Band Update 10/25/2021


  • From the Directors:
    • CONGRATULATIONS!!!  Two AMAZING announcements!
    • Come one, Come all!  to the BVN Band Coffee Shop Night!  Featuring our Jazz Ensemble, Fall Concert Band, and Fall Freshman Band!!
    • Auditions Reminders
      • BVN Auditions videos due by the end of the day 11/1.
      • ECKMEA cuts coming this Wednesday 10/27 and videos due Tuesday 11/2
    • Thank you Parent Chaperones!!
    • Everyone:  Band Forms and Dues!
    • Everyone:  Water and Tissue Donations.
  • The Week Ahead in the Bands:  Details for 10/25-10/31
  • Auditions for Spring 2022 BVN Band Classes: details.
  • ECKMEA Auditions  – Reminders and a GREAT College Masterclass Opportunity!
  • SENIORS! – The Kerry Layton Scholarship from the BV Ed Foundation!
  • BVN Band Calendar – Please read carefully and update your personal calendars!
  • Expanding your Musical Horizons – Private Lessons, FCYBA, Honor Bands, lettering in band, and more

From the Directors:


To our MARCHING MUSTANGS for earning straight “I” Ratings (the highest possible) at the Central States Marching Festival at KSU.  A panel of 5 judges (Overall Effect – Color Guard – Percussion – Marching – Music) all awarded the top rating to our Marching Mustangs.  And – the Marching Mustangs represented BVN with poise, respect, and a positive attitude all day long.  I know I speak for all of our staff when I say that I am very proud of the students, and really excited after the wonderful day.  Performance Video can be found on the login page of our website.

and… HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Seniors Logan Amato and Harry Wang, and Junior Oliver Zhang!  Harry, Logan, and Oliver have earned placement in the NAfME All-National Concert Band!!!  In BVN Band history, we have had three students (total), prior to this year earn this highest honor.  To have three in one year is remarkable.  To earn all-national, a student is first named all-state, then completes a recorded audition against all-state musicians from all 50 states.  (NAfME = the National Association for Music Education, which is the nation-wide parent organization of the Kansas Music Educator’s Association (KMEA).)

a BIG THANK YOU to our Drumline for a very nice performance for the Soccer Team Senior Night!  We have received several notes of thanks from Coach Turner and Soccer Parents.  Your performance and presence was very appreciated!!  Go Mustangs!!

Come one, come all to our BVN Band Coffee Shop Night – TOMORROW

Tuesday, October 24th, at 6 PM, in the BVN Commons.  Enjoy the WONDERFUL music of our BVN Jazz Ensemble, Fall Concert Band, and Freshman Band.  While you listen, you’ll get tasty treats from local bakeries and coffee!!  You don’t need to travel anywhere for the live music experience – we’ll bring it to BVN!   This is a small fundraiser for our program – free will tips and donations will be taken all night long, but the main purpose is to have a really relaxed night sharing the music and talents of our BVN Band Students!  Reminder that masks are required indoors at all BV Facilities (pull masks down to eat/drink, then pull them back up).

  • Please help us publicize the event.  Share this Flyer on all the social medias, far and wide!
  • Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, and Freshman Band Students/Families.  5:30 Call time wearing this year’s blue band shirt and jeans or dark/nice pants.

The First week of November is Auditions Week! – Reminders for the Week of 11/1:

    • Monday, 11/1:  All BVN Band Auditions videos due by the end of the day.
    • Tuesday 11/2:  All ECKMEA Auditions videos due by the end of the day. (“Cuts” will be released this Wednesday 10/25.  we’ll email them out asap and post a link right here on the Band Update).
    • Wednesday 11/3:  Beginning of Blue and Silver Concert Bands in 1st hour.
    • Saturday 11/6:  ECKMEA Auditions Judging Day (nothing for students to do, just an FYI).  Auditions are judged/scored on this day, and results are usually posted on the ECKMEA website sometime on Sunday the 7th or Monday the 8th.

PARENT CHAPERONES:  THANK YOU!!!!  We have one more chaperoning event for our our Marching Season – CLICK HERE to check your sign up.  Our Chaperone crew this year has been EXCEPTIONAL.  Thank you Parents!!! And Special Thanks to Mrs. Wallace, who has been a phenomenal chaperone coordinator and leader!!

Band Forms and Dues:  CLICK HERE for the complete forms packet, which includes all necessary information.  If you have not yet submitted forms and dues, they are now do ASAP.  Hard copies of the forms are available in the band room, if needed.  Forms/dues can be turned into the blue box just outside Mr. Freeman/Mr. Wagoner’s office.

WATER and TISSUES!  Each year, we ask all band families to donate 1 case of bottled water, and facial tissues (kleenex) – in whatever amount you choose.  We are in good shape now, with a good amount of donations the past couple of weeks.  However, we will work through all of it, throughout the school year, so if you have not yet donated, please send it in any time.  Have your band student bring them to the front of the band room any time.  You can also drop them in the main office, labeled for the band.

REMINDER:  as we complete performances, we load all performance videos in a folder that is linked on the login page of our band website.  Band students should know the password.  Login and enjoy our recordings!

Band in the era of Covid. CLICK HERE to read about our current covid-mitigation-in-band-rehearsals

Musically yours,
Mr. Freeman and Mr. Wagoner

The Week Ahead in the Band, 10/25-10/30

CLICK HERE for BVN’s Block/Traditional Schedule Rotation for October – November – December
CLICK HERE for the BVN Bell Schedule

Monday, 10/25:

  • Odd Block Classes.
  • Marching Mustangs:  morning rehearsal starts at 7:30
  • Band Spirit Week:  Half a Halloween Costume

Tuesday, 10/26:

  • Even Block Class Schedule with Late Start.
  • Marching Mustangs: 7 AM Rehearsal (the last one!)
  • Band Spirit Week: PJ Day

Wednesday, 10/27: 

  • Odd Block Schedule.  Marching Mustangs perform for the student body during 1st hour.
  • Marching Mustangs – Evening rehearsal at the BVNW DAC!  (The “normal” one for us).  We’ll follow the same schedule as last week.  And yes, lights are already scheduled to be on. Let’s hope they work this time!
    • 6:00 PM:  Percussion and Color Guard
    • 6:45 PM:  Everyone
    • 8:05 PM:  Performance Run of the Show.  PARENTS – come be an audience for us!!  This will be the first “performance” with every marching maneuver and visual installed.  It’s a challenging and powerful show.  We are excited to share it with everyone!
    • WEATHER NOTE:  The chances of Rain on Wednesday are HIGH!  If we have rain, rehearsal will be at BVN, indoors.  We will make this announcement on Wednesday afternoon, before school is out, so everyone can have instruments in the correct locations.  PARENTS – if we are at BVN, come to the PAC at 8:05 and you can be an audience while we “surround sound” you.  It’s pretty cool…
  • Band Spirit Week:  White Out Wednesday

Thursday, 10/28:

  • Even Block Classes with Late Start
  • Band Spirit Week:  Tropical Thursday

Friday, 10/22:

  • Traditional Schedule
  • Marching Mustangs:  7:30 AM Start to 1st hour rehearsal.  Trailer loading plans TBD.
  • Band Spirit Week:  Fratty Friday

Saturday 10/23:

  • Marching Mustangs Perform at the Neewollah Marching Festival!
    • 7 AM:  Band Room Open (donuts in commons for tardy free sections)
    • 7:20 AM Depart for Independence, KS​.
      • We travel in Charter Busses!!
      • Travel in Blue t-shirts.  When we get close to Independence we’ll begin getting into uniform.
      • Load uniforms in hanging bags on busses, shakos/gloves/etc in shako boxes on busses.
      • Load instruments in busses (except for what normally goes on trailers)
      • Travel in your under-uniform attire (t-shirt, etc).
      • Make sure you have EVERYTHING you need for your uniform.  The right shoes, the right LONG black socks, gloves, etc.
      • Make sure to go to the bathroom before we leave!
    • 10 AM – arrive in Independence.  Bathroom break and drop off the trailers at the marching festival site, then bus to the parade route.
    • 10:30 AM arrive at Independence Middle School, staging ground for the parade.  Unload and prepare.
      • Independence Middle School will be a meeting point throughout the day.
      • Get out instruments/get into uniform, get everything you need for the parade.
      • Put everything else BACK on the busses (cases underneath, uniform bags back on, etc)
      • The busses depart to park in a different part of the town, and we prepare and perform the parade.
    • 11 AM Parade. We are one of the final bands… we’ll do a warm-up then wait, in uniform, and go when it’s our turn!
    • After the Parade: The busses will return.
      • Get out of uniform (keep them laid flat and nice!), put away instruments, etc.
      • This year’s Blue Band shirts plus whatever Jackets/hats you need to stay warm. Please look nice (not formal, just put together – represent BVN well!)
      • After busses are loaded: Lunch and free time at the Neewollah festival.
        • Bring money for lunch (CASH – some vendors may not take credit cards) – there are many vendors and food trucks, rides and attractions to see.  Be aware these are “Festival/carnival” prices…
        • Stay in groups of at least 3 at all times! (bigger groups are even better). If you see a band member on their own or in a group of 2, please adopt them into your group.  Everyone in the band is your friend!
      • 2:50 PM – meet at the busses so we can depart at 3:00 PM:
        • Meet at busses at Independence Middle School (11th and locust) and travel to the Independence Community College Stadium (Emmot Field) for the Marching Festival.
        • Once at the festival site: go in and watch bands, or enjoy the park area around where we have parked/the stadium
        • DINNER will be provided at 4:45 PM, by the trailers. We’ll show you where when we get there!
        • Following Dinner: into uniforms, get out instruments for performance.
        • 5:30 In uniform, in sections. Warm-ups from 5:40 – 6:30
        • 6:30 transit to stadium
    • 6:45 PM BVN Band Performs!  ROCK Neewollah!
      • Following performance:watch the remaining bands (there are 3 after us).
      • As we exit the field, we’ll direct you to somewhere to go to sit on site.
      • Front Ensemble and large equipment will roll back to trailers/begin loading.
    • 8 PM:  Festival Awards.
    • Following awards:
      • Move back to busses, using bathrooms on the way.
      • We depart ASAP after awards finish – target departure time of 8:45 PM
    • ETA at BVN: 11:30 PM.
  • T-shirt of the day is this year’s Blue Band Shirt.
  • It’s forecasted to be a very nice day: sunny and in the 60’s.  However, we’ve been running a little cooler than predicted recently, so – please bring jackets, etc. as necessary.  We’ll be outside from 10:30 AM until we board the busses at 8:45 PM.  Plan accordingly!
  • PARENTS:  This is a REALLY fun Festival!  We’d LOVE to see you there!
    • If you come, plan ahead for parking, and be ready to be on your feet.
    • The parade and town festival is in Downtown Independence – parking is in the neighborhoods around downtown.
    • The Marching Festival is at Emmot Field (Independence Community College Stadium) on the NE corner of town.  Admission is $3 for everyone.  Kids 3 and under get in free.  We’d love to have a BIG BVN Cheering Section!!
    • Independence is a town of 10,000 that swells to 80,000 on parade day…. it’s fun!!
    • The Parade route is:
      • South on Pennsylvania, starting at Locust and continuing 4 blocks to Main Street.
      • Left (east) on Main Street one block to 6th.
      • Right (south) on 6th one block to Maple
      • Right (west) on Maple 3 blocks to 9th
      • Right (north) on 9th 3 blocks to Laurel
    • The Carnival and town festival are on 8th (Carnival) and Pennsylvania (festival food vendors, stage with live music)
    • Thank you, as always, for being our biggest fans, our best support group, and our all-time-no-one-else-is-even-close-favorite audience!!

Auditions for Spring Concert Bands

During Band Classes this past Thursday 10/14, we distributed all materials and details for our upcoming auditions for our Spring Concert Bands.  All Band students will audition for placement in the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, or Concert Band.

ECKMEA Auditions are Fast Approaching – Reminders and a college masterclass-audition-prep Opportunity!

If you have not yet registered for ECKMEA Auditions, you can now complete a late registration, but the cost has gone up to $25 per audition.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER! This is open to all Band Students, grades 9-12.  The $25 fee is good through Tuesday, 10/26.  After that time, registration goes up to $50 per audition.

Auditioning for the ECKMEA Honor Band is an AWESOME thing.  It’s a competitive audition, and GREAT life experience, whether you make it or not.  Also, making the group is a BIG honor, and is the first step towards earning All-State honors – the highest honor given to individual student musicians in the state of Kansas.

PERCUSSIONISTS – reminder that you are preparing a “complete percussion” audition – meaning you will audition on snare, mallets, and timpani.  If you haven’t been looking at all of the materials, yet, please do.  More info coming SOON for percussionists.  That information will include a CUT of materials….. you won’t be recording all of every audition.

All audition materials and info can be found on our Band Website, students only section.  Make sure to open the folders and read the Auditions Instructions for Concert Band and for Jazz Band before registering.  Since the auditions are video format and not live, sight reading will be removed from audition requirements.

Auditions Timeline and Advice:

  • PRACTICE!!!  If you are not in private lessons, if you can get started and get a couple in before auditions, it will be worth it!!  Make sure you are practicing the auditions excerpts AND your Major Scales AND your Chromatic scales!  (percussion:  no scales requirement).
  • October 27th:  Video submissions window opens.  On this day, ECKMEA will release “cuts” of all auditions, so you’ll actually record a little less than what is initially advertised.  We’ll release the cuts as soon as we have them, and you have through Tuesday 11/2 to get them recorded and sent to Mr. Freeman.
  • Tuesday, November 2nd:  Auditions window closes.  Videos MUST be submitted by the end of the day on Tuesday 11/2.
  • Auditions video format MUST be an unlisted youtube link, with embedding enabled.  You will email the links to Mr. Freeman once they are ready.
  • Woodwinds and Brass will record two videos – one of scales, the other of audition excerpts. Full instructions coming soon.
  • Percussionists will record a snare, mallet, and timpani auditions (3 separate short videos).
  • Jazz Auditioners will record 4 separate videos.   Details coming soon.
  • Think now about your recording equipment.  A good quality mic is important!  The BVN Band has a couple of good mics you can check out, if needed.

MNU Audition Prep Clinic!  On Sunday, 10/31, Mid-America Nazarene offers a District Auditions Masterclass at 2 PM.  Students work in masterclass settings with college professors on their auditions!  Well worth it!!  Check out more info and register here: 

Seniors – Scholarship Opportunity!

Each year, the Blue Valley Ed Foundation gives one “Kerry Layton Memorial Scholarship”, awarded to one outstanding senior in Band from across the BV School District.  It’s a straightforward application… all seniors should go for it!  CLICK HERE for the application and info.

BVN Band Calendar – Make sure everything is up-to-date!

BVN Band Calendar Webpage.
BVN Bands 2021-2022 Calendar of Events (the “Fridge Calendar”)

Expanding your Musical Horizons!

During the School year, there will be many AMAZING opportunities to make music outside the walls of BVN. Honor Bands, Private Lessons, and much more can and will be highlights of your year, and memories that will last forever.

PRIVATE LESSONS are HIGHLY recommended!  Private lessons help students unlock skills and work on specific techniques that will greatly enhance their playing!  Students who wish to be in the BVN Wind Ensemble, or who want to go for honor bands, take solos to festivals, etc should seriously consider private lessons.  We are lucky to have many AMAZING private instructors in the area – just email Mr. Freeman or Mr. Wagoner for suggestions.

Fountain City Youth Brass Band – an incomparably awesome opportunity!!

The Fountain City Youth Brass Bands are INCREDIBLE.  A premiere organization – one of the best anywhere – and a phenomenal experience for brass and percussion students.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!! Click here for more info.

Honor Bands

The First honor band experience will be auditions for the ECKMEA District Honor Bands (all band students are eligible), and the Kansas Sousa Honor Band (for 9th Graders).  These are FANTASTIC experiences and well worth the effort to audition.  HIGHLY recommended for all students.

Please find all details of these and much more on our Extra Musical Experiences Webpage.
Audition Materials can be found on the Student Resources Login Page of the website.  Students should know the password.


Students can earn a varsity letter in band, just like in any sport.  Letters are awarded to students who go above and beyond what it takes to earn the band grade.  Volunteering for pep bands, serving as a member of leadership, taking private lessons, participating in FCYBB and/or the KC Youth Symphony, performing at church, and on and on… all of these and much more can qualify for lettering points.  CLICK HERE for lettering details. 

First year letter winners receive the Chenille Letter Award, and 2nd/3rd/4th year winners get pins to add to the letter.