Above / Since 1969, the Naperville Municipal Band has hosted indoor concerts, including the annual concert in December to kick off the holiday season. (PN Photo, November 2016)
UPDATE, Sept. 27, 2019 / Holiday Concert Notes! Tuba Christmas, hosted by the Naperville Municipal Band Director Ron Keller, will be performed at 11:15AM on Sat., Dec. 7, 2019, in front of US Bank at the corner of Washington and Jefferson in downtown Naperville. (Same-day Registration is open to all high school and adult tuba and baritone players at 9AM, followed by rehearsal at 10AM, in the Community Concert Center in Central Park.) Stay tuned for details regarding the afternoon performance in Fox Valley Mall.
The Naperville Municipal Band will perform its Annual Christmas Concert at 3PM on Sun., Dec. 8, at Neuqua Valley High School on 95th Street.
Did you know? The Naperville Municipal Band was established in 1859. With the Community Concert Center in Naperville’s Central Park as its home base, the band entertains thousands of listeners every summer with its free weekly outdoor Thursday evening concerts, in addition to free fall, winter and spring indoor concerts. Learn more at www.napervilleband.org.
(UPDATE, Dec. 4, 2016 / New photos of Saturday’s tuba performances as well as Sunday’s concert have been added to this earlier post.)
On an afternoon set for a sleigh ride, devoted concert enthusiasts braved the snowy Sunday to attend the annual Christmas Concert performed by the Naperville Municipal Band in Wentz Concert Hall. Ann Lord charmed the audience with her narration of the songs Director Ron Keller had chosen to be performed by select choirs, quartets and ensembles from every section of the band.
And wouldn’t you know? Two of the five songs performed by the band were “The Sleigh Ride” composed by W.A. Mozart with P. Dunningan and “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson. Written in 1948, Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” with its wintry imagery enhanced by uplifting percussion instruments is still among the most popular holiday music in America.
Other selections included “March of the Toys,” “Overture to a Winter Celebration,” and “A Christmas Festival.”
Choir, quartet and ensemble songs were “A Flute Tootin’ Yule” performed on flutes, “Angels We Have Heard on High” on clarinets, “Mele Kalikimaka” on bassoons/oboes, “Frosty the Snowman” on saxophones, “Canadian Brass Medley” on brass, “Joy to the World” on trombones, and “Lo, How Rose E’re Blooming” on tubas and euphoniums.
The band also provided music for a reading by Ann Lord of “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” Then the jolly old elf himself appeared for a surprise visit, spreading cheer and candy canes all through the house.
PHOTO GALLERY / Sample of Christmas Concert with Santa’s surprise arrival. Click any photo to enlarge.
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Municipal Band Christmas Concert
Posted Nov. 22, 2016 / The Naperville Municipal Band presents its Christmas Concert at 3PM on Sunday, Dec. 4, in North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave.
Musical merriment will suddenly appear when the 100-piece Naperville Municipal Band performs classical and popular medleys in a magical mix for the audience to enjoy, bringing back memories and making new ones.
A tradition since 1969 when the Naperville Municipal Band began its indoor series of concerts, the Christmas Concert also includes the memorable medley of seasonal tunes, holiday songs and carols, “A Christmas Festival,” the most often played holiday song for sing-a-longs.
For more information about the free concert, visit napervilleband.org.
Consider brunch before the concert or dinner afterward in downtown Naperville. Experience all the sights and sounds of the season with friends and family. Fa la la la la, la la la la. Tis’ the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la.
A holly jolly Tuba Christmas came to downtown Naperville on Dec. 3
Revelers were welcomed into the holiday spirit when the Naperville Municipal Band celebrated Merry Tuba Christmas at 11AM on Sat., Dec. 3.
Euphonium/baritone players and tuba players from sixth grade to adult were invited to participate. Again the event attracted dozens of players who banded together to play traditional Christmas carols from a songbook, conducted in tandem by NMB Director Ron Keller and Assistant Director René Rosas, right in sync.
Saturday the appreciative crowds cheered, sang and applauded during the annual event as it was first presented in front of U.S. Bank on the northeast corner of Jefferson Ave. and Washington St., followed at 12:30PM at Fox Valley in Aurora in the food court.
(Note for next year: Individuals interested in performing can register between 9 and 10AM at the Community Concert Center in Naperville’s Central Park, 104 E. Benton Ave. Rehearsal begins at 10AM.
Currently, registration is $10 and music may be purchased for $20. Large print versions are available for $25.
Red, blue or green hats and scarves with the Tuba Christmas logo are available for $15 each. Parking is available in the parking deck located south of the U.S. Bank lot on Jefferson Ave. Musicians should bring a music stand for the performances.
Tuba players may also want to bring a folding chair to the performances.)
PHOTO GALLERY / Small sampling of players in the 2016 Tuba Christmas from downtown Naperville to Fox Valley Mall. Click any photo to enlarge.
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Tuba Christmas celebrates 42nd year
Tuba Christmas was created by the late Harvey Phillips of Bloomington, Ind., who was inspired to create an annual event honoring his teacher, William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day 1902. Every Christmas season, tuba and euphonium players of all ages gather to pay respect to all the great artists/teachers who represent their heritage and to play traditional Christmas carols especially arranged for the first Tuba Christmas, which was held Dec. 22, 1974, in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza. The warm, rich sound of the tuba-euphonium choir has won the ears and hearts of audiences around the world.
“Now in its 42nd year, Tuba Christmas is a great opportunity for tuba player of any age with more than one year’s experience to join the festivities,” noted Ron Keller, Director of the Naperville Municipal Band.
“And if the weather is as warm as it’s been in November, we might open the door to the Concert Center and perform on stage in Central Park,” joked Keller, mindful of only one year when the temperature dropped below zero and Tuba Christmas was held inside, door closed.
For more information about the Naperville Municipal Band, established in 1859, visit www.napervilleband.org.
Fond Memories of ‘Hometown Sounds’
While digging through photos, PN discovered some shots of traveling musicians on the sidewalk before Tuba Christmas became a big deal in front U.S. Bank. The first photo shows a Daily Herald reporter interviewing the musicians where Roseland Draperies used to be at the corner of Washington and Jefferson.
When musicians from the Naperville Municipal Band first started performing holiday songs, they strolled throughout town playing Christmas carols during Hometown Holidays in 2004.
The photo at right was taken in front of the old Oswald’s Pharmacy, now in its 141st year as a family-owned enterprise, just after they’d moved to Naperville Plaza and some time before Ted’s Montana Grill opened in that space.
Today the idea of the brass-playing musicians tooting their horns has turned into quite a production on the first Saturday in December in front of U.S. Bank, Jefferson at Washington streets in downtown Naperville.
Listen for the Merry Tuba Christmas beginning at 11AM Sat., Dec. 3, 2015, and the same time next year.
(PN File Photos)
For 2016, the Municipal Band Christmas Concert is 3PM Sun., Dec. 4, at Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College.
For more information visit napervilleband.org.
Did you know? The Naperville Municipal Band was established in 1859. With the Community Concert Center in Naperville’s Central Park as its home base, the band entertains thousands of listeners every summer with its free weekly outdoor concerts, in addition to free fall, winter and spring indoor concerts. Learn more at www.napervilleband.org.