Hello BVN Band!

Please CLICK HERE for this week's Band Update, or scroll down for a copy.


IMPORTANT INFO in this Update – we have (again) updated our Calendar for our March Concerts!  Details are in the update, the quick version is:

  • Symphonic Band and Jazz Band will perform on Tuesday, March 9th, at 7 PM
  • Wind Ensemble will perform on Wednesday, March 10th, at 7 PM
  • Please update your calendars!

This update also contains NEW information regarding Solo and Ensemble Festival.  Have a careful read, please!

Just in case you haven't done this yet – make sure that all of our Band Spring Events are in your personal Calendars.

This week's schedule is funky (ACT testing day on Tuesday).  Combine that with the update to our block schedule rotation (the district published this last week), and I'd highly encourage everyone to double-check “the week ahead” and make sure we're all on the same page, schedule-wise!

Contents of the Band Update:

Contents of this Band Update:

  2. The Next Two Weeks Ahead – Please note the new block schedule rotations, released by the district last week.
  3. Solo and Ensemble Festival.  VIRTUAL Festival Details!
  4. After School Rehearsals
  5. Spring Semester Calendars/Schedules
  6. Save the Dates for Summer Band Camp!!
  7. Reminders

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Thanks, as always, for your careful reading of all details and wonderful support of the band!

Musically yours,
Mr. Freeman


–Begin Copy of Band Update–

BVN Band Update 


From the Directors

What a time we live in… another week gone and another “unprecedented” week, with our rolling blackouts and extreme cold.  Wow!  I don't know about anyone else, but I'm ready to live in more precedented times again…

This week's Band Update has a familiar ring to last week:  IMPORTANT SCHEDULE UPDATE!!  Also – make sure to read the new info about Solo and Ensemble Festival!!


IMPORTANT CALENDAR UPDATE – The Schedule for our March Concerts has changed… AGAIN!  Since the change that we announced last week, we have learned of a couple of conflicts, and the district also published the revised March calendar/schedule of block days.  These new pieces of information have caused the need to update our plan for our March Concerts yet again.  You have my apologies for another change, and heartfelt thanks for understanding.  Here is the new plan, I do not anticipate any further changes.


Tuesday, March 9th, 7 PM – Symphonic Band and Jazz Band Concert!

Wednesday, March 10th, 7 PM – Wind Ensemble Concert

By current rules, we are able to have a small in-person audience: 2 family members per performer, and we will livestream both concerts.  This year's “concert black” is the concert uniform. (Read the “reminders” section below for details).

Just in case you haven't done this yet, please CLICK HERE for a 1-page Band Calendar for this Spring Semester… mark your calendars and hang it on the fridge!  It has been updated with the new March Concert details.

Contents of this Band Update:

  1. The Next Two Weeks Ahead – Please note the new block schedule rotations, released by the district last week.

  2. Solo and Ensemble Festival.  VIRTUAL Festival Details!

  3. After School Rehearsals

  4. Spring Semester Calendars/Schedules

  5. Save the Dates for Summer Band Camp!!

  6. Reminders

Musically yours,

Mr. Freeman

The Next Two Weeks Ahead

CLICK HERE For the UPDATED February Block Schedule Calendar

CLICK HERE for the March Block Schedule Calendar


Monday 2/22/2021:

  • “B” day, Even Block Classes.  A-L in-person.  M-Z remote.

  • Symphonic Band After School Rehearsal:  3:30 – 4:30 PM in the PAC.

Tuesday 2/23/2021:

  • ACT and PRE-ACT Testing day.

  • Traditional Schedule day (all 7 classes) – asynchronous due to ACT Testing Day.

Wednesday 2/24/2021:

  • “A” day, Odd Block Classes.  A-L in-person.  M-Z remote.

  • Wind Ensemble After School Rehearsal, 3:30 – 4:15 on the PAC Stage.

    • Enter through the band room's exterior door for temp checks/check in. 

    • This week we will only rehearse until 4:15, as Mr. Freeman has Parent/Teacher Conferences.

Thursday 2/125/2021:

  • No School, Parent Teacher Conferences.

Friday 2/26/2021:

  • No School.


Monday 3/1/2021:

  • “B” day, Even Block Classes.  A-L remote.  M-Z in person.

  • Symphonic Band After School Rehearsal:  3:30 – 4:30 PM in the PAC.

  • Happy Birthday Nash Rosado, Sophomore Percussionist! (on Sunday)

  • Happy Birthday Amelia Law, Freshman Oboe! (on Sunday)

  • Happy Birthday Ella Davis, Junior Tenor Sax!!! (On Sunday… or maybe today??… leap year Bday on Feb 29th!)

Tuesday 3/2/2021:

  • “B” Day, Odd Block Classes.  A-L Remote, M-Z in Person

  • Happy Birthday Caroline Lieberman, Sophomore Color Guard!

Wednesday 3/3/2021:

  • “A” day, Even Block Classes.  A-L in-person.  M-Z remote.

  • Wind Ensemble After School Rehearsal, 3:30 – 5:00 on the PAC Stage.

    • Enter through the band room's exterior door for temp checks/check in. 

    • Rehearse on Stage, 3:30 – 4:10.  4:10 – 4:25 Break.  Rehearse 4:25-5:00.  Note – we will rehearse until 5:00 on this day.

  • Happy Birthday Jessica Bishop, Sophomore Clarinet!

Thursday 3/4/2021

  • “A” Day, Odd Block Classes.  A-L in Person, M-Z Remote.

  • Happy Birthday Andres Perez-Borges, Junior Percussionist!

  • Happy Birthday Krivi Tadakamalla, Junior Flute!

Friday 3/5/2021:

  • “B” day, Even Block Classes.  A-L remote.  M-Z in person.

  • Happy Birthday Zakari Moser, Freshman Percussionist!

Solo and Ensemble Festival 2021

Full Virtual format for this year.

Solo and Ensemble festival is a FANTASTIC opportunity for students to stretch themselves.  Performing a solo or in a “chamber ensemble”  (a small ensemble, usually 1 or 2 players per part) is a challenge to any musician, and one that is very enjoyable!  We highly recommend students consider performing at the Solo and Ensemble Festival.

In a normal/non-pandemic year, KSHSAA hosts two levels of Live/in-person Solo and Small Ensemble Festivals.  All performances which receive an “I” Rating at the Regional Festival earn the chance to perform at the State Festival.  

Due to the Pandemic, this year's festival has been moved to a virtual format, and there is no regional festival.  All performances will be considered “state level”.  The process is fairly simple:

  • Between now and the submission window, prepare your solo and/or small ensemble.

    • SOLOISTS – make sure you music is published by one of the publishers on THIS LIST.  If it is not – please contact Mr. Freeman or Mr. Wagoner ASAP!

    • ACCOMPANIMENTS:  If you are a soloist, you should perform with a piano accompanist if your chosen solo is written with an accompaniment.  CLICK HERE for our list of Accompanists.  Be aware that we do not know if all of these phenomenal pianists are planning to do any accompanying in the days of Covid.

  • March 22nd – April 5th is the “submission window” – when VIDEO recordings will be submitted.  Details for video recording format TBD.  Most likely an unlisted youtube with sharing enabled.

  • Judges copies of music and copyright!  Performers will still need to provide music for the judges to use!  We will need to make PDF's of scores to do this.  When you make your video recording, you will need to introduce yourself and hold up the original (purchased hard copy) version of the score so it is visible, and then the judge will read the pdf score.  

This week – we will publish a solo/ensemble festival sign-up list.  Sign up and get practicing!  Participation is not required but HIGHLY Recommended.

After School Rehearsals

For Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band  

The Number 1 (by far) bit of student feedback we have received in this, the year of the pandemic is:  “we want to play TOGETHER!”  We couldn't. agree. more!  While Hybrid is a step in that direction, it still leaves us wanting that chance to play as complete ensembles.  

Now that we have lived a semester in pandemic-band-reality, we have learned that our mitigation strategies work.  Since we can have band rehearsals safely (following those strategies), it's time to get the bands back together!

To that end, we are holding once-a-week after school rehearsals for Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. 

  • Symphonic Band will rehearse on Mondays from 3:30 – 4:30 – First rehearsal is Monday, 2/8!

  • Wind Ensemble on Wednesdays from 3:30 – 5:00.

We plan to hold these rehearsals weekly for the duration of the semester.  The purpose of these rehearsals is not to clog up schedules, cause stress, etc – but simply to help get us back to what we love to do, and what we do best – Make Music Together!  As always, good communication is key to success – so please let us know of scheduling conflicts, and we'll work with each student to make it work!

The Semester Ahead, Mark your Calendars! 

CLICK HERE FOR A 1 Page “Fridge Calendar” to print and hang up as needed.

CLICK HERE for the BVN Band Google Calendar


  • Begin After School rehearsals for Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band.  (YAY! – making music WITH EACH OTHER!!). 

    • Once a week, after school, throughout the semester.

    • Symphonic Band, Mondays from 3:30 – 4:30, starting February 8th.

    • Wind Ensemble, Wednesdays from 3:30 – 4:30, starting February 3rd.

  • DRUMLINE Performances for Basketball Senior Night(s)


  • Concerts!  HOORAY!  March 10th and 11th will be BVN Band Concerts! 7 PM start, both nights.

    • Concerts will be livestreamed, AND we are planning to have a live, in-person audience!  Hooray! 

    • Current rules allow us to have two audience members per performer attend in-person.  Fingers crossed that nothing changes – we can't wait to perform for a live audience again!


  • Virtual Solo and Ensemble Festivals (which really start up toward the end of March).  Info coming soon.

  • Possible recording sessions.  More info TBA.


  • The Return of the BVN Band Concert on the Lawn!  (COTL)

    • Mark your Calendars!!  Wednesday, May 12th!  Exact Performance Schedule TBD.

    • If we have Inclement weather, we will not follow our traditional procedure to move the concert inside, but instead we would reschedule to the following week. 

    • Possible Reschedule dates are Monday 5/17, Tuesday 5/18, Wednesday 5/19 or Thursday 5/20.  (we are listing several potential dates to give us some flexibility as spring event reschedules can be tricky).

  • Potential Performance at Graduation Ceremonies – Sunday, May 23rd, at the DAC.  (FYI – the district has decided to not use Municipal Auditorium this year. (This performance is tentative).

Save the Dates! Summer Band Camp!

Covid realities will determine the exact details of our summer band camp.  However, we are optimistic and planning for a return of the BVN Summer Band Camp and the Marching Mustangs….. SOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!  Please Save the Dates!

Week of July 26 – July 30th – “Pre-camp” week.

  • Color Guard and Drumline Camps

  • Leadership Camp

  • Rookie Camp (all 1st year members of the Band.  This will include 10th graders, since marching band didn't exist this last year.)

  • Schedule/details TBA.

Week of 8/1 – 8/7:

  • Sunday, August 7th – Band Camp Kickoff Picnic (afternoon or evening)

  • Monday – Friday 8/1-8/6:  Full Band Camp.

  • Saturday, August 7th (morning):  Final rehearsal, Parent Meeting, Sneak Peek Performance, and Ice Cream!


(All of this has been previously distributed, but is still good to re-read and remember!)

Band Recordings!

Go to the Student Resources Page of the Band Website to find recordings of the band!  Ask a band student for the password.

Check out the BVN Fall E-Activity Guide!  This is usually distributed at all activities each fall, this year it has been distributed electronically, and includes several wonderful pages for the MAB, along with some good pictures!!

PARENTS – Please consider joining our BVN Parent Booster Club!  The PBC has already given GREAT support to the Band this year, and will continue to do so in the future.  YOUR membership makes this possible.  THANK YOU!!


Safe Music Making During Covid: Covid has made our rehearsals look a lot different.  CLICK HERE to read about Safe Rehearsing in the Covid-Era.


BAND DUES and BAND FORMS are now past due:  Band Dues are $200 for all band members. 

  • Submission instructions are in the complete forms packet.  

  • The Student info/dues form can be completed in hard copy or by  clicking here.

  • The Health, Media, Transportation, and Substance Abuse forms must be completed in hard copy.

  • The Parent info form can be completed in hard copy, but we HIGHLY recommend you complete it electronically.  Open the forms packet for instructions.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR BVN BAND ALL-STATE MUSICIANS!!!!  Earning All-State Status is the highest honor given to individual student musicians in the state of Kansas.  Equivalent to All-State In any sport.  The release of their virtual All-State concert is coming at the end of February.

  • John Muldoon, Clarinet, All-State Band

  • Megan VanderLeest, Clarinet Alternate

  • Miles Kim, Bass Clarinet Alternate

  • Madhu Parthasarathy, Bassoon, All-State Orchestra

  • Harry Wang, Alto Sax, All-State Band

  • Lauren Jenkins, Alto Sax Alternate

  • Oliver Zhang, Trumpet, All-State Band*

  • Eddie Mu, Euphonium, All-State Alternate

  • Logan Amato, Tuba, All-State Band

  • Joseph Madigan, Tuba, All-State Orchestra – THREE YEAR MEMBER!**

*Oliver Zhang is also a member of the 2020-2021 All-National Band!! (Made up of all-staters from all 50 states!).  He is the third BVN Band Member, all-time, to earn this incredible honor.  Congratulations Oliver!

**Joseph Madigan has earned all-state honors all three years that he was eligible.  This is INCREDIBLE – WAY TO GO JOSEPH!!

Congrats also to ALL of our band students who auditioned for all-state.  It is a TOUGH Audition process, made no easier by the pandemic reality.  We are so very proud of each one of you!



  • Hannah Chong (Red) 

  • Emily Nelson (Blue)

  • Grace Burgett (Blue)


  • Madhu Parthasarathy (Red, 3 year member!)


  • John Muldoon (Gold)

  • Megan VanderLeest (Gold, 3 year member!)

  • Audrey Beckman (Blue)

  • Keaton Alexander (Red)

  • Quinn Koffman (Red)

Bass Clarinet:

  • Miles Kim (Red.  Also worth noting – Miles also auditioned on Clarinet and also earned clarinet position, but earned a higher chair on Bass Clarinet.  Go Miles!!)

Alto Saxophone:

  • Harry Wang (Gold)

  • Lauren Jenkins (Red)

  • Junie Ko (Red)


  • Oliver Zhang (Gold)

  • Luke Bechard (Gold)

  • Ethan Burnett (Blue)

  • Devereaux Knight (Red)

  • Christine O'Brien (Blue)

  • Richard Koulen (Jazz)

French Horn:

  • Jack Graham (Red)


  • Jacob Lippe (Blue)

  • Nolan Call (Blue)


  • David Stutz (Red)

  • Eddie Mu (Red)


  • Joseph Madigan (Gold, 3 year member)

  • Logan Amato (Gold)


  • Sam Waggoner, Snare (Gold)

  • Michael Chong, Snare (Gold)

  • Hyesoo Song, Mallets (Blue)

  • Grant Ellis, Mallets (Blue)

Also worth mentioning – Congrats to our dual threat students! Color Guard Member Madison Dean earned placement in the ECKMEA District Honor Choir, and Percussionist Gabriel Decker also plays a mean String Bass and earned placement in the District Honor Orchestras.

30 BVN Band Students, 17 BVN Orchestra Students, and 15 BVN Choir Students is an INCREDIBLE showing for BVN, perhaps unprecedented!  Congratulations to ALL students who auditioned for these groups.  It is a very competitive audition.  Well Done!!!


Concert Uniforms

We are switching to an “All-Black” concert look – no more tuxes!  This is a more modern look that many performing groups have changed to over the past 15 years.  Performers feel more comfortable and still look sharp.  The new concert uniform will be provided by each student.  Here are the details:



This means:  Head to Toe Black at a Semi-Formal/Formal Level with an emphasis on modesty.

TOP:  Black Dress Shirt or Blouse:

  • Girls:  At least ¾ length sleeves.  Shirts/Blouses do not need to be collared as long as they are dress shirts.  Nothing low cut, please.

  • Boys:  Plain Black button-down long-sleeve dress shirt with a collar. Shirt is to remain tucked-in at all times.

BOTTOMS:  Black Skirt or Dress Pants

  • Girls:  Black Skirt or Dress Pants.  Skirt must be floor length when seated.  No Jeans or Leggings. (leggings are not suitable dress pants)

  • Boys:  Black Slacks


  • Girls:  Black dress shoes or all-black tennis shoes.  Closed Toed Flats Preferred.  Black Hose/socks as necessary.

  • Boys:  Black dress shoes or all-black tennis shoes.  Plain black socks that extend mid-way up the calf.

Jazz Ensemble Members

  • Should have the all-black uniform described above.

  • Will also get a Black Jazz Polo, paid for by your band dues. 

Keep your CHARMS up to date!

The CHARMS system is an online management program designed specifically for school music groups.  Our primary use for it is COMMUNICATION – so it is VITAL that every band member keep an up-to-date phone number and email address for the student AND at least one parent in the Charms system!  To update your info in Charms:

  • Go to www.charmsoffice.com

  • Login link is in the upper right corner – use “parent/student/chaperone” login.

  • School Code is “bluevalleyNHSband” – capitalization does not matter.

  • Your password is either you student ID # (lunch code) OR a password that you have created.  You can always email Mr. Wagoner or Mr. Freeman to re-set your password to your student ID #.  If you do this, please include your student ID # in the email so we can confirm it is correct in our system.

  • Once in the system, please make sure you Student and Parent contact info is fully updated and correct!  Also – put in your birthday. 


PARENTS – We Need You!!

the Mustang Band Boosters!


Parent involvement and support is absolutely critical to the success of our Band Program.  You have our heartfelt thanks in advance for all of the unrecognized help you give – car rides, reminders and encouragement to practice, providing private lessons, providing an instrument, making sure your student has all their uniform parts/doesn’t forget their instrument, and on and on and on… THANK YOU!


Beyond such hugely important mom and dad tasks, Parent volunteers make the band experience possible for our students.  There will be MANY ways to get involved and support our wonderful band program throughout the year.  Pick and choose your favorites and come out and help! 


Our Band parent organization – the Mustang Band Boosters is filled with parents who (just like our students) are WONDERFUL and TALENTED and make every band event enjoyable.  


Our Band Parent Club President, Mrs. Lori VanderLeest is just an email away! <[email protected]>.  Email her anytime for more info and to let her know how you want to help.  EVERY BAND PARENT is considered a member of our Band Parent Club.  There are no dues, EVERYONE is welcome, the MORE the MERRIER!  A HUGE thanks, in advance, for your wonderful donations of time and talent.  Below is a letter from Ms. VanderLeest inviting YOU to help! 


Click here for our Mustang Band Boosters Webpage (on the band website.)

Mustang Band Boosters – Exec Board

President – Lori VanderLeest

Vice President – Kim Jacobson

Secretary – Jane Burgett

Co-Treasurers – Heather Ellis/Rob VanderLeest

At Large Member – Stacy Davis

At Large Member – VACANT


Expanding your Musical Horizons

The Band Letter

Throughout the school year, students who want to go above and beyond earning the band grade will have ample opportunities to do so.  Lettering in Band recognizes students for going above and beyond.  Lettering points can be earned in a variety of ways – through volunteer pep bands, voluntary support of the band, extra musical opportunities such as honor bands and private lessons, and much more.  CLICK HERE to learn about the Band Letter. 


Private Lessons and Honor Bands

Private Lessons and Participation in Honor Bands are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and are the BEST ways for a student to enhance their musical skills and enjoyment of music.  Throughout the year, there will be many such opportunities, and we will advertise all of these through the Band Update and in Band Classes. 


Such experiences are not a required portion of band classes, but come with great benefits to those who try them out.  These experiences enhance musical skills and give the students wonderful life experiences and the chance to meet and make music with amazing professionals as well as other remarkable young musicians just like themselves!


There is simply no better way to improve your individual musicianship and skills on your instrument than through private lessons.  Students wishing to perform in our top Wind Ensemble, become all-state musicians, and compete for college scholarships in music should definitely be pursuing private lessons.  And, Lessons are wonderful for ALL students.  We are fortunate to be in an area with many wonderful private instructors nearby.  A strong connection between private teacher and student can enhance musicianship and life!  If you are interested, please contact Mr. Freeman or Mr. Wagoner for private instructor recommendations.

BVN Band Media

Audio and Video:

Throughout the school year, we will post audio and video recordings of our Band Performances on the Student Resources Page of our Band Website.  Get the password from an older member of the band, and download all the recordings you want!


Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

Many pictures will be taken of the band throughout the school year!  We will have formal, in-uniform group and individual pictures taken during marching season, as well as several other more formal photos throughout the year.  We hold onto these group pictures for posterity, and encourage families to purchase them if they choose to do so.


2020-2021 BVN Band Shutterfly – CLICK HERE to join the 20-21 Shutterfly page and share/view great pictures of the Band!


Here is a link to the last two years of Band Shutterfly Pages: 




BVN PBC (Parent Booster Club)


PLEASE SUPPORT OUR BVN PBC!!  Our BVN Parent Booster Club is AMAZING – this wonderful group supports everything at BVN, and has been very generous to our band for many, many years.


For this fall of 2020:  they have already given us a grant of $9500, combined support for the Band and Color Guard!

  • The best way to support is through a PBC Membership of any level.  Click Here to find membership info.  

  • EVERY Band Family should be a PBC Member at some level.  The level of support they give the band is totally reliant on two things:  1 – our level of membership in the PBC, and 2 – our support of the PBC through staffing concessions stands, providing pep bands for events, etc.   

  • Our PBC is the MOST supportive school-wide booster club that I (Mr. Freeman) have ever known!


Remembering the 2019-20 School Year:

Even cut short, this past year was AMAZING!!!   The Marching Show was AWESOME.  Our December Band Concert was outstanding.  The March 5th-12th grade concert was sooooo good!  And of course the Kaufman performance was one to remember, and we should all be quite proud of.  Here is how you can remember the year!

  • All PERFORMANCE RECORDINGS can be found on our Student Resources Page (requires login).  You can also find links to recordings/pictures from our France trip.

  • PICTURES!!! There are SO MANY WONDERFUL Pictures to peruse!

    • CLICK HERE for the 2019-2020 Band Shutterfly Page

    • CLICK HERE for the 2018-2019 Band Shutterfly Page

    • I am missing the link for the 2017-2018 Band Shutterfly Page.  If someone has it, please share it with me!

    • CLICK HERE for the 2016-2017 Band Shutterfly Page

  • END OF YEAR AWARDS:  Our E-awards ceremony in early May was a wonderful event.  You can see the google slides presentation by CLICKING HERE.