Olathe & Southwest Joco

Olathe events range from books sales to Bass Summit

The recent Bass Summit brought young musicians together to hone their skills on a tough instrument.
The recent Bass Summit brought young musicians together to hone their skills on a tough instrument.

New scoreboards coming to Olathe

New, modern scoreboards are coming to stadiums in the Olathe School District, and they will be financed by sponsors in the business community.

The boards are to be installed next spring at the Olathe District Activity and College Boulevard Activity centers, replacing scoreboards that are at the end of their life expectancy.

Patrons will experience events and athletic contests with LED video, improved sound and animation, Tim Brady, activity director for the school district, said in a news release.

When graduations take place at the College Boulevard location, he said, “regardless of where you sit in the stadium, every graduate will be able to be seen in high definition.”

Since video boards already are in place in the high school gymnasiums, the same technology will be available if a ceremony must move indoors to the backup location at Olathe Northwest High School.

Besides improving the visual experience for spectators, Brady added, the new boards will give students the chance to gain career experience while still in high school.

“Video production, camera operation, writing, editing and animation are career fields students will gain exposure to as they’ll be working the boards during events,” he said. “These skills are great resume builders.”

In addition to graduations and sporting events, the activity centers also host the high school band showcase, the Relay for Life and middle school functions.

The sound system, cameras, installation, training and equipment will be covered through four Anchor and six Founding sponsors who will enter into multiyear agreements. The boards will be installed next year and paid off with sponsorship dollars.

If your business if interested in sponsorship opportunities, contact Brady at tbradyec@olatheschools.org or 913-780-7989.

Bass Summit focuses on ‘musical foundation’ of an orchestra

The upright bass can be a challenge for a young musician. Aside from the difficulty of mastering the strings, the instrument is 78 inches tall and typically weighs 25 pounds.

“It requires a lot of physical strength just to handle the bass, let alone play it,” said Danny Kaul, who teaches band at Frontier Middle School and plays the bass in community performances.

This fall, Kaul and others organized the district’s third annual Bass Summit, where professional musicians spent a Saturday teaching nearly two dozen bass players ranging in age from sixth grade through high school seniors.

“There are typically not a lot of bass players in a single orchestra, and this event allows those students to connect with one another and take part in workshops specifically designed for bass pedagogy,” said Martha Gabel, fine arts coordinator for the district.

Students could choose jazz or improv classes, or take the Kansas Music Educators Association preparation classes. Some of this year’s attendees have participated in all three summits. They learned from district music instructors and outside professionals like James Albright and Joey Panella.

“We invite the best of the best,” said Olathe North High School orchestra director Cecily Mahan, lead summit organizer. “Finding other bass professionals is easy because bass players stick together and everybody knows everybody. We have always gotten positive reactions from our clinicians. The students and I are so grateful to receive their knowledge and experience.”

Kaul describes the bass as the “musical foundation” of an orchestra.

“It is one of those instruments that doesn’t always receive a lot of praise, but if it was missing from an ensemble you would immediately know it,” he said. “The bass is rarely in the spotlight when it comes to the orchestra, so it is a welcomed change when you have an entire day devoted just to your instrument.”

Kaul sees the summit as a chance to bring together like-minded musicians to build rapport with each other.

“We hope to encourage future students to play the bass, even though the size of the instrument might somewhat intimidating to some,” he said.

Veterans Day in Olathe

City offices in Olathe, including Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, will close Nov. 11 for Veterans Day, but trash and recycling collection will remain on schedule.

The Olathe Community Center, at 1205 E. Kansas City Road, will be open and offer free admission to veterans and active military members who can show a military ID.

Also at the community center, Vietnam veteran John Reichley will speak at the Veterans Appreciation Coffee at 8:30 a.m. Reichley has been featured on KCPT’s Stories of Service, where he talked about the friendship he forged with his Vietnamese translator. The event is free, but registration is required because of limited space. Call 913-971-8563.

Mahaffie honors youth volunteers

The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm has recognized two young volunteers, Sarah Carey and Sarah Gray, for the quality of their service to the Olathe historic site.

Sarah Carey is a 12-year-old home-schooled student from Tonganoxie who began volunteering at Mahaffie three years ago. Some of her favorite activities on the farm include making biscuits on the cookstove, gardening, Wild West Days and learning about the Mahaffie family history.

Sarah Gray is an eighth-grader at Santa Fe Trail Middle School in Olathe. She has volunteered at Mahaffie for two years and loves working the farm and sharing history.

The Youth Volunteer Award is given annually in honor of Carrie Newson, daughter of Mike and Lynette Newson, who died in a car accident in March 1998. It is given to a volunteer who exhibits leadership, is reliable and a good example to peers, loves earning and history, and makes a measurable contribution to the site.

Blood drive Nov. 11 at library

The Red Cross, which is in immediate need of blood donors, has scheduled a blood drive from 1 to 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Indian Creek Library, 16100 W. Santa Fe St. Make an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org, but review the eligibility requirements before signing up.

Public invited to transportation meeting

The Mid-America Regional Council is developing its long-range transportation plan, called Connected KC 2050, and has chosen Olathe for its Johnson County open house to discuss the plan and receive feedback before adopting the plan next spring.

The meeting will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at Olathe City Hall,100 E. Santa Fe St. A short presentation will be given at 4 p.m. and repeated at 5 p.m.

Olathe officials have identified nearly 100 projects that need to be completed in the next 30 years, including improving Interstate 35 interchanges and streets throughout the city and extending 119th Street west over the railroad tracks.

Other meetings:

Nov. 14, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce, 727 Minnesota Ave. Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated at 5:30.

Nov. 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Mid-America Regional Council office, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City. Identical presentations at 4 and 5 p.m.

For those who cannot attend a meeting, an online survey has been posted at www.surveymonkey.com/r/WRL2GXW.

Book sale at library

The first used book sale in Olathe’s new Indian Creek Library will conclude Nov. 10

The sale was scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 8-9, followed by a “sack sale” from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 10 where buyers can fill a sack for $6. If they buy two sacks, they can get four more for free.

The library is at 16100 W. Santa Fe St.