Band Update – December, 2022

December in the Band is fantastic month!  Our December Concert is definitely the highlight of the month and one of the best events of our full year.  It is the only event in the fall semester where we feature all of our band students in a wonderful celebration of music, traditions, and community.  On top of that, Decembers features a great day of ECKMEA Honor Bands, the kick-off of basketball pep bands, we’ll host our Spain Trip Kick-off Meeting (!!!), hold part 2 our Hen House Grocery Bagging fundraiser, and of course have an outstanding month of music making in all band classes.  Special thanks to everyone for making it all happen – I look forward to sharing a lot of wonderful moments with our band students and extended band family.

Thanks for your careful reading!

Contents of the December Band Update:

  1. Week of 12/12-12/16
    • Mon (Blue) and Weds (Silver) 7 AM Rehearsals
    • Wednesday Evening – BVN Bands December Concert! 6:45 Concert Start!
      • Make sure to read the info about Concert Attire and Call Times!
      • CLICK HERE to sign up to donate to the reception.
      • Reminder:  Tri-M is taking donations of Feet and hand warmers, Unisex gloves/mittens, Hats and scarves, Coats, Bottled water and juice, Popcorn, instant oatmeal, cereal bars, peanut butter.  These will go to Project 1020 – Johnson County’s Homeless Shelter – a wonderful way to participate in the season of giving and cheer.   Bring donations to the concert!
    • Friday 12/16 – 1st home Bball Game!
  2. Basketball Pep Band Info
  3. Hen House Grocery Bagging, round two.  Sign up for shifts, 12/17-12/24
  4. Parents and students – Join booster hub when you get the invite!
  5. Honor Band Opportunities
  6. Seniors – apply for the Kerry Layton Scholarship!
  7. BVN Band Calendar
  8. Congrats to our Honor Band Students!!

As always, you have my sincere thanks for reading this info carefully and all you do to support our wonderful band program and the life-shaping benefits of music education.

Musically yours,
Mr. Freeman

Week of 12/12 – 12/16/2022

Monday 12/12:

  • 7 AM Rehearsal for the BLUE Concert Band
  •  Odd Block Schedule

Tuesday 12/13: Even Block Schedule

Wednesday 12/14:

  • 7 AM Rehearsal for the SILVER Concert Band
  • Odd Block Schedule

Wednesday evening 12/14 is our BVN Winter Band Concert!! A WONDERFUL evening celebrating our incredible student musicians from ALL Band Classes!

  • 6:45 PM – Concert Start!  Invite everyone!! 
    • Jazz Band Performs first, followed by our Blue and Silver Bands, with special performances by BVN percussionists and a surprise small ensemble.
    • The concert will finish with our traditional December Concert Ending – a very fun and special moment for our band program each year, especially for our Seniors and families.
    • Please stay after and enjoy our post concert cookie reception.  YUM!
  • Call times:  6 PM for Jazz Band, 6:30 PM for all other Band Members.
  • Concert Black” Concert Attire is REQUIRED for All Students
  • Head to Toe Black (all black – no patterns/logos/etc).
  • The goal is to look uniform and cohesive as an ensemble and cause the audience to notice what you a performing, rather than what you are wearing.
  • Tops: 
    • Black Dress Shirts or Black Dresses/Blouses.  Shoulders should be covered with no low-cut necklines, please.
    • Ties and coats are acceptable and look great, but are not required (and must be all black).
  • Bottoms:
    • Black Dress Slacks, Black Skirts/Dresses/Blouses, Black Socks, and All Black Dress Shoes (no patterns or other colors)
    • If skirts or dresses are worn, please make sure they are at least knee length when seated.
    • Please be aware that black leggings are not considered dress pants.
    • Light and modest (not oversized) jewelry is acceptable.

Thursday 12/15: Even Block Schedule/last day of regular classes for the fall semester.

Friday 12/16:

  • Final Exams, day 1.  Finals in 1st and 2nd hours, then students are dismissed for the day.
  • BASKETBALL PEP BAND!  Our first one!!  Full Pep Band details are being released this coming Friday 12/2.  A preview of our first game schedule is:
    • Blue Pep Band – 5:00pm to ~7:15pm. Report to the Band room at 5 PM, perform for the girls game and in between the girls and boys games.  You are dismissed after the boys game tips off, ~7:15 PM.
    • Silver Pep Band – 6:15pm to ~8:30pm.  Do a quick individual warmup in the band room and report to the gym by 6:25.  Perform between the girls and boys games, and then through the end of the boys game.  Dismiss after that game ends, ~8:45 PM

Saturday 12/17 through Saturday 12/24:  CLICK HERE to sign up for Hen House Grocery Bagging Shifts!

Monday and Tuesday 12/19 and 12/20:  Final exams.  Monday is hours 3 – 4- 5.  Tuesday is Hours 6 and 7.  Then… have a GREAT break!!!

Basketball Pep Band Information

One of our most fun tasks of the year…. It’s almost time for basketball pep band!  We provide a pep band for all home varsity level games (both boys and girls).  Each Band Student has been assigned to either the Blue or Silver Pep bands, and each band performs at half of the games.  It is very flexible – students can switch with students from the other band (who play their instrument) to solve schedule conflicts.

Please CLICK HERE for the Basketball Pep Band Schedule, Roster, and all details.  FYI – the rosters are very similar to our Blue/Silver Concert Bands, but not exactly the same.  Please double-check your pep band assignment.

Hen House Grocery Bagging, Round 2

CLICK HERE to sign up for Hen House Grocery Bagging Shifts!

  • Shifts are 12/17-12/24.
  • Earn $$ for the band and your Spain Trip!
  • Make sure to read the dress code requirements on the sign-up.  These come from Hen House, and you will be sent home to change if you show up in the incorrect attire.

7 am Rehearsals – Mark your Calendars!

For our December Concert, all 1st and 2nd hour band students have been combined/assigned to either the Blue or Silver Concert Bands.  This necessitates a couple of extra combined rehearsals.  As these are the only times we can combine the classes in preparation for our concert, attendance is quite important and required. Please mark your calendars, and thank you for prioritizing these rehearsals.

  • BLUE BAND will Rehearse on Monday 12/5 AND Monday 12/12 at 7 AM.  At approximately 7:32, we’ll dismiss 2nd hour students to head to their 1st hour classes, and the 1st hour students will take a short break, then continue rehearsing through 1st hour.
  • SILVER BAND will rehearse on Wednesday 12/7 AND Wednesday 12/14 at 7 AM.  At approximately 7:32, we’ll dismiss 2nd hour students to head to their 1st hour classes, and the 1st hour students will take a short break, then continue rehearsing through 1st hour.
  • CLICK HERE for the Blue/Silver Rosters
  • Click here for the Blue/Silver rehearsal location rotation info.

Booster Hub

Introducing Booster Hub!  

  • Booster hub is a phenomenal web-based organizational platform designed for school groups like our Mustang Band Boosters.
  • Our MBB Board has researched the software, and we see GREAT benefits…. smoother communication, simple ways to organize volunteers, much smoother transitions from year to year as families graduate and new families join, the ability to make online payments (this will be HUGE in our trip preparations, fundraisers, etc), and more.
  • We are in the beginning set-up phases of Booster hub, and have a very easy to-do for everyoneWhen you see the invite to booster hub come across your email, please accept it!  Easy-Peasey!!  Thank you!
  • HUGE shout out to Jim Decker and our MBB board who have been investigating this software and are putting in a lot of work getting it set up for the band.  Thank you!!

NEW Honor Band Opportunities!

Now that we have passed District Honor Band and Sousa Auditions, a new round of extra honor band opportunities is here!  These are WONDERFUL experiences in which our students will work with collegiate performers and professors, as well as other wonderful band students from all over the region.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The best one is KU’s Prairie Wind Festival! (Click link for all info and to register)  It is a great combination of high level music making and phenomenal people.   February 3rd-4th

William Jewell College in the Northlands hosts a spectacular “Windfest”! This is a director nominated honor band event that will happen Saturday, March 11th, and Sunday, March 12th.  Please let Mr. Freeman or Mr. McCarty know if you are interested!

K-State’s Concert Band Clinic, January 20-22, is a very fun experience!  This one is unique… it’s usually really BIG Bands and usually involves students from the smallest through the biggest schools in the state of Kansas.  It is a director recommended event – please talk with Mr. Freeman or Mr. McCarty if you are interested

These events are like mini summer band-camps.  You’ll build connections/make friendships that will last a lifetime, and make GREAT music with wonderful musicians.

Seniors – Apply for the Kerry Layton Scholarship

The Kerry Layton Memorial Scholarship is an award given to one Blue Valley School District Senior who has participated in Band throughout their High School Life.  It is provided by the Blue Valley Education Foundation, and BVN has had more winners than all of the other BV schools combined…  In the 10 years the award has been given, I believe we’ve had 6 recipients.

The Application is very straightforward:  complete a simple form, submit a resume, and write a paragraph explaining how music has impacted your life.  Applications due February 10th, 2023.

Kerry Layton Memorial Scholarship online application:

BVN Band Calendar 2022-2023


Our BVN Band students had an incredibly successful round of Honor Band Auditions in November.  HUUUUUGE CONGRATULATIONS to ALL of the students who auditioned.  These results are PHENOMENAL.

Congrats to our ECKMEA Honor Band Members!!!  The following band students earned placement the East-Central Kansas All-District Bands through a highly competitive live (not recorded) audition.  It’s a BIG accomplishment, and the first step towards earning all-state musician status – the highest individual honor given to student musicians in the state.  Also, unique to this year, we have three students who made it in on two different instruments, which is truly remarkable.  Congrats to all the students who completed the audition.  22 Honor Band students ranks amongst our strongest showings in the history of the BVN Band Program – WOW!!

  • Matt Akridge, Trumpet
  • Aadhya Bhatia, Trumpet
  • Madi Bishop, Clarinet
  • Nolan Call, Trombone
  • Louis Cierpiot, Percussion
  • Nathan Condon, Trumpet
  • Garrett Dailey, French Horn
  • Ryan Danda, Percussion
  • Miles Kim, Clarinet
  • Hannah Kwak, Flute
  • Amelia Law, Oboe
  • Eddie Mu, Euphonium
  • Ben Nix, Tuba
  • Devereaux Knight, Trumpet
  • Dakota Raper, earned placement on two instruments – Clarinet and Bass Clarinet!
  • David Stutz, Euphonium
  • Reece Toben, another two-fer, earning placement on Bass Clarinet and Contra Clarinet!
  • Luke Wakeman, Trumpet
  • Matthew Warner, Trumpet
  • Zengtao Xing, Trumpet
  • Max Zhang,  yet another two-fer, earned placement on both Trumpet and Clarinet (two of the most competitive auditions) –  wow!
  • Oliver Zhang, Trumpet – All district for all four years of high school and the overall top trumpet in the district!

Congratulations to BVN Band Freshman Emiko Thornton, French Horn, for her selection to the Kansas John Philip Sousa Honor Band!!!!  This is another remarkable accomplishment, as the Sousa Band is an all-state level group for 7th-9th graders!  Emiko completed a very competitive recorded audition process and earned placement in the band for her second year.  CONGRATULATIONS EMIKO!!

Congratulations to BVN Band Senior Oliver Zhang, Trumpet!  In Early November, Oliver traveled to Maryland to perform with the National Association for Music Education’s ALL-NATIONAL HONOR BAND!!  A PHENOMENAL Achievement, and even more incredible as it’s Oliver’s 3rd selection to the All-National Band – the first ever BVN student to earn All National Honors in multiple years.  The All-National Groups feature the best HS musicians from across the country – to be eligible you have to first achieve all-state in Kansas, then complete the All-National audition (a challenging recorded audition format.)

All of these results…  WOW WOW WOW!!!!!