  Parents, grandparents, older brothers and sisters, and the like make excellent accompanists!  Some students have even had classmates accompany them, but if it is a grade school student they need to be excellent keyboard players.

IMPORTANT - if your son or daughter will NOT be performing their solo on February 29 at Clintonville HS, let Mr. Neujahr know immediately.  Some of our students may not be available that day due to athletic or family events, or may not be able to perform for some other reason.  The FVL Schools Band Program covers the $10 registration fee, but we would rather not pay that if students will not be attending.

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