posted Aug 12, 2017, 9:00 AM by Mark Nowicki

Hello RAMBAND Parents:

Band Camp begins Monday – how exciting!  If you haven’t reviewed the August 8th email from Mr. Kuhner, please take a look for important dates, times and instructions.

Just two weeks from today, the BPA will be hosting our 2nd Annual Ramband Car Show.  Jeff Shankman is the Chairman and can be reached at (203) 415-8586 or by email at  We have a convenient on-line Car Show Sign-Up-Genius for you to volunteer to help the BPA begin to raise funds to offset costs for the upcoming season.  Much parent and student help is still needed - we need your help to pull this off - so please sign up as soon as possible.

If you know someone with a show car, please encourage them to bring their pride and joy, and help support our students.  Check out our Brochure.

Thank you!

4-Aug-2017: CHSBPA 2017-2018 Fundraising Kick Off

posted Aug 5, 2017, 7:05 AM by Mark Nowicki

Hello RAMBAND Parents:

We hope you are enjoying this beautiful summer!  With school out of session, our families are enjoying some time off, getting reset and recharged, hopefully having great adventures on vacation at various exciting places, or right here in and around Cheshire.  For those at home, the Marching Ram Band has been busy meeting the last several Tuesdays to begin rehearsing their upcoming production for the fall marching season.  The excitement is building for another great season!

If you were unable to attend the Annual Member Meeting on the 28th of June, you can find the Presentation on
by clicking the “CHSBPA Board of Directors” tab.  Welcome to our new Board of Directors!  You can find their names and contact information on that page as well.  And click the “About Us” tab to find our mission statement, key events/dates, grants/scholarships and corporate documents.

The mission of the CHSBPA is to provide financial support to our primary beneficiary, the CHS Marching Ram Band, and to fund BPA Scholarships, Banquets and for our other philanthropic and corporate sustainment interests.  We have kicked off our CHSBPA fundraising year already – and we need your help!  Please visit and click the “Fundraising” tab to find opportunities to contribute to our cause.  You may also click any of the fundraising links below to begin to sign up for our full slate of events for the year.

Sponsor CampaignWe need a sales force to solicit for donations from the businesses of Cheshire.  Join Laura Hendry and Sue Mellitt in this effort.  Give them a call and sign up below.

Car ShowJust three weeks away, we will be hosting our 2nd Annual Ramband Car Show on Saturday, August 26, 2017.  Jeff Shankman has returned as the Chairman and he needs help with planning and preparation.  He needs some key assistants - if you can help, please give him a call as soon as possible at (203) 415-8586 or email at  Click the sign-up link below to fill a much needed role as a worker during the day of the show.

Music In MotionOur premier event of the year will be here before we know it – just over two months from now.  We are looking for a lead Chairman and several sub-chairmen.  Again, click the sign up links below to fill a role, but please give Laura Hendry a call to volunteer to take on a much needed key leadership role.

2017/07/01:  2017 Sponsor Campaign

2017/08/26:  Car Show

2017/10/07:  MIM Accessory Equipment Needed

2017/10/07:  MIM Parent Volunteers

2017/10/07:  MIM Student Escorts

2017/11/19:  Fall Train Show

2018/01/13:  Christmas Tree Pick-Up

2018/03/04:  Spring Train Show

2018/04/29:  Ion Bank Cheshire Road Races Support

2018/05/01:  2018 Sponsor Campaign

5-Jul-2017: CHSBPA Voting Results

posted Jul 6, 2017, 4:57 AM by Mark Nowicki   [ updated Jul 6, 2017, 4:57 AM ]

Dear Ram Band Parents:

I hope everyone had a good Independence Day holiday!

The voting results are in.  The new Bylaws have been adopted by the Members and are in effect as of July 1, 2017.  Your new BPA Board of Directors is:

  • Tim Orcutt, Chairperson
  • Laura Vuolo Hendry, President
  • Ron Dellostritto, At-large Director
  • Neil Kemp, At-large Director
  • Sue Mellitt, At-large Director

Note that, under the newly adopted Bylaws, the elected Board members will appoint two additional At-large Directors.  This will enable the Board to bring in some people with specific, needed skill sets (e.g., a CPA to serve as Treasurer).

Complete election results can be found by clicking here.  Congratulations to the new Board!

Best regards,

Doug Levens

Secretary, CHSBPA

13-Jun-17: Don't wait, sign up! Your chance is coming soon!

posted Jun 13, 2017, 9:32 PM by Mark Nowicki   [ updated Jun 13, 2017, 9:32 PM ]

Well, my last cry for help went over so well, I thought it couldn't hurt to try again.  (It really worked out quite well, several people stepped up, and we actually had more volunteers than we needed for the moment.)  Now however, I am asking for you to consider this request once again.  We have a lot of good people out there, who put in a lot of time and effort working on all of our events and fund raisers.  What we need right now, this week, is a few good folks who would be willing to step in and help form the direction the BPA as a whole; we need members of the Board of Directors. 


We will have a meeting soon, I know we are all anxiously awaiting the June membership meeting and I encourage EVERYONE to come.  I expect that the announcement will be made of when and where very shortly.  At that meeting we will elect new officers/board members.  We could use a few more people to get involved.  As I've said before, maybe you think I'm doing great and that might inspire you to help, or maybe you think I'm not doing so good and you can join up and correct that.  Maybe you just don't know what I've been doing and want to know more about it and provide your input.  Either way, I encourage you all to consider running for a position on the Board.  Seriously, this is your opportunity to get in there and help guide the BPA.  Don't wonder what's going on, be a part of it!  The committment is easy, there are evening meetings, maybe one up to a few times a quarter.  For a couple hours of time, you can have great impact on the success of the BPA, and represent your fellow parents in this great organization to help better our kids' musical experience.


Please don't think you can't do this.  If I can do it, any of you can.  The whole BPA is made up of great parents all working hard to help our kids.  The Board is the same way, and wants your input.  Please let me know, in the next few days, if you are interested, so I can add you to the slate of canidadates.  I will need to supply this list by Friday, so the sooner the better.  If you have any questions feel free to email or call me.  Dave Delancy has joined my on the nominating Committee, so you can direct questions also to him at and please forward this message to any member I might have missed, or any incoming freshman band parent as well.


Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you soon!


Jim Butler


Oh, PS...  Jeff Shankman is underway planning the car show and could use some assistance.  We are also trying to start the sponsor drive earlier this year, so please consider helping out in those endeavors as well.  We will have sign ups at the June meeting... stay tuned!

12-Jun-17: Graduation Performance Reminders

posted Jun 12, 2017, 7:44 PM by Mark Nowicki   [ updated Jun 12, 2017, 7:46 PM ]

Greetings CHS Band Students and Parents,


We are looking forward to our performance at Graduation on Wednesday, June 14, 2017! Here are some reminders to assist you in preparing for our performance.


Please wear/bring the following items with you to the Band Room, later moving to the CHS Main Football Field.


Bring 2 disposable bottles of water, or 1 large disposable bottle of water

Bring a snack

Be dressed in modified concert dress - dress pant/khaki pant, dress shirt w/ tie, & dressy shoes or sun dress, dress pant/blouse, or skirt/blouse, w/ dressy shoes.  Please - No flip flops, casual sandals, or shorts.

Bring instrument/equipment/sticks, etc.

Bring inhalers/medication/epi pen as needed.


If there is any possibility of inclement weather you may call the music office 203-250-2534 for updated information regarding our performance.



(3:00 p.m. CHSMRB E-Board Elections)

4:00 p.m.  Report Time to Band Room

Set-Up at CHS Main Field


Approx 5:50 p.m.  Perform Pomp and Circumstance

6:00 p.m.  Ceremony Begins

Approx 7:30 p.m.  (end of ceremony) Perform Hands Across The Sea

Assist with collecting all music, clothespins, trash, etc.

Approx 8:00 p.m.  Return to Band Room - Please bring your music stand!

Return all school instruments to Mr. Kuhner's office.  Make sure you label each w/ your name and what repairs need to be made to the instrument.

Clean out your cabinet and leave open w/ lock locked on receiver.

Approx 8:30 p.m.  Dismissed


Please contact me anytime if you have any questions.




Mr. K.

John L. Kuhner, K-12 Music Department Chairman
Cheshire Public Schools
Cheshire High School
525 South Main Street
Cheshire, CT 06410
Phone: 203-250-2534
Fax: 203-250-2563

25-May-17: Memorial Day Parade Reminders

posted May 26, 2017, 4:19 PM by Mark Nowicki   [ updated May 26, 2017, 4:19 PM ]

Greetings Students and Parents,


We are looking forward to our performance at the Cheshire Memorial Day Parade this Sunday, May 28!  Here are some reminders to assist you in preparing for our performance.


Please wear/bring the following items with you to the front of Highland School/Right side of Police Station on Sunday, May 28, at 12:15 p.m.


Bring 2 disposable bottles of water, or 1 large disposable bottle of water

Be dressed in full uniform (please remember to wear t-shirt and shorts underneath for ease in changing out of uniform.)

Bring shako (you will receive your plume at 12:15 p.m.)

Wear black shoes (no logos, etc.) or black marching shoes

Wear black socks (ankle height)

Bring instrument/equipment/sticks - no cases, please!

Bring inhalers/medication as needed (We will also have a vehicle following the band in case of emergency.)


Remember to drink lots of water on Saturday afternoon/evening and Sunday morning.  Eat a good breakfast and a light lunch on Sunday morning. 


If there is any possibility of inclement weather you may call the music office 203-250-2534 for updated information regarding our performance.



11:30 - 11:45 a.m.  CHS Band Room open to pick-up instruments/equipment

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Continuous shuttle bus runs from CHS to Highland School

12:15 p.m.  Report Time - Front of Highland School/Right Side of Police Station


1:15 p.m.  Form-up parade block

1:30 p.m.  Step-Off

Approx 2:00-2:15 p.m.  Parade stop at town hall/performance of taps/water distributed to students

Approx 2:30-2:45 p.m.  Arrive CHS Band Room/put all instruments/equipment away/change out of uniforms and place in laundry bins.

Approx 3:00 - 3:15 p.m.  Dismissed


Please contact me anytime if you have any questions.



John L. Kuhner, K-12 Music Department Chairman
Cheshire Public Schools
Cheshire High School
525 South Main Street
Cheshire, CT 06410
Phone: 203-250-2534

15-Mar-17: CHSBPA Financial Update: Winter 2016-2017

posted Mar 16, 2017, 5:56 AM by Mark Nowicki   [ updated Mar 16, 2017, 5:56 AM ]

March 15, 2017


Dear CHSBPA Members,


We have just completed our final major fundraiser for the 2016-2017-winter season.  At this time, I would like to share an update on our finances and fundraising activities.


We began the fiscal year in July 2016 with a checking account balance $41,283.15.  This includes all of the operating funds in our account, except for a separate CD of $8,000 at Ion Bank.  The Ion Bank CD was funded several years ago and has been designated to fund future scholarship awards.  Our current financial snapshot is as follows:


Account Balance July 1, 2016






Net Proceeds from Major Fundraisers


Other Net Cash Receipts (BPA dues, grants, other)


Total Net Proceeds






Marching Band Funding


Winter Guard Funding


Banquet and Fellowship Expenses


Scholarship Funding*


Other Operating Expenses**


Nationals Spirit Wear Expense***


Charms Credits Used****


Total Net Expenses




Account Balance March 7, 2017



*At the request of the band director, the $945 funded 50% of Nawrocki’s drum major camp expense and partial support for Ratliff’s fees for NEMFA All National participation.

**Insurance and General & Administration expenses (Quick Books, website and email, PO Box, State Fees, postage and supplies).

*** Funds collected from parents for Nationals order in 2015/2016 year, cash paid out to USBands per invoice in 2016/2017 year.

****Anyone with a Charms credit balance has until the end of June 2017 to use the remaining credits.  To find out if you have a balance, please call or email me.


The account balance shows that, to date, we have operated at a net cash flow deficit of $5,695.20; however, the deficit is nearly entirely due to $1,364.00 for the 2015 Nationals invoice paid in this fiscal year and Charms credits used this fiscal year of $4,267.56, with excess program costs accounting for only $63.64.  Depending on how fundraisers and expenses pan out for the remainder of the year, we have an opportunity to reverse this deficit.


We ramped up early in the season, working through July and August to finalize an ambitious budget.  We kicked off fundraising activity in August with the First Annual Car Show and the re-invigorated Sponsorship Campaign.  Our fundraising targets were also very ambitious this year to meet commitments made in the budget process, and we strived to work smarter, control expenses, and maximize fundraising proceeds in order to honor our commitments.


To date, for the fundraisers we ran, the net proceeds are more than we budgeted, thanks primarily to the success of the Sponsorship Campaign, Christmas Tree Pick-up and the Spring Train Show, offset by a significant shortfall on Music in Motion.  Note that two of our planned fundraisers, the NEMFA Concessions and a new Super Bowl Sub fundraiser, did not happen.  We have three additional fundraisers budgeted, but it is not clear whether those will occur.  We are currently working to determine what may be possible for the spring, including starting the 2017 Sponsorship Campaign early.


Fundraising Activities

Revenue ($)

Expenses ($)

Net Proceeds ($)

ROI (%) *

Sponsorship Campaign





Car Show





Pie Sale





Music in Motion





Fall Train Show





Christmas Tree Pick-up





Spring Train Show**





Fall Tag/Bake Sale***





Total Fundraising






*ROI=Return on Investment (Net Proceeds/Expenses) expressed as a percentage

**Actual custodial/kitchen and advertising invoices are still outstanding

***Proceeds provided to CHS Band Student Activity Account for the benefit of WG students


The major Program Funding categories as a percentage of the Total Net Proceeds of $55,879.22 as shown in the chart in the beginning of this letter are as follows:



Amount ($)

% of Total Net


Per Student ($)**

Marching Band Funding




Winter Guard Funding***




Banquet and Fellowship Expenses




Scholarship Funding




Other Operating Expenses




Total Expenses





*% of Total Net Proceeds for 2016/2017

**Program Funding divided by the number of students participating

***Reflects a grant to CHS for $1,000 per student participant (10 student participants), plus $700 for show registration fees paid by the BPA, plus a refund of participation fees paid in advance to the BPA, plus the net proceeds from the Fall Tag/Bake Sale.


Please note that, due to the loss of the two fundraisers and the shortfall in Music In Motion, offset by success with Sponsorship Campaign, Tree Pick Up, Spring Train Show, and the current hiatus for the Winter Percussion Program, program funding and expenses have exceeded the Total Net Proceeds, resulting in a shortfall of $63.64 to date.


Despite a $10,700 contribution from the CHSBPA, the Winter Guard Program cost is still steep for parents.  The CHSBPA permitted the WG to conduct a few targeted fundraisers to directly offset the WG parent cost.  The net proceeds of those fundraisers have been/will be provided to the school directly, except for the Fall Tag Sale, which is included in the funding number above since the CHSBPA had deposited that amount and subsequently wrote a check to the school.  Tina Allen did a great job with these fundraisers (Fall Tag/Bake Sale, Super Bowl Bake Sale, Bottle/Can Drive).


I want to thank each of you for all of the efforts and contributions you have made to support these successful programs for our children.  The CHSBPA is the largest parent organization in Cheshire and raises the most funds to benefit the CHS student programs.  The collective efforts of the parents have raised well over $1M dollars for the benefit of the music program since our incorporation.  The Board of Directors and I sincerely appreciate all of the personal time you have committed as volunteers and fundraisers for the organization. 


We could not continue to support the programs without each of you and we ask for your continued contributions.  We will need new leadership and coordinators to guide the organization successfully into the future.  We know that there is a wealth of new ideas, knowledge and skill sets amongst our parents.  Please contact me, or any Board Member, for more information on how to volunteer for the organization.


The CHSBPA leadership continues to move toward alignment of program budgeting, policies, and processes in our attempt to ensure that all of the students continue to have the opportunity to benefit from and participate in the programs they love and excel at.  As our Chairman of the Board, Tim Orcutt, communicated in December, we have been meeting with the school administration to ensure that our Corporation will continue to achieve the financial successes it has for the last 20 plus years for the benefit of the CHS instrumental music programs.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, or Tim, directly.  We are more than happy to share additional information, or hear your ideas and concerns.


Most sincerely,


Laura Vuolo Hendry

President, CHSBPA

7-Feb-17: CHS BPA Spring Train Show

posted Feb 8, 2017, 4:50 PM by Mark Nowicki   [ updated Feb 8, 2017, 4:50 PM ]

Greetings Band Parents:
Our Spring Train Show will be on Sunday, March 5th.  Save the date!  It is time again to put on a great show to raise funds for the CHS Marching Ram Band and extracurricular Winter Programs.  We typically raise between five and six thousand dollars with our Train Shows.  Maura, Sue, Maryam and Tom are well into planning and promoting, but we need your help to execute.
Help us advertise – circulate this flyer.  Please refer to  I’ve linked to a number of YouTube videos from past shows so you can see some of the vendor displays.  Spread the word!
We need about 20 to 30 parents throughout the weekend to put on the show.  Sign up to volunteer.  Many of our veteran Train Show parents will be “graduating” after this show so we’re looking for some new faces.  There are a variety of shifts and numerous roles to fill – find one or more that work for you.  Please get involved! 
We sell baked goods for 100% profit, but we need baked goods to sell.  Sign up to bring in a tray or basket of goodies by 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.  Please consult these guidelines.
Come join the fun!  Thank you!
Mark Nowicki

PS:  BOTTLE DRIVE!!!  The Winter Guard will be collecting Bottles and Cans for a Recycle Drive this Saturday, February 11th, between 10 and 11:30 a.m.  Reclaim space in your garage for a good cause!  Please bring them in closed large plastic trash bags.  Find John DeGennaro Saturday in front of CHS.

21-Dec-16: Congrats & CHSBPA Christmas Tree Pick-Up

posted Dec 21, 2016, 4:54 PM by Mark Nowicki   [ updated Dec 21, 2016, 4:54 PM ]



I hope this email finds you well after a great winter concert this past Thursday!  Congratulations to all students in the Concert Band, String Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Marching Ram Band for incredible performances!  


On another note, the CHSBPA is preparing to launch its annual Christmas Tree Pick-Up fundraiser which will take place on January 14.


If you would like your tree to be picked up please click on the following link and print out and send in flyer w/ payment:


Please print some additional copies and share with your friends and neighbors.


And if you are interested in volunteering to help pick up the trees please click on the following link to sign-up:


Thanks!  And I wish all of you a wonderful Holiday Season and a very Happy and Healthy New Year!  We look forward to making more great music in the coming year!

John L. Kuhner, K-12 Music Department Chairman
Cheshire Public Schools
Cheshire High School
525 South Main Street
Cheshire, CT 06410
Phone: 203-250-2534
Fax: 203-250-2563

30-Nov-16: BPA Fall Fundraising Update

posted Nov 30, 2016, 6:19 PM by Mark Nowicki   [ updated Nov 30, 2016, 6:19 PM ]

To the CHS BPA Members:


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  All of us have so much to be thankful for, not the least of which is the phenomenal talents, work ethic and enthusiasm of our children!

Now that we have completed another successful Marching Ram Band season, it seems like a good time to provide the BPA Membership with a recap of our Fall fundraising efforts.  As you know, a key part of the BPA’s role is to fundraise throughout the school year in support of the Marching Ram Band, the Winter Guard and Percussion Programs, and all of the CHS instrumental music programs.  During late summer and early fall, the BPA sponsored four key fundraisers:  the Car Show, the Sponsorship Program, the Thanksgiving Pie Sales and Music in Motion.  The following are the results of these Programs (based on the information received to date):
  • Car Show [$1,481]:  Under the leadership of Jeff Shankman, the BPA was able to revive the long dormant Car Show.  The response from the area’s car enthusiasts was outstanding!  We netted $1,481 ($2,722 of revenue, less $1,241of expenses), which exceeded our target of $900.  We expect to make this an annual event with increasing success!

  • Sponsorship Program [$18,717]:  Under Agnes Nawrocki’s leadership, we were able to take the Sponsorship Program to a whole new level, exceeding even our lofty expectations!  We netted $18,842 ($22,442 of revenue, less $3,725 of expenses), which exceeded our target of $15,800. With this new blueprint for success, we believe there is potential for even greater success next year! 

  • Pie Sales [$636]:  Despite Tina Allen’s valiant efforts, the Thanksgiving Pie Sales came up short.  We believe the students’ laser-focus on making the Sponsorship Program an outstanding success may have detracted a bit from their Pie Sales efforts.  As a result, we netted $636 ($2,160 of revenue, less $1,524 of expenses), below our target of $1,600.  Nevertheless, we have a couple of ideas on how to better balance the timing and efforts of our students to reinvigorate this fundraiser next year without detracting at all from the success of the Sponsorship Program.

  • Music in Motion [$6,886]:  Joe Campbell and his subcommittee chairs did an outstanding job organizing and running our most complicated fundraiser.  While we were able to net $6,886 ($23,893 of revenue, less $17,007 of expenses), that fell short of our $11,000 target.  Ticket sales were almost $2,000 short of budget, primarily due to an overestimation of the amount of student and senior ticket sales.  Food sales were also almost $2,000 short of budget.  The key driver is that we significantly underestimated the demand for hamburgers and chicken fingers, as we sold out of them very early into the program.  The newest items, kielbasa and bratwurst, were hits (both sold out towards the end of the night); steak sandwiches and clam chowder, no so much (both significantly undersold the quantity purchased).  We will use these lessons to be sure to increase our margins next year.  The lure of the airgrams and 50/50 raffle also seems to be waning as these collectively fell $750 short of budget.  We will be looking for new ideas on alternative moneymakers or ways to reinvigorate these old standbys.

  • Total Raised, Net:  $27,720 (short of our budgeted target of $29,300)

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our fundraising efforts to date.  However, we continue to need your help as there is still more money to raise.  While we are still working through the payment of some of the expenses, we expect to fully fund approximately $37,000 of budgeted Marching Band expenses (i.e., more than we have raised to date).  In addition, we are looking to fund more than $28,000 for our Winter Guard and Winter Percussion programs, as well as fund the senior scholarships and certain costs for the Jazz programs.  To do so, we are targeting a major fundraiser for each month throughout the remainder of the school year.  Upcoming, we have the NEMFA concessions stand in December, the Christmas Tree pickup in January, the Spring Train Show in March, and one or two Jazz programs in the Spring.  We are still looking for ideas and leadership for additional fundraisers to fill out our calendar and achieve our budgeted targets.  Thus, any assistance and ideas you have would be greatly appreciated.


Please let me know if you have any questions.


Best regards,



Tim Orcutt


Cheshire High School Band Parents’ Association, Inc.


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