McMillen HS Band Boosters

November 2019

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Dear Band Parents,

Marching season is almost over…one game to go! On Thursday, November 7, it is the game between McMillen and East cluster rival Williams. Besides being a good game, it will be the McMillen Band’s last performance of Prometheus. So come out and support the band!

UIL seems like a long time ago, but for those that were in attendance, and that was many of you, McMillen performed their best show of the season! They received 1s from all 3 judges!! Only 2 schools in the 6A Non-Varsity division received all 1s, and McMillen was one of them! I can’t thank all the McMillen Band supporters that came out to Little Elm; you were loud and visible and the students responded. My son told me that he was pleasantly surprised with all

the support and he could totally hear the cheers. It was an amazing performance and an amazing day!

I would like to say a special thank you to our game day chairs: Sheila and Jason Freeman (chaperones), LB Herbert (game day meals), Stephanie Ownby, Shawn Ryan, and Nicole Broeckel (uniforms). They, along with their parent volunteer army, gave so much of their time and energy throughout the marching season, to make sure the students kept moving, were well fed, and well dressed. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!!!! One more game to go!

As we transition to the concert season, there are some upcoming events to keep in mind. We have the mattress palooza fundraiser, spring band placement auditions, all-region auditions, holiday concert, and Christmas parade. Make sure toread Mr. Kurzweil’s weekly updates to stay informed.

Students will also be checking out their concert attire soon. The concert attire, tuxedo or dress, is to be kept at home, and will be turned back in after the last concert in May. So please keep them safe. Stay tuned for more information about the concert attire usage agreement and purchase of the tuxedo shirt/tie/cummerbund package.

We will need a few parent volunteers for the Christmas parade on Saturday, December 14, so please stay tuned for when to sign up. This is a very fun event, so feel free to dress up and come along!

The parent spotlight is worth the read. We have a band mom that is a 2nd degree black belt and manages a dojo, and that isn’t even her ‘day job’.

Thanks to all of you for all you do to support your students to help them be successful!!

Looking forward to a smooth transition into the holidays and the concert season!! If you have any questions, please do

not hesitate to contact me.

Minoo Wille

McMillen High School Band Booster President, 2019-2020

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Parent Spotlight

LB Herbert

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LB at the Dojo

I have known LB Herbert for many years, as our older kids were in the same grade. But it was just 2 months ago that I learned that she is a 2 nd degree black belt and manages a dojo along with 4 others here in Plano. I had to check it out! LB is mom to Ainsley Butterfield, freshman French horn player, in the McMillen Band. You may also recognize LB’s name because she also serves as our Game Day Meals Chair!

When LB’s older daughter was in pre-school (she is a sophomore in college now), she joined karate. A few years later, she convinced LB to join along with her. LB loved it so much, she kept going, and became an instructor. Now, after almost 12 years of studying karate, she teaches at the Plano location of Texas Isshinryu Karate Kai (TIKK) along with 4 others (3 are pictured above). Each person brings their own ‘expertise’ to the dojo and they are all black belts; Mr. Schneider – 1 st degree black belt, Dr. Herbert – 2 nd degree black belt, Sensei Hendrix and Sensei Harper – 4 th degree black belts. The President of TIKK, Soke Robert Kristensen, is a

9 th degree black belt and his wife, Maria Kristensen, is a 7 th degree – who run the head dojo in Grapevine.

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Instructors – Mr. Schneider, LB (Dr. Herbert), Sensei Hendrix, Sensei Harper

LB keeps at it because she loves it, but even more, she loves watching students of all ages learn. She enjoys watching boys and girls to ‘not be afraid’ and to develop the self-confidence to defend themselves. The Isshinryu style is a traditional Japanese style of karate from Okinawa. The emphasis is on technique, speed, rhythmic combinations, and focus. It also has a different style punch compared to other martial art styles. A common mantra is ‘Train to Train Another Day’.

The day that I attended class, there were students from middle school age to 50+ old adults. They all train together, but break off into separate groups since they are at different levels, but also to help each other. The focus on this day was on Kata (forms). Techniques are put together in a specific sequence while fighting an imaginary fighter. Sensei Harper told me that they ‘Train the Mind and the Body Follows’.

LB and Mr. Schneider went to another room to work with some of the weapons. There is a choreographed set of movements and it is very technique based. I was told that the weapons used in this style of karate were adapted from farm tools. In early Japan, weapons would be confiscated, so farm tools are what people used to defend themselves in Okinawa.

LB does have a day job. She has a PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She has worked for Health Union, that is based in Philadelphia, for the last 5 years. She is the Executive Director of Research. She travels often for work, but finds time to teach karate and feed 130+ students and adults on McMillen Band game days.

Along with the traditional classes, TIKK teaches adaptive karate for kids that are on the autism spectrum as well as offering self-defense classes for women and teenagers. You can go to the website at: to find out more information. You can also email at

If you know of a band parent doing unusual, extraordinary, or funny things (inside or outside of band), please let me know, because they could be part of the next parent spotlight!