Hello BVN Band!

Please CLICK HERE for this week’s Band Update, or Scroll Down for a copy.


This update releases a LOT of information, looking ahead to the rest of the semster.  The section “Fourth Quarter at-a-glance” is where most of the new info is.  Thank you for your careful reading!

Most of that info is looking ahead to events a few weeks away.  Please take special note of the info that is of immediate import:

  • Solo and Ensemble Participants, please read all of the Solo/Ensemble information carefully and submit your recordings this week!
  • After School Rehearsals for Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble are now finished, since we have returned to full in-person school.
  • SENIORS:  Please Complete THIS BIO FORM, which will be used in our COTL Program.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Happy Reading and thank you for your support of all things BAND!

Musically yours,
Mr. Freeman

–Begin Copy of Band Update–

BVN Band Update


From the Directors

It has been an AWESOME 3 weeks since my last Band Update.

  • Mr. Wagoner and I are VERY proud of our Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble for their OUTSTANDING concerts at the beginning of March.  CONGRATULATIONS to all of the students for pulling off another musical miracle… after such a strange year those concerts were well beyond all expectations!!
  • Spring Break!  I enjoyed a wonderful getaway week with my family, and it seems like everyone benefitted. from the break. I am energized for a phenomenal fourth quarter!
  • And… the first week of full in-person classes!!!  I can’t begin to explain just how awesome it is to be making music together, again, with everyone, consistently.   ALL of the (amazing) feels!!!

The return to full in-person learning also signals a return of lots of great performances and activities for the band!  Here’s a cliff’s notes version of what to expect:

Fourth Quarter at-a-glance


  • Solo and Ensemble Festival Submissions (Video recordings – voluntary) due by 4/5
  • State Large Group Festival Submissions (Video recordings – Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band).
  • Drumline to perform at the Dance Team Spring Show.  Percussionists – this is NEW info – make sure to read the details below!
  • Selection Process for Section Leaders, Band Council, and Drum Majors for the 2021- 2022 school year.  Details coming soon!
  • Color Guard recruiting and auditions.  Details coming Soon!


  • BVN Band Concert on the Lawn – Tuesday, May 11th at the DAC!  NOTICE THE DATE AND LOCATION CHANGE!!
    • We are SO excited for the return of our traditional outdoor grand finale concert for the school year.  It will be a night of celebrations of music and our WONDERFUL senior class!
    • We are also excited for the event to be at the DAC (The “District Activities Complex” at 135th and Switzer – aka the Football Stadium at BVNW).  Moving it to the DAC will allow us to have a very special event that can still be covid-safe.
    • Performances by the Jazz Ensemble, Combined Concert Band (3rd hour) and Symphonic Band (2nd Hour) Classes, the Wind Ensemble, and our senior class of 2021.
    • In the event of inclement weather, we have multiple reschedule options:
      • Tuesday, May 18th at the DAC
      • Monday, May 17th, at either the DAC or BVN.
      • Wednesday, May 19th, at either BVN or the DAC.
    • Many more details to come.   Make sure to mark your calendars!
  • BVN Drumline auditions, for the 2021-2022 BVN Drumline, will happen in May.  Details TBD
  • SENIORS:  Class Day is going to look a little different this year, but it’s going to happen!  One of the differences is that our BVN Band Seniors will give a feature performance at the event.  More details to come.  Class Day is the morning of Friday, May 21st
  • Graduation Performance!  All 9th-11th grade band members will perform in a mega-band at graduation on Sunday, May 23rd.  Details TBD. It will be GREAT to be back at graduation!!
  • Kickoff Event for the 21-22 BVN Band!  May 24th and 25th in the evenings, details TBA

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 all of the events above!

Immediate attention needed!

  • After School Rehearsals for Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble are now finished, since we have returned to full in-person school.
  • Solo and Ensemble Participants, please read all of the Solo/Ensemble information carefully and submit your recordings this week!
  • SENIORS:  Please Complete THIS BIO FORM, which will be used in our COTL Program.

Contents of this Band Update – Thanks for your Careful Reading!

  1. The Next Two Weeks Ahead
  2. Solo and Ensemble Festival.  VIRTUAL Festival Details!
  3. Drumline at the Dance Team Spring Show.
  4. Save the Dates for Summer Band Camp!!
  5. Reminders

Musically yours,

Mr. Freeman

The Next Two Weeks Ahead

CLICK HERE for the March Block Schedule Calendar

CLICK HERE for the April Block Schedule Calendar

CLICK HERE for the May Block Schedule Calendar


ALL WEEK:  Submit Solo/Ensemble Recordings!

Monday 3/29/2021:

  • Odd Block Classes
  • Happy Birthday Kai Waldschmidt, Junior Saxophone (on Sunday 3/28)
  • Happy Birthday Junie Ko, Junior Saxophone

Tuesday 3/30/2021:

  • Even Block Classes
  • Happy Birthday David Stutz, Sophomore Euphonium

Wednesday 3/31/2021:

  • Odd Block Classes

Thursday 4/1/2021

  • Even Block Classes

Friday 4/2/2021:

  • Odd Block Classes
  • Wind Ensemble:  Record WW Choir, Brass Choir, and Percussion Ensemble during class.


Monday 4/5/2021

  • Even Block Classes
  • Symphonic Band:  Record Small Ensembles During Class
  • SOLO AND ENSEMBLE VIDEOS DUE to Mr. Freeman by 4 PM!! (via email)

Tuesday 4/6/2021

  • Odd Block Classes

Wednesday 4/7/2021

  • Even Block Classes

Thursday 4/8/2021

  • Odd Block Classes

Friday 4/9/2021:

  • Even Block Classes

Solo and Ensemble Festival 2021

Full Virtual format for this year – Time to make videos!


Please make sure to follow these instructions carefully!

Timeline/the Basics

  • All recordings must be posted to KSHSAA by the end of the day on Monday, April 5th.
  • Performers need to email all materials to Mr. Freeman by 4:00 on Monday, April 5th.
  • If it’s later than that, it may not get submitted to KSHSAA.  The earlier the better!

Two-part submission – BOTH the PDF and video recording are required!

Part 1 – Scan your music and make a pdf file.

  • BEFORE YOU SCAN:  make sure to number all measures, and pencil in any edits that you have made (i.e. – a planned breath mark, an adapted articulation).  Anything the judge needs to see should be penciled on before you scan.
  • Soloists – the pdf can be either your solo only part or the “full score” (solo and accompaniment on the same page).
  • Ensembles – the pdf must be the full score.

Part 2 – Make your video recording!

  • Reminder of the advice for good audio that we shared earlier in the year.  Make sure you are not overdriving your recording mic!
  • When you record, you need to be clearly visible in the recording, and your accompanist should, too.
  • At the beginning of your recording, you must introduce yourself AND hold up the original, legally purchased copy of your music (so the judge can verify that you are copyright legale).  Suggested introduction:
    • Hold up the original copy of the music so it is clearly visible
    • “Hello, I am _____, from Blue Valley North High School, and this is my accompanist _______. We will be performing _____ by ______”.
    • For ensembles:  replace “I am” with “We are the {BVN clarinet choir} (or whatever the name of your group is}”.  Make sure to hold up an original score of the music so the judge can verify your legality.
    • Once your recording is made, upload it to youtube as an Unlisted Video, with embedding allowed.

Once finished:  email BOTH the pdf of your music and the youtube link to Mr. Freeman, and you’re done!

Short version/Checklist:

  • PDF of music
  • Video recording of your performance, with intro while holding up the legal copy of your music.
  • Unlisted Video on youtube, with embedding allowed.
  • Email pdf and youtube link to Mr. Freeman.

If you wish to use BVN facilities or recording equipment, please talk to Mr. Freeman or Mr. Wagoner.

Drumline for the Dance Team Spring Show

Percussionists – this is a VERY fun performance!

The Dance Team will be hosting it’s Spring Show on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 27th and 28th, at 7 PM.  For several years, our Drumline has performed at this event (we perform a short set of cadences/cheers – about 3 or 4 minutes – while the dancers have a costume change).  It is usually well attended with a great crowd and a very fun performance.  This year’s audience will be reduced for covid, but it will still be a great event!


  • Rehearsals during North Time on April 19 (Mon), 21 (Weds), and 26 (Mon)
  • After School Dress Rehearsal with Dance Team on Monday, 4/26.  Time To be confirmed – but likely right after school and done by 5:00.
  • Performances on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, 4/27 and 4/28.  7 PM performance start.  more details coming.

This week: Check your calendars and plan on it!  Sign up coming soon!

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!

Making Music in the Summer!

Summer Music Camps (non-BVN)

Summer Music Camps are AMAZING and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  They are a wonderful way to improve your musical skills, make new friends and connections with students from across the region, state, and country, and are all around a great time!  Never required, but highly recommended.

This summer, as you probably expected, some camps will be re-starting after a year off, others might not be happening for pandemic reasons, and some will be happening virtually.

CLICK HERE to go to our webpage which has a listing of the camps that USUALLY happen, year to year, and are highly recommended.  We have not checked on the status of these camps for this summer, but you can begin research at your liesure!

This is a list of Camps that we know ARE happening this summer.  We will add to it as we learn more.


(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.