Hello BVN Band!

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


Concert on the Lawn is here!  For the first time in 14 months, we are looking forward to performing a full concert for a full audience!!! I am SO Excited!!!  Please make sure to read all of the details in the Update.  If you are familiar with the info already (shared last week), nothing has changed, just a couple of quick new topics:

  • Set-up Help:  We need a small crew of students to help set-up, at the DAC, at 6 PM on Tuesday evening (10-ish total).  If you can help, please talk with Grant Ellis or Keaton Lewis, who are coordinating the crew.
  • Weather:  current forecasts show Tuesday evening to be in the mid-50's with a slight chance of rain. 
    • If it stays dry, then we'll have the concert!!  50's will be a nice temperature for our band sound, but a little chilly, so make sure to bring jackets.
    • If that low chance of rain becomes a reality, we will postpone the event to either Monday or Tuesday of next week (the 17th or 18th), with Wednesday the 19th as our backup-to-the-backup date.

Percussionists:  Please make sure you have read THIS INFO about our final drumline audition clinic, this week on Wednesday, May 12th.  

Contents of the Band Update:

  1. From the Directors – Concert on the Lawn Details!
  2. An exciting end of the school year:  Week-By-Week “At a Glance” info
  3. The Week Ahead:  All the details.
  4. Save the Dates for Summer Band Camp
  5. Making Music in the Summer
  6. Reminders

Thanks, as always, for your careful reading of the Band Update, and your wonderful support of our Band Program and Students!

Concert-on-the-lawn-illy yours,
Mr. Freeman

–Begin Copy of Band Update–

BVN Band Update 


From the Directors

We have a VERY EXCITING WEEK AHEAD!  Monday is the OTMS Band Concert, Tuesday is our CONCERT ON THE LAWN(!!!!!!) and Wednesday is our Final Drumline Audition Clinic.

This will be a very special and rewarding week in the Band.  Concert on the Lawn should be a memorable and wonderful night.

To that end, this Band Update is focused on the next few days in the Band.  We'll send something out later in the week that looks ahead to Graduation and the end of the school year.  For now – it's now time to focus on on the here and now, to celebrate the year we have had in the band, and give our 20-21 Band Seniors a sendoff to remember!  

We invite EVERYONE to:

The 33rd Annual BVN Band Concert on the Lawn!

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

7:00 PM

At the “DAC” – the Blue Valley District Activities complex, 135th and Switzer.  (Football side of the Stadium

The Concert on the Lawn (COTL) is a tradition started by Dr. Roberts, our first Director of Bands.  The concert is fun, relaxed, and outdoors – like a “town band” concert in the summer, and serves as our celebration of the year in the band, as well as a wonderful recognition of our Senior Class.

This year's Concert on the Lawn is especially significant, as it will be our first performance that is fully open to the public in 14 months.  We will proudly feature our Jazz Band, Symphonic Band Plus (Sym Band will be joined by members of our Concert and Virtual Band Classes), Wind Ensemble, and Senior Class of 2020.  Please stick around after the concert for ice cream and fellowship.  After a long year of zoom-band, hybrid zoom, livestreaming, etc – this concert will be both cathartic and a night to remember.

As the concert will be outdoors, it will allow for maximum distancing, which everyone should follow, and masks should be worn by all.  While some, hopefully many, of us are vaccinated – some are not, and we all need to do our part to protect each other.  

Concert Attire for Students:  

  • SENIORS:  This is YOUR NIGHT.  Dress to impress.  Prom Dresses, Tuxes… YUP!  

  • Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors:  Concert Level of Formality, but you do not need to wear concert black. 

    • Guys: Slacks, Dress Shoes, Button Down Shirts, etc.  Ties/Jackets are always suggested but not required/up to you. 

    • Girls:  Match the boys level of formality, and remember that concerts attire is modest:  dresses and skirts should be knee length or longer when seated, no spaghetti straps or low necklines, etc. 

    • Reminder for all:  you will never regret overdressing, but you will definitely regret underdressing.

“Flow” of the evening:

  • 6 PM:  Set-up. 

    • STUDENTS:  We need about 10 helpersat 6 PM for set-up.  Please tell Grant Ellis if you are able to help.  [email protected]

  • 7 PM: Concert Starts

    • Concert Order:  Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band Plus, Wind Ensemble, Senior Send-Off​, Ice Cream!

    • We will also present end of the year awards and our Senior Class of 2021 during the Concert.

Inclement Weather Plans:  Should we have inclement weather, the concert will be postponed to the following week:  Monday, May 17th; Tuesday, May 18th; or Wednesday, May 19th are all possible reschedule dates.  We will announce any such updates via email and student group chats in the early afternoon of COTL (Tuesday, May 11th).

**As of Sunday Evening, May 9th, the weather is showing mid-50's with a minimal chance of rain.  If that forecast holds (that temperature and not raining, then we will have the concert!).  Updates forthcoming as needed.

As always, the Band Update has a TON of info. Thanks to everyone for your careful reading,  as we prepare for a busy and fun end of the school year.

Contents of the Band Update:

  1. From the Directors – Concert on the Lawn Details!

  2. An exciting end of the school year:  Week-By-Week “At a Glance” info

  3. The Week Ahead:  All the details.

  4. Save the Dates for Summer Band Camp

  5. Making Music in the Summer

  6. Reminders

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 for all events.

Musically yours,

Mr. Freeman

From Now to June – a Busy and FUN time for the BVN Bands!

Week-By-Week “at-a-glance”.  Please make sure calendars are marked!  Click Links and read “the week ahead” section of the Band Update for full details!

Week of May 10-14:

  • BVN Bands Annual Concert on the Lawn and Recognition Ceremony.  7 PM on Tuesday, May 11th at the DAC! (The “District Activities Complex – 135th and Switzer).

  • Final Drumline Audition Clinic

Week of May 17 – 23rd:

  • Senior Finals Week

  • May 17-18-19:  Inclement weather reschedule dates for Concert on the Lawn.

  • Sunday, May 23rd:  BVN Band Performs at the BVN Graduation Ceremonies!  ALL 9th-11th grade members. ofthe band!

Week of May 24 – 28

  • Finals Weds-Friday, and last day of school!

  • Monday – Tuesday, May 24 and 25:  Kickoff Event for the 21-22 BVN Bands!

    • Monday 5/24: 6 – 8 PM:  Rookie Members of the Band, as well as Drumline, Color Guard, and Leadership.​

    • Tuesday, 5/25: 6-8:30 PM:  All Band Members

The Week Ahead – Details

CLICK HERE for the May Block Schedule Calendar


Monday 5/10

  • Even Block Classes

  • Voluntary Performance with the OTMS Bands.  CLICK HERE to sign up and for further details.

  • Happy Birthday Carolyn Scott, Freshman Flute!

Tuesday 5/11

  • Odd Block Classes

  • 33rd Annual BVN Band Concert on the Lawn!

    • At the DAC – 135th and Switzer, Football Side​

    • 6 PM:  Set-up

    • 7 PM:  Concert Start!

    • See Full Details in “From the Directors” (above)

    • It will be a wonderful night of music and celebrations!!

Wednesday 5/12

  • Even Block Classes

  • Percussion:  Audition Clinic #3, for the 21-22 BVN Drumline!

    • 6 – 8 PM in the Band room.​

    • Show up to the band room with sticks/mallets/ready to go!

    • This final clinic will feature a one-on-one performance for Mr. Lovell and Mr. Freeman.  Please CLICK HERE for details.

Thursday 5/13

  • Odd Block Classes

  • Happy Birthday Parker Field, Sophomore Tuba!

Friday 5/14

  • Even Block Classes

  • Happy Birthday Quinten Schafer, Freshman Percussion and Piano

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 – Full Band Camp:

  • Sunday, August 1st – Band Camp Kickoff Picnic (afternoon or evening)

  • Monday – Friday 8/2-8/6:  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.

Here is a list of Summer music camps that are happening this summer. Some are in-person, some are virtual. All are recommended!

BV Summer Percussion Camp
KU Midwestern Music Camp https://music.ku.edu/mmc#overview
KSU Music Camp https://www.k-state.edu/band/camps/summermusic/
KCKCC Summer Jazz http://www.kansascityjazz.org/kansascityjazzcamp.html
KC Future Jazz Camp https://futurejazzkc.org/
Fountain City Youth Brass Academy Summer Camp

FSU High Plains Music Camp http://www.fhsu.edu/music-and-theatre/musiccamp/
UMKC Summer Percussion Camp https://info.umkc.edu/cmda-percussion/
UMKC Summer Jazz Camp https://info.umkc.edu/cmda-jazz/
UMKC Summer Composition Camp https://info.umkc.edu/cmda-comp/
UMKC Summer Double Reed Institute https://info.umkc.edu/cmda-dri/
UMKC Saxophone Workshop https://info.umkc.edu/cmda-sax/

UARK Music Camp https://cms.uark.edu/

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp https://bluelake.org/summercamp/

Interlochen Summer Arts Camp https://www.interlochen.org/

EXCITING NEW SUMMER OPPORTUNITY:  The Kansas City Youth Symphony is offering a summer session including a Youth Wind Ensemble that will be Directed by Dr. Joe Parisi.  This is AMAZING!!!! Dr. Parisi is one of the UMKC Band Directors, and one of our favorite people in the whole wide musical world.  This will be a GREAT experience.  HIGHLY Recommended!  July 18th-23rd.  Details at youthsymphonykc.org.


(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.

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.

Congratulations, also, to our Student Leadership Team for the 21-22 BVN Bands.  This will be a fantastic group of students to steer our band next year.

CONGRATULATIONS to EVERYONE who recorded performances for the KSHSAA State Solo and Ensemble Festival and to Wind Ensemble, who recorded for the KSHSAA State Large Group Festival!  Results just came in at the end of last week.

This was an extraordinarily strange year. 

  • ALL of our Soloists deserve HIGH PRAISE, as the process was entirely independent.  Rehearse and record all on their own.  I LOVED watching their performance videos!!!

  • ALL of our Ensembles deserve LOTS of CONGRATS.  Their process was VERY quick.  Every ensemble that submitted a recording did the work in about 3 rehearsals and a recording session – with phenomenal results.  

I am very proud to share these results.  CONGRATS TO EVERYONE!!


  • Keaton Alexander, Clarinet – I

  • Logan Amato, Tuba – I

  • Audrey Beckman, Clarinet – I

  • Grace Burgett, Flute – II

  • Hannah Chong, Flute – I

  • Michael Chong, Snare Drum – I

  • Lauren Jenkins, Saxophone – I

  • Junie Ko, Saxophone – I

  • Quinn Koffman, Clarinet – I

  • Joseph Madigan, Tuba – I

  • Megan Meyer, Clarinet – I

  • John Muldoon, Clarinet – I

  • Edward Mu, Piano – I

  • Emily Nelson, Flute – I

  • Brent Pitts, Clarinet – I

  • Quinten Schafer, Piano – II

  • Quinten Schafer, Marimba – II

  • Megan VanderLeest, Clarinet – I

  • Harry Wang, Saxophone – I

  • Zengtao Xing, Piano – I 

  • Oliver Zhang, Trumpet – I

Small Ensembles:

  • BVN Clarinet Choir – I

  • BVN Saxophone Quintet – I

  • Symphonic Band Brass Choir – II

  • Symphonic Band Woodwind Choir – II

  • Symphonic Band Percussion – I

  • Wind Ensemble Brass Choir – I

  • Wind Ensemble Woodwind Choir – I

  • Wind Ensemble Percussion – II

Large Ensemble:

  • BVN Wind Ensemble. Straight “I” Ratings from all three judges!

These are PHENOMENAL Results.  A “II” Rating indicates an excellent musical performance with minor flaws.  A “I” Rating indicates a Superior performance.  Reminder that these are all state level judging expectations/results… and …  WOW!!!

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