The Band Letter is a method for recognizing students who have gone beyond the already high expectations for band members at North.
Band classes recognize student progress through an academic grade for credit. Letter winners earn their Band Letter through extra effort and commitment: leadership, performance excellence, out-reach utilizing musical talent, and ways of improving oneself musically outside of school are the primary methods. The first time a student earns a letter, they get a chenile letter from the school. For subsequent letters, including if a student earns a letter in another school function, the letter award will be in the form of a “bar” added to the student’s letter each year a letter is earned. Bars can be purchased in the school store (cheap).
How does a student letter?
A student must complete 10 of these activities to earn a letter award. Any student who has an unexcused performance absence or more than 2 excused performance absences will be disqualified. Any student who has a 1 or 2 excused performance absences will need to complete 1 additional lettering activity per excused absence to earn a letter, with a maximum of two excused performance absences per year before the student is disqualified from lettering. The student must submit to Mr. Freeman or Mr. Wagoner a list of their letter-qualifying activities with appropriate supporting documentation by the final class day of April. Letters will be awarded at the annual “Concert on the Lawn” in Mid-May.
A student may earn a band letter by meeting ten of the following requirements (mix and match as necessary!):
Challenge/Extending Individual Performance Skills:
- Taking private lessons on their primary school band instrument. Counts for 3 of the 10 requirements if lessons are maintained for the entire school year.
- Preparing and performing a solo at Regional Solo and Ensemble Festival (Earning a rating of II or above)
- Preparing and performing a solo at State Solo and Ensemble Festival (rating of II or above)
- Performing in a small ensemble at Regional Solo and Ensemble Festival (rating of II or above)
- Performing in a small ensemble at State Solo and Ensemble Festival (rating of II or above)
“Honor Group” Participation:
- Auditioning for the KMEA All-District Band
- Performing with the KMEA All-District Band. Counts for 3 of the 10
- Auditioning for the KMEA All-State Band (orchestra) or Kansas John Philip Sousa Honor Band
- Performing with the KMEA All-State band (orchestra) or Kansas John Philip Sousa Honor Band. Counts for 5 of the 10
- Participating in/performing with any of the area college-hosted honor band experiences: i.e. the KU Prairie Wind Festival, UMKC Midwest honor Band, William Jewell Windfest Honor Band, Baker University Honor Band, KSU Honor Band Clinic, etc.
- Performing with the Fountain City Youth Brass Bands for their season (counts for 2 of the 10)
- Performing with the KC or Olathe Youth Orchestra for their full season (counts for 2 of the 10)
Expanding musical horizons/supporting music beyond BVN:
- Attending a concert by a university symphonic band
- Attending a concert by a university jazz ensemble
- Attending a concert by a professional orchestra
- Attending a concert by a university orchestra
- Attending a professional musician’s recital/concert
(concert program must be provided as evidence of attendance)
- Performing at 3 or more EXTRA pep band performances (including extra bball pep band and volunteer pep bands through the year) (every 3rd volunteer/extra performance = 1 lettering point)
- Performing with a church or synagogue instrumental ensemble.
- Performing with the KC Youth Jazz Ensemble
- Composing a work performed by one of the school ensembles
- Performing “Taps” at a public ceremony
- Performing on national or international tour ensemble
- Other community performances considered on a case-by-case basis
- Attending a performance of a community municipal band (extra credit if it is the Lawrence City Band)
- Attending a drum and bugle corps competition (summer – counts during the following school year)
- Attending a summer music camp (not BVN Band Camp). Counts for 3 of the 10 in the following school year.
- Attending the “Attitude Concepts” Leadership Workshop at BVHS in August.
- Earning a leadership position in the BVN bands and completing the year in good standing as a leader.
To apply for your letter award: submit a list of those events you have completed to Mr. Freeman or Mr. Wagoner by the last class day in April, with supporting documentation.